Do People Really Live this Early in the Morning?

Do People Really Live this Early in the Morning?

Insomnia is a big problem for many of us who have chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia or chronic pain. For many different reasons we have trouble sleeping. I don’t know about you champions, but before Fibro was officially diagnosed I was an early to bed early to rise kind of guy. Now that I have insomnia, I go to bed late and get up late, most of the time.

When life demands that I wake up early, about fifty percent of the time I can take my MEDs and I can get to bed in time to accommodate an early rise. This morning was one of those days when I got decent sleep in spite four or five interruptions.

how_fibro_changed_me_1I woke up at 8:15 a.m. to take my daughter to work at 9:00 a.m. I had enough time to take my pain MEDs and to rest my back on my heating pad for at least a half hour.

We left at 8:48 a.m. We saw a perky thirty-something woman jogging and wondered how someone could be out so early and be so perky and be jogging all at the same time. My daughter has developed bad sleeping habits along with me and my wife as she grew up. So this is early for her.

We live in a small town and on main street, the main thorough-fare, there were tons of cars on both sides of the road. That’s awfully early for this many people to be out and driving around on a Saturday. It was now 8:52 a.m.

As Kate and I were talking, on the way to the salon, I was reminiscing about the days when I used to go to work as someone else’s employee. I would be at my desk and working by eight in the morning. I realized I would wake up about an hour early to be ready for work. When I started a longer commute I woke up another hour and a half earlier to get ready to get to the bus or train. The last time I did that was about February 2002. I worked for myself for several years before my official diagnosis of fibromyalgia and then later becoming disabled.

As I reflected on that memory on my way home, by now it was 9:04 a.m., I realized how much fibromyalgia has affected my life. All these years later, eight in the morning is sleeping time. When millions of people are hard at work, I am sleeping or just waking up. Sadly, this is just another example of how fibro has, without my consent, changed the way I am forced to live my life.

What Is It Like to Be a Guy With Fibromyalgia?

What Is It Like to Be a Guy With Fibromyalgia?

Why is it an issue to be a guy with Fibromyalgia (Fibro) as opposed to a gal with Fibro? It is a well-established fact that the vast majority of Fibro patients are women. Many studies have been done on the topic of gender and Fibromyalgia and they all turn out similar results. Statistically, of all reported cases of Fibro, 90% are women and 10% are men, one study indicated 85% women to 15% men.

What man wants to have a woman’s disease? “I don’t.” But I have it, so now I have to deal with it. What person wants to be sick? No one. When you are, you deal with it.

This hideous, bone crunching chronic pain disease is not for the faint of heart. But when you get it, you often feel faint of heart.

With this disease I suffer debilitating chronic pain throughout my body, sometimes all at once, sometimes just a few parts of my body. Since last Friday, I have had an overwhelming pain in my left knee. I have also had a line of pain that goes horizontally in the small of my back that feels like a fold. Meaning that if I bent over to far I would fall into that fold. It feels a lot like my knee, bone on bone. Throw in neck pain and muscle spasms all over my back. That’s what the last three and a half days have been like.

whats_it_like_guy_fibroBefore we go any farther, to those who don’t know what Fibromyalgia (Fibro for short) is, it’s a pain sensitivity that affects all soft tissue in the body. It does not affect the joints. However the muscles, tendons and ligaments are affected by Fibro which in turns affects the joints indirectly.

Most people associate Fibro with chronic pain. If you do then you’re right but there is more to the story than chronic pain. There are countless web sites that mention all the primary and secondary symptoms of Fibromyalgia. I’ll only mention the ones that bother me the most.

Fibro fog is the name of a small collection of symptoms that affect memory and cognitive functions. You’ve heard of people looking for their glasses only to find that their glasses are on top of their heads. Sometimes their glasses are right on their nose. Everyone has forgotten something important that they never dreamed they would forget.

Have you ever been speaking and in mid sentence forget the word you were going to use? You know what the word means and you can describe what the word means but you can’t think of that word? Have you ever gone into a room to find something and forget what you’re looking for?

All of these memory items and more are what many Fibro-suffers go through many times in one day. What’s worse is going into another room to take a pain pill because you are hurting. You get to the other room feeling that searing pain but you forget what you went in that room for. You go back to where you came from only to realize you needed a pain pill.

Day in and day out, these cognitive issues wear on you heavily. There is also a foggy sensation in your mind that makes you feel like you are not all there.

How many of you have suffered itchy sensations from allergies? How many of you have suffered those same types of skin irritations without any allergies? Welcome to my world.

When I was first diagnosed with Fibro, I thought I was completely fatigued due to all the pain sucking the energy out of me. Pain can do that but so can Fibro. Fibro ebbs and flows. When I am having a relatively good day, I can still feel fatigued because it is just another independent symptom of Fibro.

I could go on for several pages about my pain and symptoms but I have done that already in other posts here in

Because of Fibromyalgia I am severely limited to what I can and cannot do physically and even mentally with cognitive functions. I can’t support my family which I have done for twenty of the thirty years of marriage and family.

I can’t lift heavy things. I can’t lift light things that are awkward. I have sensitivities to sunlight and UV rays which affects being outside. I wear sunglasses almost everywhere I go. I tire easily so I have to pace myself.

All of these issues and symptoms of Fibro affect my interaction with my family, my Church, my old hobbies and activities. I am a different person in many ways since Fibromyalgia came along.

I have a very kind neighbor who mows my lawn every week all summer long. He and other neighbors shovel the snow on my driveway and side walks. I truly and deeply appreciate my neighbors but I also feel a deep resentment to my health for sidelining me from the physical activities of life I enjoyed so much and took for granted all those years.

I still think almost the same as before, but not completely the same. I have to entertain limitations when I make plans. I have to pace myself on good days so that I don’t overdue it, and have to pay for the fun the next day in agonizing pain.

I’m not looking for sympathy. My health could be worse. I just want people to be aware of how Fibro affects its victims including men. For me, I feel like a bum not being able to provide for my family. I feel like a bum when others have to do for me the things I no longer can do. I am in many respects a different person. I need to reinvent myself and that’s what I am working on at this time of my life. I have to plan a future that allows for countless sick days and chronic insomnia. I have to adjust to a day of unknowns. I can wake up in the morning feeling great and by lunch time I am in writhing pain only to feel better by nap time. These kinds of changes can happen four or five times a day or last all day or not bother me on rare days.

Try planning with those limitations. I’m a stubborn and traditional person and I find it defeating when I don’t feel like a man. Sometimes I feel like a blob on the recliner taking up space. Once in a while I go to bed gratefully for a semi normal day. Yes, it really is that dramatic.

Troy Wagstaff © All Rights Reserved, May be used by permission only.

Fibro Awareness

Fibromyalgia Awareness

It used to be that many unintelligent doctors called Fibromyalgia a “trash-can diagnosis.” That was very insulting to me and many of my Fibro friends. It now seems most doctors acknowledge Fibromyalgia. Now the issue with Fibromyalgia is to educate people to know that Fibromyalgia is much more than just a chronic pain illness. There are so many more symptoms to Fibro than just chronic bone crushing pain.

It’s not that we want everyone to feel sorry for us. We are still in education mode, trying to educate people about what we suffer. We have what falls into the category of an “invisible disease.”

Just because we look healthy doesn’t mean we are. People with mental health problems look healthy as do people with diabetes, unless they’ve lost a foot or leg.

fibro_awareness_2Just so you know, Fibromyalgia is like having the worst possible muscle aching flu all the time. Others say it is like having arthritis all over the body. Recently I hear a doctor say it’s like having a migraine all over the body.

I have had Fibromyalgia for 31 years I can state with absolute certainty that all of those comparisons are true.

Imagine having an illness with the following symptoms:

Memory loss, skin rashes, skin sensitivity, itchy dry eyes, blurriness, dry mouth, restless legs, IBS, headaches, chemical sensitivity, sun light and UV light sensitivity, insomnia, migraines, impaired concentration, depression, anxiety, impaired coordination, ringing in the ears, dizziness, and assorted neurological symptoms.

That is a long list of symptoms. You would be one sick puppy if you had all or most of those symptoms, agreed?

Like I said earlier, we are not looking for sympathy but education. When someone tells you they have been diagnosed with Fibro, now you know what they have to contend with.

Now for good measure, add chronic, body wide pain to the mix. Welcome to my world and the world of millions of other Fibromyalgia patients. Fibromyalgia affects both men and women, although more women than men are currently diagnosed.


Troy Wagstaff  © All rights Reserved

%d bloggers like this: