Fibromyalgia and Depression

Fibromyalgia and Depression

Some studies and reports say the up to 50 percent of all fibromyalgia patients suffer from depression. We know that depression, anxiety and all other mental health issues are a real physical disease that can be treated with the right medicine. Often many of these mental health disorders like depression are rooted in chemical imbalances within the brain. I don’t know for certain just how many fibro patients are plagued with depression or anxiety but to me, it makes perfect sense that so many would be thus affected.

Consider what we typically go through as fibro sufferers. Chronic pain, mental fog, fatigue, pressure, headaches, migraines, sore joints, malaise, insomnia and countless other symptoms. It’s no wonder that so many fibromyalgia patients have depression problems.

I would be willing to bet that almost all chronic illnesses have a higher percentage of their patients afflicted with depression. The chronic pain of fibromyalgia drives me crazy. Sometimes I just get furious in my mind that the dull, burning and aching sensations deep within my core just won’t stop. Pressure develops from deep-seated aches and pains that make me feel like a volcano is going to explode from somewhere on my body to release that pressure. But that volcano never appears and the pressure eventually relaxes.

When that happens every day, day in and day out, week in and week out, month in and month out, year in and year out, with no end in sight, it can make you feel like you are going to loose your mind. Perhaps that’s what starts the depression. Feeling the pain and know that while pain relievers will help they will not cure the pain. When all you have to look forward to is endless pain that is depressing.

fibromyalgia depressionI know that there are many who suffer from fibromyalgia who do not respond well the medicines presented to them. Perhaps they haven’t met the right doctor or just have a very complicated case of fibro. But for most people, we respond to one degree or another to medicine that treats the symptoms. Depression is another symptom of fibromyalgia. That would be depression secondary to fibromyalgia. But there are people who have depression independent of fibromyalgia. Whichever one you are, get help. Get medicine. But beware. Just like not every medicine will help fibro, not every medicine will work the first time with depression. Sometimes you have to try one medicine for a few weeks or a month, or so. If it doesn’t work, don’t worry. Try another one. There are enough depression medications out there that the chances of finding one that will work are very good. I know that for the symptom of intense muscle spasms, it took three or four tries to find the right kind of muscle relaxer to help me sufficiently. It turns out that I take one non drowsy type during the day and a different muscle relaxer during the night that makes me groggy. That way, I get help with my severe insomnia. Depression medicine can be similar in that it may take several tries to get the right one.

Medical scientists know far more about depression than they do about fibromyalgia so while you are forced to suffer pain and other symptoms like fatigue and fog etc. with the fibro, you should almost never have to suffer from depression. Just go to the doctor with your eyes open and you perception in check. But whatever you do, get help and don’t be tempted to self medicate, meaning drugs and alcohol. I have an alcoholic brother with PTSD as a Vietnam vet. He self medicated with alcohol and he has a slew of health problems as a result of the overuse of alcohol including the ravages of a stroke.

Don’t stand idly by and suffer from anxiety or depression. Get help. With fibromyalgia you have enough to worry about with the pain, fog, fatigue and dozens of other potential symptoms. You didn’t ask for fibro and you didn’t ask for depression. Get all the help you can with depression and maybe someday fibro will be like depression, take one or two pills and your fibro will no longer be a problem. We can at least hope, right?

Troy Wagstaff ©

I have no medical training. I am writing this article as friendly advice. I take no responsibility for what you do or your actions regarding this information.

A Day In The Life Of My Fibro Journey: Memorial Day 2015

A Day In The Life Of My Fibro Journey: Memorial Day 2015

Just when I think I know my limits, something happens that tells me I still have untapped limits due to my chronic pain and symptom’s courtesy of fibromyalgia.

Yesterday was Memorial Day. My wife (Colette) had planned a family outing where we would go to a couple of cemeteries and visit the graves of her Dad and grandparents in the Provo City cemetery and visit the graves of my parents in the Orem City cemetery.

The kids were interested and so we went. We started in Orem and visited my parent’s grave. My Dad was a WWII medic who served in North Africa and France. He is buried in the veteran’s section. When we buried my Mother, we buried her on top so they shared the same burial plot. The cemetery had a Veterans field set up with a white cross for each veteran buried at the cemetery. Each cross had the veterans name on it and a flag on top of the cross. We walked on grass over to the field and got our pictures taken by my Dad’s white cross. It was nice to see him honored for his service to his country during World War II.

a day in the life of fibromyalgia

a day in the life of fibromyalgia

Off we went to the Provo City cemetery. We were able to park close to Colette’s fathers grave which happens to be next to her grandparents graves. We had just enough rose buds on our single rose bush for each grave marker of my parents, her grandparents and her Dad. We laid a single rose on each headstone and took pictures. Everything is a photo opportunity now days with smart phones and Facebook.

I noticed some intriguing names on headstones in the area so as we all stood around talking and walking. I took down some interesting names to add to a writers list I have for first names, both male and female and surnames. There was not a lot of walking on grass, just strolling around close by.

My wife suggested we try to find my grandparents headstones at the same cemetery so we drove around the very large cemetery to the “find a name” kiosk. I got just enough information to put us in the right area. We all got out and searched row by row until my daughter found my grandparents head stones. In all, it was a nice outing as we told stories of our parents and grandparents.

We were having a good time, so much so that we went over our time budget and needed to rush home for our barbeque. After that delightful meal we played a game called Catch Phrase. Each kid had a friend or two over to eat and we had two teams for the game. It got really loud. I have a loud family. Add the additional people and it was football game loud. After a while the noise was too much and my head felt like it might explode. I told my wife I was going upstairs to my study to get away from the noise. That was a reminder of a limitation I already knew I had.

The next day, or perhaps I should say early in the morning or in the middle of the night I woke up from a dull, pulsing pressure from the core of my body pushing out. My knees, hips and lumbar region were searing with pain. I had to take another pain pill. Thankfully I was able to go back to sleep. When I woke up several hours later, I was incredibly stiff and sore and still in pain. I have been in pain all day. The Tens machine helped my back a lot but my hips and knees are still sore and virtually every join is stiff. Today, I am walking in a hunched over position. Ironically, I had my monthly appointment with my pain clinic today as well. Yesterday was fun, full and exciting to have a traditional family outing but walking on lumpy grass and all the standing took its toll on me and I am paying for it today.

I am, as always, irritated at the pain but the memories of the fun day yesterday puts the suffering of today in some perspective.

Troy Wagstaff ©

Free Inspirational and Patriotic Quotes and Memes

Free Inspirational and Patriotic Quotes and Memes


I’m proud to be an American were at least I know I’m free by Lee Greenwood


God Bless America


American The Beautiful


God Bless America

The Parable Of Your Journey

The Direction Of Your Journey

God is not so concerned where you are in your journey, He is more concerned what direct your journey is taking.


Your journey starts with where you are at. The journey then is to find your way back to God. There are two possible outcomes of your journey: Heaven, living in glory with Heavenly Father or hell, living in misery with lucifer.  God isn’t as concerned where you are at in this journey as he is more concerned about the direction of your journey. Are you two steps away from heaven but the direction you are taking is leading you away from heaven towards hell, or are you one step away from hell but the direction your taking is going away from hell toward heaven? That’s what matter most.

Free Inspirational and Patriotic Quotes and Memes

Free Inspirational and Patriotic Quotes and Memes


My skin may be black, brown, white, yellow, orange, blue, gray, green, purple, red, maroon, light-blue, or pink but when it comes to America I bleed red white and blue baby!


I am an American. That is not a race, but a creed and an honor. It is a privilege to be a citizen of the greatest Republic to ever grace the earth!


We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” Ronald Reagan


I pledge allegiance to the flag. of the United States of America, and to the Republic, for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.


To be an American requires a pledge or oath of loyalty and fidelity to the principles upon which this country was founded. Race, Creed or gender are not requirement for citizenship.


I am not African American, Spanish American, I am not Asian American…I am red, white and true blue an American. I am an American!

Life With Fibromyalgia – More Than Pain, Fog and Fatigue

Life With Fibromyalgia

More Than Pain, Fog and Fatigue

I woke up Sunday morning with a dry swollen left eye, and I started sneezing uncontrollably. Salty water started to drip out of my left eye. My right eye? Totally fine. At first I thought it was because I ran out of water in my CPAP’s humidifier, which dries out my sinuses so they feel like burnt toast.

But this head cold, as it turned out to be, was just beginning. It started out soon before I awoke and it came on incredibly fast. Within a few hours my nose was raw from blowing my nose so much. Water continued to drip out of my left eye and soon my nose was clear but salt water also dripped out of my left nostril.

Big deal. I have a head cold. I was able to go to church and teach my Sunday school class but I could feel my energy slowly and steadily drain out of me like water flowing out of a pitcher. My hands started to twitch and shake. I started to get a headache in my forehead sinuses.

I got home and started to drop Tylenol and Mucinex down my throat. I pumped my nostrils with my prescription nose spray. I rested the duration of the day as much as I could after drinking well more than 96 ounces of water. So what does a head cold have to do with fibromyalgia?

life_with_fibro_more_than_pain_fog_fatigueMost people with a head cold like that would be content to take some aspirin and a decongestant. Maybe a nap and they are good to go. Sure they have a cold but not enough to stop them dead in their tracks right? Right.

I know back in the day, a life time ago, before full blown fibromyalgia, I would never have slowed down for a running nose and a cold. I would take some over the counter meds and kept on going.

With fibromyalgia we are already slowed down, run down and worn out. Since Fibromyalgia appears to be an illness of the central nervous system, we are hyper sensitive to casual pain or pain of any kind. We are hypersensitive to any other type of physical symptoms and simple things like a cold or a stubbed toe can get out of hand very fast because of our hypersensitive central nervous system throughout our entire body. Whether we have stressful events that causes situational anxiety, colds, flu’s or simple bumps and bruises, it is infinitely worse when your nerves multiply the effect by who knows how much.

So why am I writing about this? Because I have been enjoying a recent streak of good health, fibromyalgia not withstanding, and I was suddenly and violently reminded how fibro makes everything worse. Also people need to know how fibromyalgia affects us besides the usual pain and fog and fatigue. Let’s remind people that fibro is much more than pain, fog and fatigue. It affects everything about us.

What’s your story? How has being sick affected your fibro or how has fibro affected you while being sick with some other illness?

Troy Wagstaff © Copyright

Fibro Whatchamacallit

Fibro Whatchamacallit

I want to write about one of the other symptoms of fibromyalgia. It is called fibro . . . um, you know, um, its . . . where you know what you want to say but can’t think of the right word. You know, it’s where you know what the word is, you know what the word means and you know how to use it. You can describe what it means but you can’t think of the word. I want to write today about fibro- . . . it’s where you can’t remember the word . . . fibro-whatchamacallit but you know it’s the right word. Oh ya, its fibro fog.

Fibro fog is more than forgetting words or names. Fibro fog gets in the way of remembering or helps you to forget common and simple tasks.

When I try to describe fibro pain symptoms to someone who doesn’t have fibromyalgia it is hard for most people to understand the pain and the constant flu-like symptoms and the over all malaise.

fibro_fog2I think more people can understand fibro fog better than fibro pain. See if you can relate to these scenarios?

Have you ever spent a half hour looking for you glasses only to realize they were on your head? Have you ever looked for your glasses only to find that they are on and you didn’t realize it? Some things are just to embarrassing to admit to.

Have you ever gone into a room to get something and while looking around for it you realize that you don’t know what your looking for?

Have you every sent your kids throughout the house to hunt for lost car keys only to have your children point out the car keys are in your left hand?

These scenarios are just a sample of what fibro fog is like. It is more than forgetting. Fibro fog can make you more easily confused, harder to learn things and it can be harder to concentrate.

Here is another exacerbating issue of fibro fog, one of the symptoms that bothers me the most. My chronic daily pain will spike and I go through various rituals to fight the pain. Sometimes I’ll put the heating pad on my back and recline in my easy chair. I practice deep breathing exercises and then thirty minutes later I realize I forgot to turn the heating pad on.

Other times I will put a blanket on, remember to turn the heating pad on and a while later realize I forgot to take my pain meds. If you’re in such terrific pain, how could forget to take your pain meds? I do, more often that you might believe.

Sometimes, if you’re too despondent with fibromyalgia and its myriad of pain and symptoms the fibro fog can make you feel dumb.

I hope that people who read this little article on fibro fog will understand how complex fibro is and if it frustrates you to know someone who has fibromyalgia, just think how this illness affects us. We can plan from one minute to the next. We can be happy one moment and despondent the next. We can be ready to go one moment and in a flare up the next. The pain is awful and the fog just makes a bad thing worse.

Troy Wagstaff ©

Irish Mother’s Day Quotes

Irish Mother’s Day Quotes

Enjoy these free Irish Mother’s Day Quotes to celebrate your Mom on Mother’s Day.


Irish Moms Are the Best


Happy Mother’s Day


Who’s In Charge? You Or The Doctor? Seven Ways

Who’s In Charge? You Or The Doctor?

When you are chronically ill with something like fibromyalgia and other similar invisible diseases, your doctor can be your best friend or worse nightmare. Your health is like a roller coaster and the doctor is like the operator of the roller coaster. He can control the ride and make it a pleasant one, or if he is thoughtless or careless he can make the ride a nightmare.

You need the best doctor(s) you can find. You are the manager of your team of doctors. Seldom, can a fibro patient get by with one doctor. You need other doctors even if you only see them once or twice a year. There are so many contradictory side affects that you occasionally need to see other doctors so you know that your symptoms haven’t turned into some more than a fibro symptom.

A good example would be the pain in the area of your ribs and sternum. The pain during a big flare up can make you think you are having a heart attack. You need to see a cardiologist on a regular basis like every six months or every twelve months depending on the counsel of your cardiologist.

fibro_whosthebossThis way if your EKG, blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol levels are known to be good then you can have some confidence when you have a flare up in the sternum area. If migraines are a chronic problem then you should have a neurologist on your team of doctors. You get the point. You need to look at your symptoms every so often to make sure they are still related to fibromyalgia and not anything else.

It is so easy to blame everything on a fibro symptom. But that is bad fibro management.

Since you are the manager of a team of doctors, that makes you the boss. This answers the question “who’s in charge? You or the doctor?” Since you are the manager you are the boss. You can hire or fire your doctor which is one way to can exert your power over them.

I know that there are likely many fibro patients who live in remote areas and may not have easy access to a full team of doctors but you still need to play an active role in your health care and not just take what the doctor says at face value, and this goes for everyone.

A doctor goes to medical school and then specializes in a type of medicine then he goes to work. He keeps up some of his education by annual training classes and by reading medical journals.

But that doesn’t always keep your doctor up to speed on the every changing world of fibromyalgia.

Your own personal education is part of the responsibility of being in charge.

Some people might take issue with my point of the patient being in charge and not the doctor. After all, the doctor is highly educated and trained. Your doctor controls your access to medication and therapies. This alone would make people think the doctor is in charge. But that just isn’t always the case.

How to be in charge of your health and team of doctors.

Seven ways to be in control of your medical health.

1. Come to the appointment prepared. Write down all your questions and review them in the waiting room and be well prepared with those questions.

fibro_whostheboss12. Take notes while in your visit with a doctor, especially if you have fibro fog.

3. When the doctor prescribes medicine ask if the new drug will react negatively with the meds you are already on. They should know, but they can still overlook your prescription medication history. Over the years I have asked that question and there have been four or five times that a doctor stopped and looked at my list of medication and actually changed the medicine. It doesn’t seem like they would overlook that aspect of your visit but they are human and they make mistakes.

4. Don’t be afraid of them, speak out and tell them what you think. Don’t be intimidated by their advanced degrees. This is your body and your life. Ask questions and tell them what your thinking. If this is a problem with your doctor and he doesn’t like it, go to another doctor.

5. Remember that in spite of their advance degrees and training they are human and they make mistakes.

6. Don’t let doctors push you around. I’ve waited as long as six hours for one doctor and I quit seeing him after the post op check up. I’ve waited for hours to see doctors before only to hear them say at the end of the anointment, “I’m running late and I need to get to my patients.” I held my ground and told him I’m not through. I have also made statements such as “I waited for two hours and now it is my turn.”

7. If your doctor is a jerk, fire him or her and get another doctor. Your life and your health are too important to be blocked at every turn by an uncaring doctor.

You are the manager of your health care team and your client (you) is very important. Be the boss and act like the boss because you are the only one who can really manage your health.

Troy Wagstaff ©

Fibromyalgia Poem Fibro-Awareness: The Disease Destroying Me

The Disease Destroying Me

Do I look sick and tired to you?
Do I look so worn?
Do I look miserable?
Beaten, broken, torn?

Or is my face still smiling?
Is my complexion clear?
Am I made up and dressed up?
Am I full of cheer?

Have I become so good at hiding
That you no longer see
The pain with which I’m living,
The disease destroying me?


This poem about fibromyalgia being an invisible disease called The Disease Destroying Me is used by permission by N.J. Gatehouse, the author of this poem.

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