I think I might have fibromyalgia... looking for advice... please help

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 4/2/2009 6:23 PM (GMT -7)   
I think I might have fibromyalgia, but I am not sure.  I have been to my doctor several times for my problems, and he decided to send me to a rheumotologist because he thinks I have either fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis.  My problems started close to a year ago.  The main symptom that caused me to seek medical attention was severe, constant pain in the center of my back.  It is a deep pain that is unlike anything I have ever experienced before.  In addition to this, I have many other symptoms which, from what I've read, seem like they could be indicative of fibromyalgia.  Some of them are:
1. extreme pain in my back, neck, shoulders, hips, knees, arms, legs... basically all over.
2. extreme stiffness, especially when I wake up or have been in one position for any length of time
3. I always feel exhausted, even if I sleep a lot.  I never feel well rested.  I fall asleep without even meaning to, even if I'm just sitting down.
4. I have depression and anxiety
5. my hands frequently go numb
6. my eyes, nose and mouth are always dry, and I always feel extremely dehydrated
7. my menstrual cramps are always horrible, and all my other symptoms feel worse during menstruation
I can hardly take dealing with the constant pain I am in.  I am only twenty-three years old and most days I feel like I'm about 80.  It is so painful just to walk around.  I can hardly do any of the things I enjoy anymore.  I work a very physical job and most days I am in tears struggling through it.  It exhausts me so much that when I get home all I feel like doing is going to sleep.  My life has become absolutely miserable.
I am already prescribed several medications by my primary doctor.  I take Celexa for depression, which I just recently started taking again, and it does help slightly with the pain.  I take Flexaril three times a day.  If I didn't the stiffness would be so bad I would hardly be able to move.  I've also tried Tramadol, which occasionally helps slightly.  My doctor also gave me Percocet, which also only helps once in a while.  Most of the time when I take the pain medicines they do nothing, or very little.  I end up getting desperate and taking more than I'm prescribed because I am so, so miserable.  Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't.  I'm worried about becoming addicted to pain medicines, and I'm worried about taking so much medication in general.  I don't know what to do.  Most days the pain drives me crazy.  I struggle to even think clearly.  I can't remember the last time I actually had enough relief to feel decent. 
Does anyone have any idea if fibromyalgia might be what I have?  If so, what can I do?  I don't know what to do for the pain.  I've tried everything over the counter that exists.  I've tried tramadol and percocet.  I stretch regularly.  I get a decent amount of exercise from my job.  I tried exercising on my own a few weeks ago, and after just a fifteen minute workout, I felt miserable for about five or six days afterwards.  I don't know what else to do.  If you know anything that might help me, please let me know.
Thank you.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 210
   Posted 4/2/2009 7:01 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't have an answer other than it sounds exactly what I went thru, and go thru. I only take vicodan and workout everyday, just for 20 mins. There are days that it takes everything I have to finish excersing and I can be sore for days afterwards. I often have to space out my day in intervals and then rest in between, or get it all done in the morning and then sleep in the afternoon. I am hoping they will give you an answer soon, that way you will know what direction you will need to go to manage the pain. Just know you don't die from fibromyalgia, but sometimes you think you will. There is hope and with the support of the people here things don't always have to be hard. Be praying for you. Denise
Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto Thyroid disease, Chronic pain.
 All things are possible thru Christ Jesus who strengthens me

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 4/2/2009 8:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lefty and welcome!!

Glad you have joined our family here in Fibro land. Of course we aren't doctors and can't diagnose, but your symptoms do sound like what everyone else around here has experienced. I am so very sorry that you are so young and in misery. It just isn't fair. But fair or not it has to be dealt with. Please join us <extending hand> and we'll help you learn to live a wonderful life in spite of your pain.

A couple of suggestions. Be very careful with the narcotic medication (percocet) and don't take any more than the doctor prescribes. It's better to tell him that the amount prescribed does not work. Make a phone call and don't wait until your next appointment. Often the doctor is using a low beginning dose to diagnose how severe your pain is. If one pill helps then he knows how much you need. If it doesn't then he will know he needs to give you a higher dose. There isn't any other way to know how much medicine it takes to relieve your pain unless you tell him how it works. Be VERY honest and up front with him from now on. Many people are cut off of any treatment if their doctor finds out they have taken more than they are supposed to. I would hate to see this happen to you.

Also, go easy on the exercise. That doesn't mean to stop...that's the worst thing....but go slow and easy on the muscles. Gentle stretches and lots of warmth. Best to do a little at a time instead of going at his hard and suffering for days on end. At the top of the fibro forum page is Fibromyalgia 101. Read that because in there are some great stretches that Sherrine posted. They are good for you but easy on the body.

And lastly...try to relax. I know it's hard to do when this disorder not only is painful but can be frightening. It is not life threatening but it sure feels like it at times. But fibromyalgia does mess up your quality of life. That is where not only your doctor comes in but your Fibro Family here. We stick together to help each other make the best life we can and let me tell you...we can make a wonderful life with friends like the ones here.

Hugs and keep in touch,
Co-Moderator Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
Fibromyalgia, Ulcerative Colitis, Insulin dependent diabetic, PTSD, dermatitis herpetiformus, osteoarthritis and a few other side dishes.
Happiness is something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for."

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 4/2/2009 9:59 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello Lefty,

I am so sorry that you are having such a bad time of it.  You are so young to have to live with fibro.  Be strong and continue to seek good medical advice.  You will have times when you feel good, not great but good.  I always look forward to those days.  Just be sure when you have a good day you don't overdo.

Do make sure that you talk to your doctor about the medications as was suggested in one of the other post.

I was 45 when I joined the fibro family and my life has changed in ways I didn't think possible.  My fibro started in the middle of the night with a muscle spasm that covered my entire back.  It was about 10 days before I could get out of bed.  I don't think I have a muscle in my body that has not been effected by fibro.

You will be in my thoughts and prayers.


 Fibromyalgia, Bulging Disk , B12 Deficiency, IBS,  Osteoarthritis,  Vertigo,  Anxiety(panic , attacks),  Depression,  Allergies,  Chronic Sinusitis, Osteopenia, Tremors


Valium , Flexeril,  Crestor, Premarin, Vitamin E, Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 726
   Posted 4/2/2009 11:52 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Lefty, Nice to meet you & welcome to this wonderful forum.  I know how hard it is to live in limbo waiting for a dx.  It will take time to get a good diagnosis because for Fibro there is no test that can be done.  The diagnosis is reached by doing testing & ruling out every other possibility.  Once your Doctor has an idea it is Fibro, he will be looking for normal results for everything else.  So, be patient & you will find out what it is. 

I agree with the others, be totally upfront with you doctor about the pain pills, about needing a stronger dosage or a different med all together.  As Chutz said you wouldn't want to be cut off from pain meds totally.  I worked as a Pharmacy Tech & saw people be "red flagged" not just in our Pharmacy but in every Pharmacy & Doctors were informed, as well as all pain clinics.  It is no small thing.  I really don't think you have that problem but even just taking a few here & there can eventually cause you a great deal of problems.  

You are so young, we are seeing this horrible illness in people younger & younger.  I hope you can find what works for you.  Do come here & vent all you want.  You can have a good life & a happy one so don't despair.  Love & hugs, Denise 

 I have:  Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, Holt-Oram Syndrome, nasal allergies, food allergies, depression, TMJ, anxiety  Married to a wonderful supportive husband & between us we have 4 children & 7 grandchildren As apples of gold in silver carvings is a word spoken at the right time for it.    Prov. 25:11

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 1014
   Posted 4/3/2009 4:07 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi there Lefty!!

Welcome to ther forum!!! 

I'm glad your doctor is sending you to a rheumy!!  Apparently your doc. wants some backup on the decission as to what his dx is going to be.  Alot of our fibro family members see a rheumy.  I think they have an over all better grasp of what fibro is.

Your symptoms sound like fibro.. but your medical professionals will have to do several tests to rule out any other nasty diseases.

You've found one of the best forums on the internet.  Keep posting and let us know how things are going.  The members here really do care and are really helpful.

Take care,

Fibormyalgia, 4x Lyme Disease Survivor, Depression, Anxiety Disorder, Dyslexia, 2 Lumbar Disk Herniations, Allergies, Bi-lateral Carpal Tunnel, Psoriasis. 
Meds = Elavil, Tramadol, Xanax, Lipitor
"Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land among the stars" - author unknown

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 4/3/2009 5:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Just wanted to give you a hug ......... this isn't fun.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 4/3/2009 7:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lefty!  I hope and pray that the rheumy can give you a dx so you can begin to feel better.  I was just diagnosed one week ago after 1 year of going through every test know to man.  You need to have the tests though to rule out anything else that may be going on.  The best of luck to you.

Hugs to Everyone!
Fybromyalgia, Anxiety, Depression, Sleep Disorder, IBS, Migraine Headaches, Mitral Valve Regurgitation, Osteoarthritis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Scoliosis, Herniated Disc, Osteophytes
Prozac, Nabumetone, Midrin, Lidocaine Patch, Ambien, Lipitor, Flexeril

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17497
   Posted 4/3/2009 10:27 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi, Lefty, and welcome!  Yes, Dianna is correct.  You do need to have testing done before a diagnosis of fibromyalgia is given.  You see, fibro has a lot of the same symptoms of other illnesses.  So, the rheumatologist will most likely run tests to rule these other illnesses out.  Not fun, but necessary.

It sure sounds like fibro to me, but I'm not a doctor.  Check out the Fibro 101 thread...the second thread on the forum.  You will find links to good information about fibro, including a list of symptoms.  You just might see yourself there!

I take ibuprofen with food and extra strength Tylenol for my pain.  I also take malic acid/magnesium supplements that help with pain and fatigue.  There is a link in Fibro 101 all about them and how they work in the body.  I just started upping my vitamin D supplements, too, and find that I am feeling better.  Many with fibro have a vitamin D deficiency.  Your doctor can run a simple blood test to find out your levels.  From what I understand, a vitamin D deficiency can cause pain and fatigue, too.

Read back post and ask questions.  We are here to help you.  Take care and I hope to hear more from  you soon.


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

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 84
   Posted 4/3/2009 11:04 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Lefty,

  Welcome!  I hope you are able to get a confirmed diagnosis soon.  I was 29 when my first symptoms began.  My kids were 1 and 5 at the time.  I too felt like I was too young for this to happen to me, but I am finding more and more "young" people getting this. 

  I am new to this forum as well, but there is a lot of love floating around here and a place with people who know you aren't making it up. wink

Best of luck,


coping with fibro since July 2004
Officially diagnosed with fibro and restless leg - March 2009
Mother to two wonderful kids, born 1999 and 2002

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 180
   Posted 4/3/2009 12:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lefty.
As far as pain relief goes, the best I have had is Lyrica. The regular pain meds never helped as much as the lyrica does. I will think I am having pain, and run out of lyrica, and find out what pain really is once again!
I hope you get a dx soon.
Fibromyalgia, Bipolar Disease, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, Clinical Depression, Arthritis, High Blood Pressure, etc.
Who ever knew I would be defined by my diseases??

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