Hi Carrie, I was diagnosed with fibro first by a totally incompetent rheumatologist who didn't even do a pressure point test or anything, just wanted me out of the office, no bloodwork either, just walked up and said "you have fibro, here" and handed me a script for anti-depressants. My dx with ai disease came two years later when I finally got the courage to see another rheumatologist, and this one was good. Then last year I saw a rheumatologist when I was having lymph node problems per my stepmother's request and he was a total idiot and he said he didn't care what any of my labs said, I didn't have autoimmune disease, just fibro and needed to be on anti-depressants. He did no exam or bloodwork and refused to look at my labs.
I think that I do have fibro given my sleep problems and severe neck and arm pain and everything else. At least I have some kind of chronic pain condition that comes from untreated pain and lack of sleep. My pain does go away with prednisone, everything that is wrong with me except my pigment problems goes away with pred.
I think that for many sexist male doctors, fibro is a way to get a bothersome complaining woman on antidepressants instead of doing any work and really finding out what is wrong. Also, it is a way to treat people in pain they think are hypochondriacs without giving them pain medicine. This is bad for the patients who are misdiagnosed, which are usually middle aged women, and bad for people who really have fibro.
Fibro is supposed to be a last case diagnosis after tests for everything else are done because other diseases can cause pain in the pressure points like lynnwood said and the others have said. For too many doctors it is a first case diagnosis and I would definitely want bloodwork done before accepting it as a final dx, which I did for two years then got my act together to try again. If you have any doubt that there might be other causes for your pain (I have severe spinal and cervical osteoarthritis, scoliois, herniated disks all over, spinal compression all over) and have pain in arms and legs and pretty much all over and there is no way they can differentiate my back pain from fibro. I do believe that I do have fibro according to the old definition of condition arising from being in pain and not getting enough sleep, and I also have chronic fatigue, but how they can tell it from lupus fatigue I dont know, but only a few of my pressure points hurt like they should. I'm much sorer in other places.
I'm skeptical when a doc does no bloodwork walks up to you, does a pressure point test and sends you away with antidepressants, regardless of your other conditions, or with this as a sole diagnosis when you are sure there is something else wrong, or you have a lot of interrelated ai problems. My rheumie doesn't treat me for fibro or cfid, how could he ever tell with all the other stuff wrong? When I was treated for it, I got really sick because my real problems were not being treated and no one thought I was sick, just saw I was on antidepressants and thought I was nuts or a hypochondriac. I got very very sick a couple of times because the antidepressants masked the pain and symptoms. So I think its dangerous not to get checked out for the other stuff before settling back with that dx.
I hope this helps some, sorry it sounds so negative, but this stuff does happen to women sometimes and it would be bad to think you are having fibro and be sick with something that needed another type of treatment. Don't get me wrong, pain is miserable and fibro is awful, if it is what I have. I hope that you get good diagnosis and treatment and that they are very thorough in diagnosing you, that's all. Well, take care and I will be sending hopes that you get good care your way.
--Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less in human beings of whom they know nothing.--Voltaire (1694-1778)
Ills--Sjogrens-Lupus-like AI Disease, Hashis, Vitiligo, spinal stenosis/fusion with plate, salivary/lymphectomies, Diabetes, NAFLD, COPD, RLS, neuropathy, trigonitis, hystero, diffuse brain atrophy
Meds--Plaquenil, Evoxac, Metformin, Synthroid, HCTZ, Estradiol patch, Prosed, Klonopin, Soma, Ultram, Vicodin, Restasis, Albuterol,steroid injections, Protopic & Triamcinolone Acetonide ointments