Posted 3/18/2011 10:17 AM (GMT -7)
My name is Christina. I regularly post at HW, but this is my first post here. Usually I am annoyed when I see the "I might have...." posts because so often the people are simply grasping at straws, and sometimes never come back to look at the post replies. BUT here I am , and I think that the unexplained symptoms I have can be explained with fibromyalgia.
I have been Dx with bipolar, rheumatoid arthritis, I have gluten sensitivity, that effects my RA pain. My rheumy says he believes that my RA inflammation is under control, but I continue to have all over migratory pain. Mostly dull ache type, but they are punctuated with sharp pains in a particular spot on a joint(that would be the RA, I think). Muscles hurt, I thought because I don't exercise enough because it is painful to do it. Tendons hurt, i thought because the joints hurt and it was like a "halo" of pain in the area that hurt.
I have this fatigue that is the nemesis of my life right now. Sometimes it simply takes too much energy to walk across the house to get a glass of water, so I will sit without the drink till I work up the energy to get up and deal with the joint pain that is involved in the process.
I don't sleep well, especially without my sleep medication and my cpap. Sometimes without the medication I will lay and look at the ceiling for the whole night. Or read the whole time, or put the book down and stare, then pick it back up. My psychiatrist writes for ambien for each night so I never have to sleep without it. The cpap has made all the difference in my quality of sleep. Those who have a cpap will understand.
I have the "my hands feels swollen, but it's not" feeling quite a bit. I always thought that it was a result of the joints stiffening from the arthritis, until I read it here. I have described it like wearing stiff leather work gloves.
Anxiety, depression, mood swings- Dx bipolar. Got it.
Headaches, yes, but I figured it was a sleep thing, or a bright light thing, or a loud noise thing, or a stress thing, or a mother to 3 girls thing.
Fibro fog? I even describe it as fog, but I attribute it to the vicodin, or the mood stabilizer.
frequent nightmares- I attribute it to the antidepressant and the mood stabilizer, since it is one of the side effects.
Morning stiffness- hello, RA. got it yes.
easy bruising, well with the cymbalta and the amount of Motrin that I have been taking, and I think there is another one I take that contributes, I bruise easily.
I have a "red face", but it is not really the butterfly rash. it looks like a really bad "foundation makeup line" at my hairline, down my cheekbones and at my jawline and over my chin. I have a bad sunglasses "tan" line where the redness stops around my eyes, but it doesn't necessarily follow my sunglasses. It is darker over my cheeks like the butterfly, but is not limited there at all.
I also have it on my chest, so it looks like a sunburn, but it doesn't have the clean lines of one, and has been around for a couple years, but is enough that people comment on my "sunburn" and ask where I went in the winter to get a sunburn.
Muscle weakness. Like I don't trust myself to hold my friend's baby because my arms feel weak? Like I had fears of dropping my own when she was an infant 6 years ago when we went on trails and such? Like I bought mugs that I can slide my hand under the handle to hold it rather than trust my grip strength?
Photophobia- like I can't go outside without my sunglasses on for the last 3 years? except on really cloudy/rainy days? Yes.
I can keep going, I looked at the list up there and highlighted all the ones that applied to me- even if I had previously thought it applied to the other Dx or a side effect of another medication. It took up about 2/3 of the list. I won't bore you with the rest.
What I DON'T HAVE is the predetermined pain spots that the doctors have looked for several times. Can you have Fibromyalgia without having these spots? I know that the underside of my elbows are extremely sensitive, but that is from the RA and not where the Drs are poking, and hurts more to place it on a table or uncushioned armrest than to be gently pushed.
I will be seeing a 2nd rheumy for a 2nd opinion about treatment options, and I plan to bring it up then, but I would like to learn more before I go, and I would like to find out about the "sore spots" to see it they are an "elimination" factor.
I would be greatful for any input or suggestion. Thank you in advance