Patient Comments: Fibromyalgia - Symptoms

What were your initial fibromyalgia symptoms?

Comment from: nanarae, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 31

My fibromyalgia began after a strep infection right after Hurricane Andrew. All my doctors were "blown away" and the only way to check what I thought was a bad cold was waiting in a triage line outside of a hospital- so I didn"t get it checked. A few weeks after my “bad cold", I came down with rheumatic fever and was in intense pain and had incredible fatigue for weeks. My blood lab tests were through the roof. The pain/fatigue never really subsided, and I felt awful and struggled at work all year. My doctor thought I had rheumatoid arthritis. The following summer I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. That was almost 22 years ago, and my life has been full of pain, fatigue, and tears. I am just barely able to work (teacher) and I hate to give in and quit. My life has been greatly impacted and limited as a result of fibromyalgia.

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Published: November 07

Fibromyalgia attacked my body more than 10 years ago after knee surgery. I was in a wheelchair for about six months, and I used a cane for another six months. I did not even know how to walk anymore. I fought the fibromyalgia with a lot of pain pills and tears. I was on so many medications that it damaged my stomach lining. Learning to break the cycle wasn't easy because it was painful. It caused tiredness and depression. To this day, I am no longer on meds, and I live a new life with a new career. I have no more depression. It tries to creep in, but I fight it off through prayer. I have bowel problems, this pain that pain, etc., etc., etc. I find that when I help others and talk about it, it brings hope to others. Learning to stop the cycle is a battle. But there is hope.

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Comment from: Rose, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: March 19

I am a 59-year-old woman who was diagnosed with FMS (fibromyalgia syndrome) by a rheumatologist 25 years ago. My symptoms include chronic flu-like pain and nausea, sharp needle-like pain in strange places, spasms that are extreme on occasion, severe migraines, insomnia, chronic listlessness and malaise, anxiety, depression, brain fog, and weakness in my limbs and eyesight. I have a very savvy doctor who collaborates with me in managing my symptoms with natural methods and the latest info -- very crucial. I use baths, massage pads, walking, a gluten-free, dairy-free vegetarian diet, very little over-the-counter muscle relaxants and Gravol every night, herbal teas, and supplements. If it's a bad day, I use ibuprofen.

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Comment from: jhnwtn, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 19

My fibromyalgia came from having had Ross River fever and Epstein-Barr virus. It didn't happen immediately but after starting to recover from the virus and CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome), they seemed to happen at the same time. I still have problems with the fibromyalgia. I get pain and stiffness in my muscles, and at the moment, I have intense pain in my left foot like having had someone put a nail into the bone where I stand on. I get fatigue, memory problems, muscle stiffness in my fingers, and stiffness if I've sat in one position for a while. I have problems with certain beds (like I can't sleep on really hard beds now); they need to be soft mattress beds. I have stiffness in my neck, shoulders, etc. I take Osteo Panadol and Mobic when it's really bad. I haven't found I've had too many problems with the Mobic, but then I don't take it all the time only when I absolutely need it.

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Comment from: STEVE, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 08

I am a 55-year-old male who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2007. At the time, I was taking more than 32 prescriptions and pills a day. In 2009, I started seeing a neurologist, who took me off the crazy pill-popping treadmill and put me on Lidoderm patches. About eight months later, I was doing extraordinarily well and not using the medications as much. After knee surgery I went from almost good to unable to function. My doctors said that something was very wrong. I went to the best joint specialist in the area and he told me the replacement surgery was perfect, but my pain was from fibromyalgia and would not get better. So now I'm worse off than before. I'm in constant chronic pain, and my knees don't function for more than a few minutes. I can hardly walk. The hospital where I had the surgery has a policy that, after three months, the surgeon can no longer prescribe narcotic pain medications. After three months, my neurologist picked up the ball to write the prescriptions. But a year and a half later, nobody is willing to prescribe them. Between the pain and fatigue, there are weeks at a time that I don't get out of bed. I can't work and I do my best to be a caregiver for my elderly mother and aunt, who are both in their late 80s. Standing up is so painful. If you have fibro and are having surgery please inform your doctor.

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Fibromyalgia - Treatment Question: Please describe treatments that have been effective for your fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia - Diet and Lifestyle Changes Question: What lifestyle changes (diet, exercise, etc.) have you found helpful in relieving fibromyalgia pain?

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