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Fibromyalgia or MS?
An_241658 posted:
After a minimum of 14 years of pain and muscle weakness, I was very recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia; I'm having a hard time swallowing it. No MRI, no muscle enzymes labs. The only things checked have been sedimentation rate, CBC, and TSH. Does anyone know if SED rate is even abnormal in MS presentation?
I was given the 'Trigger points' evaluation, however I read that they are tender points for everyone and that people with Fibromyalgia are just incredibly oversensitive at these specific spots. My doctor actually kept increasing the pressure until, of course, it hurt.
I love my doctor, so don't misunderstand please; she listens to my concerns and takes them seriously, unlike many docs before her. We have an established relationship with one another, and I refuse to see anyone else. The problem is that I think MS fits more than Fibromyalgia does... Right down to the bowel and bladder issues. Yet, I feel that I'm being silly or confrontational by questioning her judgement, and I don't do well with confrontation.
I need some advice on what to do; am I being difficult, or is this a valid concern?
hackwriter responded:
Since a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia often precedes an MS dx, your concern about MS is indeed valid. You should voice your concerns to your doctor. Brain and spine MRIs, an LP and EPTs are needed for an MS diagnosis. You'll need to see a neurologist for those.

As far as sed rate, the presence of inflammation makes the sed rate higher. That means that if you have an autoimmune disorder (such as Fibromyalgia, RA, Lupus or MS) and you are in an acute inflammatory phase while having the blood test, the red blood cells will bind and fall to the bottom of the test tube at a more rapid rate. But this test alone will not tell you what kind of disease is causing the inflammation. Sed tests are always done in conjunction with other diagnostic tests.

sugarfaerie1985 replied to hackwriter's response:
I'm sorry that it has taken me so long to say thank you. I began taking Gabapentin now, but it only seem to be affecting two things: how sleepy I am and when, and the neuralgia (sunburned feeling) seems to have lost intensity. However, I already had diagnosed arthritis in my neck, so I don't think it really means much of anything.
What really messes with me swallowing the Fibro dx is that I don't have widespread PAIN; I have pain in a few places that it makes sense for me to have pain most of the time. Arthritis in my neck causes a good deal of neck and shoulder pain. Very occasionally I will get sharp or dull pain in my knees, however I have injured both of them several times and definitely fractured at least the one.
What I DO have is absolutely debilitating fatigue (NOT sleepiness until beginning the Gabapentin) and a widespread, general feeling of being very weak; trying to walk upstairs literally makes me feel as though my legs may collapse, and I get very short of breath and dizzy. I don't like to drive anymore, because something has changed with my eyes over the last few years; I don't even know how to describe it except that it seems as though I'm driving through a perfectly round tunnel. I don't have sex; it's painful and I have no desire anyway, except that I miss HAVING any libido.
Another question... Does MS affect connective tissue at all? I just wondered, because it seems as though I have some weird congenital or childhood-onset weakness with the ones in my pelvic area at the least. I've always had a very weak bladder, and when I had my daughter 2 1/2 yrs ago, both my bladder AND rectum prolapsed. There are SOOO many things from over the last 14 yrs, that I have no idea what is even relevant and what isn't at this point, so most of the time it just feels like I'm making an idiot out of myself, especially when I tell my doctor part of something and forget to mention the rest until I'm halfway home. I'm just so tired of looking for an answer... How early can MS present, anyway?
sugarfaerie1985 replied to sugarfaerie1985's response:
PS The neuralgia that I experience was over the arthritic area of my neck; sorry for not having elaborated more clearly. I also apologize for my typo, as 'seem' should actually be 'seems' in the first paragraph.
hackwriter replied to sugarfaerie1985's response:
Dear Sugar,

Gabapentin can make us high or sleepy while our bodies are adjusting to it. If you have just started taking it and/or you are titrating the dose, these side effects should disappear shortly after you have settled into a dosing schedule.

Multiple Sclerosis and connective tissue: Technically, MS can cause both neuropathic pain and musculoskeletal pain. Any tissue that has nerves can experience both kinds of pain. With musculoskeletal pain, our muscles, joints and ligaments can be painful because our weak points throw off our balance and posture and put tremendous strain on these tissues--but we can also have neuropathic pain in these tissues. So, the short answer to your question is yes, MS can cause connective tissue pain.

Fatigue is a feature of MS--and of many other diseases including Fibro. So, too, bladder and bowel problems, and sexual dysfunction/pain/loss of libido.

Your vision problems and reluctance to drive is a concern, I hope you mention this to your doc.

It's up to you to report any new symptoms and ask those good questions you have raised. Keep a log, take your notes with you to the appointment. Try not to worry about what is or is not relevant, everything counts if it is bothering you.

You have a good relationship with your doc, so have a little faith in that and take a risk!

sugarfaerie1985 replied to hackwriter's response:
Thank you again for everything. <3
sugarfaerie1985 replied to hackwriter's response:
Sorry to bother you again, but I was reading through older posts about the prevalence of "dual diagnosis" in regards to MS and Fibromyalgia (among other autoimmune and neurological conditions). I was just wondering if you had any advice on what I could possibly say to my doc to get her to consider at least doing an MRI of my brain and spine? The more I read, the more certain I feel that it should be looked at more closely; I'm not saying that I'm certain that I don't have Fibromyalgia, but the weakness is a very big contradiction to a Fibro dx. I saw where someone else had said that it felt as though they were walking against weights, and I quite literally used the exact same analogy with my own doc while trying to explain the extremely weak feeling in my arms and legs. I can't even hold my arms above my head for more than a few seconds, and walking upstairs is the most horrible part of my day. If you have any ideas on how to get my doc to consider MRI, I am truly all ears. Again, sorry to bug you again so soon, but thank you for all of your patient advice.

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