Not Convinced If I have Fibromyalgia
by Margarita Alicea
(Country Club Hills, IL)
In order to explain why I'm not convinced, I have to start from the beginning.
1996 - I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism.
11/2005 - I started my menopause at age 49, weighed 160 lbs.
3/2006 - Because I couldn't afford my personal trainer, I joined Bally Total Fitness and joined a class that involved 1 hour of constant jumping on the aerobic stepper every Monday & Wednesday (bad idea, did not allow enough time in between for the tissue to heal). Two months later, I developed a severe pain on both heels
9/2006 - I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. I was given anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxant and pain meds, night splint, orthodics, stretching exercises, massages, emotional liposuction, physical therapy, $100+ shoes, to no avail.
5/2008 - By accident, I finally found some relief when I bought a pair of Nike's men running shoes (because my feet got so wide women shoes were just too tight). All my life I bought cross-trainers as I'm not a runner. The subtle height in the arch of the shoes is what finally relieved my heel pain. But damage was already done to my entire body as far as misalignment. My knees, hips, back, neck and shoulders started aching.
8/2010 - I was diagnosed with left rotator cuff tear and frozen shoulder and had physical therapy.
12/2010 - I was diagnosed with C5-C6 bulging disc and received physical therapy.
5/2010 - I was diagnosed with L5-S1 bulging disc and received physical therapy.
7/2010 - I was diagnosed with bilateral wrist tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome and received physical therapy.
9/2010 - I underwent arthroscopy and manual manipulation for the left frozen shoulder, and 3 months of physical therapy.
2/2011 - I underwent arthroscopy and shaving for left medial meniscal tear of the knee, developed complications of synovial accumulation, had extraction of synovial fluid, and had two months of hydrotherapy.
1/2012 - I was able to walk for 15 minutes. By March, my walking increased to 30 minutes and by April it increased to 45 minutes.
According to my research hypothyroidism and fibromyalgia mimic each a lot, which makes it difficult to make any kind of conclusive diagnosis. And if you noticed all of the above conditions are orthopedic in nature, which will leave anyone with a lot of aches, pains, swelling, tenderness, and soreness for awhile before you can start experiencing any kind of relief.
But on the other hand, I still have a lot of pain and extreme tightness throughout by body especially in the calves, shins, knees, inner/outer/front thighs, hips, buttocks, lower back, across the front of the chest, scapula, elbows, shoulders, and neck.
I'm 55 now. I can't squat, kneel, run, jump, without pain. I used to dance Salsa but I stopped because the next day I would be in excruciating pain. I am not in a relationship because I can't sleep at night from all the tossing and turning and not being able to get into a comfortable position; I have too much pain in the areas I either had surgery or problems with. My highest weight was 221 lbs. because of the lack of exercise throughout this time. I currently weigh 213 lbs. as I just started walking for 45 minutes about 3-5 times a week. I found a relax/restore class at my fitness center that I started about a month ago once a week (on a scale of 1-10, the pain is 20, but I have found some release of my kinks and tightness). About a month ago, I've had three sessions of acupuncture, with a little relief (I can see this will work but it will take some time and ongoing treatments).
Do I have fibromyalgia? I don't know. My doctor prescribed Cymbalta but I haven't taken it as this is an antidepressant and the adverse reactions can lead to heart problems. I'm not taking any meds like anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxants or for pain because they all leave me chronically constipated.
I used to have a very social life but now I just stay home and watch TV all the time, which all that sitting creates even more pain.