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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 10/10/2008 3:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Good Morning everyone.
My name is Lorraine and I've been suffering with FMS for at least 21 years. I have never really had an official diagnosis. I have seen many Ortho-Surgeons over the years, and the last one I saw suggested it may be FMS. The reports were sent back to my PCP with no mention of the FMS, but with a suggestion that I see a Rheumy. Saw him, and was prescribed Bextra. Took that for about 6 months , with pretty good results I might add, but I noticed my eyes were getting really sore and I was having problems with my vision. My PCP had no explanation for this and told me to continue to take the Bextra. I took it upon myself to find more info on the drug and realized that the sore eyes were a side effect . I stopped taking it, and my eyes were fine in a week or so. I haven't taken anything regularily since then. I am also Bipolar, and take Lithium,Celexa,Clonazepam and occasional Ativan.
I have constant discomfort, but usually not so bad that I can't function daily, but I also have severe flare ups. When this happens, I try and manage the pain with Extra Strength Advil Liquid Gels or Naproxyn. I am allergic to codeine and toradol and many pain medications irritate my stomach. The advil and naproxyn doesn't usually take care of the pain, so when it gets too unbareable, I go to the ER and get demerol or morphine shots.
I've been having a flare up, or at least I think that's what it is, for over a week now. It started out in my left side, under my ribs with muscle spasm like pain throughout my left side and into my back....gradually, it moved up to my chest and across to my right side, under my ribs and into my back. As of yesterday, it had moved to the left side of my head, down my face and neck , under my collarbone and into my upper left chest and into my upper back. Its a constant pain, with periodic spasms. It makes me upset, but more angry than anything because I'm pretty much rendered useless and can't function in my daily routines. I don't work , thankfully, and do not have young children, but it still makes me feel useless at times. My husband works and then has to come home and manage the household duties many days.  I am having problems finding a doctor that take my symptoms seriously. Because I have been diagnosed with Bipolar/depression, the doctors blame my pain on my depression.  I live in a small community in Canada. We only have  4 doctors here, and protocol states that in order  to get to see a specialist, you need a referral from one of the GP's here at the clinic. IF you're lucky enough to get one, then you have 12-24 months on a waiting list. It's so frustrating!!
I guess what I"m wondering is, how exactly, should I plead my case with my PCP? What statements should I make, and what questions should I ask so that I can get the proper diagnosis and care that I am desperately needing? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Be well..
Bipolar II
Lithium 600mg/daily
Celexa 10mg/pm
Clonazepam 0.25mg/pm
Ativan 2mg/as needed

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 269
   Posted 10/10/2008 5:24 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Lorraine,

     I'm so glad you've joined us. Have you checked out the post at the top of the column entitled Fibro 101. There is so much information that would be helpful for you there.

     I would print some of it off and take it to your doctor. Not too much, be specific because Drs are always pressed for time. But an authoritative list of Fibro symptoms could be helpful for education purposes.

     Of course it depends on whether you have an open relationship with your Dr. As a general rule they don't like to be told what to do.

     I've also noticed on this forum that some of us have used pain logs. (keeping records of your daily activities and pain levels) can be an effective tool in a discussion with your Dr. 

      I know you will get a lot more good suggestions here. 



"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:6
A woman is like a tea bag- you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 10/10/2008 6:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lorraine and welcome to our family. Don't stress and feel quilty when your not able to keep up with things, that only makes fibro worse. You didn't ask for this. I did the same thing at first when I was unable to keep up and it didn't help get things done at all but did make me feel worse.
I'm sorry the doctor situation is what it is up there. Like you I can handle the pain most days with 4000 mg of tylenol. Fatigue is my biggest problem and arthritis in my hands. We use a lot of moist heat for fibro pain. Rice bags you heat in the microwave. They are easy to make out of long tube socks and uncooked rice an tie the end. Warm baths, moist heating pads and showers.
Many have had great results with malic acid and magnesium but if your tummy is irratated easy you might want to try a little to begin with. I get gastritis very easily so I can't take most pain meds or the malic acid.
I really do hope you are able to get help from a doc. In the mean time stick with us and we will try to help you.
luv and hugs
Forum Moderator Fibromyalgia
Fibro,Sjogrens, Anxiety, Gastroparesis, IBS, Gastritis, Allergies, High Blood Pressure, Low Blood Sodium and Osteoarthritis
Amitriptyline, Celexa, Xanax, Synthroid, Zyrtec, Micardis, Spironalactone, Tylenol, Reglan, Lidoderm Patches and Tramadol
Co Q 10, Super B Complex, Extra B12, Multi vitamin

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1279
   Posted 10/10/2008 7:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lorraine and welcome-

I'm so new at this and am stumbling along, trying to get somewhat of a handle on this fibro. I know the group has alot of good advice to offer and already have. Sorry to hear about the Dr. situation and the "waiting period"- jeesh!!! Could that be long enough to see a specialist!!?? How sad. I can understand the frustration!

Keep posting and join us on our daily check-ins when you can and it was nice to meet you. GamJill
Fibromyalgia, Depression, Anxiety, TMJ, Arthritis/neck, SAD
Zoloft, Tylenol 4000 mg., Darvocet  

getting by
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41820
   Posted 10/10/2008 9:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lorraine,

Welcome to the fibro forum. This is a wonderful place if I must say so myself. We have a lot of wonderful members here who have much experience with fibromyalgia and are willing to share their experiences.

As mentioned above, check out the fibro 101 thread, it is so very informative. Also as mentioned the daily check ins are so much fun.

Keep posting, we love new members.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 1771
   Posted 10/10/2008 1:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lorraine and welcome.  I'm fairly new here myself, but there are lots of older (time on forum, not age :-) ) members who have some great advice. 
I'm so sorry about the wait for a specialist.  That must be extremely frustrating.  I hope the suggestions here help, and I hope you get some relief soon.
There is a link to a pain journal that one of the older members posted recently.  It might help to document your pain and take it to your Dr.
"There is no charm equal to tenderness of  heart." - Jane Austen
Fibromyalgia, 2 back surgeries, Meniere's Disease, 30+ kidney stones, GERD, IBS, Asthma, Allergies, Endometriosis, Heart Arrythmia, Myofascial Pain, TMJ.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17497
   Posted 10/10/2008 2:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Lorraine, and welcome again!  You have gotten some good advice here.  Hopefully your doctor believes in fibro.
Take what you have just written and make it into a list.  You might put your pain measurement next to each item in your list.  Have some info about fibro, too.  In the Fibro 101 thread...the second thread on the will find a link to  responses to a New York Times article.  Click on that.  You will see letters that have been written by learned doctors to explain fibromyalgia.  I'd print that out, too.  You PCP might be very interested in that and it might also open his/her eyes in case they don't think fibro is real. 
You might just have depression because of all of the pain you have to live with.  Many with fibro suffer with depression so that's not unusual and it is not all in your head, either.
Read other links on the Fibro 101 thread and become really informed.  You usually have to be your own advocate with this health issue.  
I'm sorry that you have to jump through hoops to see a specialist there.  That just doesn't seem fair but we've heard that before.  Anyway, I think you have gotten some good ideas on this thread.  Please let us know how it goes for you.  We really do care.
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7

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