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does this sound familiar?
4 Replies
sickandtired - April 19

For over 20 years I have had bouts of unexplained aches and pains. I am now 52. I hurt all over like I have the flu and almost feel feverish although my temp is normal. It comes on for weeks at a time and then gets somewhat better for a while. When it is bad my hands hurt, my thighs get shooting pains, the bottoms of my feet hurt to walk on. Pretty much every inch of me hurts to dome degree. I have had all of the rheumatic blood tests several times in my life... all negative. I have been on paxil for 10 years for panic attacks which started from my being a hypochondriac due to never feeling well. Other people my age do not complain of achiness like I do. I am stiff and sore after a long car ride or sitting too long. It doesn't sound like there is much that can be done for FM so I am reluctant to go on any drugs. I can't take too much advil due to high blood pressure. I feel like I am falling apart. Then just when I can't take it anymore I will have a couple good days and tell myself I must have had a virus or something. This has been going on for 20 years. My hands, feet and legs are the worst while I read that neck and chest pain is more typical. I don't know what to think anymore.


sickandtired - April 19

I forgot to mention the overwhelming exhaustion that goes with it. And the tossing and turning all night from the achiness. I wonder if there is any point in getting officially diagnosed. My family physician has run lots of blood work...all normal. I have some of the pressure points but not all...esp. in the head and neck areas. But definitely in the legs and hips.


January - April 19

Sounds familiar to me. Have you seen a rheumatologist - or another doctor?? The flu-like achiness, the pain at night, the insomnia, the leg and hip pain, the over-all pain, the exhaustion, and the flaring nature of it all sounds like fibromyalgia. You say you've had blood work, but have you had MRIs to check for back problems like herniated disks or stenosis?

As you are taking Paxil, I'd suggest you google "Paxil side effects" and read a lot about it. WebMD has a list of infrequent side effects and some of your symptoms show up there. There are also very long blog sites where Paxil takers go to complain about this drug - which is now the subject of lawsuits. Since you have been taking it for 10 years, it may no longer be working as well, and thus causing withdrawal symptoms - often, the dr. will up your dosage. That's the vicious cycle of antidepressants - they truly are addictive. Before you take more, please read the blogs and forums by patients who have taken Paxil. It is a nasty one to withdraw from, and possibly it is the source of some of your problems. Please read up on it. There is a blog called enthalpy that is stunning. You CAN get off antidepressants - I did. But it isn't pleasant, and it takes a while.

Sounds like you need to treat your pain and sleep issues - there are many older drugs out there that can help you with those issues. If you have panic attacks there are older sedatives like Ativan or Valium. Also, there are many natural supplements. Sometimes diet changes help a lot. Melatonin helps with sleep. Do some research. And maybe get a second opinion from another doctor? Hope you feel better.


Fantod - April 20

sickandtired - Welcome to the board! It sounds like you may have fibromyalgia (FMS). Frankly, I am amazed that your doctor has not sent you to a rheumotologist for further examination or even considered FMS.

Get your medical records together including any recent bloodwork and see a rheumotologist. You can find a fibro-friendly rheumy by going on the National Fibromyalgia Association website or calling your local hospital and asking for the physician referral service. The latter should be online too. Ask them to match you up with a rheumotologist and/or a pain specialist (I have both) with an interest in FMS.

Taking Aleve for FMS is not an effective use of the product. Only certain classes of prescribed medications work for the type of pain caused by FMS. I also use some homeopathic remedies but the first order of business should be to get your pain levels under control. The longer a chronic pain cycle continues, the harder it becomes to manage or stop. And, your immune system has been on overdrive for quite some time in order to combat the situation. Once you have established some effective pain relief, you could consider making some changes in doseage and using homeopathic remedies to supplement. I'd encourage you to seriously consider making some changes so that you have a better and more comfortable quality of life.

If you do have FMS, you are tired and sore due to short bursts of high intensity brain activity during the deep sleep cycle. One of the hallmarks of FMS is the inability to get restful sleep. Your muscles require deep sleep in order to recover from the days activities. No deep sleep means higher levels of pain overall. This becomes a vicious circle. Amitriptyline is usually prescribed for this issue.

Your perception that not much can be done for FMS is incorrect. It can not be cured but it can be managed. There are now 3 primary medications used to treat FMS. They are Cymbalta, Savella and Lyrica. It does take time and a lot of tinkering to find the right balance of medication but it can be done. In addition, the patient must learn to accomodate this syndrome by making lifestyle changes.

A great book on the subject is "Fibromyalgia for Dummies" which you can find online through Amazon. Like all of the dummies series it contains good basic information which is user friendly and well balanced. Knowledge is power.

Good luck and keep in touch. Take care.


Pikespeak - April 20

Your symptoms sound like my first flare(s)! Some doctors still are not well-versed in FM. Call around until you find one who treats FM patients!
At the time I was drinking alot of diet soda (aspartame) and also eating lots of tomatoes out of our garden. Each person has their specific triggers, so perhaps eliminate some foods and see how you feel. Getting a good night's sleep made a huge difference for me. I am on Ambien and hope to never get off of it! You get a solid 8 hours of sleep and aren't groggy in the morning. I sometimes take Flexeril at night to relax my muscles, but find that I am rather sloth-like in the morning. I must also mention the possibility of myofascial pain. I discovered that long before having a flare, and seems to be somewhat common among FM sufferers.



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