how to approach this with my gp...

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how to approach this with my gp...

Postby moonagedaydream » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:11 pm

Hey everyone… *waves nervously*

I’ve thought for a while now that I may have fibromyalgia, although never been quite sure as my pain is rarely severe. Many of the symptoms fit, and it would explain an awful lot. My only concern, is that I have heard a lot about people being dismissed for ages by their GP. This seems like a wonderful forum... I do hope you don't mind my popping in with loads of questions hehe :) But any advice or help on this subject would be so wonderfully appreciated...
Some background…
I started to suffer with depression and anxiety from a very early age, say nine or ten. I have always had a dodgy stomach, which was diagnosed when I was seventeen as IBS. This later became severe after I had my gallbladder removed. So these symptoms at least have been present for more than half of my life.

In my first year of university, I began suffering from fatigue. I can get 12 hours sleep a night and still feel tired enough to take a nap during the day. I’ve always just put this down to depression, especially as its worse in winter, but now I’m starting to wonder. I also feel lethargic a lot, although antidepressants (I currently take 40mg of fluoxetine daily) does help this. I have had what was diagnosed as ‘cluster migraines’ from an early age. I would say I suffer with headaches fairly frequently, although they are usually quite mild and do not stop me going about my daily activities, although occasionally I will have a really bad one. I have chest pains and shortness of breath often, which doctors and I too have always put down to anxiety.

My arms have always been very sensitive to pain, especially around the top, as is my waist. A friend could poke or punch me playfully in the arm, even very softly, and then when I react to the pain I get looks of confusion and ‘what is wrong with you?’ I never thought much about this until recently. I get tingling in my hands and feet, as well as my tongue. This is a more recent symptom, as with others; I get strange pain in my tongue that comes and goes throughout the day. I also get pain in my jaw and my face, which I have noticed more and more in the last few months. I had a cavity filled last month and assumed this to be the cause of the pain, and although it lessened a little (I assume some pain was coming from it) it still comes and goes. My dentist cannot find anything else wrong.

I get pain in both sides of my clavicle quite frequently which is sometimes worsened by taking a sharp breath. I find my shoulder blades, back, neck and the top of my arms hurt most of the time, which I initially put down to my posture (I am a writer and spend a lot of time hunched over my computer typing away) but I have tried changing into various positions and it still doesn’t go.

My legs often feel very stiff and I have pain in my calves which will come and go throughout the day. Stretching doesn’t help. Sometimes I can be standing or walking and my back will suddenly feel as though it seizes up, affecting my legs… it’s hard to describe… it feels very strange. I also get random shooting and stabbing pains throughout my body. I often feel very nauseous, although this might be due to IBS.

I am by nature very forgetful. Recently this has become even worse; I’ve been forgetting things like appointments, classes, over the summer I even forgot about a job interview and subsequently missed it. I can be quite slow to understand things sometimes, even really simple things. I am not sure if this counts as a symptom or if I am just a scatty person, but the worsening has worried me. I have also recently, as in the last six months or so, started having strange, hayfever-like allergy attacks.

Most of these symptoms are not new, but I’ve either 1. ignored them, 2. put them down to physical symptoms related to depression/anxiety/IBS, or 3. seen doctors about them and told they are either down to other things, or related to depression/anxiety/IBS. But now I really feel as though I have found the culprit, I am very worried my GP will not take me seriously. I know this was a really long post and if you’re still with me, then thank you for reading this far.

I guess my questions are… does this sound like fibromyalgia? Is my GP likely to take me seriously, and what should I say? I really just would like some answers as to why I’m never quite right… I always feel as though I am unwell, although I can never really say why, and I often wonder if I’m just imagining it all. It’s kind of driving me crazy lately haha… If it helps I’m 22 and female.

Thanks so much. :)
Last edited by FluppyPuffy on Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Split into smaller and clearer paragraphs for easier reading.
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Re: how to approach this with my gp...

Postby Iceskatemum » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:38 pm

Hi there and welcome ...not sure if thats usually a mods job but hi anyway. :lol:

You are right everyone on here is very supportive , we are all at different stages of our FM journey and are just a bunch of people who through no fault of their own have found themselves dx with this awful illness. I say this just to let you know that for the purposes of the forum non of us are medics ( even if they are in real life) and so the only perosn who can give you a dx is your GP or consultant.
From what you have said you do seem to have some of the symptoms but as other illness can also have these types of symptoms it is important to talk to your GP first.

First don't worry about chatting to your GP , don't go in thinking they are not going to believe you . if nervous see if a friend can go with you, have some notes with you about how you are affected, and see if he comes up with any ideas . then you might be able to discuss if it could be Fibro and how he would take your issues forward . Even if he doesn't believe its FM at this stage , he would need to review your symptoms .

If you have FM ( and I hope for your sake you don't) you are at the beginning of a ong road ,many of us have taken time to get a dx having test after test to rule out other things before finaly being told that by exclusion they thing you have FM


Good luck with everything
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Re: how to approach this with my gp...

Postby FluppyPuffy » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:01 pm

Iceskatemum wrote:Hi there and welcome ...not sure if thats usually a mods job but hi anyway. :lol:
Saying Hello and :welcome: to new members is for everyone to do, if they want to ISM :wave: :wave: I think you tend to mostly see us saying Hello as we tend to reply to things as we're going along and checking each new post/topic :bear-dancing: :bear-dancing: :bear-dancing:
As a Public Moderator of this forum my opinions/views expressed are personal and are no more valid than those of other members and not necessarily those of UKFibromyalgia.

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Re: how to approach this with my gp...

Postby FluppyPuffy » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:54 pm

:wave: :wave: and :welcome: moonagedaydream :bear-dancing: :bear-dancing:

With your initial post containing such a lot of detail, I've split it into smaller, clearer paragraphs to make reading it a little easier as some of us (incl me) struggle to read large blocks or what looks like large blocks of text.

Sorry to hear what you've been experiencing for such a long time, I know from my own happenings how frustrating it can be to be told you have these different problems but none of it seems to sit quite right with you :( :(

Whilst what you have described may be due to FM, there are several other conditions that share the same symptoms. FM can also mimic other conditions which can result in a wrong dx being initially given. As ISM has said, we can't say if what you have described could be FM, that can only be done by a GP or consultant/specialist. As she has so wonderfully put it
Iceskatemum wrote:You are right everyone on here is very supportive , we are all at different stages of our FM journey and are just a bunch of people who through no fault of their own have found themselves dx with this awful illness. I say this just to let you know that for the purposes of the forum non of us are medics ( even if they are in real life)
It can take a while to get the answer as to the cause of your problems, so patience and quite often perseverance are needed. There is no test for FM, a dx tends to be given once the other conditions that share the various symptoms have been thoroughly investigated and ruled out.

To start things off, you need to give your GP as good a picture as possible of what your symptoms are and how they affect you. Keeping a symptom diary can help with this. For a few days write down what symptoms you have had, how painful they were (using a scale of 1 ~10 generally gives a good idea) Also incl things like what you were doing and for how long, when you were doing it etc etc and anything else you think may help give as clear a description as possible. Also print up some info about FM from a reliable source such as this linky http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Fibromyalg ... ction.aspx With it being from the NHS site your GP can't dispute its validity. Go thru the info and use your symptom diary to help highlight/explain why you think FM may be the reason for your symptoms and things.

When you go to see your GP, take your diary and notes with you. If you feel at all nervous/anxious, take someone with you for moral support, they may also be able to help get points across as it's easy in such situations to get tongue~tied, forget things (hence the ideas for the diary, notes etc) and generally feel like you're about to fall apart. If it all gets too much to manage, you can always hand your notes and things to your GP to read thru. Hopefully from there, things will then start off the wheels to seeing if it is FM or something else that is the reason for what you have been dealing with.

Unfortunately there isn't any way to say which way your GP could react to the idea of FM until you start speaking to them. As a very, very general idea, the younger, more recently qualified GPs tend to be much more open to the idea of the condition. But that doesn't mean that all older ones will be dismissive to the idea as there are always exceptions to every rule. Try to keep your mind open until your GP starts to speak and react to what you have to say. Hopefully they will be open to the possibility of the condition and start things off for you :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed:

Anything else you're wondering about, just ask as there tends to be someone not too far away with info and advice, or even just a :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug: Let us know how things go for you :goodluck2: :goodluck2: :goodluck2: :goodluck2:
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Re: how to approach this with my gp...

Postby shazq » Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:54 pm

:welcome: to the forum moonagedaydream :wave:

:fingerscrossed: you get some answers soon.

Have you another gp in your surgery who you could see?

Like flup suggested write all your symptoms down and go through them with your gp, if he still wont take you serious you could try asking him to refer you to a Rheumy as they also dx fibro.

You could take a print out on some info about fibro and tell your gp it ticks all the boxes, some gp`s will be ok with this although some might not it depends how understanding your gp is. :dunno:

Just keep going back to your gp until you get some answers. :goodluck1:
As a Public Moderator of this forum my opinions/views expressed are personal and are no more valid than those of other members and not necessarily those of UKFibromyalgia.
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