Possible fibromyalgia - any advice welcome.

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Possible fibromyalgia - any advice welcome.

Postby Genevieve489 » Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:18 am

Hi. I'm due to have blood tests shortly to test for polymyalgia rheumatica and any thyroid problems, but my GP thinks my problem may be fibromyalgia. I'm 68 and, over the past few years, I have been diagnosed with IBS and trochanteric bursitis. Two steroid injections for the bursitis haven't worked and, before I saw the GP yesterday, I was coping with paracetamol and following physiotherapy exercises.

My GP has given me Nortriptyline, which I have been told to raise to 50mg a night over the next month, when he will see me again and discuss the blood test results. I've also got osteoarthritis in my knees, feet and hands and assumed that the stiffness in my legs and hips was down to the arthritis and bursitis - which it may well be. However, I also mentioned to my GP that my muscles felt tender - I'd noticed it at the tops of my arms, particularly. When pressed, these muscles are quite painful. The GP didn't check all the pressure points, but pressed my arms and hips - which were painful - and said that he thought he would find many more painful trigger points if he continued.

So, although I'm not sure at the moment if it is fibromyalgia, I'm very pleased to have found this forum. I feel a little confused and concerned about all this and any advice or suggestions others may be able to give would be very welcome.
Last edited by FluppyPuffy on Sat Dec 20, 2014 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Split into clearer paragraphs for easier reading.
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Re: Possible fibromyalgia - any advice welcome.

Postby FluppyPuffy » Sat Dec 20, 2014 10:53 am

:welcome: to our little FibroFamily Genevieve :cow-wave: :cow-wave: :cow-wave:

Sorry to hear you are currently in LimboLand as you wait to see if FM could be the reason for these additional symptoms and problems affecting you. It is one of the most frustrating places to find yourself in. However, your GP sounds as if he is being very thorough, which is what you need in such a situation, so hopefully you will find your stay there is as short as possible :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed:

Advice and suggestion wise, you might find the Help/Tips On Coping board a good place to start. There is a topic where members have added various things over time that they have found beneficial in helping manage their problems and symptoms. This includes meds, treatments, therapies, remedies etc.

Heat/warmth applied to an affected area can help bring some relief, such as a hottie bottie, heated wheaty bag, heat pad. Or for a more all over way, relaxing and soaking in a warm bath can be somewhat soothing. Not sitting/keeping too still or in one position for too long can help, so some gentle movements are often suggested, such as gentle stretches or getting up and just moving around for a short while. A TENs machine can help with pain levels, and some gentle massaging can bring some easing too.

It's basically a case of trying different things to see what makes a difference to you. Don't worry if it takes a while to find what helps you, with something like FM that's the way it rolls unfortunately. It's not unusual to find that different things need to be tried, for different lengths of time, in different orders and combinations to get what suits you best.
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Re: Possible fibromyalgia - any advice welcome.

Postby denys » Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:49 pm

Hi and :welcome: to the forum
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Re: Possible fibromyalgia - any advice welcome.

Postby jayanne1311 » Sun Dec 21, 2014 4:23 pm

Hi,
I have just been diagnosed and I am feeling overwhelmed. The hospital have been very good so far but it has all happened rather quickly and I suddenly feel medicalised and disabled whereas before I just felt like me with sore joints and tiredness etc. I will follow how you get on and share in your progress as our age and symptoms are very similar. Wishing you well
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Re: Possible fibromyalgia - any advice welcome.

Postby Genevieve489 » Mon Dec 22, 2014 5:13 pm

Thank you all for your replies and i appreciate the link and suggestions on coping, FluppyPuffy.

I can sympathise with how you feel, Jayanne, as I'd come to terms with the development of osteoarthritis in various joints, then the trochanteric bursitis began last year and now this! Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get a blood test appointment until 5th January, but I will let you know what happens.

I hope that you all have a lovely Christmas and a good 2015.
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Re: Possible fibromyalgia - any advice welcome.

Postby Genevieve489 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 5:04 pm

Hi again. Just a quick update. The blood tests all came back clear - no inflammation. Still very much in limbo, though. My GP wanted me to take 50mg of Nortriptyline for a full month before doing anything else.

I'm due to see him again at the end of the week and am definitely going to push to see a rheumatologist, mainly to get an overall assessment. It feels as though everything is being seen in separate boxes - bursitis (I've had over a year now), tender muscles, fatigue and pain from osteoarthritis. Just wondered if you think this is reasonable?
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Re: Possible fibromyalgia - any advice welcome.

Postby Zia2014 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:18 pm

I think it's common for the medical profession to isolate symptoms and deal with them individually. Your GP or Rheumatologist is really the one who should be putting this picture together.

I don't really understand why he's wanting you to take Nort when you haven't been given a diagnosis yet though - have I missed something?
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Re: Possible fibromyalgia - any advice welcome.

Postby Genevieve489 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 7:51 pm

Thanks for your reply, Zia. About three months ago the GP and I talked about my sleep patterns - which were very poor. The bursitis pain often woke me up and, once woken, for whatever reason, I couldn't go back to sleep again.

He said that he wanted me to try Nortriptyline to see if it helped and gradually increase the dose up to 50mg, which he said was the dose that patients with Fibro needed. He explained that it also helped with pain. So, he was obviously thinking then that Fibro was the problem, although he didn't give me a diagnosis.

I've now been on 50mg for a month and am definitely sleeping better. The bursitis no longer wakes me and, if I do wake up to go to the loo, I can usually fall asleep again. So, it has helped at night. However, it hasn't made any difference to the pain I have during the day. I think he was hoping it would help with pain altogether. Hope that makes some sort of sense!
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Re: Possible fibromyalgia - any advice welcome.

Postby Zia2014 » Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:05 pm

Ah okay! I too have sleep problems but only the Amit helped and only temporarily. If it is Fibro and he's always thinking along those lines it's always useful to have a GP who is up on that stuff. If the Nort helps you sleep I suspect he may give you something alongside it to help with the pain.
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Re: Possible fibromyalgia - any advice welcome.

Postby kizzie70 » Thu Mar 12, 2015 11:27 pm

Hi, I have recently been diagnosed with polymyalgia after suffering symptoms for a few months, I have other health problems as well, I am 70, and considered myself to be very young at heart and was told I looked very young as well. I knew there was something wrong, we all know our own bodies. I kept asking GP to test my blood for my under active thyroid and for aenemia but he kept saying nothing was wrong. When I had pain all over I saw another GP and he did a blood test which was positive for Polymyalgia I could have kissed him to at last have an answer. I was put straight on Steroids and the pain has improved, I will have to have treatment for a couple of years. It was only on this site that I have found out more about my condition. It is the older person that gets Polymyalgia, you must ask your GP for a blood test
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Re: Possible fibromyalgia - any advice welcome.

Postby Genevieve489 » Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:02 am

Thank you for your reply, Kizzie. Polymyalgia rheumatica was one of the things my GP tested for - I had a bank of blood tests. In fact, he was amazed when everything came back normal, as he said that at my age there is usually something not quite right!

The rheumatologist I later saw also checked my inflammation levels - I've not had the results of those tests yet. She also pressed some tender spots, which were very painful, and so told me that there were also signs of fibromyalgia. So I think the final diagnosis - I see my GP next week - will be osteoarthritis, trochanteric bursitis and fibromyalgia. Thankfully, the injections the rheumatologist gave me into my hips - these will be the third lot - have helped considerably so far, probably because she used a stronger steroid. I'll be able to discuss everything else with my GP next week.

I'm pleased the doctor you saw was on the ball and I hope you continue to feel much better. All the best.
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