Sounds like you're going through what I call the "Agony of Not Knowing" in addition to pain. I'm a very young 66, have had symptoms off and on of Fibro and RA since I was a teen....back before Fibro had a name! My sister and I have researched Fibro from the beginning of the internet as the name has changed. Getting diagnosed with these invisible illnesses, which are inconsistent in their symptoms and severity at times is a terrible frustration! Don't give up! I went through my 30's and 40's with so much pain and agony and no help. Today it should be easier to get help and I'll give you some specific suggestions.
Everyone with chronic pain from any source is somewhat to severely depressed. I switched to Cymbalta, which also helps greatly with pain, six months ago, and felt an immediate lift, while I thought my old anti-depressant was doing a good job. That's one thing you family doc can do for you immediately.
At least today, women aren't written off as crazy with complaints of chronic pain without a specific diagnosis.
I would encourage you to switch to an Internest as a family physician because they are usually better informed on these mysterious illnesses and see more of them.... and their referrals may carry a heavier weight.
Don't feel isolated and alone. There are so many women out here dealing with the pain -- and unknowing -- that you are. The worse part is having an "invisible disease." The more rest I've finally gotten in retirement, the better I look, and therefore the harder it is for family and friends to believe what I live with. Only the meds I take make someone believe me.
The RA factor in blood tests doesn't show up in some 40% of cases, I understand, and you may have had lab work when you were not in a flare, although you still didn't feel good.
Insist on a different Rheumatologist. Yours may deal with much older, crippled patients (My original one did and simply dismissed me as "not sick....enough." Find a young specialist if you can ....and preferrably a female, since these are primarily women's diseases. And don't give up. You may have to be a bit "pushy" and insistent with your doctor or future doctors. Don't let any one doctor blow you off. They are all "practicing" medicine and have many different philosophies....including attitudes toward pain, and women complaining of pain. Ask around about doctors and get some recommendations. Don't let one or two doctors be your "gatekeeper" between their knowledge or attitude and your need for help with pain and the underlying problem. Good luck!View Thread
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