It took me a while to figure out the symptoms I was experiencing were related to my fibromyalgia. It was also a relief to discover that the symptoms were something. As he passed the time talking to more than 200 women with fibro, it was so amazing to find he was not alone.
Perhaps, like me, did you test everything under the sun before anyone take seriously your symptoms and give you a diagnosis. Or maybe nobody has taken seriously and is waiting to be diagnosed.
We are all like snowflakes, unique in frequency and intensity with which we experience our symptoms. Some are bothered more by pain, fatigue others. Some take minimal medications and others are taking strong medications. Some are able to work, although less optimal. Some, like me, are unable to work 9-5.
Here are some common symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome:
Pain. widespread musculoskeletal pain. There are 18 tender points, in pairs: inside knees, elbows internal; Near the crease, hips, skull base, neck, lower back, shoulder blades inside, shoulders and the neck bone. I have always pain almost everything: arms, legs, neck, shoulders, hips, back, and occasionally my hands. Typically you need to experience 11 of the 18 sensitive points to be diagnosed. However, they are moving away from this method of diagnosis.
Fatigue: It is very different from being tired. Unlike jet lag or flu, this complete exhaustion is always there. If you, as a healthy person exaggerates or have a long day and very tired or feel exhausted, a good night’s sleep will make you feel better. FMS and other chronic diseases, sleep does not cool or makes you feel better. Fatigue is always there, some days worse than others.
No renewed awakening
Muscle weakness: My arms and legs are very weak. When I go shopping I have to use a shopping cart. It’s like having a cane or walker. My arm hurts to lift a half gallon of water, so I use my other hand to hold the bottom. That makes it more bearable. It’s like I feel really exaggerated.
Headaches: I often wake up with a headache. Some people experience anywhere from a mild continuous pain to a full migraine. It does not help our neck muscles and shoulder are so tight. The pillows can make a big difference and I’m still looking for that “perfect” pillow.
Sleep not perfected: Normally, if you can get six to eight hours of sleep per night, you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go. You feel energized to do what you do all day. For patients with FMS, well, there is no such thing as waking up feeling refreshed. That’s a distant memory when we were fine. We adjust and do the best we can. Naps are often justified.
Brain fog: It can be many things and severity varies. The inability to remember the words, slow thinking, losing where you were in a conversation, forgetting for a moment to another what you were going to do or say. In the same way that visibility is limited in a densely foggy day, we have difficulty with our brains foggy days. It is quite frustrating. Sometimes it makes you feel like you have dementia.
Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a page of news and information about the disease. Does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never ignore professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are designed to provoke a discussion on issues related to fibromyalgia.