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New member
Sep 17, 2018
North Carolina
Hi folks - brand new here. I used to think fibro was just all severe pain all the time, but recently saw something about the other symptoms and how the level and type of pain varies per person, and it made me want to research some more. For the past couple of years (ever since a seriously stressful personal and work event that led to a string of other stressful personal and work events, and an accident a couple years ago where I fell off a horse) I've had a variety of seemingly unrelated issues. Whenever I see a doctor, I mark them all down on that little pre-visit sheet, but you know how that goes - we spend lots of time doing paperwork that everyone ignores.

I've been doing some reading since then, and I'm starting to wonder if I could possibly have fibromyalgia. I have quite a few of the non-pain symptoms:

-Sleep problems/disruptions: I have a heck of a time falling asleep and I wake up at least twice a night. If I get a solid, restful night's sleep, it's a surprise, and it's extremely rare.
-Fatigue: I just assumed this was because I'm not sleeping well, but it's kind of ridiculous now. I used to be able to get up and go in the mornings - I'd go to the gym, go for a walk, etc, and not feel like it was the hardest thing ever to drag myself out of bed. But now, I wake up, and I have to force myself out of bed. I spend the rest of the day feeling tired and just wanting to sleep, but if I sleep during the day, there's no chance I'll sleep at night. And I'm lacking all motivation for anything. I used to be a very active volunteer, but now I almost never get myself to the shelter, and when I do make it there, I can't stay for more than an hour before I have to leave. If I have one thing going on in a day, I don't plan anything else at all because one thing is enough to handle. (I've been hating myself because I've gotten "lazy", but I'm starting to wonder if it's actually something else, because I want to do these things, I just can't get myself up to go do them.)
-I've had anxiety for years. I tried therapy, but I think I just confused my therapist because my anxiety varies from day to day. I'll focus on one thing for a few days and be anxious about that, then move on to the next thing. I have a couple trends in my anxiety, but the therapist seemed unsure how to help and said I was making good progress and didn't need to see her anymore. :roll:
-I get migraines. These are helped by birth control, but not cured, and I've been unable to pin down any other triggers.
-I get frequent headaches with no apparent cause.
-I feel bloated often (I wake up feeling bloated, I feel much worse after I eat, etc).
-I have jaw problems - the right side aches and pops.
-I get rashes with no apparent cause (my outer thighs, for some reason, are covered in a rash right now, and I can't figure out why).
-Despite seeing a chiro regularly for the past four years, I still have back pain that even an adjustment doesn't help.

And that brings me to my main question. What exactly does "chronic widespread pain" mean? Does that mean the same parts of you hurt chronically at the same time, or does that mean that there's chronically some part of you that's hurting, but the part that's hurting changes periodically?

I used to joke that some part of me is always achy for no apparent reason, then I started to wonder if it was less of a joke and more of a symptom. There's always some pain somewhere. Each pain lasts a day or two, then stops, but then another pain starts up within the next couple of days.

I can't exercise without something hurting. I'm not the type to throw myself into a new exercise without any prep - I stretch, I ease myself in, etc. But even doing easy dumbbell work causes some part of me to start hurting. Sit-ups? My back is out for two days. Push-ups? Severe elbow pain. Planks? Wrist and/or ankle discomfort. Elliptical? Both my feet are numb by the end of the workout, and I'm wearing good shoes, stretching, and not pushing too hard. The pains last a couple days then stop, but the couple days is enough to make me hesitant to do that exercise again. At this point, I've scratched a bunch of exercises off my list of acceptable ones and I'm struggling to find something active I can do that doesn't make me hurt. (I'm going to try swimming next.)

At the moment, it's my right leg that's the worst. My ankle was giving me trouble last week and the doctor said it sounded like Achille's tendinopathy, gave me a brace to wear, and said it would take 4-6 weeks to heal. Three days later, that pain stopped, but my right hip started screaming. Now my right hip and a different part of my right ankle are unhappy (it's a completely different pain than what I went to the doctor for last weekend). Other things that will flare up, ache a couple days, then subside:
-Abdomen (usually right side, but not appendicitis - no other symptoms and pain goes away after a day or two)
-Back (oh, goodness, my back - lower back is always sore, when I lay down it feels like my entire spine is decompressing [which hurts a lot for a couple minutes], my mid-back will ache for a couple days here and there)
-Shoulders (predominantly my right shoulder)
-Ribs (I never knew my ribs could hurt!)

I've been assuming that I'm just getting old for the past couple of years, but, at 28 years old, I'm starting to think I have too many aches and pains for my age. I see my friends constantly on the go and doing things, volunteering, creating, participating in sports and activities, and I miss being like that. It's always in the back of my mind when I make plans that I may have to cancel depending on how I feel when I wake up in the morning. Some mornings I'm fine, and other mornings I just can't. I need a second job to cover some bills, but I'm plagued by thoughts of "If I wake up hurting, with a headache, or super tired, what do I do?"

Anyway, do all of my symptoms sound like fibro, or am I just grasping at straws for some reason that I feel how I feel?

I saw a rheumatologist last year because my eye doctor was concerned about my severe dry eye and I have a family member with Sjogren's. She said there was nothing definitive in my bloodwork. That family member's daughter has fibro. I'm hesitant to go back to the rheumatologist because she seemed pretty dismissive, but I will if there's a chance I have fibro and need to see a doctor.
Hi Rook,
My name is Donna. I would see a Dr. and they will check points in body for pain and diagnose you. My issues started at 29 and I'm now 50. Its a very frustrating diagnosis and has been extremely costly trying to get relief. I wish you luck!
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