I Was Diagnosed With Fibromyalgia
For those who may not know, Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes widespread pain, fatigue, sleep issues, and many other symptoms.
Fibromyalgia has been a question mark in my life for a few years, but a large question mark within the last year. I was told for years that I “might” have fibromyalgia, but no one would give me the answer I needed.
I started experiencing new pain
Having had ankylosing spondylitis for 4 years by then, I thought I was familiar with my pain and how it manifested in my body. In September 2021, I started experiencing something new.
I had gotten used to a certain level of pain in my body, and I knew what flares of AS were like. The pain I was experiencing was nothing like the AS pain I had experienced for the past 4 years.
I started to feel this new pain when I was busy the day before, I would always feel it after I had done something significant, possibly pushing my body too hard.
The symptoms I was experiencing
Now, what were the symptoms I was experiencing? Migraines. Burning, aching pain in my forearms all the way to my fingers. Sometimes my calves and shins felt like they were on fire.
This was nothing like the pain I’d had before. It was almost unbearable. I didn’t know what to do other than lie in the dark. Light made me nauseous and made the right side of my head hurt even more.
It was even hard to hold my phone. Texting hurt my fingers and wrists. I was scared.
I told my doctors
First, I told my family doctor about my pain, I told her that I wanted to be referred to a pain clinic, as a friend had told me that they were diagnosed with fibromyalgia through one.
My pain clinic appointment was in February 2022, and I was told I didn’t meet the criteria, and that they couldn’t do anything for me.
My rheumatologist referred me to a neurologist with the recommendation of requesting an EMG. I saw the Neurologist in March, but he didn’t think it had anything to do with him, but he still requested a brain MRI and an EMG as I had mentioned the fear of MS symptoms.
Everything came back normal from these tests, which was great, but I was still wondering what was going on.
Then, I saw my rheumatologist
In May, I saw my rheumatologist. I love him. He always listens to me and my concerns, and I appreciate that so much.
When I saw the resident doctor first, she read the note from the pain clinic to me. She told me it said I “met the criteria” for fibromyalgia. I couldn’t believe it.
I was told in person that I didn’t have it and that I’d have to go back to my family doctor and rheumatologist for the pain I was having.
My rheumatologist and resident doctor both agreed that from all of the tests I’d had, I could be diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
I felt so relieved
Finally, my new pain had a name! It took what feels like forever to get the diagnosis, but I finally had it!
We made a plan to increase my Pregabalin dose to see if it helped with flares and pain, and so far it has!
I’m not so pleased it took so long for doctors to listen and get tests, but I’m so thankful for finally putting a name to it.
Do you live with any other conditions in addition to AS? (choose all that apply)