How many times did it take you to find a doctor to get your Fibromyalgia diagnosis and breathe that sigh of relief? Now that you've gotten that diagnosis, are you happy with how your doctor is treating you? Do you feel like you are being listened to? Have you done your research and feel like your doctor is pushing away ideas that you'd like to try, such as supplements, eastern medicine methods, etc? Well, you're not alone. I was right there with you, as were many.
It took my walking away from two primary care doctors and three rheumatologists to realize that a rheumatologist was NOT what I needed. Obviously, each case is different; however, did you know that rheumatologists are often no more knowledgeable about Fibromyalgia than internists are? And, oftentimes, your own PCP is an internist. If you do your research, you can find out the best doctor for you. For some of you, though, doing research is difficult. But, here are some key points quoted directly from the article, that if you experiencing similar things with the doctor that treats your Fibromyalgia or other co-morbid diagnoses, that maybe it's time to run as far from them and find someone else that is better suited for you.
" Are your medical conditions/illnesses very complicated? Do you have more than the average person’s share of visits to medical specialists? If you are anything like me, with a variety of high pain illnesses, then the answer to these questions is a definite “YES”. Most of us who are 'complicated cases' have had experiences that most healthy people wouldn’t be able to fathom. It feels as though I’ve been treated with less respect, since I’ve become a chronic pain patient."
"If you go to a Dr. and:
So, what can you do? Do you feel stuck? This is where myself, as a Fibromyalgia Advisor, can step in and help you. I have been trained to search and connect with others all over the country (and, if needed, the world) to find a doctor that would be best suited for your needs. So, don't settle because you've found the doctor that FINALLY diagnosed you, thinking that you've found THE ONE. Find the doctor that's willing to grow with you, that is willing to think out of the box, that is maybe even willing to say, "You know what? I can't help you with this, but I think I know someone who can."
There IS a doctor out there for you. Would you like me to help you find him or her? Comment below or send me a message and let's get started with a consultation today. I can't wait to help you!
Here is another chicken or the egg question. This blog post is one that I found which highlights that many, if not most, people struggling with Fibromyalgia or other chronic pain disorders, struggle with their mental health. The question is whether the chronic pain causes a mental health disorder like depression or anxiety, or whether these disorders were already present prior to your Fibromyalgia diagnosis. My opinion? The answer could be both. While unfortunately mental health is still considered an stigma that people are embarrassed to admit to, 18.2% of the U.S. adult population is diagnosed with a mental health disorder. That is 1 in 5 people. However, if you weren't diagnosed with something like depression prior to Fibromyalgia, it is completely understandable why you would be AFTER the diagnosis as your life does a complete 180, and in your eyes, not in a positive way.
So what does the blogger say about this?
"It can seem that the world is stacked against you. General depression is strongly associated with those who suffer from intractable pain since the experience of pain can make someone feel helpless and uncertain about the future. There are also high rates of bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders amongst pain patients, especially those suffering from migraines, fibromyalgia and arthritis."
So, this isn't actually just a feeling of hopelessness, but an actual connection; and, yet the blogger goes on to talk about how depression and pain share biological pathways. Biological pathways? What does that mean? Biological pathways are chemical reactions within a cell. So when you are depressed or in pain, cells are sending similar signals (depression vs. pain) to your brain often making it difficult for doctors who are not knowledgeable about Fibromyalgia to diagnose it. In my case, when I was trying to get diagnosed initially, my primary care doctor hastily dismissed Fibromyalgia and blamed it on depression.
On average, it is still taking a couple of years to get diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. That in itself can cause feelings of hopelessness, depression, anxiety and the like. But, don't give up. If you feel like the symptoms fit, keep on fighting. Find a new primary care doctor, look for a new internist, rheumatologist, neurologist, or even a naturopath. In speaking with my clients, many of them have found that seeking out doctors that think out of the box or practice more eastern medicine practices are more likely to recognize your Fibromyalgia.
This is also a great place to reach out to Fibromyalgia Advisor or Coach like myself. I can safely say that most of my clients have been diagnosed with some sort of mental health disorder alongside their Fibromyalgia and other co-existing conditions. I have been able to help them stabilize their mood along with finding ways to manage their pain as well as whatever other goals they have wanted to meet in order to live the best life they can while living with Fibromyalgia.
If this blog has touched even a small part of you, reach out to me by sending me a message through this website. I would love to hear from you, and consultations are always free. Please feel free to sign up for my mailing list as well. Until then, I'll be looking for more information to help support you to learn how to live your life to the fullest!
I’m Kate Straus and I’m a Certified Fibromyalgia Advisor. I help Jewish women feel confident in their ability to practice their faith while navigating the ups and downs of fibromyalgia. I’m using the disease that at one time knocked me down, to help support others live life to their fullest.