Round One – The GP

I arrived at my GP’s office for my appointment armed to the teeth with articles and statistics regarding migraines and my related symptoms. He was in a rush, as usual. As I sat down in his office, he asked how I had been. I told him I’m having recurring headaches. He said stress or sinus were the most likely causes. I told him both had been ruled out. He asked me who had ruled them out. I responded that I had seen my ENT who gave me an exam and meds that didn’t help. She diagnosed migraines. Well, my GP said, I still feel it may be stress related and maybe I should see a psychiatrist. I explained that I was there for headaches and not psych referrals. He agreed to continue with the Fiorinal and refer me to a neurologist. I agreed to the referral and we set up an appointment. After an extremely thorough exam, bloodwork, an MRI and CT scan, the Neurologist diagnosed probable Fibromyalgia, with headaches being a symptom. Medication was given to try for two months. I filled the prescription for Lyrica, went home, and read the possible side effects. The least frightening side-effect being “permanent nerve pain.” I said to myself “Not a chance!” I didn’t think my symptoms were from Fibromyalgia, and since there is no definitive test, I wanted to keep searching. Next, I was referred to a rheumatologist. More tests, best guess, Fibromyalgia. I went home and did multitudes of research on Fibromyalgia and other “invisible illnesses.” The current medical opinion was that these “syndromes” were attached to mostly women, were stress-related, and usually patients had underlying psychiatric issues. In other words, there was a stigma attached to these illnesses. I wasn’t convinced that I belonged in this group. Onward on my journey.

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