Pain Management/widespread pain

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Question
Hi Patricia,
   I didn't know what category to go to for this because I'm actually not really sure what is going on.  I have been putting off going to the doctor because it seems like every time I go to a doctor, they don't take me seriously because of my age.  I am 31 years old, a little bit overweight but not much, and have never had as many problems as i'm having now, and don't get me wrong...i'm not blaming my age.  I realize i'm still on the young side.  Anyway, i'll get to the point.  about a year ago I started getting pain on my left side in my rib cage area, it's a deep stabbing pain but it also kind of feels like someone reached in there and is pulling on organs.
    I did go to the emergency room for it once, they immediately thought it could be a heart issue so they checked out my heart...nothing wrong there.  Then they did an x-ray to see if I had any broken ribs and I didn't...also no tumors or anything like that.  So I just decided to just deal with it, I thought maybe it would go away but it hasn't.  As a matter of fact it has gotten worse and now I also have other problems.  I have been getting A LOT of pain in my legs, hands, fingers, feet, both sides of my lower back, in my hips,the back of my shoulders, in my lower belly around where my uterus is.  I would compare the way I feel to being thrown down a flight of wooden stairs and living through it. I am SO tired ALL the time, I used to want to go out and do things on my days off but now I just pretty much sleep them away. I find I don't really enjoy the things I used to eat because it hurts my stomach too much and can sometimes bring on the pain in my ribs.  All I feel like eating anymore is really light stuff like salad or rice.  Anyway, I know i've written a book here.  I know you are only a nurse but I hope your years of experience will be able to give me some answers.  Anything helps, thank you for your time.

Answer
Amanda, I sent you a very lengthy answer, then I found that it probably did not go through. So I'm having to start over.  I wanted to tell you that your symptoms left me with a lot of questions, however that is no reason for your doctors to not take you seriously. At first I thought it might be a neurological problem  such as a herniated disc. However with the stomach and digestive issues, as well as the fatigue I am wondering if it is fibromyalgia.  You are the right age for it to strike, and it does include fatigue as well as widespread pain. You can look fibromyalgia up in Google or I would suggest the site called WebMD. They are much better. If your doctor is not taking you seriously I would like to see you get in to see a neurologist. I have to consider your insurance of course. If you do not have insurance or if it is not good, then get back to me and I will see what I can do to help you further. There are tests any MD can do to rule out fibromyalgia  so maybe you can give your primary doctor one more attempt, and ask him to check your triggerpoints.  If you still get nowhere then get back to me and I will do what I can to help you further.  

Pain Management

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Patricia M

Expertise

I welcome questions from people who may want a "nurse's perspective" on the subject of chronic pain and pain management. I am a nurse, NOT a physician (MD).I can answer questions on medications, alternative approaches, and the various organs and body systems. There are many avenues to explore with chronic pain. I am against seeing patients suffer simply because healthcare professionals might suspect they are "drug seekers". There are methods of identifying true pain, and this makes patients feel as if they are taken seriously, which they should be.

Experience

Over 25 years working experience in Internal Medicine, Adult Cardiology, Post-Surgery care, Cancer, psychiatry and some experience as a lay-counselor in addictive medicine (dependence to alcohol and/or drugs, both legal and illegal drugs).

Organizations
I am an Expert with AllExperts in several areas: Pharmacy, Internal Medicine, Medical Errors. Feel free to check my Q&A history as well as my ratings, which are very high.

Education/Credentials
Diploma from hospital-based nursing school. Additional courses in pharmacology. I keep current in continuing education. Am currently working as lay-counselor which can lead to my certification as Substance Abuse Counselor.

Awards and Honors
Dean's List while in college.

Past/Present Clients
Internal medicine patients, cardiology patients recovering from heart disease and/or open-heart surgery, cancer, as well as recently working as a lay-counselor to individuals dealing with addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. NOTE: Just because I attempt to help patients with addictive diseases, I have over 25 years in Internal Medicine, have nursed patients with great deal of pain, and I am compassionate. I never label anyone as a "drug seeker". I have seen that done for years, and am against it. All patients should be evaluated for pain in a fair and comprehensive manner. Am an Expert with AllExperts in three other medical categories; feel free to check my ratings, which are high.

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