A Day In The Life Of Fibromyalgia

Another Day In The Life Of Fibromyalgia

For almost two months I have only posted a few times. I’ve been in the throes of a fibro flare. When I have been blessed with a few good days, I have been working on my first novel. It’s a mystery with the main character that among other things has to deal with a mysterious chronic pain problem. Later on he finds a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. In spite of his illness, he is the only one who can solve the mysterious disappearance of countless young people who have gone missing on Lake Shaft.

I’ve spent a few years working on my Blog and I don’t want it do let it die. So I am trying to institute a regular column called A Day In The Life Of

Fibromyalgia, to keep my posts more regular. It will be a type of journal of the details of various days of how I am fighting fibromyalgia or how it’s fighting me. I will still, as health permits, write articles about this vile disease, we so hatefully call fibromyalgia.

Lately I have been having some serious pain from the top of my ankles, both, up the outside of the leg about eight inches. It hurts when I walk. I’ve been trying to do yoga, which includes, among other things balancing poses. At first I thought that might be causing the pain, then I realized when I sit in my favorite recliner, I cross my feet. Then I felt the ligament pull from my ankles up to the side of my leg. I realized that was where my pain was coming from.


Why is that important? For most people it is probably not very important. However, for those of us who have fibromyalgia we are extra sensitive to the slightest normal pain. Now that I have identified the pain, I can stop crossing my legs at my ankles, it will heal and then that little molehill will stop feeling like a mountain.

For us fibro champions, we have to take care of the slightest aches and pain to prevent the minor pain so it won’t feel like a major pain.

Troy, A fibro champion.

A Day In The Life Of Fibromyalgia: Memories

A Day In The Life Of Fibromyalgia: Memories

I’ve had fibromyalgia for about thirty-two years, diagnosed for about twelve years. For all of you who have fibromyalgia for any length of time can relate to this, in concept. Probably not the exact situation, but the concept at least.

I was watching a rerun episode of M.A.S.H., it was the one where Klinger tries to get Winchester to invest in the hula hoop and Frisbee. I wonder when and where those two classics came into being. But the memory I had was like a series of video clips of me throwing a Frisbee. I threw the Frisbee in a grocery store parking lot late at night with the parking lot lights on so we could practice skipping the Frisbee on a hard surface. I threw the Frisbee a lot in parks all over. I could competently throw the Frisbee in three or four styles including under my leg.


The fun review of the mental video clips was followed by some despair as I realized, “there is one more thing I can’t do.” Luckily I no longer own any of my Frisbees so I am not tempted.

It’s both fun and sad to have fun memories or recollections from the past. It’s always fun to reflect on the fun of a former life before the new life of disabling fibromyalgia. But it is sad because in many cases, those fun memories will stay as memories and be things we can no longer do.

Troy Wagstaff


A Day In The Life Of Fibro: Frustration

A Day In The Life Of Fibromyalgia: Frustration

It’s tough, oh so tough and miserable going all those years with chronic pain and assorted symptoms without a diagnosis. Then after all those years and the money you finally get diagnosed. At last, a light at the end of the tunnel, or so you were hoping.

After the diagnosis, then you think or rightfully hope for the correct medicine to manage your symptoms. That’s better than nothing, right? That’s not always the case. Maybe after a year or two or three you finally get a collection of medications and therapies that help manage your fibromyalgia. Less pain and less symptoms, but you know in the back of your mind, a flare up is always around the corner. Frustration!

Then after ten or fifteen years of watching a great deal of your old life, pre fibromyalgia, pass you by, you think you’re finally at peace with your new life of medication and flare ups and restrictions. That is until you watch a movie, TV show or a football game and the memories of jumping up from the ground and walking away from a tackle shaking off the temporary pain come back to haunt you. Frustration!


The memories of getting off the message table feeling energized and spry comes flooding back to you reminding you that even a great therapeutic message has lost its magic. Frustration!

The memories stirred by a movie or a favorite song from the past stir your emotions and bring up memories and going out to dinner with your newly wed bride and then dancing all night long, come home fall into bed for two hours sleep only to have your old AM/FM radio alarm wake you up for another day or work and school. You wonder how that was ever possible and how impossible that is now with twenty or thirty years of fibromyalgia, eating away at your energy and physical abilities. Frustration!

So what does the ‘F’ in fibromyalgia stand for? Frustration!

Troy Wagstaff ©


Car Crashes Can Cause Stress For Chronic Pain and Fibromylagia Patients

Car Crash Stress Fibro

A Day In The Life Of Fibromyalgia

Anyone who has had fibromyalgia for any great length of time has to come to terms that stress of any kind can be a major trigger in a fibro flare up. Life may be good with a whole week of fibro pain levels at a constant four and then a major stressor happens and the fibro pain scale jumps through the roof.

It’s taken me about a week to write about it because it’s only been the last few days I have come back off that flare up.

It was about 8:00 a.m. and I got a call from my middle daughter who called me on the phone. She said, “Dad, I need you to come and pick me up because I’ve been in a car wreck.”


“Are you alright?”

“I’m not hurt but I think my car is totaled. There are other cars in the wreck.”

“Are you sure your alright?” By now I am making sure I have my keys and wallet. My wife is asking about the conversation. I say Brit has been in a car wreck, she says she’s ok.”

“What happened, I ask”?

“I got rear-ended.”

“Where are you at?”

“I’m on the off ramp on Center St.”

“I am on my way.”

“I’ll call you when I am on the road.”

The whole time she is emotional on the phone.

I told my wife, “Britt has been in a car wreck, she was rear-ended going off I-15 onto Center St., I am on my way. Have your mother take you to work.”

My wife replies with “OK, text me when you know hat’s going on.”


I am worried and scared for my daughter, but I feel kind of normal. Experience has taught me that the feeling or being normal won’t last. But I know this is not a time to be concerned with that.

I am on my way. I call her to check on her and she’s filling out a police report. She’s emotional, but trying hard to keep it together. It seems like forever, but I am there in fifteen minutes. Put my hazard lights on and get out of the car. I see highway Patrol vehicles on the far left lane and on the off ramp on the far right side of the interstate where I am at. I see my girl in a car with a witness to the crash. I come up to her and the good Samaritan rolls down the window and I ask her how she’s doing?

She says she is starting to feel pain in her neck. She has had a bad back for five years since she last got rear-ended.

A tow truck shows up so I get all of her personal belongings out and put them in my vehicle. I talk to the trooper and asked him how the girl who rear-ended my daughter is on the far side of the Interstate. He shook his head and said, “I don’t know, that’s what we are investigating.”

“Will that girl be sited,” I ask.

“We’re still investigating, but yes, she is responsible for the accidents.”

“My daughter is starting to hurt. If you can be done with her in five minutes fine, but otherwise I need to take her to the ER.”

“That’s fine, ” he said, “I can drop off the information to you there if I need to.”

I go back to my daughter and ask her if there is anything special that needs to be removed from her car. She rattled off a list of things. I had got most of it, but went back and found a few more things. This time I take a big look at what happened on the inside of her car. The force of the impact broke the driver’s side seat. Jammed all the doors, but the front passenger side. I am amazed at the extent of internal body damage to the car.

The trooper comes up to me and said, “we are going to meet at the Chevron station off of Center street to clear up the emergency vehicles and then I’‘ll print out a report for your insurance. Unless you need to go to the hospital.”

“We can wait,” I said.

I shake the hand of the good Samaritan and thanked him with gratitude.

We had our accident report and left for the ER. She had a CT-Scan and a large series of X-rays and all the was wrong was a bad case of whiplash.

She wanted to go see her car that had gotten her through a large portion of college and to say goodbye. We checked for a few more things and we got pictures of the car.

We got her prescriptions filled. Got her an appointment that day with the chiropractor and a week later she is still under doctor’s care but she is healing and doing well.

I rose to the occasion, thanks to adrenaline. That afternoon when I knew my daughter was comfortable and was resting I relaxed and the adrenaline wore off quickly. It took about five days to come off of that flare up that followed. I was in such shock and in so big of a hurry I forgot to take my fibro emergency go bag. I did have the presence of mind to grab the book I was currently reading. Didn’t ever use it. I was amazed how fast we got in and out of the ER.

fibro_car_crash_stressUnexpected things happen to those of us with Chronic pain and fibromyalgia. Life goes on even if we are sick or in pain. We don’t have much choice but to deal with it, taking it day by day. I was able to rise to the occasion, but I paid for it for five days of worse than normal pain and malaise. It was worth it. Just another day with fibromyalgia and the consequences of the terrible disease.

A Day In The Life Of Fibromyalgia: Exercising

A Day In The Life Of Fibromyalgia: Exercising

I know that talking about fibromyalgia and exercising in the same sentence is a turn off for many fibromites but before you tune out this topic, please remember, I have had fibromyalgia for thirty-one years. I have experience about this subject and that experience may surprise you.

Over the thirty-one years I have had fibromyalgia I have been on a roller coaster of success and failure with trying to establish an exercise program. I will save the details for another post. In short, though, I’ve only found three forms of exercise that I have been able to do for any length of time, walking, swimming and weight lifting. Again, the details are worthy of a separate post. I just want to say I have found appropriate exercise to be beneficial to partially manage fibromyalgia and here is my story that drives that point home.

a_day_in_the_life_of_fibromylagia_exerciseI have had several sicknesses unrelated to fibromyalgia over the past month or so, but in the middle of all that, I have managed to spend some time, less time than normal, on the treadmill. The past eight or nine days I have had a middle ear infection or a large fluid buildup behind my eardrums. It makes me dizzy and seriously distorts my hearing. One day I hear better than I have for thirty years and the next I can hardly hear anything. One day almost all noise bothers me and the next day I can watch TV. All the while my equilibrium is out of whack. This means that it’s very hard to exercise, for anyone and especially me where my primary exercise is walking on the treadmill. Even holding on to the bars, no way.

So for about that last eight or nine days I have not been able to exercise with one small exception; I managed to walk about seven or eight minutes on the sidewalk with my walking sticks and my daughter walking along side of me in case I fell. That small amount of time didn’t help much.

Yesterday I noticed my abs was sore, along with my thighs, buttocks, and most of my back was sore. It was the kind of sore I didn’t have while I regularly exercised. Those of us with fibromyalgia are expert at reading the different types of pain. This pain wasn’t the type that makes you think “I’m going to die” pain, but rather, it is the miserable and uncomfortable pain. Normally, it is a tolerable pain, but for us fibromites it is way too much pain.

For the last two years of exercising, I have felt physically good about exercising but never wanted to find out if it was helping my pain levels, to do so would mean I deliberately stop exercising for a while. Exercise is good for you no matter what, so I just kept going. Now that I have been benched for enough time to notice, I can see that to some extent, my pain has been relieved by exercising.

But here is the main point. In spite of the increase in pain caused from not exercising, I have not felt the need to increase my pain MEDs. Yet, as soon as my dizziness is over, I will resume my walking on a treadmill or on the sidewalk. It does make me feel better enough to want to keep exercising, but doesn’t affect my pain levels enough to influence my pain MEDs up or down.

Troy Wagstaff ©

This post is not medical advise or medical suggestions. It is just personal observations and opinions.

A Day In The Life Of Fibromyalgia: Dental Work – TMJ – Part 2

A Day In The Life Of Fibromyalgia: Dental Work – TMJ – Part 2

On June 22nd, I went to the dentist. You can read about that visit at How Fibromyalgia Affects My Daily Life: Dental Work. That was on a Monday. About seven to ten days later I noticed the symptoms of TMJ starting with my upper left jaw. That is where the dental work was done. Having had TMJ three or four times since fibro was officially diagnosed. I had prescription strength anti-inflammatories from a previous issue. I also had the pain reliever’s so I started treatment as soon as I realized the symptoms.

I can’t remember the exact day the symptoms started because I was dealing with some serious dizziness issues and then this week I was diagnosed with a middle ear infection. Since this Blog is written by a person who really has fibromyalgia, my posts are dependent upon my health.

a_day_in_the_life_of_fibromylagia_dental_tmjThe point of this follow-up to my post, A Day in the Life of Fibromyalgia: Dental Work, is to mention that even though I had a great experience with my visit to the dentist, about a week or so later I started to get the symptoms of TMJ which we, as fibromite are sensitive to.

My dentist is great and in spite of his sensitivity to my fibro symptoms, no one could control the need for my jaw to be wide open during the dental work. As a result of the pressure on my jaw, I got a case of TMJ. It wasn’t a terrible case of TMJ, I’ve had worse, I think treating the symptom’s quickly made have controlled the TMJ from getting worse, maybe.

Will you always get TMJ after every dental visit? Maybe not. My visit before the filling was a check up and cleaning and I didn’t get TMJ symptoms so I don’t know if TMJ will follow every dental visit but I would be on the look out for it. Perhaps consult your dentist at the time of your visit to get prescriptions for TMJ MEDs just in case the symptoms appear. I don’t know if your dentist would be willing but it doesn’t hurt to ask and it certainly helps to be prepared. I have been taking the TMJ therapy for about four or five days and the symptoms are almost gone.

So when going to the dentist it is, I think, a good idea to be prepared for the possibility of TMJ after your dental work is done.

What has been your experience with dental work and TMJ? What has been your experience in general with going to the dentist with fibromyalgia?

Troy Wagstaff ©

This is not medical advice and in no way assumes liability.

%d bloggers like this: