I really have no idea when my fibro started. I am 51 now and can trace some symptoms back to childhood and early adulthood. For me it has had a very gradual onset. I was only diagnosed a few months ago, after having suspected for several years that I had it.
Since 1997, my family had been going to a Family Practice physician who had initially seemed very knowledgeable in many areas. However, when I approached him several years ago about the posibility of my having fibro, I began getting the run-around. He seems to be a non-believer. He told me that it was a process of "ruling things out." Each time I would go to see him when the pain was unbearable, he would send me through another test, but he never seemed to be willing to follow-up with relevant treatment. He referred me for two sleep tests two years apart, and both indicated that I had RLS and sleep apnea. He did not want to do anything, he would look at the results, and say that they weren't that bad. If I would complain of exhaustion, he would tell me to sleep more (even though I explained that all that I could do was sleep), or that I needed to exercise. At times, he would test for anemia, and I always seemed to be iron deficient. I have a long history of UTI's, GERD, TMJ, and sinus problems, which are all problems related to fibro. I have been through numerous tests for digestive problems. He was aware of all of my problems, but could not seem to put the puzzle together. Finally, last fall, I had my worst flare ever. I am not sure what started it. I had been moving wood chips for a landscaping project that we were doing. However, my daughter and I had both had viral infections that may have been H1N1 in early October which may have contributed. My back, which has always bothered me, started hurting, and did not get better. This was very intense pain.
It took both my husband and I putting pressure on the doctor to get him to refer me to the pain clinic at the hospital. Before he did this, he ran some more extensive testing, which revealed that I was not only anemic, again, but was very low in vitamin D. He also did a Tenderpoint test (this is the first time that he had done this), and I had a number of positives. The neurologist at the Pain Clinic also ordered some x-rays, I think he was ruling out arthritis. The Neurologist diagnosed me based on the results of past tests, in addition to the fact that I had improved after being prescribed trazodone for sleep difficulties.
For me, most of my pain centers in my back. It is mainly in the lower part, but sometimes radiates into the upper part. I do have some pain in the neck and shoulders, and it is difficult for me to reach overhead. Recently, I have pain in the insides of my elbows, my wrists, and thumbs. I seem to have lost some manual dexterity. My pain does seem to move around at times. As far as the cause of my fibro, I think that it was probably stress related, or at least stress was a major factor. I seem to do much better if I can keep my life on an even-keel