As many of you know, some of these symptoms concur with other major diseases. We, the fibro community, are very adapt at internet research. Why we can find, define, and diagnose any ailment in ourselves, and also medically define any illness and help others who cross our path with questions.
But how am I supposed to determine when I am really sick or when it’s just another underlying illness associated with fibromyalgia? Sometimes I wonder: Should I go to the doctor or the ER? Could this be serious or is it something that will go away on its own?
Having fibromyalgia isn’t just suffering from various illnesses, it’s being forced to determine when it’s fibro and when it isn’t. And that’s easier said than done.
We are often labeled as hypochondriacs. How can someone have so many things wrong with them? They must be after attention, because no one can have so many illnesses at one time. Unfortunately, it’s easier to tell you what isn’t wrong with us. That list is much shorter!
Joan suffers from chronic pain, neuropathy, seizures, migraines, Raynaud’s syndrome, muscle pain and spasms, irritable bowel syndrome, flu-like symptoms, chronic fatigue, brain fog, and dizzy spells. She also has sensitivity to loud noises, perfume, chemical smells, and changes in the weather. That is a short list. As she get olders, the list keeps growing. What does your list entail?
Going to the doctor every time a new illness pops up gets to be a very expensive and usually frustrating experience. How many times have you gone to a doctor and end up leaving with no solution or answer? You may get a new prescription or a referral to a specialist, but too often you don’t get a satisfying answer.
With my increasing brain fog, I had to start bringing a list with me because I couldn’t remember all of my complaints. I’d forget the very reason I made the appointment in the first place!
In the last few years, my medical emergencies have increased. I’ve had a nice ride in an ambulance only to spend a frustrating time in the ER. They couldn’t figure out what caused my pancreatitis, and I still don’t know the answer to this day.
I’ve become skeptical of modern medicine. When I go in, they only treat my symptoms and not the underlying illness. I’m on medication that I don’t feel is safe, but it seems to helps a little so I continue to take it. Most of the time I try to stay as natural as possible.
In 2009, Carol, another fibro patient, had three strokes. When she had the first two, She knew something was wrong but didn’t go to the hospital. She was having TIAs (or mini-strokes) for a few weeks before she finally called her doctor to tell her she thought her thyroid was out of whack. What she was experiencing seemed like it could be due to hypothyroidism. She never considered she had a stroke!
Her doctor realized right away that something was very wrong. After several tests and a few different specialists, it was determined that her left carotid artery was 93 percent blocked. At times, she wasn’t getting any blood to the left side of my brain, which in turn caused the strokes. She had another stroke in the hospital waiting for surgery that she needed as soon as possible. She could have died at any time when she thought she was just suffering from something minor.
If you start experiencing anything out of the ordinary, don’t wait. Whether you go the natural route or modern medicine, seek advice from your medical professional. I use online doctors, which is great when I’m too sick to leave the house.
There are times when I felt I knew for certain what I was experiencing was serious, only to find out it wasn’t. I can’t always trust my own gut feelings when it comes to my health, so I must check out anything that is new and unusual. Don’t ignore symptoms. It could be something serious that will only get worse with time. Don’t procrastinate when it comes to your health.