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Does this sound like FM?
3 Replies
saraS - August 14

I'm new here and just stumbled onto this site by googling my symptoms. My Dr. just ran a ton of bloodwork on me this week for RA, Lupus and a bunch of other "inflammatory" diseases and all came back fine and he made me feel like my weight and depression were to blame for my symptoms and that things were possibly all in my head. I know I'm not crazy with this stuff though.
So, here is whats going on. I have headaches a lot. Tension and migraines. I can go a week straight of constant headaches and then none for a week. They come and go. I also have severe TMJ (jaw clicks and pops like crazy with most movement). I've had neck pain and INTENSE pressure at the base of my skull for 7 years now (chiro helps a little but only with like 3 visits a week). The pain is probably about 50-60% of the time. My joints frequently hurt (knees/ankles and wrists). When I wake up in the morning or the middle of the night, I can barely walk as I'm stiff and feel like I'm so off balance. I get dizzy a lot when I stand up. My back hurts a lot. My muscles ache and feel weak frequently. I have memory problems and concentration problems and sometimes feel like I have "medicine head" and everything's just a fog. I don't think my depression is causing all this stuff, I think my depression is getting worse because of it though. I have a tendency toward being anxious (occasional anxiety attacks). Am on Zoloft for that (of course, Dr. wants to increase dose). I just want to cry because there has to be a "reason" for all of this other than just being "fat and depressed". (I eat very healthy, have lost some weight but am still heavy at 190; but most of these problems were around when I was at 150 too). Can anyone relate? This is just no way to live! (ps sorry for the book....)


Fantod - August 14

hello SaraS and welcome to our discussion about Fibromyalgia (FMS).

Based on your description, it sounds like you may have FMS. But, you need to see a rheumotologist for a firm diagnoisis. There are other things that can mimic FMS (like thryoid). If you can get copies of any recent bloodwork before you go to see a rheumy, that will save some time and expense.

You should also find a dentist who is an expert with TMJ. That is probably the root cause of your headaches, neck pain and problems with balance. Your head is like a gyroscope. When some components are out of whack so is the rest of your body. You probably need to be fitted with a bite splint to wear at night while you are sleeping to relieve some of those symptoms. I have TMJ (which is now usually referered to as TMD) and wear a splint at night. I have quite severe problem with it so I am quite familiar with the symptoms you describe. You could try using Myoflex on your neck which is an OTC sports cream. It seems to work well for me. Also moist heat is helpful for jaw and neck pain. I take a hand towel, soak the middle with hot water leaving the ends dry. The dry ends will allow you to wring it out. Then place it on the area that hurts. Or you can go to a medical supply store and buy a gel pack that heats in the microwave.

Your doctor should not be making you feel like a ninny when your complaints are valid and ongoing. Clearly something is wrong. You live there, so you should know. And if it turns out that you do have an underlying issue like FMS you need to tell him how disappointed you are in the way you were treated.

To find a rheumotologist that is fibro-friendly, you can do a couple of things. Call your local hospital physician referral service and ask them for a referral to a rheumotologist and/or a pain specialist with an interest in FMS. Or, you can go to the National Fibromyalgia Association website and register. Then you can see a list of healthcare providers in your state.

An important thing to remember is that if the diagnosis is Fibromyalgia it is going to take some time to get things under control. It can not be cured but it can be managed. The three most popular medications for the pain associated with FMS are Cymbalta, Lyrica and Savella. For sleep issues, Amitriptyline is usually prescribed. Only certain classes of prescribed medication work for FMS. It is going to take some time to find the right medication and dosage so you will start to feel better.

In the interim, you should take some time to throughly read through all of the information in the blue boxes on the lefthand side of this page. Knowledge is power. You can only be a good advocate for yourself if you are well educated on the subject. Take care and be sure to keep in touch and let us know the outcome.


Tinwomanjudy - August 15

I most certainly can relate. I have many of the same symptoms--including the pains in the middle of the night. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, but was unable to tolerate the mask because when the mask was tight enough to work properly it gave me terrific jaw and face pain. My stiffness wears off as I move around. If you have a lot of tension in your personal life, that might explain some of why yiour muscles are so tight. I find that one of those "bed buddy" heat in the microwave bags helps if I plop it at the base of my scull. Fibromyalgia often has its own "reasons" -- weather fronts affect me. The important thing to do is to keep moving (carefully, if your balance is off)..otherwise the pain gets worse. You're right, it is no way to live, but it is the life we've got--don't give up. Consider joining the Y and trying gentle water aerobics, which are a good way to get moving without straining joints or muscles. God bless.


Tinwomanjudy - August 15

BTW, I am new to the group--I'm glad to have a forum to discuss fibro--I don't want to be the kind of person who moans about her aches and pains to my friends all the time. Caring and sympathetic as they are, they don't need to be burdened all the time..I hope we on the group can help and encourage each other!



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