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Is this Fibromalgia/what do I ask the rheumatologist?
2 Replies
alter knacker - November 28

Hi guys!
First time here; desperate strraits; any advice would be much appreciated. Very briefly, here's my story. I'm 45 years old and was fired from my job in April of 2005 because I couldn't do it anymore. I have a history of back problems, some from when I was still in my teens, but more significantly when in my early '30s and injured at work. That's when meds were first prescribed--just one percoset a day, which worked for a few years.

Then, after a severe reaction to an epidural cortisone treatment (leaking spinal fluid, possible chemical meningitis) I was put on OxyContin, at first 20mg twice a day, but now up to 60, and even that doesn't really help that much. On the other hand, without it I'm incapable of moving. This is extremely frustrating to me (and to my doctors).

All the MRi's, X-rays, etc, come back "inconclusive"--there is evidence of some disc degeneration, but nothing that would account for the pain I'm in. Symptomatically, here's what I'm dealing with:

~constant, acute pain in my lower back, but also accompanied by a diffuse pain in my legs, upper back, etc.

~terrible morning stiffness (it takes hours and hours to "get moving")

~mild carpal tunnel, accompanied by severe upper back pain when I type even as long as I am right now

~Raynaud's Syndrome

~sciatic-like pain

~inability to stand for more than 10-20 minutes

~inability to sit for more than an hour

~difficulty sleeping, night sweats

~a strange feeling of pressure building in the worst areas (mostly my back) if I have to sit or stand too long or if i have to go without meds, which is often the case, due to insurance problems

So, I'm going to a rheumatologist next week, after the neurologist concluded I have no neuropathy, although he didn't rule out Fibro--does this sound like what you've experienced? I used to be so energetic, so I'm so easily fatigued and have no strength at all. My six year-old looks at my cane when I use it and asks why a dad has to use a grandpa stick...

Please advise!


barbar - November 29

It sounds like you have a couple of things. You may still be reacting the epiduralnd if you ended up with fluid leaks or anything like that, it wouldn't show up on MRIs and such, you'd need a spinal tap. It also sounds like you have a "pinched nerve", probably some sort of stenosis. So it soulds like you have all of those "structual" problems IN ADDITION to fibro. The problems you described may have generated the fibro. As for pain killers, have you tried "the patch"? It's a transdermal dose of fentanyl that you wear 24/7. Sounds like you would have to start at about 75micrograms or maybe more. I'm no doctor, I'm just basing this on my own experience. Sorry about your job and your insurance. Can you get disability? These meds are very expensive. But try the fentanyl. Good luck.


CarrieLee - December 13




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