Possible fibromyalgia newbie could use guidance

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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/17/2009 6:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello to all. Here's my situation. I'm a 30-year-old female, and for more than a year I've had chronic, intermittent pain in the center of my back. about 8 months ago, I started having pain in my chest as well. I've also sometimes had pain in the left arm or shoulder, but that seems more related to a skeletal issue, as I have limited range of motion with that arm. I was (and continue to be) scared about my heart, as heart disease runs in my family and I'm very overweight I've had numerous tests -- my BP is always normal unless I'm very stressed, and my total cholesterol is normal. I've had several normal EKGs, and a normal stress test. Blood work has all been normal, except for an elevated SED rate. My doctor continues to tell me that it's not my heart, and he thinks it's fibromyalgia because of the way the pain comes and goes, moves around, and because the area is very sensitive when he presses on it. (He's also previously diagnosed costochondritis.) But I'm still scared, and I'm just looking for some reassurance. Anyone out there have any thoughts? Any help/advice is appreciated.

Heather H.
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 756
   Posted 6/17/2009 7:05 PM (GMT -7)   
If your doctor thinks it's fibro, then it's possible. I was dx'd with fibro by seeing a rhuemitilgist (sp?). I on'y go the dx after everything else had been ruled out with testing and blood work and xrays.

If your concerned, seek out the advice of specialists. Your insurance provider should have a list of doctors that you can see. The only advice I can leave you with is quite simply this: Don't take a back seat in your treatment. Be active in the diagnosis process and if you don't feel like you are getting the answers that you need....get a second or third opinion.

Love many, trust few, always paddle your own canoe!
dx's:  Fibro, 8th cranial nerve inflamation, MS.
meds.:  none at this time

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 673
   Posted 6/17/2009 7:23 PM (GMT -7)   
I concur with Heather on this. Make sure you are active in your health care. Don't let the doc rule everything. If he is concerned it may be fibro, then have him refer you to a rheumetologist. For months, my doc and I believed it was fibro, but, since I am so young (21) he was hesitant to dx me. So, I went through a lot of tests, and they always came back normal. So, I finally went to the rheumy who told me that I definately had fibro. Not too long ago, I was also dx with costochondritis. Those two often coincide.
Make sure you share everything with your doc. Let him know your concerns. I will say this: Fibro is not a death sentence. You may have this for the rest of your life, but it won't kill you. As soon as your doc knows for certain that it is or is not fibro, he can begin treatment. Good luck to you, and keep us posted.
'Cause when push comes to shove
you taste what you're made of.
You might bend til you break
'cause it's all you can take.
On your knees you look up
decide you've had enough.
You get mad.
You get strong.
Wipe your hands
shake it off.
Then you stand.
-"Stand" by Rascal Flatts

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/17/2009 7:34 PM (GMT -7)   
So basically the next step is a rheumatologist? Sorry to seem dense, I'm just really new to the concept of fibromyalgia, and I still don't know much about it.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 179
   Posted 6/17/2009 8:54 PM (GMT -7)   
:-) Hi Lariet and welcome to the forum! And BTW, you're not dense, just learning! Have you checked out the top of this site, second thread, Fibromyalgia 101? It's chock full of information that will help you. shocked
I agree with the others -- you must stay active in your health care -- so you must try to educate yourself as best you can. This is a great forum with lots of truly caring people who will support you, so post as often as you can. tongue
Be sure and let us know how things go for you! And, yes, I'd try another doctor, especially a rheumatologist, so you can feel more confident in your diagnosis.
Take care and know that you are in our thoughts...........
Shash wink
Dx: FMS,OA,depression,anxiety,DDD with 7 herniations so far,HTN,IBS,cardiac
stent,failing aortic valve,angina,migraines with aura,many surgeries,+misc.
Rx: Nifedipine,Atenolol,Enalapril,Simvastatin,Levothyroxine,Cymbalta,Bupropion,
Dicyclomine,Lorazepam,Darvocet,Percocet,albuteral inhaler,nitroglycerin,+
( novice with computer - patience, please!)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 1156
   Posted 6/17/2009 11:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Another step is to start an exercise program. Water exercise is great for overweight people. I have been doing it for years and you do not even have to know how to swim.

Search for the Arthritis Foundation on the net and the site will refer you to classes. the less we do the more our body locks up.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 686
   Posted 6/18/2009 4:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Your story is identical to mine...right down to the left arm pain and lack of range of motion! I get a high SED rate at times too. I'm overweight, with no heart problems. I have been diagnosed with costochondritis, and have pain in the middle of my back as well. Your symptoms are so close to mine that I could have written your post!

I was diagnosed with fibro and referred to a rhuematologist. My doctor was fantastic! I say was, because I've moved. I hope to find a good rheumy like I had before.

Take care of yourself, and see a rheumatologist. You will learn so much about your fibro.
DX fibromyalgia 2007, osteoarthritis, obsessive-compulsive disorder OCD, depression, anxiety, sleep apnea, hysterectomy.

fluoxetine (prozac), buspar, abilify, trazodone, lorazapam, nexium, nabumetone, hydrocodone, c-pap machine, estrodial patch.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 439
   Posted 6/18/2009 9:57 AM (GMT -7)   
A rheumatologist will be able to run tests to rule out other possible conditions that have similar effects as Fibro.
I know that I feel better if I do some gentle exercise such as yoga or tai chi before trying to do anything else.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17524
   Posted 6/18/2009 10:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Lariet, and welcome!  You can be diagnosed with a primary care physician, too.  I received my diagnosis from my board certified Internist.  He ran test and other illnesses were ruled out.  I have never seen a rheumatologist so, if you like your doctor and trust them, then stick with them. 
You do sound like you could have fibromyalgia and costochondritis.  I have both of them.  My neck, back and shoulders are the worst problem I have.  I will get chest pain and pain around my rib cage.  When I have the pain in my chest, I will press on the breast bone.  It is tender to the touch with costochondritis...at least that's what happens to me.  It almost feels like it is badly bruise but it's just the muscles spasming.  The pain will travel, too.  It does sound like your doctor has taken steps to rule out your heart as being the cause of your problem.  Mine did too.
Be sure to check out the Fibro 101 thread...the second thread on the forum.  There are links to good information about fibromyalgia, including a list of symptoms, good stretching exercises, etc.  You will learn a lot about this illness in this thread.
You do need to keep moving with fibro.  If you sit or lay too much you will be stiff as a board.  Donnaeil suggested swimming and it does help if you have access to a pool.  I do have a pool but find that walking helps me more.  I started out slowly but now I walk quite a bit.  Every morning I walk a mile with my dog before I have breakfast.  I can be really sore and stiff when I start out but feel much better by the time I get home. 
It's good you have a doctor that believes in fibromyalgia.  Believe it or not, there are still doctors out there that think it's all in our heads.  So, if you like your doctor, I'd stick with him and work with him.  Take an active part in your health.  Read and learn all you can and that will help you to understand better what is going on.
I'm glad you found us and joined in.  Let us know what you find out.  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

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/18/2009 11:52 AM (GMT -7)   
I really can't thank you all enough for your advice and reassurance. I feel so much better hearing from others who've experienced what I'm dealing with! I've had so many possible diagnoses thrown at me in the past year -- from a pinched nerve to poor posture to lymphoma (that one was scary!) -- and even not knowing much about fibromyalgia, I feel better to have something that I can point to and say "That really looks like what's causing all this." I'll follow up with my doctor and be more proactive about this. He prescribed Cymbalta, but I took one dose and got sick as a dog, so I had to stop that. Plus, I'm not wild about being on an antidepressant. So I'll look through these forums and find more info and resources on medications or alternative treatments that could help.

Myjoy, thanks to you for telling me how similar our symptoms sound. That's really what I've been looking for, for someone to say "Hey, that sounds like what I have!" :)

You've all been so helpful, and I really appreciate it! Thanks so much again.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 686
   Posted 6/18/2009 1:30 PM (GMT -7)   
You're welcome!
DX fibromyalgia 2007, osteoarthritis, obsessive-compulsive disorder OCD, depression, anxiety, sleep apnea, hysterectomy.

fluoxetine (prozac), buspar, abilify, trazodone, lorazapam, nexium, nabumetone, hydrocodone, c-pap machine, estrodial patch.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 704
   Posted 6/18/2009 1:33 PM (GMT -7)   
First off
Hugs to you!!! Sounds so much like me with the heart, overweight, the tests coming back okay...
Please also keep in mind that not all rhuemy's are equal, mine is not very good at all she really doesn't have compasion, she is a do it on your own type person. Just make sure that when you find a rhuemy that you like them and you feel like they will be able to work with you. That is so very important!
Fibromyalgia, Anxiety, IBS, Reflux, Insomnia,
Lyrica 225Mg X2/Ambein CR/Zantag (presc strength)
Taking it one day at a time.... 

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