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Fibro Symptoms? help please!
3 Replies
tinydancer - November 26

Hello everyone,
Im new to a forum set up, so please bare with me, Im here because ive been struggling for several years with serious body pain, headaches, trouble sleeping, and memory issues. Ive always had joint problems, but three years ago, I was in a car crash and the symptoms have progressively gotten worse over the years. In february, I had a stroke in my left eye, which they thought was caused by rocky mountain spotted fever, but It turned out that I didnt have it. Meaning I had a minor eye stroke and mono like symptoms for 4 months with no obvious cause. Im 18 years old, and am currently a freshman in college, so I really dont have time to be sick and rest. Ive been getting a good 8 or 9 hours of sleep a night, and I eat healthy and exercise regularly. Plus Im a musical theatre major, so I sing a lot; meaning my lungs are strong. The past few weeks Ive been experiencing difficulty catching my breath sometimes, I keep breathing very shallowly. I went to my PCP this summer and she said that it might be fibro, but she hated diagnosing someone this young, so she drew blood and it was all normal. She sent me to a rhumetologist, who took one look at my file and said that it was just stress. Even though I have very little mobility in my back and have constant pain. She said its probably just a result of my anxiety disorder (Im currently on 20mg of Prozac daily for mild anxiety and depression). Im at a point that I dont know what to do next. After much research ive realized that everything I have can be related to fibro. Do these symptoms sound like fibro to anyone? How do I get someone to listen to me and take me seriously? If my symptoms keep getting worse do I need to go back to a doctor? I wont have good insurance until January 27th when I turn 19, is it alright to wait until then? If so, what are some good ways to relieve pain?
Thank you all very much! Thank you for your patience too:)

 

nikita3 - November 27

Hi tinydancer,

It sounds to me as though you have quite a severe case of post-traumatic stress disorder. I have some psychological training, but I'm not an expert in that area so I could also be completely off-track.

Anyway, from what you have said here I think it would be good for you to check out what forums are available for post-traumatic stress disorder, if you haven't already. Just to see how you feel in that kind of forum with people having those symptoms and experiences as compared to fibromyalgia.

With all of these things we need to research and keep trying to help ourselves first and foremost because doctors try their best, but do not know ourselves as well as we do. So it may be a long road, but never give up and you will eventually find out more and more about your individual health and how to best look after yourself and where to get the best supports in your life.

Take care,
Nikita

 

January - December 3

Hi tiny dancer. I've struggled to heal myself from fibro for 2 decades, and I think I may have a lot of solutions. Things that have worked for me, anyway. Diet, older simpler drugs, acupuncture, etc.

Your post caught my eye because you're on Prozac. I had a bad car accident and back problems too, also mono. But I started taking Prozac during a stressful time, and a few years later I had so much pain, fatigue, and worse depression, I was diagnosed with fibro (by the tender point test). The usual merry-go-round followed. For years. I now seriously believe that antidepressants can cause fibro-like symptoms to get much worse in some people. Interesting, because these are the drugs they use to treat fibro. They are HIGHLY addictive and have monster side effects that your doctor probably does not know about. Also, they interact with all kinds of other drugs, even simple things like Benadryl. Good luck if you need surgery.

Maybe no one has told you, but Prozac stops working. In the psych industry, it's called "Prozac poop out." Your brain apparently adjusts to the dose, and then you start needing more. You go into withdrawal symptoms and won't feel better unless you increase the dose. That works for a while, then you need more, etc. Then, at a high dose, Prozac stops working again - and you get switched to another antidepressant - and go through the exact same thing. Switch to another, and another, the "newer and better" drugs on the market. Your brain is addicted at this point, and you will feel horrible if you stop taking the drug. So that just "proves" you need more drugs.

You may have pain from back injuries (I do), and you may have chronic fatigue from a viral illness like mono (that can be helped with antiviral drugs). But, just my opinion - you do your own research - I think the antidepressant drugs are greatly contributing to this epidemic of fibromyalgia. After years on them, you may not have the mind you have now. You may just stop caring (emotional numbing). You might be more depressed than you ever were before the drugs. So do some research. Google Prozac (and SSRI drugs), plus "side effects" and "withdrawals" and "lawsuit." Read the forums where people talk about their experiences.

I'd also suggest checking out the website of Dr. Peter Breggin, who wrote "Your Drug May Be Your Problem." After I read that book, I quit antidepressants. It was a long, hard withdrawal. But I feel better now. DO NOT STOP Prozac without medical help, withdrawal symptoms can be severe. As young as you are, I hope you don't get hooked. There are a lot of "healthier" things you can do to feel better, that will support your body and heal you.

Did you learn about fibromyalgia from TV ads selling antidepressants? There is no reliable way to test you to see if your brain needs more neurotransmitters like serotonin. You probably don't. Or did you learn from a doctor? They are educated about fibro by drug companies, selling antidepressants. What is fibromyalgia exactly? It's not a disease, it's a "syndrome." That means it's a lot of different symptoms that may (or may not) occur - but groups of these symptoms tend to occur together in some people. OK. There is really no specific test for fibromyalgia - diagnosis is based on ruling out real diseases. A lot of the symptoms of fibromyalgia ARE due to real diseases - and a careful diagnosis might find them. I found out I had celiac disease! It's symptoms (pain, depression, fatigue, etc.) are similar to fibro. The cure? A gluten free diet.

I feel that my years on antidepressants did a lot of damage. Did anyone tell you that Prozac depletes your body of Potassium? That can make you feel very weak, and can even kill you if it gets bad enough. Did they tell you Prozac depletes your brain of melatonin? That will make it difficult to sleep well at night, which will rebound and make you feel worse. Other antidepressants have similar bad side effects that most doctors don't know about. So YOU have to educate yourself and decide - is it worth it?

Read what's online and make up your own mind. Talk it over with your doctor. This is just my opinion, based on my own experience.

 

January - December 3

PS. for tiny dancer -- Some ideas.

For back pain, get a sitting MRI - it will clearly show if you have a problem in your spine. If so, you can treat just the pain with physical therapy, acupuncture, drugs like Lidocaine patches or low dose narcotics.

For your viral symptoms, have you been tested for Epstein Barr? Lyme Disease? Sometimes the first test is a false negative - the labs don't always do their jobs well. Maybe you did have Rocky Mt. Spotted Fever. It's good to get repeated testing to be sure. It sounds like you had some kind of serious medical issue, perhaps a virus. There are doctors online who will work with you, if you can't find a local one who deals with fibromyalgia and viral causes. You need a good, complete viral screening - and if you have something, there are antiviral drugs out there.

If you only have "mild" anxiety/depression - I hate to see you taking 20 mg of Prozac. That's a high dose, although it's the standard starting dose. Prozac is an SSRI drug that "peps you up." (I felt GREAT - for a while.) Usually Paxil is given for depression with anxiety, and at only 5 mg can help. I think Prozac causes your muscles to tense up, resulting in aggravation of back pain, and aggravates anxiety too. Just MY opinion. You can treat anxiety with a relatively safe, OLDER drug like low dose Valium (take the least amount you need, try 2 mg). You can always argue with your doctor to TRY a lower dose first and see if it works. And find a GOOD talk therapist. if you're in college they might have free counseling available. Find someone who probes to find out what hurts you, helps you identify your own bad patterns of behavior, and teaches you techniques to cope; you can overcome depression and anxiety. Think back to when you started taking Prozac. Did things get worse or better? And, btw, since you are of childbearing age, things happen sometimes… did anyone tell you that many antidepressants are associated with birth defects?? Google "Prozac birth defects."

And.. you might "think" you're sleeping 8 or 9 hours, but you might not be getting quality sleep. Prozac does not help with that. Taking a supplement like melatonin will help. Or a sleeping pill like Ambien, but I'd avoid more drugs, if possible. If you are feeling fatigued or foggy during the day, you are probably NOT getting quality, deep, restorative sleep.

tiny dancer, what I'm saying is… you're so young and you have dreams, I hate to see you get on the fibro treadmill! I think you really might have something else going on, but you need a GOOD DIAGNOSTIC WORKUP. Your pain, depression and fatigue symptoms might get you to a doctor who will diagnose fibro, but that will mean treatment with antidepressants or Lyrica. These drugs come with serious side effects, and addiction. I hope you can avoid the diagnosis and treat your symptoms accurately. Learn all you can and fight for yourself. Sorry this is so long. Wishing the best for you.

 

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