How Fibromyalgia Affects My Daily Life – Star Gazing

How Fibromyalgia Affects My Daily Life – Star Gazing

There are so many symptoms of fibromyalgia that is seems impossible, during an episode of poor health, to fully figure out what triggered the episode. When it’s all said and done, sometimes fibromyalgia is like riding a roller coaster, there are up and downs, twists and turns, and in the end you don’t know why you’re having an episode except that you have fibromyalgia. I’m calling them episodes rather than flare ups because we refer to a flare up as a short term increase in pain. The issues I am talking about are just about everything but pain.

Case in point.

day_in_the_life_fibro_star_partyI went with my litter buddy, who is truly an astronomy buff and he’s not quite five years old, to a Star Party last night hosted by the Salt Lake Astronomical Society in Stansbury Park at the Observatory near the Great Salt Lake.

His mom and baby sister came along, as did my oldest daughter and her date. There were more than twenty telescopes trained on Jupiter and Saturn but not Venus. We meandered around the park looking at these planets and the rings and moons around these planets through many different telescopes. One kind telescope owner aimed his telescope so I could see Venus. It wasn’t spectacular, but at least I got to see it.

I noticed that as I looked through each eye piece of every telescope that my eye would physically hurt. Not the kind of hurt when you read too much or are on the computer too much. It was like muscles behind my eyes were getting sore.

This in turn made be dizzy and nauseated. To be fair, I was dizzy and nauseated on the hour long drive getting to the park, but between the crowd and the focusing on the eyepieces of the telescopes my symptoms got worse.

I was leery about the crowd, but because it was in a big park with a lot of space and open air, I was hopeful the crowd would not be over stimulating. I was wrong. The optic nerve muscles surprised me. It was clear that I was over stimulated and I was sick because of it.

After I got home, I was hoping a good night’s rest would solve everything. Nope. I woke up several times in the first three or four hours after finally getting to bed. Finally, I was able to relax enough to get four or five consistent hours of sleep. I’ve been sick all day today and in a lot of pain. My neck is seizing up and causing tension headaches. My tens machine wires are broken so I can use that to help. The pain MEDs and muscle relaxers help but not completely.

Just another example of how fibromyalgia affects my daily life. Sigh.

Troy Wagstaff

The Most Popular Fibro Posts Of The Last Two Weeks

The Most Popular Fibro Posts Of The Last Two Weeks

I plan on posting about every two weeks a post of links to the most popular fibromyalgia posts. Since this is only the second time this year that I have done this, this post will have a larger list than upcoming posts.

most_popular_posts_of_the_last_two_weeksFibromyalgia And Depression

This post talks about depression from the standpoint the having fibromyalgia is depressing and that depression is one of many symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Victimization Caused By Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue or other Invisible Illnesses

A victim is someone who has had something bad happen to them, against their will. This article explores that idea in regards to fibromyalgia.

Winner Of The 2015 Visibility Award was a recipient to the 2015 Visibility Award for an article on my 31 year journey with fibromyalgia and the efforts of the blog to explain one of the biggest invisible illnesses to the public.


This article asks the question “Is fibromyalgia the end of the life as we know it and then examines the issue in detail which includes a part 2 article and there will be one or two more posts related to this topic.

Review Of The Movie “Cake” and Comments About Chronic Pain

The movie Cake with Jennifer Anniston is about a character with chronic pain. I look at the movie from the perspective of one who has fibromyalgia.

My 31 Year Journey With Fibromyalgia

thirty-one years ago I has mis-diagnoses with Ankylosing Spondylitis, a form of arthritis. This non fiction short story takes you though my journey finally getting an accurate diagnosis of fibromyalgia and eventually the proper treatment for it.

Life With fibromyalgia – More Than Pain, Fog and Fatigue

Explores other aspects of fibromyalgia beyond the common symptoms of pain, fog and fatigue.

Fibro Whatchamacallit

This post delves into the annoying symptom of fibro fog.

Review Of Motion Picture The Cake And Comments About Chronic Pain

Review Of The Movie Cake And Comments About Chronic Pain

The movie “Cake” starring Jennifer Anniston. It is billed as a movie about Clare Bennett, who deals with the suicide of a member of her chronic pain support group. Here is the advertising blurb about the movie.

“The acerbic, hilarious CLAIRE SIMMONS becomes fascinated by the suicide of a woman in her chronic pain support group. As she uncovers the details of Nina’s suicide and develops a poignant relationship with Nina’s husband, she also grapples with her own, very raw personal tragedy.”

Jennifer plays a woman afflicted with chronic pain due to injuries and metal rods in her legs, the story is not clear about the accident that claimed the son and severely injured her. She is supposed to be a “hilarious” character. I did not detect that in her character at all. I did detect some sarcasm in some of her dialog.

The biggest problem with this movie is that we have no idea who Claire was before the accident and resulting chronic pain and drugs. We don’t know what aspects of her personality and behavior are affected by her chronic pain and narcotic use. Both chronic pain and chronic narcotic use can have an effect on one’s personality and behavior. Not knowing what she was like before, seriously hinders us from knowing the roll of the pain pills.

cake_chronic_painOne view of the movie and most are left thinking that people with chronic pain are addicted to pain pills. That is not at all true and the movie does a grave disservice to those of us who have chronic pain.

There is a lot of evidence of her being addicted to pain killers and the fact that she had hidden stashes of narcotics around the house suggests that she is addicted. But if they want to address the issues of chronic pain they need to also address the role that pain killers play in pain management. They don’t.

There were some interesting aspects of this movie as Jennifer Anniston played a pain ridden Claire such as her laying down flat whenever she was in a vehicle.

Her character had a hard time standing up and sitting down. She used her swimming pool for relaxation. She had trouble sleeping. She moaned when making certain movements, but if I was the consultant to the movie she would have moaned a lot more when rolling over from her back to her side in bed or when standing up from a seated position.

It also showed this chronic pain patient as having a bad attitude and angry. I can relate to that. We’re not always ornery and angry, but we all have our moments.

I would like to see a similar movie about someone who suffers from chronic pain who doesn’t have the financial benefits she did. Show us a person with chronic pain and fatigue with limited financial resources. That would make for a good movie, depressing but realistic.

The movie showed that Claire, the one with chronic pain, still had an interest in physical intimacy. Being a man, I can’t speak to that, but I look at it dubiously.

This isn’t a theatrical review of the movie, I am reviewing the movie and its storyline from the perspective of someone who has had chronic pain for more than eleven years and fibromyalgia for more than thirty years.

Overall, this movie “Cake” is not a great movie to represent chronic pain. But it is a start. Chronic pain is prevalent in our society that it is bound to come up more and more in our cinema. Hopefully they will do a better, more responsible job in the future.

Chronic pain is very real and very difficult to deal with, both from the patient’s perspective and from the care givers perspective. This movie is rated R and not family friendly.

One last thought to anyone who might read this and not understand the effects of chronic pain, everyone who has chronic pain responds differently.

June – National Men’s Health Month – Men And Fibromyalgia

June – National Men’s Health Month – Men And Fibromyalgia

I just heard about men’s health month today and I realized that as a man with health problems and since it is still June, why not contribute to the men’s health discussion for Men’s Health. Fibromyalgia is an illness that men suffer from. It is not just a disease for women only.

Since I have something to say about men’s health I will try to take advantage of my position of long experience with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and traumatic brain injury.

Most of what I have to say about men’s health is related to one of the diseases of the central nervous system called fibromyalgia. If anyone is paying attention, fibromyalgia is currently reported as predominately a woman’s disorder. Many experts suggest that this is because it is under reported by men. For whatever reason, men do not complain about it as much or go to the doctor as much as women do regarding the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

This may be true, but if it is true, it would only account for a small percentage of men. If men had the chronic pain I have had and still have, they would be sprinting for the doctor’s office to find out what’s wrong.

national_mens_health_month2But let me tell you my dear reader, that millions of men suffer from fibromyalgia around the world and through America. My award winning blog on fibromyalgia has been read in over thirty countries on every continent. It’s not just a health care concern in America.

My blog about fibromyalgia is CallahanWriter.Com. For my blog, I write about fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and related symptoms from a guys perspective and I write about these symptoms in general for both genders. Most symptoms, both genders can relate to. The emotional side of fibro between men and women are surprisingly the same in many areas, yet, of course, different in some areas.

I have some posts that are unique to men like The Day In The Life Of Fibroman and What’s it like to be a guy with fibromyalgia.

I have written a detailed story about my personal experience with fibromyalgia and the thirty-one years that I have had it. My 31 Year Journey With Fibromyalgia.

Some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia are widespread chronic pain that afflicts joints, and the pain may also affect major and minor muscle groups. Fibromyalgia also causes cognitive disorders, body temperature disorders, coordination problems chemical and light sensitivities and the list goes on.

Some experts believe that rather than go to the doctor, many men with self medicate with alcohol or drugs. That is never a good idea. These experts report that self medication will make the symptoms worse over the long haul.

There are many other symptoms to fibro in addition to the pain. Chronic fatigue. This is where you do not have energy for anything. You can be tired all day or the fatigue can be so bad that you sleep all day or nap for hours on end every day.

Fibro Fog is where your cognitive skills that you take for granted go out of whack. Your memory is affected, you forget things, you forget names, you can get disoriented and the list goes on.

national_mens_health_month1You can lose some coordination in your motor skills, your extreme limbs can develop neuropathy and they can develop tremors. The problem is that so many symptoms can be presented that it is easy to diagnose other illnesses based on the symptoms, but when this happens you never feel fully satisfied with the diagnosis. There is always something popping up.

Fibromyalgia is typically a diagnoses of exclusion, which means you need to rule out Lyme’s disease, MS and other similar illnesses with similar symptomology.

When you get a proper diagnosis, then each symptom can be treated appropriately with respect to the other symptoms.

When I was first officially diagnosed with fibromyalgia, there was little written about it on the internet. Now there are countless words used to document it. There is a lot of garbage written about fibro and there are as many cures as there are peddlers wanting to sell their wares. Don’t get fooled by them. It is a disease of the central nervous system, from your brain to the tips of your last nerve endings. There is no known cure. The best we can have as victims of fibromyalgia is to treat each bothersome symptom.

Fibro Awareness

Fibro Awareness

There is no known cause of fibro but there is a lot of similar speculation that traumatic brain injury like concussions and other serious bodily injuries or past mentally traumatic incidents can cause fibromyalgia. I have had more than five concussions and several body wide injuries in my life before fibro symptoms manifested themselves. There is a possibility that those are valid conceptions, but it is still too early to say for sure.

If you are a guy with fibro, what is your story? How has fibro affected you? If you know a man with these types of symptoms forward this post or URL to them. Men need the help that is out there for fibromyalgia. My blog covers how fibro affects me and about the issues of fibro in general. The blog is for men and women. I have decades of experience with fibro and I feel I have a lot to share by experience to the discussion on fibromyalgia. Feel free to follow this blog so you can a notice when new posts occur so you don’t miss anything.

Troy Wagstaff ©

A Day In My Life With Fibro – At The Movies Jurassic World

A Day In My Life With Fibro – At The Movies Jurassic World

I went to see Jurassic World this evening with my daughter. She was taking me on a date for a father’s day gift. Ya, she’s awesome. I enjoyed the movie. We didn’t see it in 3D thankfully. I was overwhelmed with the traditional 2D viewing, because something happened while I watched that great movie. All the big scenes and noise and motion and wide shots were a lot of visual stimulation.

jurassic_world_big_movies-fibroI didn’t notice it at first, but then after a while I was getting a small headache. My eyes got tired and I felt over stimulated. I know I’m getting old, but I think it may be related to fibromyalgia and the related sensitivity issues. I don’t see any 3D movies anymore because they are verifiably hard on my eyes and head. But now the big concept, big scenes type movies for the summer are coming out and I worry that I may not be able to see them.

I really liked Jurassic World, and I did see the original Jurassic Park. To me they are two different movies with a similar theme. The movie got me hooked and I stayed the whole time. But now it seems that parts of me like my eye’s, neck and brain are still coming down off that sensory roller coaster I was just in.

Have any of you had that problem with big movies with a lot of noise, action and big scenes? I wonder if it is related to chemical and light sensitivity that fibro is known for? What do you all think?

How Fibromyalgia Affects My Daily Life: Dental Work

How Fibromyalgia Affects My Daily Life: Dental Work

A day in the life of life of fibromyalgia is just as varied as anyone’s day without a chronic illness or chronic pain. The only difference in a day in the life of fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue or some other chronic painful invisible illness is that everything we do is done or experienced through the filter of chronic pain and all the other symptoms of the silent disease.

A trip to the dentist is a good example of how life is different between a regular person and one afflicted with a Central Nervous System disease. Few people in the general public enjoy going to the dentist with all those harsh, grating and shrill wining drills and other tools designed to instill fear in the most stout of heart. But for the fibromite, a trip to the dentist can be a whole other world of fear and pain.

One of the common aspects of fibromyalgia is that we are hyper sensitive to pain signals, especially new pain sensations or unusual pain sensations like those found at the dentist. Add to that the fact that we are also commonly hypersensitive to noise, bright lights and various chemical and other sensitivities. All of those things are present in a visit to the dentist.

For the first time in more than four years I went to the dentist for a check up. I know six months is recommended but, until now, dentist health or oral health was not high on my priority list. Well, in fact, going to the dentist has never been high on my priority list. But I went in for a check up, x-rays and a cleaning.

a_day_in_the_life_of_fibromyalgia_dental1I was blown away at both the dental hygienist and the dentist both were well experienced with and very accepting of fibromyalgia.

First, With my exam of my gums in relation to various gum diseases like gingivitis I scored low, meaning if I don’t start flossing twice daily and rinse my mouth with a gingivitis designed mouth wash, I could have trouble with my gums. Sometime between that exam and the cleaning of my teeth the hygienist used some tool that didn’t hurt me through touch but did hurt through the shrill whining sounds of the tool. It felt like, instead of a laser beam piercing my brain through the roof of my mouth, there was a noise ray piercing my brain through the roof of my mouth. It also felt like a heavy raging river was being forced out of a narrow hole in my ears. I could feel the sound in my skull bones, brain and ear canal.

I asked the dental hygienist if any other fibro patients ever complained about that procedure and those types of sensations. She said yes they did, in fact, it was a fairly common complaint.

Then the dentist came in and looked at my x-rays and said I have a cavity that needed to be filled. The hygienist told the dentist about a major food space I had. He said he could remove part of a filling and replace it with a new filling that went down the side of my tooth, making the space so tight that only dental floss could get down the side of my tooth. On the way out he told me to schedule the fillings about two weeks apart so I would have adequate recovery time for my fibromyalgia. It was cool that he knew the issues of a regular patient as opposed to a patient with fibromyalgia. That was a cool day at the dentist. But there is more to the story that includes other aspects of fibromyalgia like sensitivities.

To fight the potential gingivitis I need to floss twice a day. Brush twice a day. Pick my teeth with special picks after eating and lastly, I need to rinse out my mouth at least twice a day with a mouth wash designed to fight the bacterium that causes gum disease. Also for my dry mouth, I was told of a product to spray into my mouth that will keep the inside of my mouth moist.

So I went to Walmart and picked up some mouth wash and the mouth moisturizing spray and I bought a new flavor of toothpaste from the dentist. That evening I used all the new chemicals and the next morning. I started feeling some itching near my upper jaw and the outsides of my eyes and warm sensations on the inside of my checks and the skin over my cheeks.

It dawned on me fairly quickly that I might have a chemical sensitivity to one of more of those new products or change in the flavor of the high fluoride toothpaste. I am now in the process of narrowing down the new chemicals to see what is causing me trouble. I like the mouthwash because it cleans the surface’s in my mouth very well. So far my testing seems to be pointing to the mouthwash as the offender, but I need to test it a time or two to be sure.

That’s my experience with the dentist having fibromyalgia. What is your experience with the dentist? Have you had any sensitivities with oral hygiene products? Let me and everyone else know your experiences with the dentist and how they relate to your fibro and how fibro affects your trip to the dentist.

Troy Wagstaff ©

Joy Of Loving – Love Is Stronger Than Fear

Joy Of Loving – Love Is Stronger Than Fear

“If we want to avoid the suffering of someone leaving us, we will never experience the joy of loving. And love is stronger than fear, life stronger than death, hope stronger than despair. We have to trust that the risk of loving is always worth taking.” (Henri J.M. Nouwen)


Inspirational Christian and Bible Quote Memes

Inspirational Christian and Bible Quote Memes

These memes feature inspirational Christian and bible quotes. They are free to use by anyone.






Book Review – A Voice Of Hope

Book Review – A Voice Of Hope

A Voice of Hope

By Connie Bricker Shaler

You can pick up a copy of her book at

On the back cover of the book where it gives you an idea of what the book is about, it asks “Are you trying to cope with depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, grief, anxiety, lingering illness, or imminent death?”

The story takes a look at the spiritual side of Connie Bricker Shaler and her poor health spanning a twenty-eight year period. It is her spiritual journey.

a_voice_of_hope“A Voice of Hope” doesn’t read like a journey at all. It reads like a Christian self help book or a Christian devotional book. The key words printed on the back cover imply it is being marketed as a Christian devotional book. As such, it is a good book.

Sadly, it doesn’t talk that much about her depression and Chronic Fatigue.

Based on how this book was presented to me and based on what the back cover said, I went into the book looking for a story of a person and how sick they were with depression and Chronic Fatigue. How did those illnesses affect her ability to carry on or did those chronic illnesses interfere with relationships, work, mothering, etc. I expected those ideas to be the subject of the book since depression and chronic fatigue were mentioned as much as they were.

I need to say up front that this book is worth the read. It is thought provoking and inspiring. However, I was disappointed because it referred very little to how her spiritual journey affected her illnesses. Her journey was inspiring, but I would like to have seen how her journey was affected, step by step.

I would like to have had her explain how her CFS affected her daily living over time and how, during the flare ups, her spiritual encounters helped her. There is only a little story behind some of the narration and reflections and then it isn’t in any chronological order.

So enough bashing, because that’s what I feel like I’m doing. I don’t want to come across as bashing the book because it is a good Christian devotional book and if you go into the book properly prepared, I think you will find it enjoyable and inspirational.

I think she should do a book or ebook with just her poetry.

When I realized “A Voice of Hope” wasn’t what I expected, I didn’t put it down or throw it out. I kept reading. I read it like a devotional book, no longer looking for the correlation between her illnesses and here spiritual journey.

My copy of the book has my handwriting in the margins and many sentences highlighted or underlined. I was inspired by many of her thoughts and touched by many of her poems. I have some new outlooks on different aspects of my journey with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Her typical format is to start of a section with some narrative, an occasional original poem and then some related quotes and then a reflection box which often summaries that section and asks probing questions getting you to think about what you have just read. Often those reflections encourage you to think and apply her ideas in your life.

She includes many of her poems and they are very good. Her narration is good also. The book is laid out nicely and it’s got a good readable font. Its 179 pages.

I should have been able to read it in a few hours, but it took several days of reading to get through it because it caused me to think and ponder. It was an inspirational book more than it was an entertaining book. The only real complaint is that for me, it would have been nice to have her narrative and poems interspersed with the chronology of her illness so we knew how she was feeling and what she was thinking about at the time certain events happened. It would also be nice to know how life and her chronic illnesses are doing at this later stage in her life.

I endorse this book wholeheartedly and recommend reading it from the standpoint of being a Christian devotional book more than anything else. I would lovingly encourage her to get it on ebook at an affordable price because this book as the ability to touch and inspire many people, both with and with chronic illnesses.



This is a perfect example of fibro-fog. I posted “Is Fibromyalgia The End Of Life As We Know It Part 2” before I posted the Part 2 in a series of articles exploring this concept. I guess that’s what you get when you are a patient of fibromyalgia trying to blog about fibromyalgia. Good example of fibro-fog. Ooops.

Is fibromyalgia (fibro) diagnosis the end of life as we know it? The answer is yes. With fibromyalgia, life as you knew it is over. Gone for good, never to return, unless scientists discover an all to needed cure for the disease.

That sounds like a negative thing to say. I agree, it is a negative statement but fibromyalgia is a negative disease. And it is a true statement.

fibro_end_of_lifeThere are many diseases that will kill you. In that sense, fibro is not so bad. Keep in mind, the statement “end of life as we know it.” Fibro is not the end of life, it’s just the end of the life you once knew.

Some well meaning people may say, “you need to be positive, you can beat this but you need to be positive.” I’ve heard those comments directed at me more than once. The thing is, there is no known cure for fibromyalgia, a disease of the central nervous system. I have great hope that science will one day discover it’s origins and come up with a cure or a much better way to treat it than we have now.

I feel like accepting the fact that with fibro, your life is over as you knew it is both a positive thing to say and a cathartic statement freeing you up to adjust to a new life. Within that new life you can be very positive and I hope all of you are positive in your outlook on life.

Having a positive outlook on life, when you are in chronic pain and sick from the many symptoms of fibromyalgia, is hard to do but worth the effort.

Sure you will have some good days and some bad days in your struggle with fibromyalgia but the ebb and flow of fibro is daunting when you don’t know what kind of day you’re going to have when you wake up.

The secret to being positive with fibromyalgia lies in part with accepting the limitations and then work around them. We need to let go of the expectations we had in our old life and create new expectations for our new life under the thumb of fibromyalgia.

Some people say, “I was just diagnosed with fibromyalgia but I am not going to give into it. I am going to fight it and I am going to beat it.” I’ve heard this tune sung by many fibro patients over the years and it is sad because they will use precious energy fighting the wrong battle.

As we all know, energy is a precious commodity to those who suffer with fibromyalgia. We need to use it wisely. I’m talking about both physical energy and emotional energy.

It’s okay to let go of the life you once had, in fact it is important that you do. Then you can focus on how to make your knew afflicted life of fibromyalgia as positive and productive as possible. You can have a positive future in spite of the pain and other terrible symptoms of fibromyalgia. In Part 2 we will look at the ways in which we can let go of life as the way we knew it and embrace the new life with a good attitude and even be successful in spite of all the interrupting symptoms of fibro in our life.

Be sure to follow this blog so you will be notified when the next article is posted to

Troy Wagstaff ©

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