My Fibromyalgia journey: The light at the end of the tunnel
I started off down this road very recently. After years of struggling with constant undiagnosed pain, I decided to put my foot down. My family and I had spent the week over Christmas together. My mother suggested that I get tested for Rheumatoid Arthritis after a particularly bad one of my pain episodes.
Before going to the doctor’s appointment I made a list of all the areas of my body where I experienced pain. It was not a short list. It is worth mentioning here that I was diagnosed with Scheuermann’s Disorder in my early teens. As the worst of my pain was focussed in that area I was convinced that there had been further deterioration. I also tore the labral lining in both my hips when I was pregnant. The healing process there is slow and ongoing. All in all, I figured that I had reached the point of wear and tear after years of manual labor.
I call bullshit
I’m diagnosed with depression eighteen months ago. At the time the doctor wrote off my “ache’s and pains” as a symptom of depression. This time around I was going to make sure that he listened to me. During the last two years when I experienced bad flare-ups, I saw a doctor about it. Ironically it had always been a different part of my body. The real problem may have been picked up earlier had I seen the same doctor.
But back to the doctor’s appointment. I gave large amounts of detail about the pain. What areas of my body is affected, when it would become more than just a slight irritation. I questioned him about the possible connection to the Scheuermann’s and the Labral tears. Also about the family history of Arthritis. The doctor asked again about the antidepressants. When did I stop taking them and how did I feel afterward. Did the pain become worse?
“I believe you have Fibromyalgia”
He said he was of the opinion that this was Fibromyalgia. The muscle pain together with joint pain and the constant tiredness was a dead give away. The fact that it became dramatically worse after stopping the antidepressants was also indicative for him.
Beyond that, there was not much more information forthcoming. There is no known cure for Fibromyalgia, no treatment beyond pain management and exercise is recommended. He drew a blood sample for the arthritis tests to cross that off the list and sent me on my way.
I am very confused. What the hell is Fibromyalgia? Stress can trigger the flare-ups, which is why exercise is recommended. I also have another prescription for antidepressants to help increase my pain threshold. I’m not very pleased when the doctor decides I should try the last successful brand of painkillers a little longer. Tachyphylaxis is a real pain in the ass when you are trying to deal with chronic pain.
Let’s see where this road takes me.