Things to ask if you are newly diagnosed....

I've compiled my own list of questions I think that anyone newly diagnosed should ask their doctor.  At the same time do your own research and come up with any that you think fit your own personal situation, as we all know, none of us are affected the same as another. I do hope they help, and if nothing else, give you a starting point.

Also RECORD your conversations! This is one of the single most important pieces of advice I can give you.

fi·bro·my·al·gia/ˌfībrōmīˈalj(ē)ə/

Noun:
A chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tenderness in localized areas
1. How do you know for sure that I have fibromyalgia?  Since there isn't a set diagnostic test that can be done to confirm nor deny fibro it's important to make sure that your doctor has some kind of idea of what they are doing.  The following is the approved ways of diagnosis;

There is no single test that can fully diagnose fibromyalgia and there is debate over what should be considered essential diagnostic criteria and whether an objective diagnosis is possible. In most cases, patients with fibromyalgia symptoms may also have laboratory test results that appear normal and many of their symptoms may mimic those of other rheumatic conditions such as arthritis or osteoporosis. In general, most doctors diagnose patients with a process called differential diagnosis, which means that doctors consider all of the possible things that might be wrong with the patient based on the patients symptoms, gender, age, geographic location, medical history and other factors. They then narrow down the diagnosis to the most likely one. The most widely accepted set of classification criteria for research purposes was elaborated in 1990 by the Multicenter Criteria Committee of the American College of Rheumatology]. These criteria, which are known informally as "the ACR 1990", define fibromyalgia according to the presence of the following criteria:
  • A history of widespread pain lasting more than three months—affecting all four quadrants of the body, i.e., both sides, and above and below the waist.
  • Tender points—there are 18 designated possible tender points (although a person with the disorder may feel pain in other areas as well). The patient must feel pain at 11 or more of these points for fibromyalgia to be considered.[99]
The ACR criteria for classification of patients were originally established as inclusion criteria for research purposes and were not intended for clinical diagnosis but have now become the de facto diagnostic criteria in the clinical setting. It should be noted that the number of tender points that may be active at any one time may vary with time and circumstance. A controversial study done by a legal team looking to prove their client's disability based primarily on tender points and their widespread presence in non-litigious communities prompted the lead author of the ACR criteria to now question the useful validity of tender points in diagnosis.[100] Since the ACR criteria were originally published, research with mechanical devices that exert defined pressure indicate that diagnosis of fibromyalgia cannot be done objectively by machine and require a physician's subjective estimate of how much pressure should be exerted

2.What caused my fibromyalgia? What is my prognosis?

3.What are my best treatment options?

4.What lifestyle changes can I make that will help my overall health and comfort?

5.What can I do to avoid flare ups? How can I manage my depression, anxiety, and/or stress?

6.What can I do about my fibro fog? ( for myself personally, this is the hardest part to deal with.  The jumbling of my speech, losing my train of thought, forgetting things, I can't stand it. )

7.What other medical conditions do I have or could develop that should be treated or monitored? (I personally have since been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, PTSD, PCOS, CFS....it seems like the list continues to grow.)

8.What advice do you have for me about my ability to continue working? OR for applying for disability?

9. What advice do you have for me when entering menopause?

10.What symptoms are serious enough that I should call you? How often should I see you on a regular basis?

11.What is the most hopeful thing you can tell me about my diagnosis?

12.Should I be a specialist? If so who do you recommend?

13.What medications are prescribed for the treatment of fibromyalgia?

14.Do NSAIDs help in the treatment of fibromyalgia?

15.What are SSRIs?

16.Is there anything else that you personally think that I should know about this illness and how to treat it?


I hope this gives you a starting point, I wish I had found a list like this when I was first diagnosed, instead I'm still scouring books and the internet trying to find out everything that I can about this dreadful disease.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Comments

Lee said…
mentioned this on my fibro blog in the roundup, cheers

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