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Postby CHIPBONE » Sun Apr 27, 2008 12:28 am

Hi everyone. I'm not sure if I should be here, but keep with it, as it is a rather long text.

I am a 41 year old male, who up until two years ago, was very active (black belt kickboxing). Anyhow, two years ago I started to suffer a terrible pain in my left shoulder joint and surrounding areas. The doctors were very textbook, and over the next year gave me three steroid injections into the area, and I was told "This will sort you out" – it didn't. During that first year I also had frequent hip and wrist/hand pain, and as a result I had to give up kickboxing. I started to pile on the pounds as I loafed around waiting for exploratory surgery. My doctor suggested that maybe I could get some exercise by cycling. Sounded good, low impact and all that, so I bought a bike and started trekking along some wonderful paths through Epping Forest. About summer 2007, I started getting some serious elbow pain, during and after bike riding, and this never seemed to go away. November 2007, I noticed a golf ball sized swelling to the side of my neck, it didn't hurt, but it shouldn't be there, so back to the doctors once again. I also had to stop riding my bike, as the elbow was unbearable.

Over the Christmas break, things started to get even weirder. First my feet became sore, felt swollen, but didn't look it. My right hip joint hurt in the buttock area, and then my calf muscles became horrendously painful, contracting when they were not supposed to, and basically just doing what the hell they felt like.

Fast-forward to April 2008, and things are getting worse. I have recently been given some medication to help me sleep, as a good nights sleep has now become a thing of the past. My legs constantly move throughout the night, and on occasions I have woke with bruises on my ankles and shins, as a direct result of my leg movements. The right elbow is a constant pain, which varies day to day, but at its worse, the inside bone area (elbow joint) seems to go rock-hard, stiff and you guessed it, painful. Brain fog seems to blight my days now and again, and the lower back muscles have recently started to spasm, Oh, and lets not forget the never-ending skin itch/burn.

All the problems I have mentioned have remained with me since their arrival, but the worst pain is in the calf muscles. It is relentless. I walk like my Nan used to, and she was over ninety years old, with a false hip, that was one size to small because the hospital didn't have the correct size (true story). Last week I was hobbling around my local supermarket, and I felt the calf's becoming heavy and tight, so I slowed down even more. It was pointless, because they contracted anyway, and I pulled to a painful stop, and then burst out crying because of the pain and the depressed feeling of not being who I used to be. This was the point that I went back to my doctor, and asked for something, anything, to help deal with some of the symptoms I was suffering.

My doctor said she thinks it's Fibromyalgia, and I have an appointment next week with a Rheumatologist (not sure if that’s spelt right), so fingers crossed.

So to my question, does any of this sound familiar? As an official diagnosis is still on the far horizon, and want to know if I'm heading in the right direction. My doctor asked me how I felt when the legs packed up in the supermarket, and I felt rather stupid saying it, but I told her "I felt lonely". Does that ring true for anyone else? I would also like to know if anyone else has had a soft lump – golf ball size – on the neck area.

Does this sound like Fibromyalgia?

I almost forgot to mention that feeling of having the plugs pulled, and a constant sore throat, which is actually giving me some slight problems with swallowing at the moment

If you got this far, I thank-you, and keep up the good work.

Work, now there's another problem worthy of another lengthy letter.

Any reply, about any of this letter, will be gratefully received. Thanks.
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Postby velvet » Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:06 am

there is enough there that does sound familier. not the neck lump but the lonliness frustration and "what happened to me?".

fibro is a very personal thing - everyone suffers differentely. however if the rheumatologist does diagnose it you will at least know where you are.
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Postby tidesending » Sun Apr 27, 2008 12:57 pm

All sounds very familiar, the lump in your neck is most probably a sebaceous cyst. I have had two of these removed in the past and currently have three on my neck although there not that big, they can sometimes grow to tennis ball size although there nothing to be worried about, they can be uncomfortable when big and unsightly. I would get it checked out by your Doc though they are quite common and can be removed with a small op but I don’t think there specific to FMS. Check out this link
I hope this helps put your mind at rest and good luck with your Rheumi appointment
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Postby luuluu » Sun Apr 27, 2008 6:16 pm

Hi Chipbone :D

All this sounds very familiar to me, my problems started after a horse riding accident 5 years ago and steadily the symptoms increased and got worse. After many tests I was diagnosed in January with Fibromylgia.

Lately I hit an all time low with a flare up lasting since xmas and found myself in floods of tears in the doctors surgery, he gave me some anti depressant and I must say they have helped improve my mood and are making me able to cope with the pain better, as the pain killers don't really help.

The feeling of 'the plug being pulled' is also familiar I have found that if I do anything physical like shopping or housework it then feels like all the energy has gone and I just have to sleep, there's no way of stopping it.

The sore throat too happens to me usually later in the day, the more tired I get but has usually dissapeared by morning, only to return again later.

I have terrible pain in my right arm mainly in the muscle below the elbow joint and the elbow joint is sore to touch, the doc keeps saying its tennis elbow but it comes and goes depending on what I have done physically.

I'm not sure about the lump, that really should be checked out, it's probably a cyst as tidesending said, I had a cyst removed from my neck, it was the size of a golf ball about 11 years ago.

The rheumatologist will be able to give you a diagnosis and check for anything else while you there so good luck with that, this invisible condition is so hard to come to terms with but everyone here knows what your going through so anything you want to know just ask.

what other people think of me is really none of my business
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Is it fibro

Postby cat123 » Sun Apr 27, 2008 9:11 pm

Hi chipbone,ive chipped mine a few times,take ages to heal dont they!!Ok back to fibro,yes its all sounding like the symptoms,but not the neck lump.You know this restless leg problem,put pillows between your knees,and ankles,when lieing on your side in bed.Makes a massive differance to comfort.If sitting in a chair hurts,buy a real sheepskin,to sit on.Another thing you can do is lie on a quilt in bed.Let us know how you get on,just remember,we are all very differant with fibro symptoms,but you are showing classic signs.Talking of bikes,one of the first things i gave up was riding a push bike,coudent push the dam pedels round,i was gutted.If theres anything else you want to know,just ask on here,you will find that we are a massive help to one another.Ive had fibro years,plus numerous other complaints. take care cat
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Postby suep » Mon Apr 28, 2008 3:48 pm

Hi Chipbone
Im so sorry that you are going through all of this. It does sound like classic Fibro symptoms except the lump which as the others have said sounds like a cyst, which your doctor will be able to sort out.
I had to smile when I was reading some of your symptoms as they are the same as what I have and you describe them so well. The sore foot that feels swollen but isnt, the right hip pain that goes into the buttock, I cant sit for long anymore especialy not on hard chairs, so I spend most of my time lying on the sofa or my bed. The calf muscle contractions are awful, try a warm bath to ease them. Poor sleep and restless legs, sore throats and brain fog, I have them all and in 12 years of having Fibro still havn't worked out how to deal with them.

Your not alone, we are here to help answer your questions and give support. I felt alone when I was first dx, but a few years ago I joined a local support group and made friends there with other wome with Fibro, we now meet for lunch once a week, and I have my friends on here and the support of my family, so I dont feel lonely now.

I hope you get your dx soon. Its not an easy illness to have and there is no cure, but it can be managed (sort of)
take care
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