Fibromyalgia is a wonderfully confusing condition in that it presents a multitude of symptoms and people who suffer from it can all be affected differently. I think it’s important to remember that you should always talk to your doctor about any new symptoms that you have. It’s all too easy to get into the habit of blaming new symptoms on fibromyalgia but I think this attitude should be treated with caution. I was back at the doctors yet again this week. I am there far too often for my liking, which I am sure most of you with a chronic condition can relate to. Going to see my GP is always something I get stupidly anxious about. I just feel that I am there so often, and always for something different, that I must seem like a complete hypochondriac. I know this is all fabricated in my head and my doctor has been nothing but nice and supportive. But I just wish it would all end or settle down so that I didn’t need to keep returning. I felt more anxious about this appointment in particular because I couldn’t see my usual doctor as he was off until after the holidays. I didn’t think this was something I could wait to see him about so I made an appointment to see someone else.
The reason I went to the doctors is because last week, during my flare up, I experienced new symptoms that freaked me out. Now before I go on to say what happened, I have to admit to already knowing there is something not quite right with my left leg and foot. I get strange sensations, tingling and pins and needles every now and again in them. It’s been evident during my Bowen sessions that my left leg feels different to my right- I feel horrible sensations when my left leg is treated… I struggle to even describe how it feels. Whereas I have kind of accepted this as normal and blamed it on fibro I was completely freaked out with what happened last week. I had complete numbness on the outside of my left leg and foot, which lasted for a couple of days. Now, if I am honest with myself, I have had times where I felt numbness in that leg/foot before but I was always driving at the time or doing something else that I could blame it on and it was always fleeting and only lasted a few minutes at the most. I would even stupidly doubt myself as to whether it was numbness or not so I never really mentioned it to anyone. There was no mistaking it this time though.
My flare up started around the 7th of December and lasted for well over a week. It started with the usual increase in pain, fatigue, muscle stiffness and cognitive problems (lost my car keys inside my car one day, ugh!). However, I was also getting bad headaches, pain behind my right eye, pins and needles in my left shoulder, hand, leg and foot, creepy crawly feelings across the top of my head and I felt pretty spaced out all week. I also had a burning sensation at the back of my neck. Now I know burning pain is a type of pain experienced by many people with fibromyalgia but this hasn’t happened to me before. It was as though I had scalded myself and I had my husband examining my neck for me but nothing was there. I can accept that the burning sensation is probably down to fibro but all the other things that have been going on on top of my usual symptoms have me worried.
People have been trying to put my mind at rest but I have this seed of doubt at the back of my mind that there is more going on with me than fibromyalgia. I think this lies in the fact that fibromyalgia is a diagnosis reached after a process of elimination and there are certain autoimmune conditions that I have not been tested for. I don’t doubt that I have fibroymalgia, I fit the criteria and I have tender points. I just worry there is more to it than that.
I have to go to get bloods taken on the 3rd of January (I’ve lost count of the number of blood tests I’ve had) and then follow that up with an appointment with my usual doctor the following week. The doctor I saw said that if the bloods come back as normal, they may write to my rheumatologist to ask where to go from there. However, he did say that it might be a neurologist I have to see instead and he also made a comment about being surprised I had never had any scans before. At least if nothing comes of this and I don’t get a referral it is on record should it happen again. I am trying to put all this to the back of my mind at the moment. I have Christmas to look forward to and then a week’s holiday in Iceland from Boxing Day.