To Believe or Not Believe in Fibromyalgia

My first diagnosis of fibromyalgia was in 1992. Antidepressants helped, I sort of “got over it” and went on with life. I still had those “trigger points” in the shoulders, knees, shins, ankles, etc., but as long as nobody pinched or pressed there I was fine.  Then, in 2000, my PCM of the day, said (when I winced at her pushing on my lower shins and said that one doctor had said that was from fibromyalgia) that she didn’t “believe” in fibromyalgia. End of discussion. I’ve tried not “believing” I felt pain, but dammit, the pain was still there, as was the overwhelming fatigue. Since I was first diagnosed with it in 1992, the only thing I’ve found that really relieves the pain is a combination of Strattera and Lexapro.

I’ve not mentioned “fibromyalgia” to any other doctor since the one who didn’t “believe” in it because I don’t want to be classified as a nut case or drug seeker. Also, I do not believe that fibromyalgia is the cause of all my pain. I think I also have a pinched nerve or something that causes sudden, extreme, but thankfully short-lasting pain in my legs.

My main problem – as mentioned in “I am my own PCM” is the lack of opportunity to discuss multiple aches, pains, symptoms, etc., with my doctor in one single visit. Appointments are generally limited to “what, specifically, is bothering you today?” That really doesn’t lend itself well to “well… several things and could they possibly be related?”

I do have a verified diagnosis of arthritis and I wonder which pain is caused by that. I classify my wrist, shoulder, knee, and ankle pain to it… but shin pain? I dunno… and apparently neither do most doctors. Why does the shoulder and knee pain differ when somebody squeezes either body part (a typical occurrence at Southern family reunions) from the more ordinary “oh god, I’ve overused this joint today” pain?

Bottom Line: I don’t know what the hell’s wrong with me, but articles like “Drug Approved. Is Disease Real?” don’t help answer the question. Note that the addition of Straterra to my normal drug regimin has almost eliminated the need for Tylenol and Naproxen. The only drawback is the tendency of Straterra to cause dizziness. Unlike most folks, I have a benign brain tumor that (though dead through radiation) may cause dizziness.

hmmm…. what side effects of what up with do I put?

2 thoughts on “To Believe or Not Believe in Fibromyalgia

  1. Hi, I was searching Strattera and fibro when I came upon your blog. I have EXACLTY the same problem with MD’s and my pain. I don’t know what’s wrong, I only know my symptoms, and have tried many many different medications to try to fix them. Mostly, my chronic pain and fatigue, and the arthritis in my joints. I’m 26 yrs old, have to walk with a cane, and have had most of this pain most of my life and feel about 90. I can’t find any 1 MD who can put it all together and I keep having to change them because I am also on Tricare Prime. If you come up with anything, please share, and I will share my solutions if I do, as well. Thanks for writing, it’s a little relieving to hear someone else is giong through the same things as I am, though I wish none of us had to.

    Also, how long after taking both Strattera and Lexapro did you begin to notice some difference? I just started Strattera today, and have been taking Lexapro a few months…tried both Cymbalta and Lyrica to no avail…wondering how long to wait before I feel the effects…

    Thanks again. I wish you all the best.

  2. It took about two weeks before I noticed I wasn’t taking as much naproxen, but it was also very gradual. I’d give it at least a month. I stopped taking it after 3 months because the dizziness increased and my fear of falling and breaking a hip was worse than the pain. (I’m off my osteoporosis med because of severe excruciating muscle cramps.)I also noticed my hands shaking at times.

    It did not increase my ability to concentrate, unfortunately. It’s still a medical roller coaster around here. I’ve slowly weaned myself to only celexa and my blood pressure med. I’m wondering if I would notice any difference without the celexa.

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