My chronic pain started in 2006, mine was due to work, where my manager ignored health and safety. I landed up with Osteo-arthritis due to degeneration of the neck from lifting too many heavy boxes and carrying them some distance, roughly 4 out of 7 days at least each week. I had trapped a nerve and it just wasn't settling down so I was referred to MRI; this is where they first saw the degeneration of C4/C5.
I was taking co-codamol and they tried me with Tramadol, amitriptyline and finally Gabapentin. In the several years I was on the latter, and I had another MRI in 2011, where more areas were diagnosed in my neck as having degenerated. I never really felt the meds gave me any relief. My pain changed, I had something else added, this time it was muscle pain, stiffness, bad headaches and certain parts of my body really sensitive.
Also memory loss which I worried was because of my age (60), I could sleep at the drop of a hat and basically I felt GPs just thought "give her pills, nothing we can do about pain if the last resort of having that op is not on the table". I was going to the GP in tears, it really wears you down, I felt having researched it that my overall diagnosis was Fibromyalgia. Since there is no blood test, I think it depends on your GP understanding about it and their ability to listen. My GP was still kind of waffling and I told her I'd researched and read that Lyrica helped quite a few people with Fibro so I was withdrawn from Gabapentin and started Lyrica. Within a few days I felt relief from the gnawing sensitive nerve pain, not knowing where to put my right arm and the muscle stiffness pain, all felt great reduced.
I've had tennis elbow in last 9 months and back at physio for a trapped nerve once again, affecting my right arm and hand with horrendous pins and needles pain. Nope! It never stops and new pains keep visiting. What I hate, is the invisible pain we endure, we wear the pain in our face and it robs us of confidence, when we tell folk about the pain, it's like for some, if they don't see it, it is invisible, it doesn't exist.
A living nightmare but since switching to Lyrica I've found more lucidity, I went back to college for a full-time course which I wouldn't have managed before switching to Lyrica. That is where I landed up with tennis elbow unfortunately because I was at a computer much of the time for long periods in a day.
I send love and support to you and all the other pain sufferers.