Know your family history!

Find out the diseases of your family, both sides, especially for Autoimmune diseases, they may include Psoriatic Arthritis, Psoriasis, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Raynaud's, Sjogren's, Mixed connective tissue disease, Addison's, Scleoderma, Ulcerative Colotis, Diabetes...there are many others easily found on a 'google search'.

Inform your Primary Care Physician, and your Rheumatologist, as well as any other Physican including those of hospital or ER of this family history.

There is a genetic link to these diseases, which means it is passed down, some Doctors already consider FMS to be Autoimmune, and others are ready to follow suit, but it may be even more serious.

Even with a HLA-B27 test, it may not show up as positive, BUT you may still have one, so knowing what your parents and grandparents, aunt, uncles suffer is key.

If you do not understand something LOOK IT UP, ask questions, keep an on-going list of your symptoms, problems, reactions to medicines, take it to the Doctors every time.

You have to be in charge of your own destiny, do not allow undiagnosed disease go on for the estimated seven years of diagnostic testing before you can get the needed treatment to stop the damage these diseases can do.

This is not meant as a means of self diagnosis, it is not meant to terrify you, and I am not claiming to be a medical professional. My Psoriatic arthritis (spondylitis type), Raynaud's, Sjogrens, Disc and facet disease, spinal stenosis took seven years to diagnosis, in the mean time more and more joint damage occured, once damage is done, it is irreversible!!!

PS urging you all to read Renie's post on Important information on Fibromyalgia!!!!!

Wow, SK. I had no idea you went through all of that prior to diagnosis. And that it's so common to do so.

Is Parkinson's also included on that list? And Rheumatic Fever? I believe I read that that they were.

I'd also like to add that in addition to amassing this info, make sure you get a rheumatologist who pays attention to it. Mine seemed to get bent out of shape the minute I mentioned my mother's psoriasis, early on in the appointment. It doesn't help to KNOW this stuff if the person you are sharing it with discounts it.

Good post, as usual, SK. I'm beginning to believe that your our Earth Angel on these sites.

LOL!!!! No angel here, Petunia, just an old great grandmother and those innate instincts!

Well, I'll agree with two of those sentiments, you're a great-grandmother and have great innat instincts, but old you aren't and I doubt you'll ever be. 1, you look young in your picture, 2, you have the spirit of someone young too.

How are you feeling Pet? You're struggling, aren't you?

Thanks for asking. Yes, struggling. Probably not half as bad as a lot of you though. I think it's hard because so much more hurts than it used to. I have to accept that aspect of things. It gives me hope when I see you guys hanging in there and actually having a day.

My mom was diagnosed FM back in the late 80’s. She now has end stage Alzheimer’s. I have two questions. Are FM and Alzheimer’s somehow related (fibro fog) and if you have Alzheimer’s , does the fibro still hurt? Just because you’re not aware of it doesn’t mean you no longer have it,right? Does that make sense?

As far as I know, Alzheimer's is not related to fibro. I don't think that we are any more or less likely to get Alzheimer's because of fibro.

Does the fibro still hurt if you have Alzheimer's? Wow, such a good question. I had a good friend who was my girlfriend's mother. She had awful rheumatoid arthritis that hurt her all of the time. She ended up having a stroke and becoming basically a vegetable. When I visited her, she seemed to pay no attention to her painful fingers. Nothing seemed to get through to her. I'd like to think that she no longer felt the pain but I honestly don't know.

No kidding! My rotten rheumy wrote "possible fibro" in my chart, after telling me it was fibro if nothing else came up on the tests. Nothing else did come up, so why couldn't he bother to diagnose it? Now if I have to apply for disability, I can't. What ELSE does he need as proof, the kitchen sink? I'll see if the new rheumy can do any better than this. I want an ANSWER, darn it! Not waffling!

I try not to think about whether my mom is feeling the fibro pain, but that thought seems to creep up every once in a while. She seems to be okay, but I can't help but wonder. I firmly believe that fibro is closely related to stress and if she doesn't know she's stressed, then she shouldn't be hurting, right? Right. That's my story...

Thanks for being here Petunia. Thank everyone for being here. You're such a relief.