All About The First Novel On Fibromyalgia

All About The First Novel On Fibromyalgia

After nearly two years and countless fibro flare ups, I finally finished my first novel. I hope you’ll enjoy it. I hope you find inspiration and validation from reading this novel.
I priced the book to be affordable. Where the trend in eBooks tends to be pricing books higher and higher, I took the opposite approach. For sale as an eBook on Amazon, I’ve priced Parleys Quest at $3.99 and the paperback $9.99. Also, if you’re an AmazonPrime member the cost of the eBook is free. Rather than making money on this venture, I’m looking to reach out to the vast community of chronic pain patients, especially fibrochampions.
Since I’ve been promoting the book, I have been asked many questions about the book, the process of writing it and other questions. I thought I would write an article enumerating these questions and others in a Q&A format.
Q: Why write, let alone write a novel?
A: Many of you reading this article can relate to fibro fog. In addition to fibro fog I have white matter disease which gives me a lot of memory and cognitive problems. During a conversation with a  neuropsychologist, I was educated in ways to improve my memory and cognitive functions. I was told that language arts are known to help rehabilitate memory issues of the brain.
During the ensuing conversation I specifically asked if writing was considered a language art and suitable for rehabilitation. Her answer was yes. Anything within the umbrella of writing, from keeping a daily journal to writing a book. Just so long as it is done every day. I was further cautioned that this is a slow process. Unlike physical rehabilitation, this type of therapy would take long months and years to effect an improvement.
I’ve had a life long interest in writing and had been blogging inconsistently for years. I decided I was going to give writing therapy a try. Initially I was going to do some nonfiction writing, but with some encouragement from a neighbor I decided to write creatively and eventually write a novel.
First, I had to study novel and creative writing, which was followed by a lot bad writing attempts on my part. I finally started the novel that included chronic pain and fibromyalgia. I wrote almost half of a novel when I decided that it was a good exercise, but otherwise garbage. I started over and after one hundred and fifty words realized that I was close, but still didn’t have the story I really wanted. Oops, I did it again. I started over. I finally got the story right.
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The very first novel written about fibromyalgia by someone with fibromyalgia

Q: So, did writing help with your memory and cognitive issues?
A: Not much the first eighteen months. I had a flash of improvement every once in a while. If I wasn’t vested in getting the story done, I might have quit trying. I was told this wasn’t a quick fix to my memory and cognitive issues.

As time went on I started to really notice some improvement. It became obvious that my memory was improving. Then, as I persevered, I continued to notice improvement, eventually even in some cognitive issues. I am doing better with passwords and many lost memories have come back to me. It has been nice to remember fond memories. It was like living them all over again. I still have a long way to go, but I am seeing steady improvement.
Q: Why write on the topic of fibromyalgia?
A:  Having had fibromyalgia for so long and knowing how frustrating it is for people to take the illness seriously, I wanted to bring fibro into the mainstream as much as I would be able to by writing a novel where chronic pain and fibromyalgia were a big issue. It’s validating to have people take you seriously when you’re afflicted with fibro and other types of chronic pain. I wanted to entertain, engage and validate those with chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and chronic pain.
As the story started to take off and the characters got developed I realized that rather than having health issues as a side story, it was the story. There are other characters with other types of chronic pain to compare and contrast with fibro as well.
Q: What is the book about?
A:  Parley is married to his college sweetheart Miranda. Andy is married to the Marine Corp. Watch what happens when Parley and Andy, both heroes in their own right, suffer insurmountable physical setbacks and adversity? Watch as the quest that Parley is forced to take leads him to cross paths with Gunnery Sargent Andy Zimmerman. Can they help each other when they appear unable to help themselves? Can they each make sense of the life that is forced upon them? Will they have the strength to fight back? Does their new quest lead them to hope or more despair? Three Christians, two writers, one warrior. They only have a few things in common, one of which is chronic health problems and a mysterious pain. Can they help each other out or do their life altering trials keep them away from benefitting from each others fellowship? Find out how Parley’s Quest resolves these questions. It’s a life altering story that will inspire you and make you grateful for Christian teachings of love, hope and faith.
Q: Do you plan on a sequel?
A: I do, Fibromyalgia willing. In spite of fibro, I manage to write the first one, so I am fairly confident that I’ll write a sequel. The story of Parley is far from over.
Q: What about the inspirational quotes at the beginning of each chapter?
A: They were significant quotes I experienced while writing the book and I thought they would be nice to share. The ones written by CallahanWriter are the quotes I wrote myself while writing the book and some are even part of the novel.
Q: There’s a lot of talk about pain in the novel, not just about fibromyalgia. Why?
A: That’s a good observation. The intent is to compare and contrast the pain associated with fibromyalgia to many other types of pain.
Q: How much of your own life is in the story?
A: Parley and the other characters are very different from me and that was on purpose. The parts of me that are in the book are based on personal experiences with the pain and symptoms of fibromyalgia. I hope that’s what makes this a good book. After all, it is a novel about fibromyalgia written by someone who actually has it and can write about it first hand.

Can The Loss From Chronic Pain Be Turned To Gain

Can The Loss From Chronic Pain Be Turned To Gain

If you have had any of the chronic pain illnesses for any length of time, you have experienced loss of one type or another. Whether that loss is great or small it still hurts, leaving you feeling  empty, demoralized, unfulfilled and angry. A sense of loss can compound the mental and emotional anguish associated with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue or any other type of never-ending pain.

 

PQ_BookCover_Txt_Enlarged1When dealing with these sicknesses over expanded periods of time, small victories can make a substantial difference in ones overall well being and ability to cope. Therefore, it can be worth pursuing activities that can help you achieve some victories which can help the time wasted on the sick bed seem worthwhile. Achieving small victories can, over time help chip away at the emotional drain associated with chronic illness.
A case in point is that after spending thirty-two years with fibromyalgia, twelve years diagnosed  I got into writing. Making a long story short, I recently finished my first novel. It is now published and available on Amazon.
I also found out that writing, like any other language arts, helps stimulate the brain acting like physical therapy for the brain. Since engaging in creative writing for three years I have enjoyed both the beginning benefits of my brain working better and I can remember more passwords than before. I have experienced small improvements with various memory issues. I also have something meaningful I can do during the long hours of day in and day out suffering from fibromyalgia and its many symptoms.
So if you don’t feel like writing a novel or some other type of book, then keep a journal every day or write letters. There are many ways to employ writing as a therapeutic activity for your chronic pain, fatigue or fibromyalgia. Remember that it’s not just writing that will be beneficial, any type of language arts can have the same effect.
If you’re interested and I hope you are, you can get a copy of my novel Parleys Quest from Amazon. It happens to be a work of fiction where the protagonist deals with chronic pain, fatigue and fibromyalgia as he trudges his way through the novel.
Troy Wagstaff

The First Novel About Fibromyalgia

The First Novel About Fibromyalgia

I’m back! I’m sorry for the long delay in keeping this blog up. For nearly two years I have been working on a novel. I got to a point where trying to keep the blog going and finishing the book was too much for me given the fact that I suffer from fibromyalgia. I will tell you all much more about my novel in the coming weeks. I’ll say this much.  The novel is a story where the protagonist is eventually diagnosed with fibro. It is called Parleys Quest and can be purchased from Parleys Quest.
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This work of fiction is the first novel that deals specifically with fibromyalgia. There have been novels, various stories and even some movies that deal with chronic pain of one type or another, but to the best of my knowledge, until Parleys Quest, there has not been any stories dealing with the challenges of fibromyalgia. This is significant to the millions of people worldwide diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
I’m glad to be back and I will now start keeping the blog active.

Fibromyalgia Awareness Memes

Fibromyalgia Awareness Memes

Please feel free to use these memes in promoting fibromyalgia awareness.

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Unintended Consequences Of Chronic Pain And Fibromyalgia

Unintended Consequences Of Chronic Pain And Fibromyalgia

 

I’m an adult with an ear ache. Well, actually I’m a man bordering on old age and it’s not an ear ache, but it’s earaches, one in each ear. My throat starts to hurt along with a three day headache that will not go away so I go to the doctor. I’m not proud, in fact, I’m quick to go to the doctor when it comes to relieving  any type of pain.
With fibromyalgia I am sick of the pain. If I can relieve some type of minor or regional pain, I’ll do what I can. So the doctor agrees, I am sick. I get ten days worth of antibiotics. I get some cough syrup, cough syrup without narcotics. I already have a prescription for that. Yeah. I’ve been through many a sinus infection and many an upper respiratory illnesses, both viral and bacterial. I know that if I respond favorably within two to three days, it’s likely bacterial and I’m on track. Otherwise, it’s viral and I have to wait it out. It’s sad that I know this much.
I’m taking my medication regularly for three or four days and I’m responding well. Then all of the sudden I seem to be backsliding. Not good. So the question is why? I don’t want to be sick. I don’t want to expose my grandchildren to whatever I have. Being sick on top of chronic pain and fibromyalgia is just miserable. It’s worse than miserable, but unless you have a chronic illness or a chronic pain, you likely wouldn’t understand. So then, the question is why am I backsliding. Why are my symptoms getting worse and not better like they were a few days ago?
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It takes longer to figure out since my memory is foggy and my deductive reasoning skills are reduced by fibro fog but I do figure it out. I take too much medicine. Too many pills. I guess that’s a matter of opinion. I don’t technically take too many pills because every medicine I take is prescribed, even the Calcium, Vitamin C and other supplements.
You see, the problem is that my memory, motor skills are kicking in when I take my morning medicine and my night time medicine. I look at the bottles, sometimes skipping the labels because after six, eight or twelve years of taking the same medicine daily, I know what the bottle looks like. I know what the pill looks like. I have made several phone calls over the years to the pharmacy to ask why the shape or color of the pills in a particular pill bottle are different. They look it up and say that for that particular bottle, it came from a different manufacturer this one time or that they changed the shape of the tablet or the pill is a different color because it is now generic.
I think to myself, when was the last time I took my antibiotics? Now that I’m thinking about it, I start to wonder when I last took that two color capsule. I go through my pills, sorting them by morning and night time schedules. There’s a slightly translucent white pill bottle remaining along with an old bottle of Meclizine that I need to dispose of. The white bottle turns out to be my antibiotic. Crap! I realize that I have been on autopilot for so long that I passed over that antibiotic bottle the last few days. I haven’t been taking my new pill.
What’s done is done and I need to move on. I have changed the way I manage that pill. I have been taking it properly now and the symptoms are again improving. I now place the antibiotic next to my pain medicine that I take throughout the day. That reminds me to take it morning and evening.
After dwelling on this strange circumstance, I realize that among the many unintended consequences of medicating and treating fibromyalgia and chronic pain is that sometimes other temporary medicines get lost in the shuffle making it harder to deal with what most people would consider normal medical issues like the occasional sinus infection or ear aches or whatever. After twelve official years diagnosed with fibromyalgia I am still learning about how to live with this chaotic illness. Yeah.

Inspirational Fibromyalgia Quotes

Inspirational Fibromyalgia Quotes

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Inspirational Fibromyalgia Awareness

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Strength, Courage and Hope

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A New Day Of Hope

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With Hope We Can Persevere

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Never Give Up. Never Surrender

Princes Purple Pain: The Controversy of Drugs and Chronic Pain

Princes Purple Pain: The Controversy of Drugs and Chronic Pain

The Side Effects Of Invisible Chronic Pain Illness

What comes first, the  chicken or the egg? While the world mourns the passing of the great singer and songwriter Prince, many have tried to use his name as the face of chronic pain by declaring that it was chronic pain that killed him. Technically, is was drug overdose that killed Prince. Thus, herein lies the controversy. He had chronic pain and, for whatever reason, he didn’t get proper medical care. Prince, like countless others, managed his chronic pain by himself.
When it comes to managing chronic pain, countless people go without proper medical care and medicate themselves.  This creates a public health crisis and puts peoples lives in jeopardy. Since chronic pain is one of those invisible illnesses, it often get’s overlooked by the medical establishment and the public. For that reason, many people aware of the problems of chronic pain are trying to use Prince’s sad death to draw the public eye on a very serious problem, chronic pain.
There are many people who shrug off the death of Prince as a typical drug related celebrity death. In this case, they are wrong. Prince did have chronic pain. It is said by those who knew Prince that he had hip pain that warranted surgery, the surgery was unsuccessful and made his pain worse. I don’t know why he was self medicating and so I won’t judge his use of narcotics to manage his pain.
I have chronic pain in the name of fibromyalgia and arthritis both. Narcotics are a part of my medical treatment plan under a competent medical doctor. I know that narcotics help manage pain. One of my biggest pain points are both hips. I can relate to the pain felt by Prince.
Robin Williams
When the world lost Robin Williams to suicide, countless millions were exposed to the sad reality of mental health issues. While his passing was tragic for the world, we all learned more about the reality of mental health issues. That alone was a tribute to Robin Williams.
Prince
As the world mourns the loss of a great talent like Prince, let us use this time to learn much more about the sad reality of chronic pain as our tribute to him. If some good can come from his passing, let it be in the form of increased awareness and understanding of chronic pain.
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If people understand the reality of chronic pain and its legitimacy as a medical issue they may be more willing to support those with chronic pain and take the cloak of invisibility away from this medical issue.
Some of the many behaviors that could end the life of chronic pain patients are suicide and self medication. Self medication will almost certainly lead to addiction and associated with addiction is criminal behavior and the very real possibility of overdosing.
Because so many in society, including many medical doctors don’t understand chronic pain and how to manage it they won’t treat it. Ignoring it leads desperate people to self medicate. When people turn to illegal drugs and alcohol it becomes society’s problem with impaired driving and an increase in the crime rate.
Chronic pain is invisible like the wind. You can’t see the wind, but you can feel it. Most people don’t care about the wind until they see or experience the devastation that can come from the wind. In this case, we see the devastation of chronic pain through the death of Prince.
Robin Williams hid his mental health issues behind a big smile. Prince hid his chronic pain behind his active lifestyle that was made possible by the use of narcotics. If he had his medicine managed by a competent and intelligent medical doctor, he may still be with us with more music to write.
So let us become more aware of chronic pain as a society. Let’s insist that our medical community takes invisible chronic pain more serious. Insist that medical schools educate our health care professionals better, push to find better treatments for the many chronic pain conditions.  Let’s tell the government to leave health care management to the doctors and not tie their hands with worthless and needless regulations.
While Prince’s death is tragic for the world, let us honor him, like the world honored Robin Williams. When Robin William’s passed away we learned more about the devastating effects of mental health. With Prince’s passing, let’s honor his memory by learning more about the seriousness and danger of chronic pain. Perhaps, by doing so, we can prevent needless overdoses and suicides. Hopefully, if we look past Princes overdose, we can look to what motivated Prince to over medicate and understand the devastating effects of chronic pain that affect millions of people, we can avoid other suicides of people that no one knows about but are no less important.
Troy Wagstaff
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