That was my question when I saw the Cardiologist today. He was EXTREMELY kind and smart... worth putting up with an incompetent staff and ridiculous wait to talk to. With curiosity, he looked over my initial heart monitoring readings.
"See, that. That looks normal," he said to the PA.
"Tell me more about the chest pains," he said, looking a me. "Do they last for hours or minutes?"
With a group of four watching, I described my experience. How sometimes my breath just catches in my chest. How pain wakes me from sleep.
"It's like stabbing and just when I'm about to call 9-1-1, it disappears," I explained.
"Does it hurt here?" he said, pressing on tender spot in my neck.
"Yes," I answered.
"Do you have shooting pains in your legs, arms, and feet?"
"How about other spots? Does it hurt other places?"
"It hurts everywhere," I started to cry.
"You see. This is what Fibromyalgia looks like," he said, turning back to the PA. "Widespread pain, exhaustion, depression. If we put her on Fibromyalgia medication, she's going to get better."
"Really??" I asked, interrupting. "Fibromyalgia?? Is that even REAL??"
"Oh...yes," he reassured, putting his hand on my shoulder.
He then went on to outline the plan of attack: a Chest X-Ray, Stress Test, Echo Cardiogram...just to be sure...recommendations for my doctor.
"Your prognosis is good," he soothed. "You're going to come back from this."
Let's hope that he's right.
Update: 5/15. It was brought to my attention today that this post was hurtful and offensive to someone in the Fibromyalgia community. So I just wanted to take a minute and apologize for that. The pain of Fibromyalgia is DEFINITELY REAL. I have NO doubts about that. What I am struggling with is are people being told they have Fibromyalgia when they are really struggling with something else...like perhaps Lyme (ie: is Fibro the problem or the symptom?). Anyway, thanks Anne Marie for sharing your thoughts with me. You are right. Chronic Illness is such an important issue and the last thing I want for ANYBODY is to feel dismissed. I hope you'll keep reading and commenting. We need each other.
Altered Today: More confusing information, 5 hour recovery nap, Fibromyalgia research