So, I went to see the rheumatologist. On the one hand, she could confirm that all of my symptoms are consistent with fibromyalgia. On the other hand, she told me that fibromyalgia is only diagnosed when all other alternatives are exhausted. Now, I’d thought I’d been through that already. When I first went in to see my regular doctor with my symptoms – before they’d gotten worse – he had the lab draw a lot of blood and run a lot of tests. Apparently, the rheumatologist knew more tests that should be run before a diagnosis of fibromyalgia could be confirmed.
I did quite a lot of research, so I was rather surprised when she started listing off possibilities that I’d never heard of or never considered. Ironically, while some of these possibilities seem a lot scarier than fibromyalgia, she was adamant that all of them are considerably more treatable than fibromyalgia and any one of them would be a better alternative that settling for an inaccurate fibromyalgia diagnosis. She reinforced this idea by telling me that she wouldn’t be upping my dosage for the drug my regular doctor had prescribed, because the improvement I was seeing was “as good as it gets.” She did, however, prescribe an additional medication to help my muscles relax enough so I could sleep better. Perhaps the fact that this new medication has only had marginal results is indicative that she might be onto something. I also learned that I already have some arthritis, which may be why rheumatoid arthritis came up as a possibility.
So, not only did she have the lab draw even more blood for even more tests, she also had me go in for an X-ray. To top it off, I’ll be having a sleep study done in the middle of June. (I wonder what will happen if I can’t sleep for them during the study.)
It will be another month before I see her again and see what all of this means. Will it be fibromyalgia or will I be researching something new? Will I get a treatment plan or is this really “as good as it gets?” Personally, I’m inclined to hold out for something better, particularly when it comes to the concentration factor.