Fibromyalgia, from the Greek 'ow' and the Pig-latin 'oh geez'.
Actually, it's closer to fibro - fibrous tissue, my - muscle, and algia - pain. Or so wikipedia says (but who really trusts that?)
It is a word I am getting used to, and a condition that has been suggested as the cause of my pain. I'm still not entirely sure because my doctor seems reluctant to give me a name or a reason why I hurt the way I do.
Getting to this point has been long and relatively expensive, and I am only here now because one particular pain became unbearable for more than one reason.
This particular pain occurred in my knees, but rarely in both knees at the same time. Worse in my right knee, I would wake up at night, unable to move my leg, with an excruciating radiating pain starting somewhere in my knee. To ease the pain I had to physically pick up my leg and roll over, or grip the edge of the bed and force my hips to turn. Somehow, this worked, and I would go back to sleep. The pain is not predictable, and it is irregular. Never the same time of night, sometimes a few days in a row, sometimes once every few weeks.
For this pain, I saw my GP - he sent me for an MRI of my back, to check for pinched nerves, and in the end he said to lose weight then come back and see him.
Dissatisfied, I saw another GP, who called in a colleague to consult with, then sent me to see an Orthopaedic surgeon. He in turn sent me for x-rays and back to the GP. I spent a total of 10 minutes with him. Well worth the $180 visits. Not.
One thing both GPs agreed on was my lack of muscle strength in my legs, my right worse than the left. I ended up being referred to a physio, who was and still is, fantastic. She spent a long time testing my strength, and a whole lot of other things. Prodding and poking, it was her who began to suspect Fibro.
Headaches, dizzy spells, tiredness, occasional memory problems...then tender spots across my legs and back....at one appointment she went off and came back with a body-diagram with dots all over it and began pressing me in the corresponding places. This is when she explained to me about Fibromyalgia and sent me back to my GP as well as enrolling me in hydrotherapy classes.She also said massage could be helpful, so thank you Megan!
I went back to my original GP, who still does not know why my knees do what they do, and only half heartedly suggested that Fibro may possibly be the cause of my pain.
I guess I am still in limbo. My knee x-rays show some minor cartilidge damage in my right knee, which was most likely a result of being hit by a car when I was 12. Yet nothing the physio did to that knee was painful even though she said it should hurt!
The MRI was clear and all the blood tests I had were negative for Rheumatoid Arthritis and whatever else I was tested for.
I don't believe it is normal to be in some kind of pain every single day without reason, but I can't help but wonder is Fibromyalgia real? Ask any diagnosed sufferer that question and you're likely to get your head bitten off. Yes, the pain is real, but is it a name given to the 'too hard' basket? Or a name for people who have imagined their pain? Is it like ADHD, with the stereotype, label the kid because that's all we can do? The treatment for this condition makes me feel this way moreso, because any person should live by the treatment! Take pain killers for the pain, exercise regularly, rest and sleep regularly and eat a healthy, balanced diet for energy.