Hi Lady Tiger, and welcome. Yes, you do sound familiar… but fibromyalgia is a syndrome - which means it is a label for a lot of different, similar, linked symptoms. These symptoms can have different root causes in different people. What you need is a good diagnostic workup, and you may have to argue for that. You might want to run off some information and take it with you to your doctor to explain why you want certain tests done. Try to find a good rheumatologist who will work with you. Or a good primary care doctor who knows about fibromyalgia and will read the information you take in and run the tests you ask for.
First and foremost, educate yourself! (Read Fantod's standard welcoming posts - she lists where to call for good referrals and has a good beginning crash course in fibro online here.) Just go to the blue search box on the right, plug in "Fantod" and hit search. If you look through some of her posts, you will find some very long ones about what to do when you're just confronting this disease. Get the book Fibromyalgia for Dummies.
My suggestion to YOU, right up front, would be to get a sitting MRI to find out what is going on in your lower back (and maybe the rest of your back and neck) first. That will rule in (or out) a back injury. I have terrible low back pain; it's because I have injuries that I didn't know about - some occurred back when I was a teenager. I also have neck problems from a car accident 30 years ago. If you have back injuries, they can cause all kinds of strange referred pains - you might have problems all down your spine. So for a full spinal MRI, ask your doctor, or get a referral to an orthopedic doctor. I think a sitting MRI is BEST, it shows how the spinal column squashes down when you are upright. (It was the only test that CLEARLY showed my back injuries.) Pain medication can treat back injuries, if you are a good candidate and not an addictive personality. If they suggest surgery, and they will, do your homework. Most of the people I've talked to who had surgery are still in pain, sometimes worse pain, and some are paralyzed. So think it over. As for the chest pain read about "costochondritis" on here or google it.
Most doctors will try to put you on antidepressants like Cymbalta now, but before you take them, please, please do your research and know that you might have a seriously bad reaction to these drugs, and they are very hard to get off. You have to find a drug that works well with your body and we are all different. Read the posts about drugs on here.
ASAP, you need to get your sleep issue addressed - you can read about it here too. Most of us don't sleep well and that ties right into our pain and fatigue problems. You might need a prescription like Ambien. There is a supplement called melatonin that works as well as prescription meds for many people. Check all this over with your doctor, to make sure your body can tolerate these things.
There seems to be a "fibro personality" type - I think. A lot of us were overachievers who pushed ourselves hard. Along with this goes an extreme sensitivity. We feel feelings more deeply, and we feel pain more exquisitely. Guess what happens when you burn the candle at both ends…? Sorry, but if you have this disease, you have to slow down, figure out what's important to YOU, and take good care of yourself. Sometimes you have to take a long nap in the daytime, but you have to do it to stay well. When you do this, some people will call you lazy and give you a hard time. You will have to decide who to keep in your life, and who to kick out. You need to take care of YOURSELF, and you need rest to heal.
For a lot of us, going gluten free means we get much relief from our pain (unless it has another physical cause like arthritis or spinal injury, etc.). I used to feel like I had the worst flu in the world every morning - until I went gluten free. After a year, the overall body aches were gone. For me, the issue was gluten (which is basically most cereals and flour). There are other things people are allergic to also, so you will have to find a place that can test you for food allergies.
A little appropriate exercise is good, but don't push yourself. And if you aren't taking a good multivitamin and multimineral, you might want to start now. I recommend the "better" brands that are free of allergens like soy, wheat, gluten, shellfish, etc. Twinlab or Solgar… there are many, you can find them in health food stores. Slowly, one at a time, you may want to try some of the supplements used for fibromyalgia and see if they work for you. (I found SAM-e to be very helpful but that doesn't mean it will work for you.) Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum's book "From Fatigued to Fantastic" is a great help! Dr. T. has fibro himself, so he's a good resource. You can google him and contact him online.
Sorry to hear you are so upset about this. Please try not to be, because you CAN get better, that's the good news! You can get MUCH better, please believe me. The bad news is, for most of us, we didn't easily find a doctor to make us better, we had to fight and do the work ourselves, even though we were sick and exhausted. Many doctors think fibro patients are just depressed whiners looking for pain medication. I remember back when the Lyme Disease Community came together decades ago to demand research and treatment. They are still fighting for it. But back then, when they first started, most doctors "didn't believe in" Lyme Disease! I think our community is in the beginning stages of the same kind of fight. WE will find a cure for this thing by sharing with each other.
RIght now, I hear that you are in pain, exhausted and frustrated with a medical runaround that finds nothing. We have ALL been there, which is why YOU have to be your own best advocate. Start keeping a journal right now (maybe several notebooks - one by your bed, one in the kitchen) and take notes on your sleeping patterns, how you feel in the morning, when you hurt, what activities set off your symptoms, the food you eat, any supplements you are taking and the effects, etc. A pattern will start to emerge. This journal will be your "proof" to show any doctor you are working with what you are going though. While you're researching online, run off information that you might want to show your doctor - some of them appreciate a patient who is informed, it saves them time.
Hang in there, and start working on healing today. And come back with any questions you have on the general discussion board. Wishing you the best.
BTW, I don't know how you feel about this… but if you are in a medical marijuana state, you might look into treating your sleep problem (and maybe some pain issues also) with medical marijuana. You don't need much to get a good night's sleep. See the posts on the drug discussion.
wow… I think I'm done for today! : )