New Rheumy - Wow!

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 241
   Posted 3/19/2010 5:31 PM (GMT -7)   
My pain mgmt doctor referred me to a rheumy and I had my 1st appt this week. I absolutely hate appts with new doctors and was worried because I really need a new doctor to manage my fibro meds because I am having to pay out of pocket for the pain mgmt doctor.
The appt lasted over an hour and a half! For the first 45 minutes she went over my paperwork and asked me tons of questions and actually listened! She was up on the latest with fibro and even said the neurologists were going to need to get on board and realize this illness really should fall on them. When I told her I had encountered doctors recently who called fibro a "wastebasket diagnosis" she said I should have told them that was an incredibly ignorant statement!
As long as this appt lasted, she said it was her shortest new fibro patient appt because she didn't need to give me her exercise speech (already walk and do warm water class) and I already had a good understanding of this illness. Of course I do - I belong here!!
Anyway, she put me back on neurontin, and said she would be glad to manage my fibro and that she was completely comfortable with the medications I was on. She even said she was fine with the norco for really bad days! It was like a huge weight off my shoulders!
Another thing I have been dealing with for a few months is my arm going numb while I sleep. I had assumed it was from a muscle in my neck, but it was getting worse so I finally went to my family doctor week before last. He had me go for an mri and I have two bulging discs in my neck and I have to see a neurosurgeon. Another example of why we shouldn't blame everything on fibro! :) He couldn't believe when he asked how long it had been going on and I said three months!
Sorry this is so long - thanks for reading! Hope everyone has a good weekend.
Fibro dx 2004, RLS, raynauds

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 3/19/2010 7:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Try changing your pillow setup at night and resting your arm on a pillow while you sleep. It won't help your bulging discs but that surgery can leave you with more pain than you started with. Please get a second opinion. Just my 2ยข.
~ Jeannie
Moderator for Fibromyalgia and Diabetes

college coaches wife
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 3/19/2010 8:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Upbeat! So glad things are going well for you. My NA is wonderful but I think I need a rheumy too. My arms and fingers and hand go numb also if I wake up with them bent or if I talk on the phone too long. I also take Neurontin, etc. (see bottom for meds). What else do you take and what does rheumy think of Sevella?
Fibromyalgia, stomach ulcer, daily headaches and migraines, IBS, chronic fatigue

Provigil, Savella, Clonazepam, Neurontin,Zetia, Ambien, Excedrin, Aciphex

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 4796
   Posted 3/20/2010 5:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi upbeat, I'm so glad that your new rheumy is thorough and really spent some time
with you. Getting a good doc goes along way in getting good treatment.
You are right about not assuming all pain being connected with fibro. You were lucky
being able to get a MRI. Hope your neurosurgeon will help you with your disc problems.
Good luck to you!
Hugs, Robin
Fibromyalgia, MCTD (Lupus, Scleroderma & RA) Raynaud's, Osteoporosis,
Osteoarthritis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Migraines, and Hypertension
Prescription Meds: Savella, Cyclobenzaprine, Methotrexate, Diltiazem, Boniva,
Folic Acid.  OTC Meds: Multi-vitamin. Vit, D, Vitamin B12 & calciim supplements

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 241
   Posted 3/20/2010 9:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all for your responses!
Jeannie - the neurosurgeon I am seeing is supposed to be very conservative! I do not want surgery - I am assuming he will recommend PT and I hope maybe just some sort of home traction device that you use for a few minutes a day. You should see all the pillows I have surrounding me at night tongue I am on my fourth pillow for my neck and I think I finally found the one that works!
collegecoacheswife - I have a friend who was having problems with her hands while sleeping and her doctor wants her to wear braces at night to keep them from bending. Does it wake you up? Mine always wakes me. I tried Savella last summer and unfortunately it raised my resting heart rate way up to 115! So that was the end of that one. I can't take any of the ssnri's because they mess with my heart - I should have known better than to even try. I updated my profile so it will show my meds.
Thanks Robin - I have been jumping around with doctors for the last two years and I hate it. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this is it. The office staff was even nice!
Fibro dx 2004, RLS, raynauds
Ultracet, Robaxin, Neurontin, Vit D, CoQ10, Mag

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17498
   Posted 3/20/2010 3:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Isn't it wonderful to have a doctor that listens to  you?  I'm really happy for you.  She sounded very thorough and I'm sure she will do a wonderful job in helping you with fibro.
I'm sorry about the buldging discs but I do agree with Jeannie.  I'd think long and hard before I would have surgery.  I hope you are correct in that  you will be given some help without surgery.  Let us know how that appointment goes, okay?  We do care about you.
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

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 3/20/2010 4:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Upbeat I'm so happy for you and it is good to read about positive things about the docs we try for a change. smilewinkgrin
I have thoracic outlet syndrome, was dxd with that long before fibro. My left arm and hand will go numb if I hold it a certain way and at night when I lay on my right side with left arm hanging down on the bed. If I lay on my right side I have to have my arm straight down my body. I went to PT for it and the exercises does help when I do them for awhile. It's an entrapment of nerves.
For those of you that have numbness and tingling with no evidence of bulging disc and etc. this could be the cause. I went to a neuro for testing to get a dxs, can't remember what other test I had done for it since it's been so long ago. We can't always blame fibro for everything so just throwing that out there for those that have the tingling and numbness in arms and hands.
luv and hugs
Forum Moderator Fibromyalgia
Fibro,Sjogrens, Anxiety, Gastroparesis, IBS, Gastritis, Allergies, High Blood Pressure, Low Blood Sodium, Osteoarthritis and Celiac
Amitriptyline, Celexa, Xanax, Synthroid, Zyrtec, Micardis, Spironalactone, Tylenol, Reglan, Lidoderm Patches, Carafate and Prilosec
Vit D/calcium

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 241
   Posted 3/20/2010 5:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Marlee - I have heard of that. Does your arm go numb if you lean on your elbow or if you sit in an armchair? That drives me crazy.
Sherrine - thank you so much - my appt is thursday. Unless I am in danger of causing some horrible permanent damage, I am not having surgery!
Fibro dx 2004, RLS, raynauds
Ultracet, Robaxin, Neurontin, Lidoderm patch, Vit D, CoQ10, Mag

Sera Smiles
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 671
   Posted 3/21/2010 10:34 AM (GMT -7)   
I have been struggling with the numb hand and fingers for a few years. Typing, needlepoint, beading, stirring, all these things make my right hand go numb and the fingers, too. Its a drag and I haven't found an answer. I do sleep with right arm hanging down LOL It wakes me up in the night sometimes, the pain from going numb for a long time is insane! Welcome, upbeat! Congrats on finding a great doc who listens and is supportive. I recently found a new doc myself who puts me first. yay!
"A butterfly is most vulnerable immediately after its' metamorphosis."
Dx FM- 2003
Rx Meds- Ultram, Toprol, Cymbalta, Amitriptyline, Trazodone
OTC meds-  B Complex, Vitamin D, Omega 3, Aleve [PRN]

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