Hi, and welcome! Well, I'm the odd one here! I have never been to a rheumatologist. I use a board certified Internist who is also a diplomate. He has to keep abreast of everything new and take tests yearly, I believe, to keep the title of Diplomate. Anyway, the bottom line is you need a doctor that believes that fibro does exist but you do also need to have other illnesses ruled out first, since other illness and fibro share the same symptoms. There are tests for the other illnesses but not for fibro...except a pressure point test. Make sure they rule out Lyme.
I see Karen has directed you to the Fibro 101 thread. There is a link called What Else Could It Be on there. This is exactly why all the testing is run. There is also a link to the symptoms of fibro and you might see yourself there.
I use malic acid/magnesium supplements and vitamin D3 supplements to help with pain and fatigue. Many with fibro are deficient in these vitamins and nutrients. There are links about this in Fibro 101. It's worth passing by your doctor. My doctor said he didn't think it would help but it wouldn't hurt me either. I tried it and it DID work for me and I can control my pain using them along with ibuprofen with food and extra strength Tylenol. This works great for me because if I'm having a better day, I don't have to take as much ibuprofen and Tylenol. Plus, I don't have any of the side affects of some of the more powerful meds.
Be sure to keep moving, too! If you sit or lay too much you will be stiff as a board. I do gentle stretching exercises (found in Fibro 101) and I also walk and swim. These are good gentle exercises for fibro and they do help with the pain and my overall feeling of well-being.
Attitude plays a large part with this lousy illness, too. Instead of looking at what you can't do, look at all you can do! Look at all your blessing, etc. and you will feel a lot better. I look forward to each new day with anticipation. I also find things to focus on and the pain fades somewhat in the background.
Be sure to pace yourself. You can't do all that you could before fibro in the same time frame. I still do everything I used to but it takes me more time. Lots of times I break things down into days....like mopping. That kills me so I only do a couple of rooms a day. This way, it doesn't put me in a flare.
You know the value of heat with fibro. Moist heat is wonderful. Many here have Bed Buddies. You can find them at Walgreen's and other places or you could make your own by taking a tube sock, filling it 2/3's full of raw long grained rice, and tying a knot at the end. Pop it in the microwave and it gives off moist heat due to the moisture in the rice.
I'm so glad that you found us and joined in! Don't hesitate to ask questions because we are here to help you. 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