I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was pretty sure my rheumatoid disease was not, in fact, in remission as Dr. B seemed to think. My joint pain had been steadily escalating since spring, with some new joints joining in the fun.
However, my blood tests show zero elevation in any of the inflammatory factors, and there is zero visible swelling in my joints. So I asked the nurse who called with the results what Dr. B thought might be causing my now 5/10 pain level. She called me back later to let me know Dr. B thinks it’s “the fibro”.
No one had ever talked to me about a fibromyalgia diagnosis. I knew that I probably met the criteria for it, but it fully depends on self-reported information about pain and impact on daily activities. So pretty much anyone who reports widespread pain with a negative impact on daily activities without another diagnosis found, gets a fibro diagnosis. It’s the bucket we all get thrown into if we keep insisting we hurt and the docs can’t find anything else. Medically speaking, it’s a trash-can diagnosis. It doesn’t help that frankly some people take advantage of the self-reported nature of the diagnostic criteria in order to gain sympathy, pain medication, and even disability income.
At any rate, the nurse said the doc wanted to put me on Cymbalta and Gabapentin. I’ve had trouble with Cymbalta in the past and told the nurse that I’d been on Savella for fatigue because of my past issues with Cymbalta. She brightened up and said that Savella was even better, and since I’d been on it without issue, we’d just start it up again. After I got off the phone, it occurred to me that I’d tapered off the Savella right about the time the pain started up, so it lent credence to Dr. B’s assessment.
So I’m ramping up my Savella doses again, and the pain is lessening. So I guess that I really do have fibromyalgia, and I’m lucky in that there’s a medication that helps. It’s a med I tolerated well, which given my history of side effects and adverse reactions, is a minor miracle.
I’m also finding that if I can drag my happy butt off the couch and go swimming or walking, I do feel better as long as the exercise is not overly strenuous. It’s the dragging myself off the couch when I feel like hammered dog poo that’s the challenge.
I even managed to finish my first 5K with my new weight loss surgery support group. The Mister did it with us, and my time actually puts me in the acceptable pace rates for many of the popular 5K walk/runs. Part of me wants to start doing them periodically, but part of me doesn’t like the thought of joining huge crowds of people to walk 3.2 miles. Once grad school is over, we’ll see what I have the time and energy for.
This forward and back pattern is discouraging but as the quote says, if you look at it right it’s a Cha-Cha. I guess the trick is to keep finding ways to move forward, while finding the right music for the dance.