Apparently there is no specific test to diagnose Fibro. What I did was print out a pain journal (you can find a link to one on the Fibro 101 thread) and filled it out for the 2 weeks before my appt. I had to give a number 1-10 for how severe the pain was, where it was located, what I was doing when the pain started, what meds I took for it, and how many hours I had slept that night. I also made a list of my symptoms, as well as a list of ways the pain affected my life. It helps the doctor to know what you can no longer do because of the pain. So after she read through all that, she did the tender point test on me. She just pressed on various parts of my body and asked if it hurt. Some places did, some didn't. Then she said that since I had just had a full blood work done 3 weeks ago, she didn't need to do one again. Basically after ruling out everything else, and that I was tender to the touch in those Fibro points, she diagnosed me with Fibro.
You said that your doctor attributes everything to DDD and such. Does you back only hurt in the middle, on the spine? Or are you having muscle pain on the sides? There's no way that muscle pain can be attributed to diseases of the spine! Is your neck pain and shoulder pain on the bone, or the muscles? If it's the muscles, I would specifically tell your doctor that. If he still says it's the DDD and other things, ask him how that's possible. I would keep asking questions until you get some answers.
I took the Neurontin for the first time last night, and it made me VERY sleepy. I hope that I can build some sort of tolerance to it since I will have to start taking it during the day in a couple of weeks. I haven't noticed any difference in the pain yet, but I'm sure it will take more than one dose to take effect.
You may want to ask your doctor for an x-ray to rule out bone spurs and that may be what's causing your problems. If it's not, then at least you know! Diagnosing Fibro, from what I've gathered, is basically ruling out all other things, because if it's not those other things, it must be Fibro! That's what I've been told anyway.
I wish you luck in finding out what's going on with you! Thanks for your response to my thread! If you want to talk more, my email addy is on my profile.
Fibromyalgia Dx November 20, 2009
Pain issues: Pain in neck and upper/lower back, chest/ribcage pain, Degenerative joint disease in both knees, migraine headaches, very painful menstrual cramping, pelvic pain.
Meds: Neurontin 300mg. Lortab 5/500 PRN for BT pain.