Hi, Sexyeyes, and welcome! Your story sounds so familiar. I have had fibro for 25 years and have had pain all of that time but my back pain and hip pain started getting worse and worse. I then was getting sciatic nerve pain down my legs and got so I could barely lift my feet off the ground. I was fine if I was sitting. This really bothered me since fibro is not an inflammatory illness.
My Internist sent me to a rheumatologist....one who treats fibro patients by the way...and I was run through about 25 x-rays, 8 viles of blood work, and 2 MRI's. The blood work showed my ESR and CRP levels were high and I had the genetic marker HLA-B27 for ankylosing spondylitis. THAT was why I was getting progressively worse.
I was put on ibuprofen and a muscle relaxer called Robaxin and I'm sooooo much better now. He thought I've had the AS going on for a while and had kept it under control with ibuprofen. I still have fibro too but the muscle relaxer has made a significant difference in how I feel.
My question is, if you had raised ESR levels and the rheumatoid factor in your testing, why didn't he think you had the start of arthritis? The ESR factor tests for inflammation and you had elevated levels, right? My levels were listed as "high". But, nevertheless, fibro doesn't cause inflammation...at least that's what we all have been told by the experts. Sure makes me wonder. Perhaps your level was barely elevated so they thought this could be caused by something else. I'm not a doctor and am just guessing but I know I would want to understand this a little better. I do drive my doctor crazy! Below is a link from the Mayo Clinic about the ESR test.
Do you know that fibromyalgia is recognized by the American Medical Association, the American College of Rheumatology, the World Health Organization, and the National Institutes of Health to name a few? So, any doctor that doesn't believe in this illness is in the Dark Ages and you should run as far away from them as you can. They are not keeping up with their education, as far as I'm concerned. It is important to always ask if a doctor treats fibro patients before ever darkening their doorstep.
Be sure to read Fibro 101...the first thread on the forum. There are links to good info about fibro and you will learn a lot there. You might see yourself there, too.
I'm looking forward to getting to know you better. Don't hesitate to ask questions because we are here to help you. Hope to hear more from you soon.