this is really long, it's my first time, sorry:
i am 28 years old but most of the time feel like i'm pushing 100.........it all started about 5 years ago. first i had a severe abscess on my left tonsil which put me in the hospital for fear it would block my breathing, followed by removal of my tonsils (not adnoids) 6-9 months after my hospital "vacation". about 2 years after that- my gallbladder was removed after 1 doc telling me to do pilates to "bring it in around the belly", pretty much telling me i'm fat and this is what was causing my severe bouts of abdominal pain. (i was 5'7" and 155lbs at the time)....after a month of killing myself at the gym and getting depressed about my appearance, the pain persisted so i went for a 2nd opinion, i was diagnosed with gall stones and had gallbladder surgery w/in 3 days of diagnosis given the size and severity of the stones. later that year, i began experiencing very severe low back pain, odd radiating joint pain in pretty much all joints: shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles and i was sleeping most days 12-14 hours (working full time too). i missed a few days of work and slept for almost 40 hours at one point.
i had always had some degree of back/neck pain since i can remember and chalked up the joint pain to age and/or just being out of shape, the fatigue i figured was just my body saying i needed sleep??, this pain however was much different and worse. the fatigue was interfering with my job, my family and my sanity. i could not stay awake, fell asleep at work, had a hard time driving and trying not to nod out. i went to my GP, who sent me to a neurologist, he put me through every test imaginable and everything (RA, lupus, MS....) came back negative., i requested a lyme disease test which also was negative., he diagnosed me with fibro/cfs in addition to a herniated low back disc and various multiple bulging discs throughout my spine. he believed that some of my pain was related to pinched nerves b/c of the herniation and or bulges. at any rate, i have been on all sorts of medication for pain, narcotic and non-narcotic. for the fibro we tried gabpentin first, this did nothing and made me more dizzy and sleepy than ever. then i switched to cymbalta. while my mood and general demeanor is improved, i am still in pain on a regular basis. in fact, as i sit here, my knees and ankles are radiating pain. i was advised that the back pain may also be part of the fibro??
now that i have rambled about how i gotten to this point, my real question is: is fibro/cfs an actual diagnosis? i feel like i was just tossed to the wayside and given a "catch all" diagnosis b/c none of my doctors want to pursue anything further. my general feeling from my dr is that he thinks i am in this for the medication or attention. the attention factor is what i generally get when telling family, bosses, co-workers or others of my diagnosis - they think i'm a hypocondriac (sp?) and that i just need to have something wrong with me. How do i get around that stigma? at this point i do not even disclose that this was what was diagnosed for fear that i will be looked at like i am crazy. not sure what to do. any suggestions????