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Message 11 of 14 Previous Next

I'm afraid the post I read about a rheumatologist being the best one to treat someone with fibro and recommending against painkillers is based on the experience of one person. While the intentions were good, please try to avoid saying this is what one MUST or MUST NOT do. The only thing you MUST do is educate yourself on your disorder and learn how to tell your doctor what you need and what you don't feel is working for you. Don't let them force you to stay on something that continues to diminish your quality of life - if the side-effects are worse than symptoms they are supposed to help - why take them unless they are life saving? Learn to listen to your body and your intuition - that little voice inside your head that tells you something isn't right (or something is needed). Everyones physiology is different - especially between the sexes - tricyclic ant-depressants normally help men more in every aspect than they help women, they should be tried but if they aren't effective don't keep trying one after the other and suffering the nasty side-effects that some experience. Painkillers should be tried (carefully) if they are necessary. Nonsteroidal Anti-Infalmmatories (NSAIDS) are often very helpful - especially the newer cox-2 inhibitors like Vioxx and Celebrex. Anti-Epileptic medications like Neurontin and Topamax can help with a wide variety of symptoms, Topamax helps with chronic pain AND reduces the frequency and severity of migraines that those of us with Chronic Pain often suffer from. Fibro is often a "trashcan" diagnosis; this means that doctors who can't figure out what's wrong with you may label you with this without too much investigation. The same applies to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and a host of other even less well known disorders. My recommendation is to ask friends and doctors to give you names of Rheumatologists, Pain Management Specialists, Physiatrists (Physical Medicine), Psychiatrists (who specialize in patients with chronic pain) and Neurologists. A diagnosis of any of the above disorders should not be made without consulting at least a few (if not all) of the doctors above. Most important is to have a Family Doctor (GP) who takes your condition seriously and is willing to help you find the right doctors and coordinate all of the specialists you will need. THe exception would be if you find a good pain management center that can fulfill this function. Just remember - if your doctor isn't prescribing something based on fears of addiction (unless you have a past substance abuse problem) or fears that he will be viewed as someone who prescribes opiates too often, get rid of him/her - your health must come first. Also if you are being patronized or told it's in your head and a Psychiatric Evaluation has already proven differently - fire your doctor - even some female doctors will chalk symptoms up to psychosomatic or hysterical origins if they don't have an immediate diagnois or understanding of what is going on. Don't give in to these old-fashioned ideas about "ysterical women," keep trying until you find a doctor that can help. It is important to go ahead and see a psychiatrist to rule this basis out if your doctor recommends it - first you will have proof that it's not all in your head and second a psychiatrist can prescribe medication to help you deal with this major life change and teach you techniques for dealing with pain. Always get a second (or third) opinion if your instincts tell you something is really physically wrong and you have been told my the medical community that it's not. Fight for your health!


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