Review Of The Article: Fibromyalgia Now Considered As A Lifelong Central Nervous System Disorder

Review Of The Article: Fibromyalgia Now Considered As A Lifelong Central Nervous System Disorder

This article comes from the website and it covers research done by Daniel Clauw, M.D., Professor of Anesthesiology, University of Michigan

I do this review with thirty-one years of chronic pain experience. I spent about twenty years with chronic pain and misdiagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis. I’ve been correctly diagnosed with fibromyalgia for the last eleven years. I have been to more than fifteen doctors over the years, maybe more. Fibro fog does a number on the old memory.

The article talks about the research that Dr. Clauw has done on fibromyalgia. It is stated in the article that fibromyalgia is the second most common rheumatic disorder, yet he states that is it a central nervous system disorder. That confuses me. A central nervous system seems like it should be treated by a neurologist, whereas a rheumatic illness would be treated by a Rheumatologist.

The majority of the articles deals with the issue of the central nervous system. He also states that it is a life long CNS disorder.


When I first read this article over a month ago, I wondered about the assertion that it is a life long disorder. My first thought was, “no it isn’t.” Then I was preparing a Blog post about fibromyalgia having more than 70 symptoms. I thought about a few symptoms manifesting while I was a child, but pain was not among those symptoms. Then I talked to my Neuro-psychologist and she said that people may have fibromyalgia waiting for a stress-induced trigger. That stress inducing trigger might be a car wreck, an operation, abuse or suffering some other traumatic life event.

So maybe it is a lifelong condition. But for me, it has not been a life long chronic pain condition.

Because it is a Central Nervous System (CNS) disorder, the pain one feels with fibromyalgia comes from the brain and spinal cord, not the area of pain. If you feel extreme pain in your lower back, hips or thighs, the pain is coming from the CNS not the lower back, hips or thighs.

This article makes three other questionable statements that I take issue with. First, he asserts that opiates are not a good treatment for fibro. I have eleven years of experience and two pain management doctors who would disagree. My pain is helped a great deal by opiates and muscle relaxers.

And then after making that assertion doesn’t go into detail, but glosses over the alternatives to pain management. He does mention gabapentinoids, trycyclics and serotonoin reuptake inhibitors. Those MEDs have not worked for me and I have heard from many fibromites that they do not work for them as well.

The last criticism is that he states that goal improved function. While he is obviously not a patient of fibromyalgia he can say that, but to those of us with fibromyalgia, we want pain, relief first then we can try to work on improved function. Often, managing pain alone improves function.

The biggest contribution the article makes to the issue of fibromyalgia is that is suggests that fibromyalgia is an illness of the CNS. Other than that, most of the information has already been presented by many other researchers.

What do you think about the article? Do you agree or disagree with my review of the article and why?

Troy Wagstaff ©

I am not a health care professional of any type and I assume no liability for the information and opinions presented in this article or Blog post.

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.

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.

A Christian Review of NBC’s – A.D. The Bible Continues

A Christian Review of NBC’s – A.D. The Bible Continues

I have to applaud NBC for airing a bible based Christian theme TV series. With the making of this A.D. television series and the few Old Testament Bible movies over the last few years proves that there is a demand in our “decadent society” for family friendly high quality Christian entertainment.

I hope NBC will continue airing high quality entertainment such as this series. I hope other Networks will copy the example. The Bible is entertaining, as well as inspirational and educational.

Over all, having viewed the first four or five episodes, I find this series very good. The production qualities are excellent. The writing is good. The acting is very good. I have found, by watching this show, a renewed appreciation for the Apostle Peter. The New Testament starts with the Four Gospels and The Acts of The Apostles which are in story form and easier to read because of the chronological nature of the stories. Most of the rest of the New Testament consists of letters and teachings of supernal significance yet, without as much chronological story line to go along with the teaching of the gospel. Most of those additional books of the new testament are writings of Paul with some exceptions of Peter, James and John.

The concerns I have with this TV show are the things they left out and that some people watching the show might take the show as gospel.

Of course, if watching this show inspires people to reread the Book of The Acts of The Apostles so people know exactly what the Bible says about it, then that is great. I was inspired enough by the show to start reading over again The Acts of the Apostles. Considering this is historical fiction, it is very good. But the show is not one-hundred percent accurate and for historical fiction it doesn’t have to be. It is still perfectly uplifting and well worth the time to watch.

One thing I wish they hadn’t left out was the glorious vision the disciple Stephen had when he saw Jesus Christ standing on the right hand of God before he was stoned to death.

ad_bible_reviewThe scriptures talk about the Holy Ghost being a quite, still small voice in our heart and mind. However, in The Acts of The Apostles, at the day of Pentecost, the sound of might rushing wind was used to describe the Holy Ghost acting on Peter. But they carry it too far. Every time Peter has a revelation from The Lord through the Holy Ghost, they use the sound of wind. There are other ways those incidents could be depicted.

No real detail was mentioned in the New Testament about the Sorcerer in Samaria. I liked their take on it, comparing him to common magician. There is no way to know if it is correct or not but it was interesting. The show portrayed Phillip and Stephen well, in my opinion. But then again, we are lacking the nitty gritty details of interaction between the Apostles and the early Christians. So their guess is as good as any.

The way they have created the character of Saul and Paul is as good as anything I can think of. I am anxious to see how Paul continues to grow in the gospel according to the writers of the series.

Over all, I would say this is the best Television show to appear in decades. It has intrigue, suspense, action and an uplifting message. Just remember, it is historical fiction, which is just fine. It would be a great idea to read along in The Acts of The Apostles to see where their interpretation differs from the real scriptures. It is great entertainment.

Troy Wagstaff

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