my story...
when i was 16, i began to get sick. it happened every few months, my arms would hurt and get weak, my legs would too... i would just feel like i had the flu over and over again. i was referred to a psychiatrist because my symptoms sounded like depression, and i was put on antidepressants, which did help my mental problems. i was still hurting and ill though. this went on for 2 years.
then i saw a rheumatologist, and he diagnosed me with fibromyalgia, and CFIDS (chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome). this was after many, many tests, where i was thought to have lupus, lyme disease, multiple sclerosis or rhematoid arthritis.
the problem with fibromyalgia (fm) or CFIDS is that the diagnosis of the disease is primarily one of elimination. following are some symptoms that you might want to talk about with your doctor if you recognize.


please take a look at my journal to see what a person with CFIDS and FM goes through... clicky-clicky

(taken from www.fmnetnews.com)
Pain - The pain of fibromyalgia has no boundaries. People describe the pain as deep muscular aching, burning, throbbing, shooting and stabbing. Quite often, the pain and stiffness are worse in the morning and you may hurt more in muscle groups that are used repetitively.
Fatigue - This symptom can be mild in some patients and yet incapacitating in others. The fatigue has been described as "brain fatigue" in which patients feel totally drained of energy. Many patients depict this situation by saying that they feel as though their arms and legs are tied to concrete blocks, and they have difficulty concentrating.
Sleep disorder - Most fibromyalgia patients have an associated sleep disorder called the alpha-EEG anomaly. This condition was uncovered in a sleep lab with the aid of a machine which recorded the brain waves of patients during sleep. Researchers found that fibromyalgia syndrome patients could fall asleep without much trouble, but their deep level (or stage 4) sleep was constantly interrupted by bursts of awake-like brain activity. Patients appeared to spend the night with one foot in sleep and the other one out of it. In most cases, a physician doesn't have to order expensive sleep lab tests to determine if you have disturbed sleep. If you wake up feeling as though you have just been run over by a Mack truck--what doctors refer to as unrefreshed sleep--it is reasonable for your physician to assume that you have a sleep disorder. It should be noted that most patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome have the same alpha-EEG sleep pattern and some fibromyalgia-diagnosed patients have been found to have other sleep disorders, such as sleep myoclonus or PLMS (nighttime jerking of the arms and legs), restless leg syndrome and bruxism (teeth grinding). The sleep pattern for clinically depressed patients is distinctly different from that found in FMS or CFS.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Constipation, diarrhea, frequent abdominal pain, abdominal gas and nausea represent symptoms frequently found in roughly 40% to 70% of fibromyalgia patients.
Chronic headaches - Recurrent migraine or tension-type headaches are seen in about 50% of fibromyalgia patients and can pose as a major problem in coping for this patient group.
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome - This syndrome, sometimes referred to as TMJD, causes tremendous face and head pain in one quarter of FMS patients. However, a 1997 report indicates that as many as 90% of fibromyalgia patients may have jaw and facial tenderness that could produce, at least intermittently, symptoms of TMJD. Most of the problems associated with this condition are thought to be related to the muscles and ligaments surrounding the joint and not necessarily the joint itself.
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome - Sensitivities to odors, noise, bright lights, medications and various foods is common in roughly 50% of FMS or CFS patients.
Other common symptoms - Painful menstrual periods (dysmenorrhea), chest pain, morning stiffness, cognitive or memory impairment, numbness and tingling sensations, muscle twitching, irritable bladder, the feeling of swollen extremities, skin sensitivities, dry eyes and mouth, frequent changes in eye prescription, dizziness, and impaired coordination can occur.
Aggravating factors - Changes in weather, cold or drafty environments, hormonal fluctuations (premenstrual and menopausal states), stress, depression, anxiety and over-exertion can all contribute to symptom flare-ups.
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here are some of the many, many treatments I've tried:

muscle relaxants
pain pills
NSAIDS
physical therapy
neurontin
many herbs such as:
ginkgo biloba
ginseng
milk thistle
echinacea
goldenseal
for more info on these see
webmd.com

here are some things that work (for me):

multivitamin
vitamin e 400 iu
paxil (some)
some interesting sites:
cfids association
fibromyalgia network
cfids @ about.com
mcs - multiple chemical sensitivities
food allergies
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