Fibromyalgia Basics

As many as 12 million Americans suffer from a pain no one else can see. They are called lazy and sometimes crazy because no one understands what they are going through. It’s overwhelming and very lonely. It’s Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a chronic arthritis-related syndrome and while it affects a lot more, only 3.7 million Americans have been diagnosed with the condition. Unlike arthritis, Fibromyalgia affects the muscles and ligaments, not the joints. Fibromyalgia has also been referred to as fibrositis, chronic muscle pain syndrome, psychogenic rheumatism, tension myalgias, fibromyositis and myofacial pain syndrome. 

The symptoms of Fibromyalgia are multiple tender points on the neck, shoulders, sternum, lower back, hips, shins, elbows and knees, fatigue, sleep disturbances, body aches, reduced exercise tolerance, chronic facial muscle pain or aching. Other symptoms may include headaches, irritable bowel or bladder, temporomandibular joint disorder, pelvic pain, noise sensitivity, temperature sensitivity, restless leg syndrome, depression, anxiety, numbness or tingling sensations in hands and feet, difficulty concentrating, mood changes, chest pain, dry eyes, skin and mouth, painful menstrual periods, dizziness and anxiety.

It can take up to five years for a Fibromyalgia diagnosis to be made because it is so misunderstood and there are no tests that can diagnose it. There are 18 tender point sites on the body and a diagnosis is based on having at least 11 of these tender points. The tender points are located in the neck, shoulders, chest, rib cage, lower back, thighs, knees, arms/elbows and buttocks. Tests are done to rule out similar conditions such as Ankylosing spondylitis, Lupus, Carpal tunnel Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, Polymyalgia rheumatica and Restless Legs syndrome.

Fibromyalgia affects more women than men and usually develops during early to middle adulthood. If you have a family history of Fibromyalgia or if you have a rheumatic disease such as Lupus or Rheumatoid arthritis then there is a higher risk for developing Fibromyalgia. Other possible causes include sleep disturbances, injury, infection, abnormalities of the autonomic nervous system and changes in muscle metabolism. Ninety percent of Fibromyalgia patients have severe fatigue and sleep disorders.

Inspirational Quotes

We all need a little inspiration sometimes. I know I definitely do. Here are a few of my favorite inspirational quotes.
Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.
Leon J. Suenes

If you do not hope, you will not find what is beyond your hopes.
St. Clement of Alexandra

Fortune favors the brave.
Publius Terence

He who hesitates is lost.

Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

For hope is but the dream
of those that wake.
Matthew Prior

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
Henry David Thoreau

All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible.
T.E. Lawrence

I Can't Blame the Fibro!

Holy hell I haven’t been here in a while!  I’m so ashamed!  I could blame it on the Fibro, but deep down I’d know I’d be lying.  I can make all the excuses in the world, but none of them would justify my lack of writing over the last few months.  I’ve decided that I’m going to stop complaining and feeling bad for not writing and just start writing again.  So the next few days I’m going to write about anything and everything just to get myself back to the writing mentality I used to have.  Writing is my life and I haven’t been living.  It’s been like my brain got stuck in the off position and every time I thought about writing all I could see was a black wall of nothing.  Maybe the pain is part of the reason, but not the whole reason by any means.  You can’t fulfill your dreams by sitting on your butt, watching a million episodes of Law & Order.  All that gets you is a sore butt and wicked nightmares…really wicked nightmares!

I hope everyone is as pain free as possible. Gentle hugs and lots of love!