In continuous pain, is this fibromyalgia?

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Background - I have OA in one ankle as a result of a major accident which destroyed the cartilage in the joint.  I also have painful thumb joints which the doctor feels is also 'probably' OA which has spread.  The last month or so I've been getting more and more pain in my upper arms mostly but also some in the thighs and generally my OA pain has worsened also.  The pain in the arms is not in any joint, it feels like it deep within the muscles.  Certain movements are impossible - mainly lateral or lifting moves.  I wake up very stiff and immobile in the mornings but this does improve slightly during the day.  I've become easily fatigued and even the slightest physical activity can make me feel exhausted.  I'm also not quite 'with it' - difficult to explain but my thoughts and memory are just not clear at the moment, sort of in cling film with a misty view through.  It got so bad I went to see my GP, whose first suggestion was just to take anti inflammatories (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen.  I told him I was already taking Naproxen which I didnt like but had no choice but that this wasn't really taking much pain away and certainly doing nothing for the other symptoms.  He reluctantly offered a blood test, which I had last week and am due back to see him at the end of this week.  

I have no idea what the problem is but on researching the symptoms I spotted fibromyalgia and a lot of my symptoms seem to match this.  I guess I just need to know what to ask the GP when I go back as they all just seem to want to palm me off with ibuprofen or even worse codeine (which I cannot tolerate, it messes my digestion up too much), without even making any attempt to diagnose what is actually wrong.  

Is there any help for fibro sufferers other than perpetually taking nasty NSAIDS? Thanks for reading, sorry I went on a bit.

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    It does sound like Fibromyalgia.... I've had it for four years. It really takes it out of you. Tiredness, depression, trumping, irritated, feels like you don't want to do anything/ can't be bothered, you have say three good days

    And five really bad days. Awake most of the night; night owl....

    Sleeping when you can. Dull ache all over your body, you feel beaten up, yawning, oppressed.....the list is endless.

    Go to your GPS for confirmation. You should be entitled to P.I.P if you

    Have this debilitating disease. But it does sound like you have Fibromyalgia.

    Go

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply kitten, I can relate to your comments about feeling 'beaten up'  that's exactly how I described it to my doctor, like I'd been hit all over with a baseball bat.  I'm certainly not overjoyed to hear it might be fibromyalgia but I wish to hell that the doctor would at least delve into what the cause may be rather than just listen for two minutes and throw a prescription for anti inflamms at me.  If the ultimate diagnosis means that pain meds are the only option, I'll accept it, but until then I want some answers which GPs seem too disinterested to give.
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  • Posted

    hello loxie....i have not been back on this site for a long time...nice to reconnect with everyone.....in 2012 i had such severe muscle cramps and fatigue, i saw a terrific rheumatologist while on vacation i was so bad....he did a thorough examination....

    he came up with 'Myofascial Pain syndrom'....i think fibromyalgia involves the nerves around the muscle and myofascial is deep in the muscle or vs versa , i forget now...i have just been living and dealing day to day and try not to look up ailments on the internet anymore...but you might want to look up Myofascial pain...i have been taking alot of vitamins, B12, B compound, extra D, magnesium, potassium..its alot of trouble but i thinks its helping....for the most part my cramps have settled down, and i am only left with , deep knee pain which i am seeing a orthopedic surgeon for....and actually this rheumatologist i saw 2 years ago told me i would be needing a knee replacement within this time frame now in 2015...also, my uric acid is high as is my 'para'thyroid...i hear that parathyroid can cause muscle problems too...sometimes we just need to leg go and just live....i have has 2 drs. tell me this..and i wanted to punch them in the face...but maybe they are right....i am just afraid i will be missing something very important that could endanger my life...but after  3 years of investigation i am really still much the same and still alive...good luck.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Terig, I'll do some reading about myofascial pain, at least if I take some suggestions with me to the doctor next time maybe they will actually listen and give me some proper advice about possible cause.  I feel in very low spirits presently, not least because of the continual pain and total fatigue but also because I'm heartily sick of having to do my own diagnostic work instead of getting advice from a trained professional, ie my GP.  Thank you all for your replies, very helpful indeed.
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    • Posted

      hi again loxi....when you said you are so tired of doing your own diagnostic work...those are words out of my own mouth! thats what i have done for 3 years now....so exhausting and frustraing....i am writing you at this minute with deep sawing pain through the knee i am trying to get hold of my rheumatologist to see is she will give me a cortisone shot..she offered it to me a couple of months ago and i said no as my knee fluid seemed to be draining....so stupid  here i was with someone willing to help and i thought ...its ok it will go away....NOW this thinking comes from drs. telling me  it will just go away.....well this time it has not....and it took 3 years for my deep muscle aches and 'twitches' to settle down....i guess its the luck of the draw...we just have to keep listening to our bodies...only we know.   stay strong.
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    • Posted

      I do really sympathise Terig.  My partner has for many years suffered pain and fluid build up on his knee - he had a sporting injury at a teenager and is also very tall at 6'5 - both contribute to problems with his joint.  The last couple of weeks he's been off sick from work with a knee the size of a football and agonising pain - GP said - wait for it - take ibuprofen! After he persisted that otc meds werent helping, he got prescribed tramadol - not the nicest of meds but at least taking one at night helped him get some rest.  It's taken more than two weeks for the inflammation to ease off and the swelling is finally going down.  Nothing else was offered however other than pain pills - I despair of the NHS and all the money I've paid in over the years.  As you can tell I'm feeling grumpy right now smile
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  • Posted

    Hi Loxie really sorry that you have all of those symptoms. The deep pain in the top of your arm could be coming from your shoulders, I had exactly how you described  it and the problem was arthritis in both of my shoulders, which I had operated on ASAP one at a time, and that pain hasn't come back! Other pains have taken its place, but that's another story for another day! Good luck, huge hugs. S xx
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your kind words sukest.  I don't really think my shoulders are the problem as the pain doesn't seem to radiate down from the shoulder joints, it's more  deep muscular pain within say the biceps and down the forearm but not affecting the elbow joint.  Having had OA for some time, I sort of recognise joint pain and this is quite different.  I'm very glad you managed to get yours sorted hon.
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    • Posted

      Hi Loxie my pain wasn't in my shoulders it was just as you described it, that's why I'm telling you it was as you said a deep pain in the top of the arms and I couldn't lie on my affected side for more than a few minutes. I couldn't get any relief for it, I was being treated at the hospital for arthritis in both my hands which I consequently had operations for, when I complained about my arms the doctor sent me for X-rays right away and told me that I had arthritis in my shoulders that needed operated on. The shoulder operations were a complete success, unfortunately, I can't say the same for the wrist and hand ones, but please mention it to your Doctor Loxie if only to rule it out, I hope that you get sorted soon, huge hugs. S xx
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  • Posted

    Hi all.  update following doctor's appointment today (precisely six minutes sitting in his office - aint our NHS grand!).  Blood tests showed no abnormalities and to my specific question about Fibro or Myofascial pain, he said he didnt think so.  A vague suggestion that it might be viral and a prescription for prednisolone followed and out the door I went.  Here's hoping.  Will keep you all updated.
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