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    Fibromyalgia and Breathing problems/issues?
    jbaby2728 posted:
    I am a 27 year old female, currently dealing with a lot of pain. It's mostly in my upper back on the left side, but it radiates to my shoulders, lower back, hips and left arm at times. Sometimes my elbows too! When I was much younger (pre teen and teenager), my lower back would ALWAYS ache if I stood still for a few minutes and my knees always ached for as long as I can remember.
    To make a long story shorter, this past March 2012 I woke up one day literally feeling like i could not take a full deep breath. I've NEVER had breathing problems before. I was so scared thinking it could be ANYTHING. I had 3 chest x-rays between March 9 and April breathing just felt tight and constricted. That feeling lasted constantly for 10 days straight (no relief) and then I experienced chest congestion....I saw my primary doctor and once the congestion started, my breathing started to gradually come back to normal. (note: i've had chest congestion a bunch of times in the past - NEVER did it feel hard to breathe).
    So, my doctor said she thinks it is anxiety and gave me some meds and an inhaler. The inhaler doesn't work. Anyway, in June I had bad and sensitive left ride rib area pain...came suddenly out of nowhere. My SKIN would hurt if my clothes brushed against it! That lasted for about a month.

    I had blood work done to check for inflammation and two levels came out high: my ESR and HS-CRP. I know Fibro doesn't show inflammation on blood work so I didn't think it was that. My doctor suggested I see a Rheumatologist since those levels were high, to try to investigate further. The Rheum. did some blood work and I had a nuc med bone scan and an ultrasound of liver/ all came out fine. My CRP level came out 1.08 and she said that is just slightly high. Also, when she presses on all my joints and whatnot, my chest, rib and back areas are all tender and sore. She told me that from my symptoms and musculoskeletal pain, it sounds like Fibromyalgia....but she didn't exactly diagnose me with it just yet.
    She said we will retest my levels again in a few months and go from there. . .
    Sorry this has gotten so long, and thank you so much to anyone who has read this far, but my main question is - does this sound like it could be Fibro to any of you? And do any of you who have it ever experience breathing problems such as it being hard to get a full deep breath? I still struggle with that feeling sometimes, and try to tell myself it is b/c my muscles are so tight and tense....

    Thanks so much!!
    cclarke05 responded:

    I am very newly diagnosed with fibro so I may not be the best person for information but I have had symptoms similar to yours. As far as the breathing problem one day I was walking a block on my lunch break and came back completely out of breath and feeling like I couldn't get a full breath (as if I had just done a sprint). I ended up going to the doctor and they did a cardiogram and everything came back fine. After poking around the area between my boobs (which is a fibro tender pint) was extremely sensitive to the point that I almost jumped off the table. The doctor said I would have pulled a muscle but I explained that couldn't happen as I have been in so much pain I hadn't lifted a thing all summer. He explained that since that area was so sensitive and possibly inflamed that any time I tried to take a deep breath it would hurt and I would experience chest pain which in turn causes stress because you can't get a full breath so you do short rapid breaths. Since that I have been diagnosed with fibro.

    My breathing seems to be better now and that simply could be because I understand why I am having a hard time breathing so I do not panic.

    I also have pain in the shoulder blade right down my arm but I think for fibro there is pain on both sides. So if you are feeling pain on the other side somewhere then that could very well be fibro. Like I say I really do not know a whole lot right now but wanted to post since I experienced similar symptoms and know that it can be very scary not knowing whats happening.

    Hope this helps and hope you get some answers soon!
    xperky responded:
    I'm glad you are seeing a Rheumatologist, since your blood tests are positive for something going on. It does take a long time to diagnose rheumatic diseases and/or Fibro, so be patient and treat your symptoms in the meantime.

    Shortness of breath is on the list of FM symptoms, a very long, but it is good you are pursuing that further. I hope the anti anxiety medicine helps once in a while

    So, keep a journal of symptoms so you can have a list for your next rheumy appointment. Include any weird things, even skin rashes, as they all paint a picture for the doctor.

    Good luck, and hugs to you.
    With Compassion,
    annette030 responded:
    A higher than normal ESR does not necessarily point to anything, mine has always been high, in some folks that is just normal for them. I had all the other tests for inflammation at that time and several times since then. We don't bother doing it any more.

    The rheumie repeating the CRP sounds sensible also. There is high and HIGH in all lab tests.

    Retesting in a few months sounds like a wise thing to do.

    FMS is a diagnosis that is made over time, usually by rejecting other possibilities by lab work or scans or whatever. At the beginning of my journey about 18 years ago, my pcp tested for thyroid problems, hepatitis A, B & C, HIV, RA, OA, Lupus, infection, etc. I can't even remember all of the things he checked for. After doing all of that, and getting a very complex history and physical he decided I had FMS. I feel very comfortable that he got the correct diagnosis.

    Work with your doctor, and hopefully by the time he does everything, you will feel fine. If not, and you do have FMS, it is not a death sentence. It is managable. Not thrilling, but doable. I am very happy, and generally do okay.

    Take care, Annette

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