Old 01-09-2014, 10:52 AM #1 (permalink)
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Default Do I really need the diagnosis?

Hi all, I'm new here and am finding such helpful information. I have painful traumatic neuropathy that mostly affects the femoral nerve in my right leg but has now progressed to also affect my right hand and arm. My pain level is high and energy is low. For the past year or so, I've had progressively worsening symptoms of what I believe to be fibromyalgia...muscle pain, much of my body feeling like it's been bruised (sore to the touch), fatigue, brain fog, etc. Actually, most of those symptoms are ones that I had long before the injury that caused the neuropathy but I was never tested for fibro.

My question is this: Is there any real benefit to seeking a diagnosis for what I believe to be fibro? I'm currently taking Cymbalta, hydrocodone, and muscle relaxers. I'm not sure what more could be done by going to see a rheumatologist, and getting out of the house presents some pretty significant obstacles as the nearest rheumy is an hour's drive away. OTOH, if there is a significant benefit, I will try to get someone to help me get to the appointment.

Just for general info, I'm a 62 year old female. My husband is not doing well (PTSD and COPD) and I often call on my daughter for assistance. But she has a family and a job, and I don't want to bother her if I won't gain some significant benefit from a fibro diagnosis.

BTW, thanks so much for this site! I've been reading old threads and have gained much insight. Thanks so much for any input you're willing to share.
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Old 01-09-2014, 10:00 PM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do I really need the diagnosis?

Hi there! Well, to be honest the only scenario I can think of right now, in which getting a clear fibro diagnosis could be beneficial is if the person was to apply for disability. In general I'd say knowing for sure you have fibro or some other disease gives you an adventage whenever you have to see a new doctor.

Take me as an example, lately I've been to different gynecologists because I haven't found one who specializes in hormones. Telling them I suffer from PCOS straight away has saved me a lot time... much better than listing every symptom I have.
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Old 01-09-2014, 10:40 PM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do I really need the diagnosis?

L Briscoe,
Welcome to the forum. In some repects knowing what you have makes it easier for doctors to order meds for you and help manage the condition. Since you only think you have fibro, the best reason for seeing a Rheumatologist, would be knowing for sure it is fibro, as there are many other more serious conditions that can start with the same symptoms. When we self diagnosis we often do our selves a disservice because we are only guessing our condition but not truely knowing for sure. Sometimes it is cheaper in the long run to be sure of your illness, than to let it go thinking it is something else, and ending up in the hospital or worse.

I understand the problems you face in getting to this type of doctor. Do you have any friends that could drive you there and back? I wish you the best of luck do matter what you decide to do.

In the meantime feel free to read the posts in the pain management section and also in the alternative methods. Members have offered many coping skills for helping stop or control pain and also dealing with fatigue. Please post more questions and jump right in answering other folks posts as well.

Glad you found the forum.
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Old 01-10-2014, 09:52 AM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do I really need the diagnosis?

Thanks for your responses. I have an appointment with my GP next week and I plan to ask him if he thinks I would benefit from seeing a rheumatologist. I'm sure I could somehow get someone to drive me to and from the appointment but I hate to bother others who already have their own full plates.

I am learning how many of you are dealing with your pain and fatigue, and that is helping a lot. Thanks for the board.
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