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Don't Tell An ER Doctor You Have Fibromyalgia!

So I have found that the worst thing you can tell an emergency room doctor is that you have fibromyalgia!  I have rheumatoid arthritis as well, I can tell them I have that, but if I go in saying I'm in a lot of pain from fibro - well you might as well walk right back out the door untreated because they are going to look at you like either you are faking it for attention or are a "drug seeker" - neither of which, am I.

I had an ER doctor actually tell my husband and myself that fibromyalgia is all in your head and that it is caused by a chemical brain imbalance.  That I needed to see a psychiatrist, stop taking all my meds for fibro (especially pain medications) and start being treated for - well... being crazy!  I told my family doctor (she also had a student doing rounds with her that day) they were both taken aback, totally shocked.

The worst part - this "doctor" told my husband all this - any one of you with fibro knows how hard it is to explain what is wrong with you to a spouse since they can't see what hurts.  This made my husband question a lot of what I had told him and what my other doctors had said.  NIIIIICE!  Thanks.

So be careful when you go to an ER for anything, in mentioning the fibro.  I no longer even mention that word in an ER.

Anyone else have that type of experience?
shellleebrooks shellleebrooks 36-40, F 24 Responses Feb 7, 2012

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Yeah. Stay out of the ER. My ER.
Look across the curtained gurneys at the people who were in car wrecks, head injuries, etc. Go play somewhere else. EVERYBODY has fibromyalgia. Take a pill, a hot bath, and get a massage. Don't take up a gurney.

Yep, the Er "Dr" said I was a narcotic addict looking for another fix and sent me home with meningitis came back 3 days layer and spent 5 days in ICU, couldn't remember 6 days of my life, and another 9 days in the hospital... I had told him I had Fibromyalgia... nice right... he is still working at that same hospital...

Omg, so I went to the ER and I told them I'm in pain and I have fibro they were just like I'm going to send you the counsellor and I went home untreated.

You're exactly right!! When people ask me now if I think they have fibromyalgia I tell them maybe but whatever you do don't get diagnosed with it. It's almost impossible to find a doc who will treat you.

Yes, I've also been to the ER for treatment for severe fibromyalgia flare ups. I was treated like a common drug addict. So not right! That is my reason for not going to the hospital emergency room.

You are correct. I too have had that happen to me. I was home alone and my blood pressure spiked for no known reason to me, heart racing, feeling lightheaded with some discomfort in my chest. I went to the ER to have my pressure checked and before you know it they were running an EKG. Then they said that I should stay for observation. Filling out the paperwork and the doctors coming in to talk I mentioned Fibromyalgia and one the doctors said straight, "don't tell people you have Fibromyalgia - that's not a condition". And you're right. They treat you different from that point on. Took longer to come to my room to check on me. I was released the following day that there was nothing wrong with me - I'm glad - but no explanation why I was there in the first place. They even took their time when they were releasing me. I could have walked out and they probably wouldn't have missed me.

thanks, shellee! i was able to get to my np today and she gave me what i needed. i live in a small city in upstate ny. only 1 er unless i want to drive 1/2 hr. then it will REALLY look like i'm drug seeking!! lol

i went to er this weekend because of an ankle injury. it turned out to be a sprain, but because i am a fibro person, the pain is worse. er dr gave me a script for motrin 600mg. i explained i have fibro and that motrin does not relieve pain for me. he said he could not give me narcotics because i am a fibro patient!!!! i do take timed release morphine for the fibro, but that does NOT WORK for acute pain. now, because of the stress i am in a fibro flare. i wish i could afford to sue!

I am so sorry to hear that! I have had the same experience with doctors as well. My one family doctor (or I should say EX family doctor) told me the same thing, it didn't matter that my Rheumatologist was giving me pain meds and was out of town (he was on a well known business trip, everyone knew he was away for a month). He said that narcotics "don't work" for that type of pain. I'm sorry, excuse me? They "don't work", really? I mean, if he had said "I'm sorry but I can't give them to you because you should only have one doctor prescribe them" or something like that, yep, I get that!

I mean really.... I have never had such horrible experiences in the medical profession as I have with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibro. It is horrible. Not to mention the horrible pain you are already in and the stress making the flair so much worse! They make you feel like a horrible person, I have left my doctor's office crying! And not from pain! From feeling like a second rate person.

Until I found the best RA Doctor ever. So understanding and willing to be sure I'm not in pain!

I hope you get some relief, I know what it's like to be in that type of pain and for the record - pain meds DO work, I take them daily.

If the area you live is at all like the one where I live - there may be other ERs that you can try? Or can you call your RA doctor (if you have one) or whomever gives you the narcotics, and explain it all to him/her? They may take care of you, especially if you explain the entire event to them.

Good luck! Feel better!

Oh that's horrible...I go to ER where I had my surgeries, Ive been there (ER) at least 7x due to horrifying pain & I tell them about my lupus & fibro and although it at times takes an hour before I get relief, they have always taken care of me real good. So sorry for what you've been through..hope this message reaches you in a satisfying stage of well being😊

I can see the point of the ER doctor. Once they admit they can do nothing for you, you are just wasting their time. It's not his fault he doesn't know what to do about fibromyalgia.<br />
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I think our real beef is with the researchers, for not figuring out what this is and what to do about it. Actually, make that the people who decide what gets researched - I'm sure a lot of folks would like to research it if there were funding available.

Thank you for asking. I have rheumatoid arthritis and fibro. My Rheumy has checked for lime disease.

You sure that its fibromyalgia and not lymes disease ?

It IS hard enough to get spouses to understand the pain we feel...mine tries harder now a days, but still can't understand why I can't just hop up and do things. And don't even get me started on intimate issues. :( <br />
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I do feel your pain (literally) and I'm sorry some sorry a**hole had to treat you that way. My hubby probably would have walked off to keep from popping him in the mouth.

WOW.. this exchange is ******* me off and scaring me. I can't believe that these doctors have treated you guys like that. That is EXACTLY what brought me to tears when my Rheumatologist told me that they are falling back on Fibromyalgia as a "temporary" diagnosis until they come up with something else. I have heard how people respond to that diagnosis. There is a horribly negative stigma attached to it. I am in shock over the ER doctor's post above. What an ***. (trying to keep it clean). You should be reported. Maybe you have and I just need to read on further.

EXACTLY!!!! Post your name, coward!

Notice the "ER Doctor" doesn't actually use his own account here. So either he is someone trying to get me riled up or just an ******* who is afraid of giving his real name. If you believe in what you stand for and what you say here - give me your name and the ER you work for...

Fibromyalgia is not an emergent condition. You are getting in the way of me treating people with heart attacks &amp; strokes, not to mention babies with meningitis and seizures. You are the reason people die in ER waiting rooms. Go see a pain clinic or get stronger/more narcs fom your regular doctor for when you have breakthrough pain. It is not appropriate to come to an ER for fibromyalgia exacerbations. Please stay out of my ER, and let me treat really sick, dying people. - an ER doctor

Oh I'm just F'ing sorry, I mistakenly thought your job was to treat ANY AND ALL patients that come into your ER! What about RA, is THAT an emergent condition? Because I know everyone I know with these conditions would beg to differ with you. I should hope you are not an ER doctor in my area.

PS I am not the reason people die in ER waiting rooms, Doctors like YOU are.

I do treat any and all patients that come into my ER. That doesn't mean that the patient belongs in the ER. And no, I don't think that RA exacerbations belong in the ER either. RA and fibromyalgia are chronic, so it should be no surprise to the patient that flare ups will happen. My question to you is: why can't you just get your regular doc to prescribe you appropriate pain meds for these expected flare ups? Why do you need an ER bed?

Really? You are an ***. You obviously do not know what you are talking about.I live in hell(my body) By the time they found me lying on the shower floor, I was 2 minutes from being dead because I could no longer deal with the pain, depression, insomnia. When I came out of the coma 2 days later I was in ICU. I COULD NOT PHYSICALLY MOVE MY LEGS because of this little "exacerbation." She is right. Doctors like you are pathetic.

we would love to stay out of the ER. maybe you could do us a favor and suggest to the primary care or our other specialists to be available when we call. your gracious ER would not be so busy if they stopped referring us to the ER. even when we go to an urgent care they refer us to the ER. I do not know how many years of experience you have but you might want to add this little piece of information to it - we are not trained medical professionals (and I use that term loosely) so acute pain to us is cause for concern. striking chest pain along with pain in the left arm causes concern. unknown pain along your jaw. pain in your hips so badly you can not lie in bed to sleep and our primary care is either unavailable or passes the buck over to you. we will come to your blooming ER where we don' t want to be since we don' t know what's wrong. so the least you can do is to be a little more understanding. Perhaps we should leave that piece of information out when we are filling out the medical forms on checking in. Then you would have no choice but to perform a series of tests to diagnose the problem and in the meantime prescribe pain meds. Who knows you might be the one to solve the FB mystery.

Well this is a year late but Mr. ER DR let me inform you of some LEGAL issues, etc... I am a Fibro sufferer, I am a Law School Student. You are a Dr. SWORN, yes SWORN to HELP others, correct? Now are you a renowned scholar on Fibro? Have you done clinicals in relation to such? I' am assuming you have not, correct again? OK so here are some MEDICAL FACTS...Fibro can cause dizziness, muscles to stimulate on their own to which the person can feel like they are losing strength in the extremities, they can pass out from pain and / or the hot and cold spells that hit harder then menopausal hot flashes, (i should know), it can send shockwaves of nerve pain with every tiny heartbeat thru a persons body. Now...most chronic pain sufferers are not drug addicts but when we have flares we cannot sleep, eat, walk, etc...so of course we sometimes go through our medications faster. (say 2 extra a day than usual can make you run out before scheduled visit, refill or even on the wkend!) So if a PT brings her/his medical records, proving the ARENT seeking drugs...thats a bad thing to help them for 5-24 pills to get them thru until Monday or Tuesday? How about the nurses I hear blabbing on about PT's when they think we cannot hear? Maybe thats why YOUR PT's are dying. Honestly you should give your name out..oh and the legal stuff....I or anyone else could SUE YOUR BUTT for not helping...all it takes is a shark for a lawyer. Just remember that Mr compassionate dollar chaser.

You know, I've walked in a ER and been refused b/c of my fibro as well...AND SLE Lupus. Let me tell you this, Doc whatever you are, I can screen-shot this one convo, this one statement -"You are the reason people die in ER waiting rooms. Go see a pain clinic or get stronger/more narcs fom your regular doctor for when you have breakthrough pain. It is not appropriate to come to an ER for fibromyalgia exacerbations. Please stay out of my ER, and let me treat really sick, dying people." - and since you signed into this with your email I can have this delivered to your hospital and your license will be a paperweight so fast you'll be flipping burgers with your empty clipboard before you can refuse another patient service AGAINST the oath u took as a professional doc ever again. Do you understand me? Nothing on the internet is private, you imbecile.

He made a fake email and a fake account. There is no way to trace him, easily. I tried. ;0) And he is too much of a loser a$$hole to sign his real name.

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That's horrible. Im sorry. My husband would have done the same thing unfortunately. I don't even think he believes the pain i am in now. I haven't been diagnosed yet but i have an appt coming up soon. I figured if i am diagnosed i will tell him then.

Hi everyone, yess I,m new here too. Shellleebrooks when I saw your post. I thought, at last someone who thinks like I do. You are so right. I have come out of er, wanting to throw myself under a bus. They made me feel worthless.

I hear ya, I really do. Here where I live, we have two 'Christian' hospitals. Not knocking religion or anything, but if they would actually take me serious for ONCE I would probably pass out in relief. These places dont want to give you ANY kind of pain killer unless you have a bone sticking out of your leg.

Hello I am new to this site but, I had to write to u because I myself went to the er tonight with severe pain, tingling and burning sensation. And they treating me like a drug addit (nothing new too me) and told me there was nothing they could do. Funny haaaaaaa, I really didn't think that there could possibly be drs like that but, guess what there is...I have fibromylagia since 2005 but, was finally diagnose in 2009. Cruel but, true this is the worst pain that I have ever felt in my life. I don't think that there is anything worst then this disease for me. I hope not. I have been through alot of things in my life but, this 1 has kick my azz....lol I hope that tomorrow brings me a little bit of happiness without so much pain. I wish every1 the same.....gn

I can understand your pain and frustration...I agree , have been there...and yes it is hard to explain to a spouse and family members what we go thru with the pain and the fact that it is not always accepted as a REAL disease or condition. I am a member of an awesome support group for people who have fibromyalgia on facebook...it is a private group in which you can vent your frustrations, talk with others who understand and get to know them and more about your fibro....If you would like I can give you the info on how to join the group. Feather hugs to you....hoping you are feeling better...

I never mention it except to my rheumatologist or my primary doctor. Oh...and NEVER tell them you have panic attacks! They really flip on that one. Jerks!

I sympathize with your condition of pains. I will strongly recommend you to take a look at this wonderful anti-inflammatory supplement: Anatabloc, you can go to online store at www.anatabloc.com <br />
to find out what it can do, what other users have said about this product.<br />
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I have been taking Anatabloc for over 4 months (it started selling in USA on 30/8/2011), and I already experience positive effects: 1. my neck pains are gone 2. I have much relief from sinusitis, I breath better at night 3. pains in my anchors are gone 4. have much more energy 5. have much less urge to get up to urinate at night 6. I feel much much better, my mood is much better too.<br />
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You will find that Anatabloc contains Anatabine Chloride that can be found in tomatoes, pepper, eggplants, tobacco leaves. It is capable to treat many inflammatory and auto immune conditions, there is no side effect, the recommended dosage is 6 pills per day, I am taking 7 to 8 because of my body weight (80 kg), the company also recommends 0.0389 mg per lb body weight (each pill is 1 mg Anatabine). <br />
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I have seen other people's comments after taking Anatabloc including one person in USA suffering from body pains due to Fibromyalgia, from arthritis, gouge sufferers that about 60/70% pains have disappeared after taking Anatabloc, the words are spreading like wild fires right now. This product is the top 5 in Amazon recently, and selling fast at GNC online stores in USA. <br />
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The company recently announced Anatabloc reduced CRP in smoking patients by a whopping 30% compared with those without taking Anatabloc. High CRP increases the risk of heart attacks, which has been recognized by the American Heart Association. It is very vital for us to keep inflammation under proper control, and Anatabloc can do just that very effectively..

Thank you both for your kind replies. It is so frustrating. They make you feel like you are a criminal when all you want is just a little relief. <br />
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It's so hard to explain to someone that doesn't have chronic pain. I have so much pain (achy pain) with the FMS and I have seriously bad pain in my hands, hips, wrists and feet with the RA. I have migraines and - I don't complain about pain. So if I'm "in pain" and you can see it on my face - it's bad! So for me to even go to the ER I just couldn't tolerate it. <br />
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They gave me a shot of something that was a non-narcotic - it did nothing, made me feel like there were bugs crawling under my skin - then he embarrassed me and sent me home crying.<br />
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I hope no one else has the same frustrating experiences.<br />
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Gentle hugs back at you - blessings to all. And healing prayers coming your way! Maybe, one day, we'll hear there is finally a cure! We have to keep hoping.<br />
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Chelle

I'm so sorry you had this experience! How hurtful and frustrating. That doctor is beyond ignorant and sounds like he/she has some hidden agenda or personal issue, and unfortunately hurt you with it. And how sad you have to say you have pain from RA - a "real," recognized disease - and not FMS or you're MIStreated like a drug addict. <br />
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Please take care of yourself. Don't give up or stop advocating for yourself.