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Author Topic: Diagnosed with Fibro today.  (Read 3215 times)

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Offline Jazeraca

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Diagnosed with Fibro today.
« on: January 08, 2014, 04:48:37 PM »
Hi all,

Just found this forum. Been having a lot of symptoms the past few months, mostly since the summer. I was DX'd with Fibro today by my primary physician, who prescribed me Cymbalta for that and my GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder). It was thought to be possibly Fibro in the past, but confirmed today. I am a 32 year old female, besides reflux disease, anxiety and now this, I am overwise healthy.

My symptoms:

-Random aches and pains around the body, including the breasts and genital area, like stabbing pains, that can last a few seconds to many days, before going to another location. Can fibro or anxiety cause this? Or both?
-Feeling as if I'm in a fog at times - like living a dream. Persists even when calm from tea or a benzo.
-Fatigue. Moderate fatigue. I used to be able to walk 2+ hours at a brisk pace, but the past few months I can barely go 20 minutes without feeling serious fatigue and pain.
-Occasional generalized itchiness.
-Menstrual irregularities.
-Severe constant neck/shoulder pain. Both shoulders are in severe pain. PT says my muscles in that area are extremely tense. Doc ordered xray, says it shows muscle spasms. Asked me a few questions, did some sort of tender point test, then reached the conclusion of Fibro.
-Occasionally feeling lightheaded.
-Random "pins and needles" sensation in my body, usually mild.

Anyway, my doc prescribed Cymbalta, and it is making my pain somewhat worse. I feel...more tired than usual. Is that normal at the beginning? I'm on 30 mg to start.

Thanks all. =)
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Dx: GAD, DESNOS, Fibro and other physical issues. Nothing serious, but of course my anxious mind will often find something very serious as with other things in my life. Anxiety is a fraud. Anxiety is not YOU or ME, it is an illness.

Offline Rhino0924

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Re: Diagnosed with Fibro today.
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2014, 05:37:51 PM »
Hello Jaz, Sorry to hear about the diagnosis however take comfort in knowing what it is now and you can begin to heal and move forward. Regarding your questions:

Yes 100 times over. Anxiety can absolutely cause random pains all over the body. All those things you felt on a day to day basis and dismissed just as quickly are now being brought to your attention and focused on. This is extremely common amongst Anxiety suffers.

As for the remaining list, you can most likely attribute that to starting on Cymbalta or Duloxetine. When ever you start on a medication that affects your mind, you like many others will experience side effects for the initial start up phase. I was put on Celexa (Citalopram) for my anxiety and it took about 2 weeks of nasty side effects before the medication to begin working. Best advice i can give you is to stick with it. You MUST push through the initial month to really see if the medication is working for you. If you still have the side effects after that time, i would consider talking with your GP about something different.

While you push though the discomfort and worry, try to distract yourself or meditate or really try anything and see if something sticks. For me, meditation does nothing however calming music and showers are huge. Everyone will have their own trick that works, the key is to find yours. I won't lie to you, you will find discomfort and most likely depression as to if the medication will make a difference. Try not to fall into that hole. Remember what is most important in your life and keep that focus. You WILL come out the other side!!

Good luck Jaz and stay strong!
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“Those who think they have no time for exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”  ~Edward Stanley

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Offline jkw86

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Re: Diagnosed with Fibro today.
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2014, 03:04:26 PM »
So can you recover from fibromyalia? Or do you have it for life?
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Offline jkw86

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Re: Diagnosed with Fibro today.
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2014, 09:21:42 AM »
Anyone?
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Offline NeverAgain2

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Re: Diagnosed with Fibro today.
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2014, 10:11:14 AM »
So can you recover from fibromyalia? Or do you have it for life?

Fibromyalgia is a "disease" of exclusion.  I put "disease" in quotes, because there is no pathogen or scientifically proven cause to Fibro.  Fibro has existed under various names for as long as people have lived; at one time it was called "Fibrosis", for example, in the early to mid 20th Century.

Critics of this idea will point to scans in the brain which show abnormal activity in the Fibro effected areas of the body, and hold this out that Fibro is an organic disease, but it is well known than all pain originates in the brain. This does not mean the pain is not real, but that the brain is the origin of Fibro. 

Why?

Just as why some people with limb amputations get "phantom limb" pain, (which shows up in the areas of the brain nearest the location of where the amputated limp would be), it is not clearly known.  What is known, however, and has been known but unable to be proven until recently, is that the brain is plastic.  This means that for whatever reason the brain switches on the painful areas, it can also turn the switch off. But... the cause of the switching, be it anxiety/depression and/or daily stresses and the reactions to the same must be addressed, through medication sometimes and always by re-thinking how one reacts and deals and lives --- or chooses not to live-- with that stress and anxiety and/or depression.  This is not an overnight cure, but takes time to change your thinking.  And many Fibro patients have become afraid of their symptoms, and the fear of the symptoms magnifies the symptoms and slowly creates a smaller and smaller life for the person which causes further stress and anxiety. It can be a vicious circle. 

This is a long about way of saying that Fibro can be cured, but it is a journey for the brave.  It can be cured because the symptoms of an anxiety illness, which Fibro most certainly is, was never diagnosed properly.  Wrong dx, wrong cure.   Resuming life, being self-led and not symptom led, changing insecure thoughts (this will never go away) for secure thoughts (the symptoms are distressing; they hurt; but they are not dangerous) and peer support of some type are a few ways to begin the change.  It doe not matter how long you have had it, because you may be "helpless" but not "hopeless". 

I suggest googling Abraham Low MD.  Read and re-read his books.  Participate in Recovery International online or in person, and do not let fear be your jailor.

Been there.

Good luck!

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Offline jkw86

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Re: Diagnosed with Fibro today.
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2014, 12:41:26 PM »
Neveragain2,

Thanks for the reply. Much appreciated. Have you dealt with fibro? Just sounds from your response you have. If you have, are you better?
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Offline NeverAgain2

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Re: Diagnosed with Fibro today.
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2014, 03:22:39 PM »
Neveragain2,

Thanks for the reply. Much appreciated. Have you dealt with fibro? Just sounds from your response you have. If you have, are you better?

I have and I am better. 
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Offline jkw86

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Re: Diagnosed with Fibro today.
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2014, 06:18:38 PM »
Do you mind me asking what you've done to get better? Is it completely gone or does it just flare at times?
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Offline NeverAgain2

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Re: Diagnosed with Fibro today.
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2014, 07:09:14 PM »
Do you mind me asking what you've done to get better? Is it completely gone or does it just flare at times?

After a number of false starts and wrong directions regarding diagnosis of what I had, I finally had to reach the conclusion that I had Fibro and Myofascial pain. 

I had to basically do a number of things:

1. Accept that the cause of my pain was not due to anything organically wrong with me.

2. Understand that I had an anxiety illness or "nervous" illness.

3. Work to understand the anxiety and overcome the fear of my symptoms.

Sounds simple, no?  It was and it wasn't.  In truth, it was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life.

Steps 1 and 2 are easy to intellectually understand and to accept, but number 3 in all its aspects was the
hard one.  By the time I had to ultimately reach the conclusion that my bodily pain was due to anxiety, I had developed a severe Kinsephobia, or a fear of movement, because every movement hurt.  And every movement I would run over in my head before doing it, and therefore the anticipated fear ramped up the pain.  It hurt me to stand, to sit, to walk, to do anything.  I got relief while sleeping, only to wake up and start the entire cycle of pain all over again.  I was mentally disabled, along with physically disabled.   My life had retreated to basically nothing.  I still worked, as I was self-employed, but it was torture mentally and physically to do so.

Two things helped me.  I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in thirty years, and she was suffering too.  We had our own support meetings.   I had gone years without mentioning the pain to anybody prior to this.  I just live with it, and for me there were few distractions, because I worked alone and I lived alone.  Having her to discuss this with helped both of us figure out methods of coping and ways to get to feel better. We both recognized psychological flaws in ourselves.   It was humbling.

Another thing that helped me was immersing myself in the work of Abraham Low MD.  He was a psychiatrist who practiced in the mid-20Century.  He wrote a number of books, which I bought and read and re-read and re-read.  Low's belief was that no matter how "helpless" the case there were none that were "hopeless", and he introduced what was probably the first Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and peer support through Recovery International.  Low didn't believe ala Freud that you problems were due to deep seated childhood trauma and that only years of psycho-analysis could cure you; now did he believe that there was a chemical change in the brain.  He believed that you had to change your temperament, your temper and your thoughts, and that it was not an overnight cure.  But once you retrained your brain and were brave enough to face your most powerful symptoms, which were "distressing but not dangerous" you would begin to heal.  Recovery International exists today, and you can attend in person or online.  A word of warning, though.  The things discussed in Recovery sessions are often trivial, and I found myself saying over and over, that this "small stuff" has nothing to do with me; that I had Big Anxiety.  Well, through more reading and letting Dr. Low's ideas sink in, I found out very well that the trivial things of everyday  and my reaction to them do indeed effect me and have always effected me, and were a big part of the reason I was suffering from Big Anxiety.

I did things in part-acts, conquered my fear of strange sensations and pain in part-acts, acknowledged that success, and went on, and went on, and went on, until one day my body's nervousness had returned to homeostasis.   The best thing is, I learned how to think different about annoyances and things that could send me into anxiety again. 

It was not a short road, but it was a road I had to take, and now it's a road I was glad I had to take.




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Offline msgb98

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Re: Diagnosed with Fibro today.
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2014, 03:41:35 PM »
What I have found with fibro is that it is a health issue that has flares and remissions.
I was diagnosed in 1992 a year after I had a car accident. There are stretches of time when I will be grand and then there will be times I won't be as great.
I must admit that the flares tend to hit when I have been under stress (physically or emotionally).
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Offline ~ JustMe ~

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Re: Diagnosed with Fibro today.
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2014, 01:25:08 AM »
To me, I feel like fibro, stress and anxiety all seem to hold hands skipping down a street having a good old time at my expense. All jokes aside, I feel like they all interfere and play with each other. One triggers one symptom, in return leads to another, then another.. Then I find myself sitting in the doctors office wanting to put them in timeout but its not that simple. You have to work hard everyday and remind yourself you are boss and you have to try the best you can to keep all these symptoms in place. I hope one day there will be a simpler fix, but for now we have to rely on support from each other to overcome.
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Offline jkw86

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Re: Diagnosed with Fibro today.
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2014, 09:10:05 AM »
So what i wonder is, Fibro really anxiety....have they just put a label on the aches and pains? I'm sure before they would have said' oh this is anxiety and depression.'
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Offline msgb98

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Re: Diagnosed with Fibro today.
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2014, 05:49:19 PM »
I was diagnosed with Fibro 23 yrs ago because of a car accident. It is not another name for anxiety.
It is associated more the the virus that causes epstein barr syndrom or mono and chronic fatigue.
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Offline NeverAgain2

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Re: Diagnosed with Fibro today.
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2014, 09:58:43 PM »
So what i wonder is, Fibro really anxiety....have they just put a label on the aches and pains? I'm sure before they would have said' oh this is anxiety and depression.'

Despite claims that there is a virus or pathogen that causes Fibro, it is simply not the case.  Period.   Doctors for the most part are not comfortable  saying to a patient that their aches and pains are caused by anxiety and depression, because the patient then hears that "it is all in your head", and will get upset at the doctor, so the medical community settled on "something" to call all the symptoms which wouldn't be insulting to the patient, and they set about treating the symptoms.  The human condition is prone to ups and downs, but some of us are wired a little more sensitively than others, and our nerves get the best of us, and our emotions and environment amplify the initial panic or symptoms. 

Then, if you go to a shrink, many will claim that emotions and environment and nerves cannot cause actual physical problems, but can make them worse, so you are left guessing at the cause of it all and will still be lost in the world between mind and body. 

The latest in thinking is that emotions and environment and nerves do, in fact, cause maladies, and this can now be imaged in the brain, where there are neat little sections for parts of the body.  Even anticipatory action (fear) of moving some way that excites pain in a certain body part, can register.

The thing to do is if all your tests are negative, then stop searching and disregard labels, such as Fibro.  Is it depression and anxiety?  Yes.  Is depression and anxiety Fibro?  Yes. 

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Offline Jazeraca

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Re: Diagnosed with Fibro today.
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2014, 10:43:26 PM »
Apologies, I haven't been coming to this website much lately, but I thought I would check in and see what's up with this forum.

The Cymbalta + CBT has helped immensely with my anxiety, for which I am grateful. The fibromyalgia, not so much. It's a tiny bit better, especially the pain in my neck, but it's mostly still there.

NeverAgain, I have to respectfully disagree with you. I have been attending fibro support groups and the topic of anxiety and depression has come up many times. Beside the sadness that people feel about their symptoms, most of the people whom I have spoken to with fibro do -not- have symptoms of an anxiety or depressive disorder, have never been diagnosed with such and seemed to be polar opposites of me when I was feeling anxious. They did not feel abnormal levels of anxiety or depression, compared to healthy people.

Correlation does not equal causation. Because anxiety and fibro are similar doesn't mean that anxiety causes fibro. That used to be what was thought, that it was a somatic illness, but any pain illness can be described as somatic, doesn't make it so.

I realize this is anecdotal, but if it were simply caused by anxiety, why would I still feel intense pain when I would be seriously sedated by 3 mg of Ativan?

It's quite possible that anxiety caused similar symptoms in you that fibro would've, and you were misdiagnosed, but that doesn't mean it's the same for everyone.

The claim that doctors know full well that fibro is caused by anxiety and depression but are unwilling to say so is preposterous; ask anyone on the Health Anxiety forums, they will tell you that doctors are very willing to describe their symptoms as being a result of anxiety. Plus, there is no conspiracy by doctors, and most doctors are not secretive when it comes to being upfront with their patients.

Anyway, I do appreciate your posts, and I wish you well!


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Dx: GAD, DESNOS, Fibro and other physical issues. Nothing serious, but of course my anxious mind will often find something very serious as with other things in my life. Anxiety is a fraud. Anxiety is not YOU or ME, it is an illness.

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