Current Stats For Fibromyalgia

Current Stats For Fibromyalgia

The CDC says that 2% of Americans have fibromyalgia. Other Internet fibro website’s suggest that anywhere from 2% to 4% of Americans have fibromyalgia. Most fibro sites agree that eight out of ten American diagnosed with fibromyalgia of female. Therefore, two out of ten are men, or 80% of all diagnosed fibro patients, 20% are men.

When I looked up how many Americans had Fibromyalgia and specifically how many men had fibro. All I found was out of date information.

One example of out of date information on fibromyalgia was on the CDC website. It said “The prevalence of fibromyalgia is about 2%, affecting an estimated 5.0 million adults in 2005.”


America’s 2014 population is 319,000,000. 319 million.

Here is an update table of current fibro statistics as of 2014.

At Two Percent

2% = 6,380,000 Americans diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

5,104,000 are women.

1,276,000 are men.

At Three Percent

3% = 9,570,000 Americans diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

7,658,000 are women.

1,914,000 are men.

At Four Percent

4% = 13,760,000 Americans diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

11,008,000 are women.

2,752,000 are men.



When talking about coming up with a cure for fibromyalgia I think it is important to gain some perspective on the subject. First of all, what does a cure for fibromyalgia mean?

Let’s focus on what a “cure” means?

From there are four definitions for the word “cure” that apply to our topic of conversation.


1. A means of healing or restoring to health; remedy.

2. A method or course of remedial treatment, as for disease.

3. Successful remedial treatment; restoration to health.

4. A means of correcting or relieving anything that is troublesome or detrimental.


The first three definitions are, I think, what everyone thinks about when they say we need a cure for fibromyalgia. But even the fourth definition needs to be considered.

Before we go on with talking about a cure for fibromyalgia I want to address another hot topic in the world of medicine and health. That is a cure for cancer.

People are going crazy blaming the pharmaceutical researchers for not coming up with a cure for cancer. Keep in mind that cancer is a broad term. Cancer can range from cancer cells in the lymph nodes, blood, bone and soft tissue. Not all cancerous tumors are the same. There likely will never be one cure for all cancers. But they have come along way in the survival rate of those who have come down with cancer. They have tumor specific treatments. Early detection increases your odds of survival. Based on what the definition is for “cure”, we do have some cures for cancer. We have a long way to go to cure all cancers, but we are well on our way.

I mention the cure for cancer for two reasons: One is that looking at cancer cures helps to put the word “cure” into perspective. Second is that the medical science community has created treatments that can cure some cancers. That gives me hope that there will be a cure for fibromyalgia and it gives me hope that we have the brains and technology to effect a cure for fibromyalgia in the future.

Now consider the fourth definition for the word “cure.” “A means of correcting or relieving anything that is troublesome or detrimental.”

The term “relieving,” is worth a mention. This applies to many diseases, like cancer, MS, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s et al.

Having relief for some illness, is in some respects a cure. Not the cure we want, but it is a form of cure. I say all this to put perspective on the concept of what curing an illness means.


Most statistics say that fibromyalgia affects anywhere from 6,380,000 to 13,760,000 Americans. Ten to twenty percent of those are men.

As we wish, wait and pray for a cure to fibromyalgia we need to keep some things in perspective. It is a relatively new disease. Since it doesn’t kill people there may not as much interest in searching for a cure. In the eight or nine years that I have been diagnosed the medical community has come along way just in accepting it as a legitimate illness. But from the perspective of its newness, the medical world is getting better at dealing with the illness than they were eight years ago.

When you, a fibro patient, think of a cure for fibromyalgia, what do think it will be or should be? A one time injection of medicine? Take a pill and then in two days you’re all better? That’s what I am hoping for. But we need to keep an open mind about both how soon a cure may come and in what form it may come in. At first it might be a good drug that manages all the symptoms of fibromyalgia, and then decades later there might be a magic pill that does away with fibro altogether.

Looking at the example of the cancer cures it is possible that we might have to take a curative medicine for each separate symptom.

I freely admit, this is all conjecture on my part. But as I have heard so many people complain that science isn’t doing enough or ask the question why isn’t there a cure yet? I think we need to have some perspective on the whole idea of a cure. I’ve had it for thirty-two years and counting. More than anything, I want a cure. But I don’t see it happening any time soon and I hope I am dead wrong. I hope a cure is announced tomorrow at lunch. Until then, let’s reflect on the perspective we need to maintain.

What do you think about a realistic cure for fibro?

Inspirational Memes For Fibromyalgia

Inspirational Memes For Fibromyalgia



10 Ways To Feel Fulfilled With Fibromyalgia

10 Ways To Feel Fulfilled With Fibromyalgia

This article on 10 ways to feel Fulfilled with Fibro is the third in a three part series of posts starting with:

  1. Three Ways To Live Life To The Fullest With Fibromyalgia
  2. Fibromyalgia: 3 Ways To Manage Your Expectations
  3. 10 Ways To Feel Fulfilled With Fibro

When you have fibromyalgia or other chronic pain illnesses your life takes a dramatic turn down a different path. If you have fibromyalgia, this path will be different for the rest of your life unless they come up with a cure or a wonderful way to manage the illness.

Sometimes your life can come to a complete stop, either because you haven’t found the right way to treat each symptom differently, or you’re caught by a monster called pain that won’t let you go.

I have had fibromyalgia for over thirty-two years. It has been accurately diagnosed for around seven or eight years. My fibro fog is kicking in and I can’t remember exactly how long it’s been diagnosed.

I have been through long periods of time where I have felt completely unfulfilled and useless. With the countless symptoms of fibro, I felt for quite a while that there was nothing I could do. I couldn’t work, all I did was lay in a recliner all day watching videos and TV. That is not fulfilling.


As I started to get correctly medicated I started to see things I could do that, gave me a sense of fulfillment. Once I started to feel a little more fulfilled than others things came to me that I could do to continue to feel fulfillment in life. The sense of fulfillment is strong medicine.

Those of you with a life altering chronic pain illnesses need to find activities that give you a sense of fulfillment. Here is a list of ten things that I can do that, give me a sense of fulfillment.

  1. Learn about fibromyalgia so I know when people make outlandish claims about curing it, I know better. That gives me a sense of control.
  2. Forgiving the illness freed up some energy to use toward being fulfilled.
  3. Carefully and slowly start an exercise program, slow progress is better than no progress.
  4. When I’m in the middle of a flare up or season change or on a downhill cycle, I know not to give up. I’ll always be in pain and sick, but I will eventually be less sick and have less pain. It seems to come in cycles. I guess this comment speaks more to hope than fulfillment.
  5. Keep a journal. Write about how you feel, what you did that day. Fibro fog can be so bad that you can forget what you ate for breakfast that day. Keep track of activities and how they made you body feel. When keeping a personal journal, nothing is off limits to what you can write.
  6. I blog, about Christian topics, but I mostly blog about fibro topics and my personal experiences with fibro in hopes of validating others with the illness. My fibro blog is called Fibro Champions Blog at
  7. I have recently got into creative writing. I am currently writing a mystery novel with the main character having to deal with fibromyalgia as the story moves along.
  8. Create inspirational memes that I post on my blog.
  9. Create fibro memes that I post on my blog.
  10. Now that I have a better camera with my phone I take pictures and often use those pictures in my meme hobby.

The point to all this is that I have discovered things I can do within the limitations of fibro. These ten items go out the window during an acute flare up, but they’re waiting for me when I feel good enough to open my laptop. They give me a sense of accomplishment which is, like I said earlier, good medicine.

Fibromyalgia: 3 Ways To Manage Your Expectations

Fibromyalgia: 3 Ways To Manage Your Expectations

This is part two of a three part series on Three Ways To Live Life To The Fullest With Fibromyalgia
three_ways_day_weekNow that you have accepted the fact that you have limitations due to fibromyalgia and the other set of countless symptoms that go along with fibromyalgia you can manage your expectations. Probably the biggest thing you can do to manage your expectations is to know that you’ll never be able to do in a week, what used to take a day to do.

When managing expectations, there are three ways to do this:

1. Manage your expectations of yourself.

2. Manage the expectations of others.

3. Manage the expectations of the illness itself.

Manage Your Expectations Of Yourself

One of the most important things someone with fibromyalgia can do to fight pain and symptoms is to do your best at reducing stress. That’s not as easy as it sounds. I know, I’ve tried.

full moon

full moon

Knowing that you will not be able to do what you used to do in the time frame you used to do in may be demoralizing. I’ve had fibro for thirty-two years and it is still, on occasion, demoralizing. I get frustrated and for me, frustration leads to stress, which leads to the increase of symptoms or a flare up. For me that typically means more pain and more fibro fog symptoms. Sometimes it vents in depression, making it hard to want to do anything for a period of time.

I need to remind myself that I have limitations, but at the same time I need to remind myself that while I do have limitations there are many things I can do. Make a list of things you know you can do. That way, if you’re having a fibro fog day you can look at the list and remember what you can do.

Have you ever done something and then realized, “oh crap, I’m going to pay for this for the next few days.” With fibro fog you can forget that there are things you can’t do because you’ve spent a lifetime doing them. Keep a journal or list of activities that you have done in the past and how your body responded. Then build up a list of activities you know you can’t do, activities you can do and maybe a third list of activities that you might be able to do if you’re having a good couple of days or if the weather is good. Fibro fog is my worst enemy getting me into all kinds of trouble, I’m in constant pain, but I sometimes forget to take my pain MEDs. Sometimes I do an activity that I later realized is something that will cause a flare up.

Manage The Expectations Of Others

three_ways_to_live_life_fullest_2Fibromyalgia is an invisible illness, meaning that we don’t look sick, but we are. We don’t look like were dying of pain, but we are. Because we don’t have a cast on one of our limbs or because we don’t pull out a needle for an insulin shot we don’t get the same respect afforded those who have those more visible illnesses. There’s a lot in a name. If we said, “I can’t do that because I have arthritis,” most people would understand because “arthritis” has name recognition that fibromyalgia doesn’t have.

What this all means is that we need to manage expectations that others have of us. Because we don’t look sick or because we have a disease with virtually no name recognition we don’t get the same respect as other with different illnesses.

How does one manage the expectations of others? That is a hard thing. We’re not lazy and we want to do as much as we can when we can, but that doesn’t match up with external expectations.

Someone suggested this concept: You’re involved in a group and something comes up and they need a volunteer to do something. You’re having a good day so you think, I could do that for a change. Yay. But if you do it this time, they might expect you to do it again the next time that situation arises. You have no way of knowing how you’ll be feeling next week or next month. If you do it today then you’re setting expectations for the next time. So don’t do it, even though you could have done it that one time. Now they won’t expect it of you.

Personally, I avoid situations like that, because it’s hard to manage others expectations of you. I have a supportive family so I can do things when I feel good enough and say no when I don’t feel good enough. Even though they understand and are supportive, it’s hard on them and sometimes they get a little bent out of shape but they understand.

Winning other people’s approval is not worth getting sick over, it’s not worth a flare up, so don’t be afraid to say no.

Manage The Expectations Of The Illness

There are some basic things you can do to manage fibromyalgia: Treat the symptoms, like pain pills for pain, muscle relaxers for muscle spasms, anxiety pills for anxiety, medicine for IBS or whatever the case may be.

Avoid stress the best you can. Stay positive, the best you can. Get the best sleep you can, don’t overdo it and don’t give up!

There are no medicines from nature or from the pharmaceutical companies that will completely take away the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Treat the symptoms but don’t go overboard. There are several million people in America that suffer from fibromyalgia. If some medicine came along or some natural remedy came along that resolved fibro completely, don’t you think you would have heard about it from a reputable source and not some second rate site with outlandish testimonials that claim to have the answer for fibromyalgia?

Don’t waste your hard earned precious little money searching for a cure. You will know about a cure or a top rate solution, it one becomes available.

Keep things in perspective. There is no known cure for fibromyalgia, but it is not a degenerative illness. It won’t kill you. It can, with time, be managed to a degree. To expect more than that will set you up for disappointment.

Three Ways To Live Life To The Fullest With Fibromyalgia

Three Ways To Live Life To The Fullest With Fibromyalgia

With a title like that, I hope you’ll keep reading. This is no joke, we can live life to its fullest even with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, chronic pain or any other life altering pain related disease. I have had fibro for thirty-two years and counting. I have just started to feel like I can live my life to its fullest potential. I still have bad days, bad weeks and bad months. I have pain every single day of my life. The pain vacillates, but it’s always there. The headaches, joint pain, muscle pain, flu like malaise, the works. I have a majority of the fibro symptoms listed in this article of fibromyalgia symptoms. but now that I’ve learned a few things, I can see a dim light at the end of the tunnel during flare ups and bad days or weeks or months.

I know the flare ups will pass and leave me with traditional pain and anguish caused by fibromyalgia. Keep in mind, back when life was normal for you, you had bad days, you didn’t feel normal, sick days, days where you were in an inexplicable funk. That type of life is the same with fibro. Good days are typically painful to various degrees. Flare ups are the bad days or the funky days.


The three ways to live life to the fullest with fibromyalgia are:

Accept Your New Reality And Limitations

Manage Expectations

Find New Ways To Feel Fulfilled

I have fibromyalgia, I’m not some professional writing about this debilitating disease, I write from personal experience. I plan on writing about all three of this topic, hopefully in the next three days. Although it’s fibro permitting, so stay tuned for the next two articles.

Accept Your New Reality And Limitations

When you have a chronic pain illnesses like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, or any other illness that creates chronic pain, you know that there are limitations. You can no longer do what you used to do. You wear out far more easily than you used to. It hurts to do common things that you’ve regularly done in the past. It hurts to do anything, it hurts to do nothing. Even breathing can hurt sometimes.

This is your new reality. You need to accept your new reality. That does not mean you give up and give into your illness. Accepting that fact that things are different than they used to be and always will be, doesn’t mean you’re giving in to the illness. If you accept the fact that life is what it currently is, it’s easier to move on with your new life and a way to live.

I’ve heard people say “fibro doesn’t have me, I have it” or “fibromyalgia isn’t going to determine my life, or change my life.” That can be seen as a good fighters mantra but it’s not complete reality. Fibro does change your life and it does determine some of what you can or cannot do. I’m not a professional health care provider or a psychiatrist. I’m a man who has had fibromyalgia for thirty-two year and counting. I speak from experience.

If you accept your limitations then you can learn to work around them. If you don’t accept your limitations, then you’re going to work hard and hurt more and feel more anguish on top of the debilitating, bone crushing pain of a chronic pain illness.

Accepting your new reality doesn’t mean you’re giving into it, it means you understand the need to work around it.

We all hope and pray for a cure or a superior way to manage the symptoms of chronic pain. But until then, this is our life. Let’s get on with living it the best way possible.

Here are some thoughts or ideas on how to accept your new reality. For some reason, a great many deal with an issue of guilt. They feel guilty being in pain all the time. They feel guilty because they can’t do what they used to do. There are many other reasons to feel guilty, but there are no good reasons to feel guilty. Let go of any guilt that you may feel.

“Did you ask to have this illness?” No.

“Had you deliberately done anything to cause this illness?” No.

“Do you want this illness?” No.

“Do you enjoy being in pain all the time?” No.

Then don’t feel guilty. Let go of any guilt.

If you accept the fact that you have fibromyalgia or any other chronic pain disease, then you can treat it the way you should. With respect. Respect the fact that you may need a nap or two or three during the day. Your body has a pain sickness and needs rest. You also aren’t going to get better any time soon so you need to accept the fact that you need to pace yourself.

Troy Wagstaff

Look for Parts 2 and 3 within the next few days…

Living Day By Day With Fibromyalgia And Other Chronic Illnesses

Living Day By Day With Fibromyalgia And Other Chronic Illnesses

Living day by day with a chronic illness like chronic pain, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and many other chronic invisible illnesses require a different mindset or an adjusted mind set. Your day to day life is affected in every single aspect or nearly every single aspect.


Gone are the days of waking up early after a good night’s rest, getting ready for work, spending eight or nine hours at work, coming home to spend time with the family, work in your garden or other hobbies. Gone are the days of waking up early and making breakfast for the family, cleaning the house, maybe go to work, making dinner for the family, spend time with the kids and hobbies.

Snake Plant, also known as a "Mother in-Laws' Tongue" plant is one of my favorite house plants. This one is mature enough to have seeds forming.

Snake Plant, also known as a “Mother in-Laws’ Tongue” plant is one of my favorite house plants. This one is mature enough to have seeds forming.

Whatever your past life was before coming down with a chronic, invisible, pain filled disease, your life is different now. Are you disabled? Even if you’re not completely disabled your life is different.

I have had fibromyalgia for thirty-one years. The last twelve or thirteen years have been disabled. After getting diagnosed and properly medicated, I have spent a great deal of time trying how to have a productive life in spite of my illness. I have struggled to reinvent myself in spite of pain around the clock.

My wife has had colon cancer and about five years after that breast cancer, twice a cancer victim, twice a cancer survivor. I think it was when she was having chemo for breast cancer, we met this older lady during a chemo session. She was dressed up nicely, a great looking wig, makeup and a great attitude. She had been fighting cancer on and off for, I think, about ten years and was on a downward spiral when we met her. We talked about a lot of things, the only thing I remember about that conversation was that she was really sick and could do very little day by day due to her advanced cancer and chemo sickness. She loved to garden and didn’t want to give it up, but she just couldn’t work her garden any longer. She then realized she could replace that urge to garden with house plants. She could take care of several house plants. It fulfilled something that cancer tried to take from her.

Part of my front room garden. I have two other house plants stands in the front room with great west facing light

Part of my front room garden. I have two other house plants stands in the front room with great west facing light

I grew up working in a large vegetable garden and an extra large flower garden. I also developed an interest in house plant when I was ten or eleven years old. I could buy a nice little house plant for .49 cents back then. Once we bought our first house I started my own vegetable and flower gardens. After two upgrade houses we built our own house and I landscaped the whole lot including planting grass, trees and perfectly designed gardens.

I also had a few house plants around the house as my wife would allow. The plants and pots had to match her decorating scheme.

After I heard the “gardening to the house plant’s story” with the brave cancer lady, I realized I could do the same. Since then my inside garden has grown substantially. It is not a daily activity but it’s fun to look at and It gives me an opportunity to water them, pick off the dead leaves, occasionally transplant a plant getting too big for a pot. It almost completely satisfies by gardening inclination. It gives me a doable activity a few times a week.

House plants are not my new life, but it is a doable fun hobby. It satisfies a need I have. Another thing I have recently started doing about a year and a half ago was reading books. History books and novels. I’m not talking casual activities, but reading at the rate of one or two books a week.

What do you do to fill the void in your life with chronic pain illnesses?

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