Fibromyalgia: Sign Me Up!

A good friend of mine used to laugh about fibromyalgia, explaining that it’s a fake disease. Now that I’ve read about it, I am not only convinced that it’s fake, but that I have a severe case of it myself!

While the pharmaceutical companies have finally started advertising a drug to treat it, one of the doctors who first identified the ‘disease,’ Dr. Frederick Wolfe, now doubts its existence. He and other doctors point out that the condition actually worsens once a patient has been given the diagnosis, which causes them to “obsess over aches that other people simply tolerate.”

The FDA has approved the use of Pfizer’s “Lyrica” for fibromyalgia, and its side effects are severe weight gain and dizziness. This seems like a good plan. The fibromyalgia patient can then seek treatment for the new ailments, ad infinitum.

The fact that fibromyalgia sufferers tend to also be afflicted with other nebulous diseases like irritable bowel syndrome and chronic fatigue, makes it very inviting. Basically, its victims feel achy all over, with pains that don’t respond to advil or even vicodin. There’s no way to prove you have fibromyalgia, or that you don’t. But if it’s recognized as a disease, you can go around complaining all the time! I love it!

Many years ago, the term neurasthenia would have covered not only fibromyalgia but Epstein Barr syndrome, chronic depression, and a host of other ailments as well. The first time I saw the word in the dictionary, I thought Bingo! I’ve got it! And to a greater or lesser degree, so do many of the people I know.

We’re tired, achy, bloated, depressed, congested, irritable, listless, itchy, anxious and short of breath. We hate to work or walk up stairs. When it’s not our stomach, it’s our head. “Lyrica!” It’s like a song to our brains from the loving musicians at Pfizer. And they’ll love us even more when we’re fat and dizzy!

316 Responses to “Fibromyalgia: Sign Me Up!”

  1. Fibro was depression, but so real. Says:

    My husband died in 1999 unexpectedly of a ruptured artery in his hip following a fall while weed eating in the back hill side of our little farm.

    We were both 45 years old. I managed a tobacco outlet and my husband was a claims adjuster for a large commercial insurance company.

    Upon his life insurance payout I immediately stopped working to focus solely on raising our 9, 12, and 15 year old sons.

    After only a year I had gained 70 pounds and really lost control of the house. I became depressed and suddenly found myself living alone.

    My mother took the boys home with her for the summer, which became much longer, and I just kept gaining wight. I got burned out on shopping and new cars every 6 months.

    I just slipped into a state of isolation and numbness.

    Then I just started feeling pathetic and exhausted all the time. I was up to 400 pounds and started to hurt all over.

    All my friends had forgot who I was due to all the money being gone. The car dealers stopped calling, the whole world shut me Hus.

    Even my own kids quit calling.

    I would venture out to the local thrift stores and people started talking to me. They’d listen about all my pain and aches. One lady told me about fibromyalgia and I just knew that was what I had. Another lady told me about her chronic fatigue syndrome and I quickly adopted CFS as well.
    Another lady told me of her panic attacks and I quickly developed pantic attacks. On and on. I finally found a doctor who believed me and he helped me to get on disability/medicare and put me on over 14 different medications.

    I was now wearing a CPAP breathing machine at night and had developed congestive heart failure, diabetes, crazy high blood pressure, bed sores, rotted teeth, and on and on.

    I got hooked on street drugs as well.

    Then one day life all changed.

    My Mother was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and my father suddenly died all with in the same week.

    I managed some how bum the 200 mile ride to my mom’s house.

    She died with in 1 month. My 18 year old was already in the military and now I had a 12 and 15 year old.

    I felt like I had a second chance.

    I took my mom’s house, money, car, and even took her old job answering phone calls at a local community action charity out reach center.

    I got to meet people who were really suffering with life’s sometimes painful journey. I got to see the little lonely lady quietly dying of cancer all alone who needs help keeping her heat on for just a few more months. I got to meet the little old WWII vet who is struggling to buy the medicines to keep his bed bound wife alive. I got to see the 25 year old young couple who are staying 150 miles from home to be with their 4 year old who is fighting for her life at the cancer hospital and they just need gas money to get back home once a week to see their other 3 babies that are staying with distant relatives.

    One day a man walked into the clearing house and ask for an application for assistance to help him pay for a ramp to be built so that His dying wife could easily be rolled outside to get to her only child’s high school graduation. Sadly that application wasn’t processed in time and she died.

    Tom was so upset and we made a connection in the year since his wife died. He got me into over eaters anonymous.

    I lost 250 pounds and came out of my depression. I now manage the charity house and I am happily married to Tom.

    I no longer on disability, no longer a diabetic, no longer in CHF, no longer wearing a CPAP, no longer in fatigue, and no longer under the delusional trap of fibromyalgia’s grip.

    You just have to find your way again. You just have to hit bottom and start to pull yourself up again. You have to want to live life again.

    I would rather die than go back to the fibro life style.

    Everyone is different. Some go “fibro” over depression, some go fibro over weight, some adopt the “fibro” life due to low self esteem.

    Fibromyalgia pain is real and very similar in all who suffer under it’s tight grip, and we fibro people come to get to know Mr. Fibro for a diverse number of reasons, but each and everyone one of us can be delivered out of fibro’s hold through weight loss, counseling, or simply finding the will to live again.

    Never give up and know that God loves you and their are better times ahead and no matter what your life has been like in the past, you can start a new life today. Fibromyalgia has no hold on any man or woman unless you let him take you down.

    Please reach out and know that you are not alone and that life can and will be good again.

    Never give up hope.

    Yes Fibromyalgia is real and you can fall down into that deep pit and if you don’t pull out you will surly die.

    God loves you and He is more powerful than fibromyalgia.

    I love you. God loves you. People around you love you. Rise up.

  2. Lance Murray Says:

    How to have fibromyalgia:
    Tell someone you have it.
    Done.

    Now I’m gonna’ go look at some Anna Kournikova nude pictures because I’ll learn more and have more entertainment. And it’s gonna’ be reality-based web-surfing.

  3. Jo Says:

    Why does everyone keep going on about is it real/is it fake?

    That isn’t the question. Of course it’s real. The question is simply what caused it.

    Mental states, emotions, stresses can cause physical illness. Fact. (E.g. high stress levels = high cortisone = range of physical diseases)

    For me, that is what explains it. Emotional and mental issues can cause physical illness, illness that shows up in blood tests and other tests.

    So until sufferers start accepting psychological treatment, no wonder no-one gets far with other treatments. Why do people think that psychological help = they think I’m making it up? It isn’t the same thing at all! Of course it’s real – but it originates in the mind.

  4. Silly blog Says:

    I read all the way back to 2008. I think Sister wolf faked her first post all so that she could do the “big reveal” of how she now too has fibro!! I think she was a believer & “sufferer” all along and pulled that stunt to try and prove it’s “got to be real” since a non believer like herself is now a believer….because FM has now ironically occurred in her body. Goodness.
    Well played wolf

  5. Merry Says:

    I LOL’d when I got to Sister’s 2nd post about being diagnosed with FM after her blog post making fun of it. It made me wonder, who in her life had been diagnosed with it and why was she filled with so much snarky, sarcastic RAGE about it. Her Mom maybe? A sister or a friend? Whoever it was, it had to be someone she previously considered ‘lazy’ or ‘crazy’ or ‘fat and dizzy’. I thought it was a bit convenient when she herself was diagnosed. However, I am a 26 year old medical lab technician who is on her feet 10 hours a day. I run 3 miles a day – everyday on a treadmill. I’m 5’8″ weigh 135 lbs. don’t drink, don’t smoke and I don’t take any sort of ‘assistance’ from the government. I am raising my sister’s 2 children, ages 9 and 12 by myself. I don’t take any drugs except Cymbalta which I was given when I was diagnosed with FM. I clean my house, I pay my bills, I am doing my best to raise my niece and nephew to be good, honest, productive Americans. We go to church every Sunday and I attend every school/sport/scout event that comes up. I smile, laugh and sometimes even enjoy myself. Yet. Every other night or so, when the dinner dishes are clean and put away, all the homework done, the house picked up, teeth cleaned, stories told and exclaimed upon, lights are out and the house is asleep, I can finally let myself relax. I fill the tub with hot water and Epson salts, light some aroma therapy candles, take my Cymbalta and get in the bath. And I cry because I know for a fact that pain is real, the exhaustion is real, knowing it will never end is shatteringly real.

  6. Sheila Says:

    It’s sad how judgemental people are. I spent almost 20 years getting one diagnosis after another, feeling like I was falling apart but knowing that I was not a hypochondriac because I had test results to prove the diagnosis. They just were never all linked until two years ago. I was diagnosed in a sleep clinic with sleep apnea, restless legs (limbs really, it would get so bad in my arms sometimes that I felt like I was going insane), and also during that sleep study, my brain activity showed that I never got into the REM sleep that is restorative. I have had TMJ issues for years, in fact at one point my jaw was slightly dislocated. The oral surgeon wanted to operate, but after seeking help from massage therapy, my jaw muscles on the opposite side of my face relaxed and my jaw slipped back into its natural position. I have had a semi dislocated rib from a muscle spasm which required physio, I have had bulging disks in both my lower and upper back, which was caused by, yet again, muscle spasms….and yet I take no medication and fight through the pain while being a single parent of two special needs children. I do this with minimal family support and basically no support system. Some days I can barely move….and yet I do, because what choice do I have? Fake? Tell my body, EEG and X-rays. What is disturbing is that people feel the need to belittle people who are working so hard to get through the day, just so they can colasPs at night, knowing that it all will start again in the morning (or continue all night if the pain doesn’t let you sleep).

  7. joanne read Says:

    Fibromyalgia is a defective gene within the brain that is switched on via a traumatic accident, experience or virus and many other things. It causes the spine to be flooded with substance p. The body’s chemical pain substance that tells the body how much pain to feel. It also lowers serotonin in the brain. Causes violent muscle spasm so severe they can drop a person to the floor. The earliest mention of this so called fake disease and its debilitating symptoms can be found as far back to the 17th century. I will leave out going through a lot of the everyday symptoms as this is wildly available on the internet. I will also leave out the amount of other so called fake illnesses that caused people to be put into insane asylums that today are very real and treatable as thus is also freely available information. What I will say is the comments on here only help the problem rather than help it. It has ruined lives, it has ruined relationships and continues to do so everyday. Be thankful you can scoff and laugh at this truly horrible disease. One can only hope that you or a friend or a family member never developed this. Watching a loved one go from an outdoor girl, loving her life. Rollercoasters, walking holidays etc to watching her cry when she realises her dream of a parachute jump is out of the window. Or watching her pain that she can not ice skate anymore. Try knowing your boyfriend is scared of hurting you so much that your sex life has ground to a holt. Or the job in a shop that you loved, talking yo customers helping people laughing a joking, no longer being able to help your colleagues or in my case people I have grown up with. Watching the pity in their faces. Pray you never get it. Pray that minor car crash causes nothing more than a sprained neck. Pray that bad break up with boyfriends ends with you being stronger. I pray everyday. Its one of the only things that gets me through my day.

  8. fern Says:

    I’m 63 and grandmother of 3 Ive had my legs broken three times brain concussion skull fracture two times busted collar bone cracked ribs complete histerectomy appendix that burst heart ablation several back injuries through out the 28 years I was a nursing assistant at nursing homes my latest is a compression fracture at L1 that noons wants to treat been getting injections at L4 L5 and T 12 13 I’m on vicodin lirica cybalta. None of which help for very long. I have pain in all 18 point drs check for fibramyalgia I don’t know what to think after reading all this the word fibromyalgia has never been dicussed with my doctors do I have it probably but seems like nothing can be done about it any way yeah the term maybe abused by some but just as real as arthritis dont judge others especially you who are blessed with no pain

  9. PipersGurrl Says:

    I am 35. When I was 24 my then boyfriend picked me up from my house, in his new sports car to go on a date. Once we started driving, I realized he was drunk. I begged him to stop,to let me out of the car or to take me home. But he wouldn’t. Instead he took me to a country road to show off how fast the car could go. I’m sure you can see where this is going.. Predictably he lost control and catapulted the car front over back 30ft into a farm feild. I was knocked unconscious but when I came to I was face down in the feild, I had been ejected from the car. An ambulance showed up and rushed us to a hospital. Miraculously I wasn’t hurt. Sure I ached and was purple and blue but besides that I was fine and walked out of the hospital 8 hrs after being admitted. 4 years after this I started getting migraines, then muscle aches, then joint aches. Because I’m allergic to ALL pain meds ( it’s genetic) I turned to chiropractic, message and heat therapy. Nothing worked. I’ve had cat scans, MRI’s, full body ex rays of every joint, the Dr’s have tested for lym, meningitis, lupas, rumatoid arthritis the list goes on. Finally they diagnosed me with fibermialgia. It’s the only thing they say explains the pain and the symptoms all fit. I don’t take medication, and I never told my work. The last thing I need is my diagnosis holding me back. I’m a manager of a industrial paint supply store and I often work 60+ hours a week, yes it’s hard but my diagnosis doesn’t stop me. I love my job, I love my long term fiancé, I love our friends and that we just moved into our dream country property that many of our friends and family use as a cottage. We entertain all the time. Yes I am in excruciating pain daily and maybe it takes me an hour to get out of bed in the morning but I’m happy and so far 5 years into this diagnosis I haven’t let it hold me back. Sure there are some weekends I don’t get out of bed and some parties I’ve have had to be cancel but not one person who knows my story or what I’m fighting with complains because they know its real, they know I suffer and they know 95% of the time I suffer through. Yes fibermialgia is real and NO not all fibermialgia sufferers are the same.

  10. Dr. D Says:

    I’m a doctor, so I’ll add my two cents.

    First of all, you said it best when you said that no one can prove that they have it or don’t have it. Although this isn’t always true for the patient, it is true when it comes to your claims that fibromyalgia isn’t real. Honestly, you can’t prove that it isn’t. And to write a hateful post that claims otherwise is a bit presumptuous.

    Here’s the low-down on the physiology of fibromyalgia:

    Fibromyalgia, like syndromes, is based on a collection of symptoms. For fibromyalgia, this means pain that exists in at least 11 of the trigger points. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Iritable Bowl Syndrome, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, etc., are also syndromes that, although real, are diagnosed based on clinical presentation. The hallmark of a syndrome is that it does not point to a singular cause, and oftentimes is idiopathic (of unknown origin). The S in AIDS stands for syndrome, as it was an idiopathic condition for many years. More recently, we have discovered that it is caused by HIV. Interestingly, CFS is often successfully treated with antibiotics, indicating that an infection is presen. POTS is a form of dysautonomia, which is an umbrella term that refers to the dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. I chose these illustrative syndromes specifically, as patients with these conditions often also have fibromyalgia.

    So, fibromyalgia itself does not denote a specific cause. This means that fibromyalgia is almost exclusively a secondary condition — a condition that has developed through a primary condition (if fibro is primary, it is idiopathic).

    So what are some conditions that fibromyalgia can stem from?

    Thyroid Disease. Patients with thyroid disease often have reduced oxygenation in the soft tissues which, as you could imagine, leads to pain. You should also realize that far too many people who have thyroid deficiencies go undiagnosed, meaning that many people who have not isolated a cause for their fibro likely have a thyroid condition.

    Small Fiber Neuropathy. Patients with SFN have a genetic defect, that often goes undetected, that causes pain. SFN is often found in patients with dysautonomia.

    POTS. Patients with POTS have an elevated heart rate upon assuming an upright position and most have orthostatic hypotension and hypovolemia. This has many effects on the body, including pain. Many POTS patients also develop IBS.

    CFS/Lyme/Infectious Disease. Patients with infections often find that the infection manifests as, among other things, pain.

    Polycystic Ovarian Sydrome. Patients with PCOS have extreme hormonal irregularities that manifest as a variety of symptoms, including pain. PCOS is frequently secondary to thyroid disease.

    I could go on and on, but let it be known that patients with these conditions are often labeled with fibromyalgia — that is how they refer to the pain that is secondary to another condition. IBS is the same way. Patients may have IBS due to POTS, or a food allergy, or any other number of conditions. Irregardless, they refer to IBS separately.

    Yes, pain is often a symptom of depression. So yes, fibromyalgia is often diagnosed as secondary to depression. This does not make the pain less real — your mind is part of your body and can get sick just as your nervous system or thyroid can. This also does not mean that all patients with fibromyalgia are depressed, no more than it means that all patients with fibromyalgia have thyroid disease. Correlation causation colloquialism.

    And yes, fibromyalgia is more often diagnosed in women. Many of the conditions that I listed also affect a disproportionate amount of women. PCOS is exclusively women, POTS has a 5:1 ratio, etc. This does not make these conditions less real, it just means that women have different bodies that work in different ways and malfunction in different ways. Men have their own problems.

    I hope this was helpful and I hope that you think twice before making similarly uneducated accusations again. These patients already fight against their bodies — they don’t need to fight against non-afflicted, non-medical bloggers who are trying to stigmatize them, too.

  11. Rhonda Maddux Says:

    I am just sickened and disgusted reading these insensitive, thoughtless, and ignorant comments. I have CFS, Fibromyalgia, IC, IBS, GERD, and Chronic pain with a morphine pain pump. I didn’t ask for this. I was a registered nurse, making it in the world, not sure why I was getting tired and what was happening to my body. Fourteen long years of suffering and loss I would gladly trade away I a second to have my life back. This is not how I had hoped to end my life. I appreciate those of you who stood up for us that are so sick, and tried to explain to the haters. It’s just heartbreaking, seeing how cruel people are just because they don’t understand, therefore it’s not real. Shame on you.

  12. Katherine Says:

    For those suffering from FM or CFS/ME, please try to recall or check your medical records for any time when you may have been given a fluoroquinolone antibiotic, such as Levaquin, Cipro, or Avelox. These drugs are chemotherapeutic agents marketed as regular antibiotics. They are the only drugs on the market that are topoisomerase inhibitors other than standard chemotherapy treatments. FQs are known to cause tendon, joint, muscle, and nerve pain, as well as mitochondrial dysfunction/DNA damage. In fact, there were no such disorders as FM or CFS until the introduction of FQs. These may be the root cause of your pain. They are supposed to be reserved as a last line defense for resistant bacteria when other abx have failed, but instead, are over prescribed for routine sinus and urinary tract infections. As women are far more prone to UTIs, they receive these drugs more frequently than men, hence, the prevalence of women with FM as opposed to men.

  13. kandy Says:

    Science has now proven it is real and people with fibro have extra nerves.

  14. Nikki Says:

    So I just decided to lose the best paying easiest job I ever had for “attention”. Living in a mansion, driving 2014 BMW. Yeah right. I owned my own successful business at 25, in graduate school now at 30. I have always been an overachiever. I was diagnosed with FMS after a car accident. I continued working and ignoring my pain and fatigue until my body simply shut down. My legs hurt so bad I couldn’t walk. I had to move in with my brother and his 3 children. I never lived with anyone before. This illness ruined my damn life and this is so offensive it makes me angry! I wish to GOD I was just lazy. And believe me, you can barely find a Dr. who will listen and take you seriously, let alone prescribe any type of narcotics or pain relief drugs. They give you damn anti depressants LOL hilarious. I am so depressed I ruined my great life and career.

  15. jadecousins96 Says:

    I am firstly so glad I came across this article.
    My mother has always been over-dramatic, over-enthusiastic and an attention seeker. I am convinced her “Fibromyalgia” is all in her head. She can not go a day without believing she is sick eg. a sneeze caused by hay-fever will automatically be assumed as a cold or the flu etc. Ever since she has been diagnosed with F/M she has become even worse and moany, and regularily takes months of work, although, she is suddenly healthy again if she wants to go out shopping or singing with her friends. She also is capable of shouting at me from the top of the stairs then putting on a croaky voice when a friend comes. She is driving me crazy as she now claims she has alzheimers. Please if anyone has any new evidence that this “disease” is in your mind please share!

  16. Debs Says:

    I would ask here that every person who has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, ( & this also goes for CFS/ME ), please try to get hold of their medical records, & then I suggest to look back in time to see if you were ever prescribed a fluoroquinolone antibiotic at any time in the past BEFORE your diagnosis . I have something known as fluoroquinolone toxicity .

    There are now so many people in our various numerous support groups with this label, that we now know FQ induced fibromyalgia by another rather more accurate name instead, CIPROmyalgia , & yes, although Fibromyalgia itself as a syndrome may well have been around a long while, known under various names, THIS cause of the symptoms which are then labelled Fibromyalgia by Drs, who invariably know nothing about the accurate immensely toxic profile of this class of ‘ antibiotic’ ,, is all too often left completely unrecognised . THIS cause of the symptoms which are then often misdiagnosed as Fibromyalgia is kept hidden ‘ under the radar ‘ by Big Pharma, & in fact has been so for many many years, since the 1980s.

    It does not hurt to do a little independent research on this subject .

    Please google fluoroquinolone toxicity, the symptoms of this, also search out the numerous youtube videos, the recent news coverage, there are many. Google The Quinolone Vigilance foundation, do this & you will enter a parallel universe you never knew existed, At the QVF you can find information on the petitions filed by SONAR to add yet 2 more black box warnings to these horrendously dangerous drugs, which of course carry two black box warnings already, that in itself should ring warning bells in respect to their toxicities, this after all is supposed to be an antibiotic !! .

    This subject has recently been getting a lot more attention, due to hidden information found via a Freedom of Information request discovered in internal documents at the FDA. This information has been kept hidden from the medical profession / patients, the fact that these so called ‘ antibiotics ‘ The fluoroquinolone antibiotics ( Cipro , Levaquin , Avelox there are others ) can cause mitochondrial toxicity. With fluoroquinolone toxicity many of these symptoms can actually be delayed for many months, & as well as potentially causing immediate disability, although the damage begins at a DNA/ mitochondrial level from the very first dose, often this damage does not noticeably / visibly materialise in many people until AFTER numerous courses have been taken over time.
    These drugs are NOT your usual ‘ benign antibiotic ‘ as is so often thought, but instead the FQs are chemotherapeutic agents, they are Topoisomerase inhibitors ( again please look this up ), you will find that every other drug described as such is chemotherapy, & as with chemo, the FQs can cause delayed adverse reactions, this is something known in the field of oncology as ‘ late effects ‘

    The fluoroquinolone antibiotics were originally developed for, & are MEANT to ONLY be prescribed as a LAST resort, when every other suitable antibiotic has been tried first, all have failed, & the only alternative left is your death, but instead they are being given out like candy, for the slightest infection, even just for suspected infections, & as a result they are devastating uncountable numbers of peoples lives.
    IF you find you HAVE been prescribed fluoroquinolone ‘ antibiotics’ before your Fibromyalgia diagnosis please consider this as a potential cause of your symptoms.
    We have numerous support groups online.

    The fluoroquinolone antibiotics, they literally come straight from hell, unfortunately they often drag you back down there with them & leave you there, sometimes for the rest of your life . I sadly know so to my cost , I live there myself, & have done so now for 26 years .

    Whatever your belief in respect of your symptoms at the end of the day, it is SO important to become informed on the potential risks of taking these so called ‘ antibiotics ‘, for a very important reason, because our Drs unfortunately are NOT .

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