New member, undiagnosed but concerned that I may have Fibromyalgia

Hi. I'm Shay. I'm 29 and for most of my life have been dealing with stiff or sore joints. I always just chalked it up to genetics or my high level of activity. It's kind of like growing up with an abusive parent - without something to compare it to, you just tend to think it's normal for life to be that way. That's how I've always felt about the pain in my knees, my hips, my elbows or my neck. It's always been a dull ache and stiffness that just always seems to be there. I've lived with it. It was no big deal.

Then I had endometriosis - pain was always associated with that. I lived with it. Then a knee injury - my right knee hurts almost all the time to some degree and I just go on about my life and hardly pay it any mind.

Then suddenly, for the last week (today is day six) I have been hurting so much. I cannot think of any injury or trauma or event that would have caused all these places to hurt like they do. It's mostly my lower body - my hips and lower back have incredibly sensitive spots that sear when I press on them (so, I don't). Even pulling my underwear down over them is significantly uncomfortable. My thighs ache to the touch. My knees seem to be flaring on the inside of the joints - pulsing and radiating pain outwards. My shin - oh god - my shins. They are constantly aching but if I touch them - even the lightest caress causes pain so intense I cry out. The same for my ankles. I feel hypersensitive to touch.

Then I have two points that feel like they're beneath my shoulder blades that just hurt - like someone has been pressing on them for hours. Also, just above my elbow on my right arm is super sensitive to touch as well - like it's bruised but there is no mark.

I have no insurance and no regular doctor. I'm hesitant to go into an urgent care with no outward signs of injury and waste my time and money for them to send me home with no help. My mother says there is no family history of fibromyalgia, but I've read there doesn't have to be. She also suggested I keep a 'pain journal' so that if it doesn't go away, I can at least hand a doctor something concrete that shows what I've been dealing with.

I guess my first question is - do my symptoms sound like fibromyalgia. Secondly, is there anything over the counter you would suggest to alleviate the pain? I'm so tired of hurting and it's only been six days. Ibuprofen has done nothing that I can tell. Third, are there any of suggestions to help me either prepare for a doctors visit, what kind of doctor to find or any other medical advice?

Thank you, so much, for reading this. I haven't told anyone except my fiance what I'm really going through and it's nice to have found someplace where people won't give me odd looks or try to play doctor. I don't want to be pitied or pandered to, I just want to be taken seriously.

Well first off. . sorry for your aches and pains. Fibromyalgia can be mistaken for many different kinds of things. Having had previous injuries you could just be suffering from the repercussions of other injuries. Being diagnosed for Fibro is not easy and going to a doctor telling them that is what you think you have is not a good idea either. In order to diagnose you with FMS they have to rule out tons of other conditions like Lupus, or Arthritis, sickle cell, etc. (took me 2 yrs to be diagnosed but that was before so much info about it became known) So it can be costly to get a final diagnosis. Sucks I know. Keeping a pain journal is smart, it helps not only you but your doctor track how far back this pain goes as well as incidents that could have caused trauma to your body to cause the on set of pain.

Try looking online for a fibromylagia trigger point chart. What this is, is a chart that shows you the 18 or so pain points that majority FMS patients experience heightened levels of pain in. they are all over the body. . shoulder, neck, arms, legs, etc. This is very helpful in helping you determine where you experience pain the most. To me you could also have Arthritis and there are various kinds to look up. Some ppl are born with Arthritis and some acquire it earlier on in age than normally. At 29, I have arthritic bones but not arthritis, yet.

To me it does not sound like Fibro, more so arthritis, these two share a lot of the same symptoms. Fibro not only hurts the joints and muscles but extreme fatigue kicks in as well. BUT I am no doctor and others may think it sounds like FMS and here-in lies the problem, it is very HARD to properly diagnosis fibro because our symptoms are all over the place!!

A friend of mine had similar symptoms as you, mostly lower back and extreme pain to touch, she had a spinal problem and a disc issue, something about her discs or bones being rubbed down and she just had surgery three days ago They initially diagnosed her with fibromyalgia. I'd say going to the ER to get xrays, MRI's and or a BONE SCAN would be ideal BUT do not tell them you think you have anything. Let it be fact finding for you and the doctors so that they take you seriously because honestly once you say FIBROMYALGIA to most docs they will think that maybe you are looking for SSI or meds. . sad but true.

Try going to pain clinics but most have to be referred by a doc so heading to the ER and talking to a doc after your exams and expressing that you do not have a regular doc and would like a referral to a Pain clinic would be helpful or to take a bigger leap, make an appt with a Rheumatologist as they are the ones who can tell you if you have arthritis and what to do, etc. Can you get insurance through the state that you live in like county insurance, government insurance?? Look into it if you do not know. . .without it, I would be lost and under a bridge in pain!

for over the counter meds try MIDOL, yep the cramp medication. When I do take meds which is rare, Midol is all i need. The caffeine kicks in and I am perky and literally pain free, now it may not work for everyone but it's a start. For sleep the MIDOL night time works wonders!!! Muscle relaxers may help you as well. Taking things like vicodin or percocets are not useful (in my opinion when it comes to dealing with pain) they just drug you up and keep you numb without helping to release the pain. Try lidocaine pain patches, they are expensive without insurance and may or may not work but if you can get a scrip for them somehow down the line, give them a try. I have painful wrists and ankles hurts to stand or do anything so I place the patches in certain areas on my wrists and ankles then wrap them lightly with a med wrap and let it numb it overnight. . .

Now take a look at your everyday physical work. To help alleviate pain you need to find out what is causing the pain to flare up. If you stand at work all day, consider buying two different pairs of comfy tennis shoes like Reebok Tubes or new balance, etc and alternate during your shift. If you sit for long periods make sure you are ergonomically correct. If your shins hurt try pressure socks, hot and cold alternating showers. Sleep with splints on your feet and never walk in the house barefoot always have a comfy pair of shoes with good support.Try doing some light yoga if you don't already especially first thing in the morning, loosen those joints and release some of the tension. Try getting deep tissue massages, they hurt but they dig deep to release the knots. Acupuncture is amazing for releasing energy and helping you to relax. Do you sleep enough? if not try taking a sleep aid like melatonin, over the counter and works great for some. If you were shoes like high heels, don't for a few weeks and see how your body react. Do you notice you have pain escalations during the weather changes?? That is known to happen to anyone experiencing chronic pain. . .there are places now that sell TENS units without a doc scrip, they can be pricey but worth it. A TENS unit incase you don't know is a small device that can be carried on you like a cell phone on your hip that has electrode patches that you place on the painful parts of your body and you control the amount of electricity you want to pulse to that area. . .most helpful thing ever. You can wear it and no one will know you have it on. . it's that small and compact, athletes use them which I think is why they are becoming more popular.

Also changing you diet can help, eat more fruits like grapefruit or oranges, etc. There is a (I dont know what to call it) system of ruling out foods to see if it can help or add to your pain. . .

here are some links that can hopefully help:



MoMerrell, about said it all. However to be diagnaosed with fibro, not only do they have to rule out tons of stuff but you also have to have pain for 3 months. There is also a lot that goes with fibro, like fatigue, stomach issues, ear issues and ballance issues. I also agree with MoMerrell that it sounds like it could be arthritis, but we both could be wrong. Long hot baths help me, till I have to get out. They make my aches better. Also you can try alieve, sometimes it helps better than Ibuproffin even though its the same stuff. I do however agree defanatly don't tell them you think you have fibro. I was told all sorts of stuff before I was finally diagnossed. Hope you feel better. And good luck.

Hi Shay!

You have been given some really good advice here, I totally agree not to tell the Dr what you think you have, unless they tell you that they don't know. I think you said something that may hold a key...GENETICS. Try to find out about Psoriasis, Rhematory Arthritis and other possible hereditary diseases, find out what you can about the aches, pains and Doctor visits made by your Grandparents, even your parents, it could save you much time and money when it comes to getting diagnosed.

Wishing you well,