Can I get some advice?
Hi. So, I've had joint pain since I can remember, it's usually sharp and debilitating or a consistent ache or stiffness, mainly from my waist down, although it does happen in my arms and hands. It's never been 24/7, although I almost always get one flare-up every day or so where I need to sit down for a while. In the last week or so, it's gotten worse, to the point where I have nearly no doubt that I can call it chronic pain. I was sick though, a couple days before it got bad like this. I did research which led me to believe that this pain couldn't be residual from the illness, it would have passed. It is also quite different from the pain that you feel when you're sick. But I spoke to my friend who is diagnosed with Chronic Pain Syndrome, and he said that I need to speak to a doctor before I can 'claim the title', title being chronic pain. When the pain first began, when I was little, I went to a doctor and he said that it was all in my head, that I was faking etc. But I know how I feel, and I know how different the usual sick pain is versus the pain I've felt in my joints as long as I can remember. I feel like my experience and pain is kind of diminished, like I can't pay attention to it, or acknowledge it after what my friend said. Obviously I'm going to talk to my doctor, but am I still allowed to acknowledge it, and all that? My girlfriend said that I shouldn't listen to my friend, it's my body, and I know how it feels. Is she right?