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Old 02-08-2009, 09:42 PM   #1
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Confession of a male with Fibromyalgia

Hello:

I am a male. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia several years ago. I am still in denial. I'm an engineer, and I have always lived by the rule: "If you can't root cause it, it doesn't exist." That is why I am having such a tough time accepting it. I want hard evidence. I want a test that says, "There, proof positive that you have Fibromyalgia!" I know, with current technology, that that is not going to happen. At times I feel ashamed, when I see my Primary Care physician, complaining about how sick I feel. About how much pain I am in. About how I have days where my brain is in such a fog that simple tasks overwhelm me. My Dr, a female, has no problem with my diagnosis and is totally supportive. My neurologist, a male, who diagnosed my condition, obviously has no issues with his diagnosis. It's me who has the issues. I hate it with a passion.

This is the first time that I have actually said it to anyone. It's nice at times to be anonymous. I have four loving sisters, and I'm still unable to tell them about my current illness.

It started eight years ago. I was healthy and active. I would bike about 20 miles a day, and then go for a swim. It was a good summer. That following winter I came down with flu-like symptoms. I had a fever for several days and just felt bone-tired. I've been falling off a cliff in slow motion ever since.

The progression of this illness over the last eight years has been horrific. I am barely functioning right now. I wake up in the morning, and feel as if someone beat the hell out of me overnight with a baseball bat. Some days it takes all I have just to get out of bed to shower and shave and get dressed.

I have episodes where the pain is so bad that I find myself curled up on the floor almost to the point of tears. The pain seems to radiate everywhere, and the pain is deep, as if in my bones themselves. My shoulders, my arms, my legs. I feel as if I want to pull my arms out of the sockets. I want to take my hands and just squeeze my legs as hard as I possibly can. It's hard to explain. I have been given prescriptions for pain medication and for Lyrica. I have yet to use them, as I have a real phobia about taking medications.

I also have days where I really can't function mentally. I write software scripts, and I find myself unable to code things I've written hundreds of times before. I find myself staring at my computer screen, having no idea what I was doing five minutes before. Mental lapses, or whatever. Staring off into space. I was once asked at work if I had been drinking. It's also affected my digestive system to the extreme. And sleep. What's that? Seems I use to remember sleeping years ago.

Until recently, I had been very fortunate in regards to my job. I could work from home on days when I could not make it into work physically. For my fellow geeks, thank the stars for VNC and VPN.

But my luck ran out recently. Last November, I was in such bad shape, that I had to go out on short term disability. I just could not function, even when working from home. I returned back to work in Early January, even though I knew it was a bad idea, as did my Doctor. But I was scared, with the economy and all. Well, last week I lost my job. I was a victim of down-sizing, or so they say. I personally think they let me go because I've been sick, and they could see it. The fact is I was let go, as others were, so I may never really know the truth. It was devastating. Fourteen years with the company.

So, for the first time I admit it: I have Fibromyalgia. I hate it, but I have no choice in the matter. It has taken so much from me. So very very much......

Thanks for the ears.

 
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:41 PM   #2
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Thumbs up Re: Confession of a male with Fibromyalgia

Welcome
You expressed yourself very well , no need to feel shame.
You've reached yourself to a great place to vent, we all need to.
Your post is very real , stress is what fibro enjoys. No need to be so rough on yourself, none of us want this fibro.
You will get alot of wonderful replies to your post, as always a great place to share and as you say, no one knows who you are so vent as much as you need too.
Welcome again !!!


BeHappy2

 
Old 02-09-2009, 09:19 AM   #3
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Re: Confession of a male with Fibromyalgia

May I suggest that you take your Lyrica, it is not an opiate, you will not become addicted to it, you may or may not have side affects, but you will never know if it could help you if you don't try it. I have been on it for 2 years and it has helped me immensely. I was miserable before and also couldn't sleep. Also I recommend asking your doc about a muscle relaxant, I take flexeril, it works wonders and also helps you to sleep, I take all meds a bedtime. Please, please try your meds.....

Sunny

Last edited by 1sunny1; 02-09-2009 at 09:20 AM.

 
Old 02-09-2009, 11:20 AM   #4
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Re: Confession of a male with Fibromyalgia

Hello and welcome..
I am newly diagnosed with this illness.

You are not alone, as I have found that out as well. Everyone on this board has been so supportive and wonderful. You will be very happy that you posted here.

A piece of advice, if the doctor prescribed you something that may be able to help you...PLEASE take the med. It is so worth taking a chance that it may actualy give you some relefe.

I hope you feel better
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:43 PM   #5
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Re: Confession of a male with Fibromyalgia

It's okay to accept the diagnosis, but you do not have to accept doing nothing. Start researching and find out different meds that will work for you. Your current doctor may have only half the story. There are so many different ways doctors treat this syndrome. It is totally a joke! Two books that I have read that I endorse are "From Fatigued to Fantastic" by Teitlebaum, and "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Fibromyalgia" by St. Amand. I'm sure there are many other books you will find mentioned on this board that will be equally helpful to you.

Welcome to the Board. Your input is important to us.

Kirstee

 
Old 02-09-2009, 01:06 PM   #6
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Re: Confession of a male with Fibromyalgia

saugus, thank you for your post and welcome to the boards. You are not alone, your symptoms sound so familiar to me, very classic fibro. I have used that phrase, feel like someone beat me with a baseball bat, many times myself. Taking your meds is important for your sanity and feeling the best you can. I too fought taking some meds, especially sleep meds. My doc finally argued that if I had diabetes or heart disease I wouldn't hesitate to take medication for it. He was right and I finally gave in and I started feeling better. So please don't worry so much about the meds, like kirstee said do some research and narrow the drugs down to just what you need to feel good. 1sunny1 had a very good suggestion also of a muscle relaxer, I take baclofen it doesn't make me sleepy and it helps tremendously. I took other relaxers before, but didn't quite like them so the doc kept trying till I found the best one. That is what you have to do. Don't be ashamed of having fibro, fibro is what you have not who you are.

Hang here with us and vent whenever you want, there is a great group here to help you out.

Glojer

 
Old 02-09-2009, 04:29 PM   #7
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Re: Confession of a male with Fibromyalgia

take your medication. see a counselor and go through the stages of grief. See if your doc will refer you to a pain mgmt doc. I used to curl up in my chair in a corner at work. I know how you feel. magnesium and malic acid helped me immensely.

Swallow your pride and take some medicine and get on a treatment plan. Do you have chronic myofascial pain. If you don't know, search this board for more information.

I hope you find some relief soon.

 
Old 02-09-2009, 05:25 PM   #8
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Re: Confession of a male with Fibromyalgia

Hi saugus, I am very sorry for what you're going through. I am also having a very hard time with fibro. I wanted to reply because I totally understand your fear of medications. I am the same way. I tend to be very sensitive to a lot of drugs. I take my blood pressure and cholesterol drugs. It took me a long time, years of pain, before I would try things for my arthritis/fibro.

My suggestions are (1) if you have any arthritis, try the OTC joint medicines with the glucosamine/chondronitin/MSM. You will have no problems with these, and they may help a bit. (2) Take Advil or a prescription anti-inflammatory, eat something with it and you'll be fine (3) The muscle relaxer Skelaxin is easy on the stomach, you can try that one and (4) sleep medicine won't bother you and it will help you so much if you get a good night's rest or at least some rest, I use AmbienCR or Sonata.

I'm not big on the anti-depressants, like Lyrica or Cymbalta because of weight gain issues and they make me anxious. But you could try some things like Valium or Xanax just to use on the days you are curled in a ball. That's what I do. I don't use them every day, just the really bad ones to calm myself down.

Also, Tylenol (better than nothing) is a safe drug if you stick to the recommended doses (at least this is what my doctor said).

I also went from being incredibly active to maybe light exercise a few days a week. It is hard to accept, I know, but I find that I just cannot do the *workouts* I used to.

Hope some of this helps. God bless.

 
Old 02-14-2009, 11:46 AM   #9
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Re: Confession of a male with Fibromyalgia

Thank you all so very much for your suggestions and support. It's appreciated very much. You all gave me a lot to ponder. I am so glad that I found this board, I do not feel so all alone right now. I've been isolating, and was actually scared to read the replies. I'm glad I found the courage to finally read them and reply.

I had a pretty good day last week and was able to play my guitar for about six hours. That was truly a touch of heaven for me. Music is life.

After all the feedback I got, I am going to consider some medication. And I thank you all for sharing your own personal experiences with me. You have really helped me out.

Take care of yourselves,
Jimm

 
Old 02-17-2009, 04:48 AM   #10
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Re: Confession of a male with Fibromyalgia

Saugus,

Welcome! Don't you feel better just getting it out in the open? I hopefully wish that you will tell your family. Families help one another. I wish more guys would come on here also. It's good to get the male imputs too. Other than us, there are fibro group meetings out there too and they have guest speakers come and talk about different things.

I think that sometimes we have to hit a really low point to take control of ourselves again. You have it, don't let it have you. There is another good book by Devin Starlanyl MD also it will answer about anything you can think of concerning what you have.

Personally the Lyrica made me hurt worse, the Cymbalta made me suicidal and that St. Armand guaifenisan cure of his was a daily horror of a thing for over 2 years for me. So read about the different things out there and decide.

Try maybe seeing a pain specialist. You've kind of let it get the best of you and it isn't going to be easy trying to get a pain plan and medication, whatever. It all takes time. My Dr. is the best in the mid-Atlantic, he's been wonderful for over 17 years. One of the things that helped me alot was getting my sleep taken care of, then it made the fight more tolerable. There's all sorts of things for pain, herbal (which is not for me), opiates (I take these when it gets really bad, it makes me sick to my stomach, but does not make me goofy, it makes the pain go away. There' being dependant on something and being addicted to something. Too many people are not taking medication that can help them.), muscle relaxers, and injections and procedures done that can last years.

I take ambien, soma and elavil at night. If I hurt really bad I can take more soma or take an opiate. I have flexoril if I need it also. Soma is a skeletal relaxer and anti-inflamatory, so I don't need the flexoril all the time. I prefer the procedures, nerve blocks, abations and I have a stimulator inplanted. There are all sorts of things to try. I've had this for a long time and this always is the better formula of treatments for me. Sure I get bad flares like everyone else does. But most of us have other health issues along with the fibro.

People on here are very nice and there's a whole bunch of good advice also. You will see that what is good for one is not always good for someone else. It's a wierd disease. We are so alike and also so different. Read over some of the old threads. There's lots of good information in them.

Sorry about your job. It's hard to prove that you got let go from being ill because the national economic disaster is so easy to use now as an excuse. I know what that feels like. Here in DE you can be let go without explanation. The last 2 jobs I had I worked at for 4 and over 5 years. I was up front about it, they could tell how I felt when I walked in the door without me saying anything. My biggest thing was headaches. In the end I wasn't even able to work 2 six hour days and they still didn't want me to quit because I did so much stuff and did it right the first time. For me being honest was better than trying to hide it. When I started getting ill after a car accident way, way back I worked in graphic arts. I couldn't work at a light table and go in and out of darkrooms anymore, I hated leaving that job. So I switched to retail and did stock. It was easier in that I could write myself notes and keep referring to them. I am a perfectionist and this disease was an awful blow I have to write notes for my notes. But also by working this type of thing it didn't matter as much if I wasn't there or had to leave early, there were no deadlines to meet anymore. And the movements of the job had kept me in better shape physically. You might have to look at doing something else down the road or adapting what you do and how you can accomplish it now.

Hang in there. You'll eventually find your niche. You did a brave thing and now you've got a whole bunch of new friends to help you. Again, welcome.

DeBeachSiren

 
Old 02-18-2009, 12:01 AM   #11
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Re: Confession of a male with Fibromyalgia

Hey, its nice to see another Male with this condition. While im a bit younger (i think) then you (I'm 21) i know how you feel, i too recently had to go on disability, to help with me with my medication costs and such and just for living. I cant do a job right now, hopfully in the future i will. it really sucks. Plus I have a mom who has Fibro as well, so I've known of this condition for years.

So welcome, I joined this forum recently and good luck.

 
Old 02-21-2009, 06:09 PM   #12
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Thumbs up Re: Confession of a male with Fibromyalgia

Talk to your doctor that prescribed you the Lyrica and pain meds and tell them about your phobias of taking medications.
Doctors can help lead you in the right direction, Fibro is painful and you are not alone.

BeHappy2

 
Old 02-22-2009, 06:57 AM   #13
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Re: Confession of a male with Fibromyalgia

I am new here and I can't tell you how grateful I am for your post...I too was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 3 years ago and have fighting it ever since. I was taking my first year welding program and became so sick I couldn't return for the second year. My doctor gave me Tramacet which does wonders for the pain but seems like I am having so many other issues now. I have spent the last couple of years trying to find something other than Fibro wrong with me...so sure it is something like Lupus, what a ridiculous waste of time...Yes? My new doctor gave me Lyrica and I am trying it. I have been lucky enough to find a flexible job in an office...so now what? "We have Fibromyalgia"...I wonder if I'll survive this.

 
Old 02-28-2009, 10:13 PM   #14
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Re: Confession of a male with Fibromyalgia

I am 36 year old male with two kids and my wife and I just got diagnosed after 10 years of doctors appointments, probably over 30 doctors/natural doctors, etc...I feel good to actually finally have a diagnosis. I had CMV virus for 13 months in 1993, and apparently, though I seemingly recovered, it was never out of my system..and eventually spun into full blown fibro. Pressure in my ears, lightheadedness (lack of oxygen), signifcant brain fog, muscle and nerve pain, insomnia, chronic fatigue, sensitivity to loud sounds or cold, social withdrawal, very low sex drive if at all, headaches, digestive problems and IBS, the list goes on...I feel like I can't be the father or husband I want to be and just have no motivation..fortunately, I work for my Dad, or I might be fired in some jobs...

I am just starting my treatment at the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Center in King of Prussia, PA so we will see how that goes..I am not fighting the diagnosis. 10 years, 30 doctors, and out of probably 20 fibro symptoms, I have 19 of them. I have all the pressure points, but CMV virus, there is great evidence between that and a link to fibro, as there is for Epstein Barr, Lyme's disease, and some other viruses. I just never thought I'd have it because like most I thought it was older women that got it.

Last edited by Ace88; 02-28-2009 at 10:15 PM.

 
Old 02-28-2009, 11:42 PM   #15
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Re: Confession of a male with Fibromyalgia

I have often wondered why only females were blessed with these wonderful FM symptoms? I can totally understand why men would have a difficult time coming forward with such trivial complaints...until they lasted for years and years. I had FM 3 to 4 years before I was diagnosed...athletic, a team player, and devistated knowing something was wrong and thinking I was crazy! Never mind what others thought of me! I have gained and learnt sooo much in this journey of FM, and with the proper support and faith...you will too.
TC

 
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