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New member
Apr 21, 2015
Hello everyone!
I am new to fibro, new to this board. Not even sure I have fibro yet. Internal medicine doc suspects it and referred me to a rheumatologist. Took him two tries to find a rheumatologist who even treats/sees fibro patients. I'm not sure that's what I have. In the meantime (while waiting), I figured this would be a good place to get some opinions.

I'm 37. History of:
- Anxiety (both of which better with meds and therapy)
- Endometriosis (hysterectomy this past fall)
- Scoliosis (mild) -- corrected with chiropractic work
- Mild beginning states of arthritis in upper back/lower neck vertebrae

Current symptoms:
- Not sleeping as well as I used to (7-8 hours with no wake-ups), but not sleeping POORLY, either (sleep soundly from 11pm-2am or so, then 30 minutes awake, then only one more short wake-up, on average, till I wake up and get up about 7:30am)
- Waking up groggy and feeling stiff; feel the need to stretch
- If I stay in bed too long after waking up, I get headaches
- CHRONIC muscle knots and tightness in muscles on top of shoulders (traps), between shoulders (rhomboids), and on top of shoulder blades (scapulas). There is rarely a time when these muscles aren't rock hard. Painful to touch, but feels good when massaged ("good kind of pain"). Muscle knots eventually release when hubby presses them firmly for 2-3 minutes.
- Recently muscles between ribs have begun spasming, too, which makes my sides hurt (under arms) and sometimes feels like it wraps around to the front. When this happens, I feel like it hurts to take a deep breath and I develop a wheezy/tickly feeling in the base of my throat that makes me want to cough.
- Muscles in back of neck sometimes spasm, too, and that radiates upwards causing headaches at the base of my skull and tension headaches on temples and/or top of head.
- Heart palpatations/skipping beats. (Cardiologist also running tests on this.)
- Feeling run down, but not every day....I take advantage of high-energy days.

I used to get this pain every now and then, but it was almost always around menstruation plus a few days after. I thought it was hormonal based, but those blood tests came back normal, also, showing me that I'm still producing adequate estrogen. It's gone (over the past 3-4 months) to being an issue 4-5 days every month to me hurting 4-5 days out of every WEEK.

I have read all of the things about fibro and the consensus is "pain in all four quadrants." 99% of the time, though, I just hurt on the top half of my body. I get painful, stiff knees and hips if I sit too long on the floor or in a hard chair, etc., but my upper back/shoulder area is the only area that hurts the majority of the time (with no catalyst starting it).

Internal medicine doc tested me for inflammatory markers and all of my blood work came out normal. (Calcium was at the very top of the range, 10.1, which I didn't think to ask about.) Negative for Lyme. He put me on Cymbalta (which I haven't' taken yet) to give me something to try till I could get in with a rheumatologist.

Been looking at other things this may be, aside from just paying for years of bad posture and high stress levels causing muscles to think that staying contracted is "normal." I keep wondering about Myofascial Pain Syndrome, Sjorgen's, etc..

If anyone had a similar experience, please share....whether it turned out to be fibro OR something else. Getting pretty desperate. Trying 5-HTP instead of Cymbalta because I hate SNRIs/SSRIs and their nasty side effects. But still need to find a solution so I can also stop taking Motrin every day (which only works about half the time).

Thanks in advance!
hello and welcome to the forum.

take the cymbalta and get some relief. you can always stop taking it if you dont see results in 4-6 weeks.
as you are seeing, the pain is only getting worse. why suffer if you dont have to?

start documenting your meds and pain levels. this will help you make sure the meds are working.
sounds like you have no treatment plan at all.

read my 2 posts under general discussions called "what is fibromyalgia" and "starting a daily log book and why it helps"
this will teach you about fibro and how to find your pain triggers and ensure your meds are working.

do research so you can make informed decisions from now on.

at the top of the page, you can click on quick links. click whos online. then you will see over 100 threads that folks are reading.
this will save you time in your research.

i hope you come to terms with the pain and the meds you need.
gatory7, I recently joined the forum as well. I can relate to upper body pain. I have continuous knots in my shoulders and pain in my arms. I do have some leg pain that increases and decreases, but the shoulder and arm pain is a constant. I also stretch 1st thing in the morning.

I take a low dose of Cymbalta - 30mg. It helped some initially but when I reluctantly increased it... I didn't like the was it affected my head and just take 30mg. I have had sleeping problems since my mid 40' 62 now. I take Trazadone and it helps for the most part, but like with any med it doesn't help as much after a while. Have you tried Melatonin? I take a couple of things to sleep. The Trazadone and Melatonin are daily. I take a low dose of Ambien if I need it or I'll take a Benedryl....Don't like the Benedryl too much because it dries out my sinuses.

I get a massage once a month. It helps me to relax and takes some of the pain away for a little while, but I had to tell the massage therapist to be very gentle or she would cause more harm than good.

I would talk to your doctor and see what will work for you. I am not big on meds and have learned to use a combination because I hate feeling groggy and this way I can control things.

You have to find out what works for you. I like cmetryme's suggestion of a log. I haven't started one yet, but I think I will.

I hope you find some relief. Just know you are not alone.
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