Thursday, July 05, 2012

Fibromyalgia is Bullshit...

Yesterday's July 4th celebrations saw your intrepid blogger trapped in a party he didn't wish to attend with a guest list that included six -- that's one more than five, one less than seven -- gay men, all more-or-less in a "committed relationship", which to judge from the openly frank exchange of sexual innuendo would seem to indicate that "committed" means something to gay men that it doesn't mean to the rest of us.

But that is not the point of this little screed, so I shall leave the unsavory details for another post later today.

Anyways, apparently all the rage in Gay Circles these days is to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

And I should probably point out, for the 32,000,000th time on this blog, that I don't give a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut if anyone is gay -- I have my own problems, thank you very much -- and no, I don't hate you. Anyways...

For those of you who do not know what fibromyalgia is, I'll try to explain in layman's terms. I should make it absolutely clear before I begin that I am NOT a doctor, nor have I had any medical training, whatsoever. I do, however, have certain experiences (to be described later on in this nonsense) that have given me a basis for an opinion on the subject.

Fibromyalgia is, basically, a medical term that relates to a constant and often-severe pain that does not have an obvious, identifiable medical source. That is to say, there is no physical injury to point to as a source of this pain; there is also usually an absence of a viral, bacterial or other biotic agent. In the Olden Days, before the practice of medicine became a game to see who could push the most pills and score the most medicare patients with padded bills in a day, doctors often referred to conditions like this as "Phantom pains", or "Psychosomatic conditions".

It was noted that this complaint of "Phantom Pain" was most often observed in amputees, who could swear they could feel pain in their now-gone limbs and extremities, often years after the fact. I'm not saying fibromyalgia is the new "Phantom Pain", but it sounds very much like it could be

Typically, fibromyalgia "victims" have three things in common:

1. They've all suffered some serious traumatic injury that has involved broken bones/fractures/head injuries and possibly multiple surgeries. Additionally, these injuries may include severe psychological trauma which has either been undiagnosed, or left untreated.

2. They were all prescribed massive doses of painkillers, most notably opiates and opiate-derivatives.

3. Continued medical examination consistently reveals that whatever past injury may have existed, it has healed, and logically, the pain that is associated with the original trauma should be long gone.

In other words, fibromyalgia is a fancy term for a condition that your doctor, with all his/her years of expensive training, with all the miracle machines available for diagnosis, with all the knowledge of genetics we're gaining, cannot identify. He's simply stumped, and rather than look like idiots with a diploma the medical profession has simply coined a fancy name for it.

There is one school of medical theory that holds that fibromyalgia is a neurological/nervous system disorder or some type, but we're talking about the human brain -- the single organ about which medical science knows absolute jack shit about. If medical science ever unlocks the secrets and function of the human brain then we're pretty much done as a species, as the Master Race of thinking, feeling, robots we'll create with that knowledge will eventually figure out that we're just bags of protoplasm and so easy to kill.

Just sayin'...

Anyway, three of my poo-stabbing, party-going compatriots were happy to announce, to anyone who would listen, that they have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Now, 50% of six homos is a rather small sampling, I'll admit, but you have to wonder. That  sort of "infection" rate would make fibromyalgia more virulent than Malaria, Yellow Fever or Ebola, and more prevalent than Multiple Sclerosis or Cancer.

I'll bet the only other medical condition more prevalent among Gay Men is inflamed hemorrhoids, but I digress...

Back to fibromyalgia. I don't want anyone to get the mistaken impression that only Gay Men get it -- or rather, claim to have it -- because I have also known three straight people (two women, one man) who have also claimed the mantle of this condition. if you take a cursory look at their medical histories, you will find the following:

Woman #1 had been involved in four -- count 'em -- automobile accidents. Two of those accidents involved minor injuries, but two others resulted in serious injury requiring orthopedic surgery to a knee, her lower back, and a shoulder. Woman #1 was given large doses of opiate painkillers, even after her injuries and trauma healed, and for years afterwards continued to see her physician on a regular basis for renewals. After nearly five years on painkillers, another doctor (seeing her for a totally different issue) recommended she be put on methadone in order to treat her obviously-undiagnosed prescription pill addiction. One year-plus of methadone treatment and psychotherapy fixed her behind right up. She no longer feels the pain, and is able to lead a normal, active life. She's still driving, so be careful out there!

Woman #2 was also involved in a car accident, and has a surgically-repaired back with a metal rod stuck in it. Woman #2, after recovery, held down a job as a trauma center nurse, and when busy would hardly remember that she had a rod in her spine. However, whenever she was bored, felt depressed, had some sort of emotional issue that she couldn't deal with, the pain in her back would suddenly become unbearable, and it was off to the doctor's office for a prescription for her drug of choice, Percocet. Having dated this woman, I can tell you that her medicine cabinet was a veritable supermarket: Percocet, Halcion, Xanax, Codeine, Oxycontin, prescribed by doctors, psychiatrists and even her freakin' dentist. Once Woman #2 --don't ask me how, I wasn't there anymore by that time -- "found God", she suddenly wouldn't touch a pill with a 10' pole.

Man #1 in this example suffered a severe head injury when he was accidentally whacked with a falling (from about 10 stories) 10-pound sledgehammer on a construction site (I shit you not). Despite (or perhaps because of) his hard hat, he still (only) suffered a severe skull fracture, and you guessed it, was prescribed an awful lot of painkillers during recovery. Long after his fracture had healed, he would suffer from severe headaches, and his hands would tremble. PET Scans, CAT scans, dog scans, whatever, failed to reveal a physical problem, but his doctors kept churning out prescriptions for painkillers. Needless to say, this man was, unfortunately, killed when -- after his doctor wisely decided to cut him off and tried to find him other help -- he got into an argument with a drug dealer over the price and quality of his new drug of choice, heroin. A subsequent autopsy revealed no obvious brain damage or abnormality.

Now, back to my three Butt-Pirate fibromyalgia partiers.

Mr. Butt-Cowboy suffered a leg broken in two places while skiing three years ago. His surgically-repaired leg, held together with pins and plates, is as good as new, he's happy to tell you. He'll also be quite happy to tell you about all the wonderful, psychedelic experiences he has had whilst sampling the full menu on the medicinal smorgasbord. He still takes prescription painkillers for a pain that manifests nowhere near his repaired leg, and after consulting another doctor who would "do something besides give me pills", he was diagnosed with fibromyalgia after but two visits and a minimum of testing...and given new pills to take.

Mr. Ass-Spelunker had broken his hand and wrist seven years ago, and still takes painkillers. He's tried several different types of painkillers, too, and despite the fact that no one can explain the cause of the pain to him, neither has anyone done anything except give him more pills... and he just happily takes them. He recently went to the same doctor as Butt Cowboy (see above), and got the same diagnosis: fibromyalgia.

Mr. Rump Wrangler suffered a minor neck injury in a collision. Although it did not require surgery, and for many years did not bother him at all, a doctor gave him a prescription for a painkiller which he has had refilled at intervals over the last two years. Last year, he began to notice that his pain became more severe, and so the doctor upped the dosage on his meds. Now, he can hardly get through the day with at least three of what he refers to as "The Magic Pills", and wouldn't you know it?, a completely different doctor gave him a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, too!

By the way, another thing these three men have in common besides sexual partners, shared bodily fluids and the same doctor?

All three are currently receiving, or in the process of getting, disability benefits based upon a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.

And why not? It's not as if anyone can actually prove it does or doesn't exist. It's not something visible and obvious, like a missing limb (then again, a missing limb wouldn't be visible as it's not really there, is it?), or something that can be inferred or tested, like blindness or diabetes. How do you prove that someone has a condition that medical science can't even agree exists in a physical sense, and which is often masked or complicated by other factors, such as emotional issues or drug addiction?

Your guess is as good as mine.

So, either fibromyalgia is a psychosomatic condition, the result of a human being being unable to mentally get past the trauma(s) that initially gave them so much grief, a mental disorder that involves believing in something that isn't there (you know, like religion), or it's the result of doctors handing out opiate drugs like they were fucking Good n' Plenty, and then having to find a convenient medically-sounding explanation to avoid being sued for creating drug addicts that were supposed to be under their care and supervision.

Whatever the real reason, it seems as if it's about to become the all-time favorite of personal injury and disability attorneys for years to come. Someone with better qualifications than I should seriously start looking at what's plainly before them before they start inventing new diseases and disorders out of thin air, because it looks set to cost the taxpayer -- and the healthcare system -- a shitload of money.

389 comments:

1 – 200 of 389   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

My 80 year old mother is a psycho and claims to have Fibro-whatever it is. She complains about everything, she takes 35 vitamins and minerals per day, visits the doctor twice a week, has no social life whatsoever and hence my informed medical opinion is that she is a PSYCHO! Like so many other older folks with no life!!!

Medicare is going broke because of these old freaks and even tho she is my mother, I can easily see the problem. The government needs to limit these nut jobs and their doctors, from spending the system into bankruptcy!!!

Lots, if not most, older folks substitute the doctors office and nurses and hospitals for their social life! If they are afraid of dying then I say *&^%$ tough CRAP!!!!!!! Snap out of it, wake up, OR Pull the plug now!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm a 23 yr old female that is supposedly diagnosed with fibromyalgia and I have NEVER broken any bone or needed to get any major surgery and I have NEVER taken any painkiller. I do agree that doctors throw out all these medications in order to make money but the only thing I'm taking now is Lyrica to help manage what I'm feeling. Maybe I'm an exception to whatever you've assumed people with fibromyalgia go through. I refuse to accept the fact that my doctor has diagnosed me with this but honestly after reading your post, it sounds to me like you really don't understand what people go through. I'm not one to judge so I'm not going to sit here and call you ignorant or stupid because you've come up with certain things people with fibro may have in common. Just a tip though, do a little more research till you start making assumptions of how or why people choose to live with fibro. I feel like there's something deeper I'm dealing with and I'll soon find out what it is. But seriously, maybe you've surrounded yourself by fucking drug addicts. Look at the outside world bro.

Matthew said...

To my 23-year old female respondent:

Have you seen a psychiatrist, ever? Or even a good psychotherapist? Because a goodly number of them will tell you that physical pain often manifests itself -- for no obvious reason -- in people who have anxiety disorders, or who suffer from depression. many time, people do not know they have these things because, let's face it, who in their right mind goes to a psychiatrist for a pain in their elbow?

I never said that fibromyalgia never exists. I made it quite clear in this screed that I'm not a doctor. However, there is a serious debate in the medical profession as to whether it exists, with many doctors believing that it is a physical (neurological) problem, and others insisting it's psychosomatic.

From my point of view, I just think it's a fancy term doctors use to avoid being sued for having hooked their patients on addictive painkillers. How do you prove fibromyalgia does/doesn't exist in a court of law when the medical profession can't agree? So long as there is a fog surrounding this condition, no one can ever say -- beyond reasonable doubt -- that at least a majority of people diagnosed with this "condition" were probably turned into drug addicts by their own doctors.

And yes, you can be an addict without showing many of the more common physical and psychological signs we usually equate with physical addiction. I should know, because I was once the best damned functioning alcoholic you ever saw, and I never got the shakes or the DT's, or woke up craving a drink, or subconsciously inventing phantom pains to justify another drink.

After all, there were so many real psychological pains to drown in vodka.

however, there seems to have been an explosion in the diagnosis of this so-called condition in the last decade, which so far as I know, no one has been able to explain. This happens to coincide with both the increased dispensing of addictive prescription drugs and the influx of research dollars (particularly federal tax dollars). Which is exactly what happened after Autism became all the rage; there was suddenly a jump in the number of autism cases, and the number of autism 'spectrum' maladies suddenly increased and suffused other conditions which had earlier been judged to have nothing to do with autism at all.

There is a great deal of money in fibromyalgia these days. Especially in the sale of Lyrica, which, if you read the blog post listed at the bottom of this reply, was originally a drug used to treat people with severe mental disorders and epilepsy. That should give you a clue about what your doctor thinks of your fibromyalgia.

http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=6161738#editor/target=post;postID=3446758629107935791

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post. I have a female employee who is claiming short term disability because of constant pain caused by fibromyalgia (allegedly). She is a mental mess. She basically lives at the VA. She claims to be on the max dose of Cymbalta for treatment. She is also dealing with sexual trauma from years past, and I'm sure that this has something to do with her "flare up". Now, I'm left in a tough position. What do I do with her. If there is no pathology, how is this treated or controlled? What if she comes back to work and has another flare up, and she's suddenly back on disability again?

I'm convinced that this is a psychological disease that stems from some kind of emotional trauma in women. The other person I know that claims this disease is my crazy ass mother-in-law, who is a hypochondriac and loves telling everyone about how bad she feels. Where was this affliction 30 years ago?

Matthew said...

Since Cymbalta is usually doled out to treat depression, your employee probably has been diagnosed with at least one mental disorder.

It's also not uncommon for people who suffer from depression to experience severe, unexplained pains (I know from my own experience that I often get chest pains and dull aches around the ribcage). Very often, patients who complain repeatedly about pain (or other issues) which a doctor cannot identify or otherwise explain, are simply given a diagnosis and a pill just to shut them up and get them out of the office. In this case, fibromyalgia is a 'safe' fake diagnosis, because as we've discussed, there is no consensus on whether it actually exists or not, and you can still get paid for pushing pharmacological poison whilst ridding yourself of an annoying patient.

I would also hazard to guess that your employee probably enjoys the attention she gets when she's 'sick'. In some perverse way, she's happiest when she's ill because them someone a) pays attention to her, b) sees to her needs, and c) especially in the case of someone with a a sexual trauma, probably feels safest of all inside a hospital.

Mind you, I say these things without having had the benefit of medical training, or knowing this person and her history. However, there are two things I do know; one is crazy, and the other is addict, and most people with fibromyalgia seem to fall into either or both categories.

Anonymous said...

Nailed it! This older woman that used to work for me would fall apart sometimes in tears under stress or if I constructively criticized her work she was doing for me she would claim fibromyalgia, or stress from thinking she had cancer would claim fibromyalgia. Yes stress has been known to bring your bodies defenses down, but this is normal but to claim fibro?!? I think hers started after depression from Post traumatic stress syndrome, her 20 year old kid was murdered and she never really recovered, and the kid was killed over 20 years ago. So now instead of getting therapy for PTSD the doctors just give her anti-depressants and diagnosed fibromalgia. She is also a huge hypochondriac and probably going through menopause on top of it. Munchhausen syndrome with her older kids and her elderly parent. (I am positive when they were younger she was the type to live at the doctor for attention blaming her kids had some weird problem) She was at the doctor 2 or 3 times a week, they always sent her back with a "No, you don't have cancer" etc. And the mountain of vitamins, antistress, antidepressants and the feel sorry for me pay attention to me, everyone is picking on me attitude was sickening itself. I had never dealt with anyone diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, but since I have I too believe it is bullshit.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you wrote this post. I am a Massage Therapist and an Nurse. I have been saying the same thing you said for years!

Anonymous said...

This is your mother you ungrateful loathsome pig. She carried your disrespectful ass for nine months. Give her some respect asshole.

Matthew said...

Have some respect, yourself! If you're going to call someone an asshole, then don't do so anonymously! Put your fucking name on it, so that the recipient can at least have an idea of who you are and perhaps find out where you live, so they can have the satisfaction of showing up on your doorstep and kicking the bejesus out of you for calling them a name.

Only thumb-sucking, bed-wetting, child-molesting cowards call other people 'asshole' from behind the wall of internet anonymity.

Anonymous said...

Wow ..what a bunch of opinionated asswipes..I have had the so called Bullshit condition for 30yrs. it has robbed me of so much living and a career that was going well.You people are so judgemental and you do not even do the proper research on the bullshit condition..Hey what comes around goes around you will be judge one day too hope who ever is taking your inventory does some research on assholes and has some forgiveness.

Matthew said...

I would suggest that you see another doctor who will actually do some work and tell you exactly what has "robbed you of some much living" over the last 30 years (or, at least be honest enough to admit his/her complicity in your "condition"). The one you're seeing now is obviously lazy and not interested in actually helping you.

Otherwise, you'd probably not have suffered for so long. Or maybe gotten proper psychiatric help.

And as for doing "proper research", I've done it. The consensus is that fibromyalgia is a psychosomatic illness, usually triggered by a combination of low-level drug addiction and/or emotional/psychiatric problems.

The television commercial version of fibro, as a malady caused by "overactive nerves", is about as accurate as Barack Obama's pronouncements that the ACA will lower the cost of healthcare; just because you say so, doesn't make it a reality.

You'll be glad to know that "overactive nerves" was once part and parcel of the Victorian-era diagnoses of "Female Hysteria".

Which is probably why the "standard" treatment for fibro "sufferers" is to give them the sort of medications usually reserved for those with identifiable psychological illnesses and conditions.

Oh, and by the way, the "opinionated asswipes" have a right to be opinionated. This is still America...at least it is until people with fake diagnoses issued by incompetent doctors manage to siphon off enough cash through the disability scam to bankrupt us.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

To the person that has the 80 yr old mother. I hope your children have as much compassion for you one day or I guess they could just pull the plug...

Anonymous said...

Back in the day Alcoholics were referred to as derelicts,winos guzzlers tramps and thought to be mentally weak people. Persons with MS were also thought to have psychological disorders until diagnostic testing was available. These people can be intellectual,caring,evolved contributors to society. What makes people with FM any different. Functional MRI testing shows that FM patients brains do in fact respond differently to painful stimuli. Hypoperfusion(low blood flow) in the polor and mediobasal corices are also noted. HGH ,Seritonin and Cortizol levels are not normal. People please have some compassion for issues you may not understand. One day the finger could be pointed at you. These people should be condemned because the diagnostic testing is not up to your standards..shame on you..come on out of your cave its better in the light. Or should I say have you herd,the world is not flat.

Matthew said...

First of all, no one has condemned anyone. People who are told by an authority figure -- a doctor -- that "you have _____" are not being unreasonable in believing that they have a disease or condition.

The issue is whether or not the condition itself IS REAL.

The symptoms you've described (decreased blood flow, low seratonin, etc) are also present in other, scientifically-proven-to-actually-exist maladies; it still doesn't mean that there is actually something that exists -- a disease or a condition -- that can be called "fibromyalgia". You will often find some or all of the same exact symptoms in people who suffer from anxiety disorders.

The question is, and has been, is fibromyalgia an actual medical condition, OR is it something the medical community has made up in order to cover up for something else?

It has been my experience (all seven of the people I know who have had a diagnosis of FM) have ALL been people who have suffered from problems of addiction or emotional problems or both. Sure, seven people is a ridiculously small sample to base an opinion on, but, if it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, it's probably not a hippopotamus.

At what point do we begin to ask questions, or hold the medical profession accountable? Are they simply pushing pills or dispensing "fashionable" diagnoses? Do "overactive nerves" actually exist? Is the medical profession too dependent upon modern diagnostic testing and pharmacological solutions -- a system of medicine by rote?

It's difficult to ignore these questions when you have several facts behind you:

a) No one knew what FM was 10 years ago.

b) Whatever it is, it has suddenly exploded to become a mini-epidemic

c) The explosion has coincided with both an influx of cash, and a whole range of new pharmaceuticals

d) doctors are more willing to dispense medicines, particularly addictive ones, with multiple side-effects, than ever were before

e) it is now easier to obtain disability benefits.or fleece Medicare,than it ever was before.

When the medical profession decides that FM exists in the same way that chicken pox or malaria do, then I'll believe it's not a load of horsecrap.

Anonymous said...

You are witnessing the evolution of a syndrome/or disease..just because you were to young to remember this all happening when they produced correct diagnostic testing for MS (and that is sketchy a times) does not mean it did not happen. There are plenty of people with MS on disability.Of course the pharmaceutical co. will jump on it there is big bucks to be made off this.The FDA will approve drugs that will kill people because they do not do long term studies on the shit.If someone is suffering enough they will try anything. You make some valid points but I am not sure what the correlation between addicts and FM is. Most people taking meds for chronic issues are addicted to them it is not like all addicts have FM.

Matthew said...

The correlation between fibro and addicts is this:

I had a girlfriend (the trauma room nurse above) who was addicted to prescription pills. At some point after her surgery/recovery, the Percocet (she took heavy doses after spinal surgery)was cut off. The best medical advice she had at the time was that it should no longer be necessary to keep taking it.

However, she wanted more. And discovered that if she claimed she had a severe chronic pain, the doctor would be more than happy to prescribe more. If one doctor would not give it to her, she'd go to another.

Same woman: she would purposely pick vicious fights with me, ask me to leave (so that I would not see her taking the drugs), and then use this as an excuse to run to the medicine cabinet (the whole "My life is soooo out of control..." drama).

She would then run to a psychiatrist who would be more than happy to prescribe his "distraught" patient with Xanax, or Atavan.

The correlation is that her "pain" -- whether it was real or even psychological -- was rewarded with a new 'script. When actual physical pain from the trauma of the accident could no longer suffice as an excuse, she invented (or otherwise created) "new" pain in order to get high.

And in some convoluted way, the idea that she was taking the drugs to stop a physical pain allowed her to live in a state of denial about being a drug addict.

I found out about her habit when I searched her medicine cabinet for neosporin or something, and found a cornucopia of opiates in there.

A doctor had diagnosed her with FM, too, probably because she was in his office so damned much claiming to be in pain.

I saw her again (some 10 years later) just a few years ago. She's found God (many of them do: it's cheaper than a psychiatrist, easier than a 12-step program), hasn't a pain anywhere, and doesn't take as much as an aspirin, anymore.

Now, did her "fibromyalgia" miraculously disappear, is it possible that it never was, or is it plausible that her emotional and addiction problems caused her to invent the entire thing?

I'm saying that it's entirely possible that while some doctors are looking for a physical thing (and have invented a catch-all term "Fibromyalgia"), the real trouble is anything BUT physical.

Would it hurt if instead of drugging people up we included a bit of psychiatric care in a treatment/recovery plan, or asked a doctor to be on the lookout for signs of drug dependencies when we're talking FM?

The answer to that is probably "Yes", because the medical profession has a vested interest in telling you it has all your answers, and because the insurance companies are far more likely to pay for something they believe is physical rather than psychiatric.

Anonymous said...

Her doctor must have had his or her head up their ass.Trigger pt testing can be done on spot to see if people have FM but I am sure if someone wants drugs bad enough they could fake it..These Docs dole out the drugs to relieve pain and create an addict. If you loved this person it must have been a hard situation to be in. Perhaps it is why you seem to have anger toward the condition that she obviously did not have. With all the research I have done on FM it does not go away. Hopefully they will come out with a specific test that will weed out the fakers. You are right as it stands now they need to change protocol on diagnosis so tax payer dollars aren't wasted on fake disability claims. I know a few people with FM and neither have addiction problems in fact they were hypersensitive to high doses of anything they tried for pain. The situation with your ex was a very unfortunate one sorry.

Anonymous said...

I have major depressive disorder and I'm a dude. I've been in multiple car accidents, had multiple arm surgeries for baseball, and have a for-the-rest of my life broken vertebrae in my lower back and a torn labrum in my left shoulder (slap tear, specifically). I live pain free for the most part besides normal day to day aches and such because of physical therapy. Point is: I'm not lacking in blunt force trauma/pain experience, I'm not afraid to go to a doctor to get something looked at, and I think fibromyalgia is utter bullshit.

The human body is more or less well designed if you don't count the prostate, the drop off in sex hormones as we age, and the fact that babies simply don't fit through vaginas comfortably without ruining stuff on the way out for the mother (no offense intended). But it isn't perfect. Everyone experiences pain or symptoms of what's now called fibromyalgia from time to time. I can tell you unequivocally that a lot of perceived pain in an average person stems from major muscle imbalances that go unchecked and unfixed over time, or from not having the musculature around whatever joint hurts developed well enough to properly support that joint.

if your chest and shoulder muscles are even moderately developed and your back isn't, your body is going to be pissy with you because nothing is supporting that muscle weight on the front of you and that will trigger pain in the trapezius/rhomboids area. If you think neither is developed, you're probably not accounting that we rarely have to pull things in day to day life and mostly push.

If you look at the so-called trigger points of fibromyalgia you find they all coincide with a joint that requires musclular stability or has a muscle group on or opposite it that should be developed. Women are substantially less likely to have musclular stability in these areas (observation/personal experience as a part-time personal trainer), and are less likely to tolerate any form of pain gracefully (common knowledge). Hence the 9:1 female to male fibromyalgia diagnoses.

So the first thing one should do if you think you have "fibromyalgia" is ask yourself, "Am I fat?" If yes, that's probably causing your pain either directly or indirectly. If not, ask yourself if either you have ever done any isometric exercises specifically targeting the area that hurts to build both strength and stability, or if the complimentary muscle group is equally developed or more developed (quads/hamstrings for example). If your upper back hurts, it may very well be because you've neglected it. If not, fix these two things and shut up.

If that doesn't resolve the pain, THEN go see a doctor and tell them honestly that you can't find a physiological reason for it, and you've actually tried to find one. If people followed these steps before showing up at a doctor complaining about pain from nothing in particular, I would be more inclined to believe fibromyalgia was actually a thing.

Anonymous said...

If you have ever had the flu you would understand the kind of pain these people are talking about. It is not joint pain or arthritic pain it is aching of the soft muscle tissue. This pain can be chronic in one area or all over the body and the painful trigger point are usually always active. It is either a central nervous system condition or the latest theory is to much blood flow to hands feet and head. Something to do with sensory receptors in the hands. The research is getting closer to an answer on what and why.

Matthew said...

I have had the flue exactly ONCE in the last 30 years. I don't get flu shots, as flu shots are for sissies. What the flu has to do with Fm is beyond me.

Think about what you just wrote here "the latest theory is too much blood flow to the hands, feet and head..." is about as scientific an explanation as "FM is thought to be caused by overactive nerves". That is the sort of claptrap one would expect a 18th century traveling snake oil salesman to use.

If FM is a central nervous system disorder, then fine. That should be relatively easy thing to in down with modern diagnostic tools, genetic testing, etc. Since no one has been able to do so yet, and no one seems to be really trying,then I reckon it isn't a central nervous system condition, at all, that medical science knows it's about addiction and mental health, and doesn't come out and say so because it reflects poorly on the medical profession, in general.

Anonymous said...

I was just trying to explain what the pain feels like, the kind of aches you get when you have the flu. Maybe you should check out the diagnostic tools to check for MS they have to rule everything else out and even then they can misdiagnose. Everything isn't as cut and dry as you are saying if you worked in the medical field you would realize this. If a Crazie wants to fake anything they can . So don't rag on these people that are genuinely sick and make them feel worse . Chronic illness changes the course of peoples lives and effects their families also. The fakers have to live with themselves and you have to be a nut to fake pain! They make it hard for the people that really struggle with FM because certain people doubt and criticize them. Can you imagine how if feels to be ill and have people think you are just lazy or mental. I hope none of the judges ever get it.

Matthew said...

You don't have to tell me about chronic illnesses: I survived the Sept 11th attacks on New York, and suffer from recurring anxiety issues, depression, inexplicable skin rashes and pains, and one of these days I just know I'm going to hear words like "sarcoidosis", "cancer", and worse, because I spent 18 months exposed to smoke, dust, pulverized glass and concrete, and about 25,000 other known toxins in post-9/11 air, water and residues.

All I'm saying is that of all the people I know who have said they were diagnosed with FM, every last one of them has been either a survivor of a great traumatic injury, a mental case, a drug addict, or all of the above. My sample size might be small, and my methodology unscientific, but it doesn't follow that I'm necessarily wrong.

Certainly not in these seven or so cases; there's just too many coincidences to ignore. All I'm suggesting is that instead of seeking solely a physiological explanation for these things, that doctors start looking at other factors, like addiction and mental health, and their less-than-holistic approach to treating patients with traumatic injuries.

From my own experience I can tell you that the human mind is capable of doing some incredibly destructive things if you let it, and inventing a syndrome that manifests in actual, chronic physical discomfort with no identifiable source is certainly one of them.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you on certain points. Depression itself can cause body aches and pains. FM is like other illness stress is the trigger and whether it be a traumatic injury like you say or a change in chemistry of the system it can trigger any illness that you have a pre disposition for. Every illness is set in motion this way. Yes an addict can trigger illness by abusing their body and I guess someone with mental health issues can stress their systems out enough to trigger illness. These are characteristics of the individual not the illness. So no not all people with FM are Addicts or Mental health cases just like not all people with Diabetes ,MS Parkinsons , Aids , or any other illness are. You are right about the human mind and how destructive it can be, but who would want to live in chronic pain all the time and have people judging them. I believe a good percent of people scam the system all the time and those are the people you'd want to throw in jail not anyone who is truly ill. On the other hand the scammers have to be somewhat mental to do what they are doing so were do you draw the line.

Anonymous said...

Every single person I know with fibro is crazy. I'm sorry, but I've yet to meet a sane person with that diagnoses. I'm not saying they don't exist, just that I've never met one. I was diagnosed with Mulitiple Sclerosis 5 years ago. I have 5 years worth of medical records with 8 different doctors diagonoses of the MS. Saw the "top" in the field where I live and the good doctor wants to start with tests all over again (which I had to ask about what they were and they are the SAME TESTS I just had three weeks ago!!), wouldn't look at any of my other reports (had to go full gorrilla on him and shove them in his face), and decided just to call it fibro and send me out the door with pill...as they all do...that I won't take ( I take no narcotics, only take what"s necessary to control the MS)...and that was it. After 5 long painful years of living with MS, I would be more than happy for someone to say, "you don't have it", but could you find out what it is, perhaps? Not just call it "fibro" but really do your job and figure it out. I'm afraid there are a lot of undiagnosed MS patients walking around out there thinking they have fibro and meanwhile, the lesions on their brains are growing because they're not being treated. Imagine if I'd seen this quack first? My last hospital visit (three weeks ago, where they ran all the tests, all over AGAIN), showed more lesion growth because I haven't been on my MS meds for almost a year now (insurance:FAIL) and I went to see this man so I could get back on the meds and stop the growth. I lost it on him. I've never acted like that in front of a professional before. EVER! I had to demand my MS meds from him but now I don't trust that he's not giving me some kind of placebo. I hate this guy. Really. He could have said I had Jedi mind powers and I had to go train with Jedi Masters to relieve my pain because there was just too much Jedi floating around in there and that all that shit was real, and I would have been less shocked. Fibro? I think not. Fibro doesn't land you in a wheelchair for almost a year. Fibro doesn't make you shake so uncontrollably that all you can do is scream it out until you get you body back, which is usually in the hospital getting a five day steroid drip. Fibro doesn't cause you to shit yourself in public places so many times that you are a relatively young woman in 'grampers' 24/7. Fibro doesn't make you forget where you live, cause overstimulation by the slightest of noises, or cause you to feel as though a giant is stepping on your back and tightening a cord around your midsection when you stand up. And furthermore, fibro does not make you sell your lucrative salon and quit your career. I'd so anything to do hair again, but I can't. You don't want someone with uncontrollable shakes near your head with anything hot or sharp.

In conclusion, I believe that fibro is generally misdiagonosed, or over diagnosed. Maybe it's a real thing, or maybe it's just the lazy doctor giving away what amounts to a big 'if' because it's too much trouble. Or maybe the doctor has a real pill seeker or hypochondriac on his hands and just wants to be rid of them. Either way, more research has to be done before you can throw that diagnoses out there because the doctor touched a couple of places that hurt.

PS: This idiot also told me that "MS doesn't hurt". I'd like to hear from anyone out there with MS chime in and tell me that you never hurt. Please?

Anonymous said...

I am sorry that you have gone through so much crap with the Docs but welcome to the freak show. MS does cause pain and all the things that you said FM doesn't do your wrong. My friend with FM has had all of those things except crap themselves. The Flu, food poisoning, IBS, having a baby, old age and being scared shitless as they say can make anyone capable of that. Docs can save your Mother and kill your Brother after all that is why they call it a practice they are practicing on US.. pay attention.

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I have no history of mental illness family history or otherwise. I haven't suffered any physical or emotional trauma, I just had a baby, a normal run of the mill Labour, no horror stories, a happy event. I was diagnosed using the tenderpoints, and other symptoms such as chronic fatigue, memory loss, brain fog, generalised pain. I have refused all drugs as I think that would be a very slippery slope indeed. I eat healthily, exercise regularly despite the pain. I take care of myself and am generally happy, no depression ect and yet the symptoms still remain. I try to ignore it and pretend it is ok but still the symptoms persist. When I have a flare up it feels like one been hit by a truck, I can't move, I am bed bound for at least 2 days. Now you may think fibromyalgia is bullshit, but I'm telling you I have something, and the sooner they work out what it is the better for everyone who is suffering. Be thankful that it is not you, or someone you love.

Matthew said...

Here's what I would say to you, then:

If your doctor could identify what was wrong with you, (s)he would. Since they can't, you have been given the 'safest' diagnosis (safest for them), which is 'fiboomyalgia', which is another way of saying "Fuck me, if I know what it is, but to give you some peace of mind, I'll give you a generic catch-all term that is in vogue in medical circles'.

At least (S)he can give you the impression that they know what they're talking about.

Has anyone checked you for legitimate, alternate explanations, such as Lyme's Disease? Epstein-Barr's Syndrome? Have you been subjected to a a full work up, including MRI, CAT Scan, full endrocrinology screen? Full neurological work up? Has anyone talked to you about MS, or Myotonic Dystrophy, for example?

If the answers to all (not just some) of those questions are "no", then a diagnosis of fibromyalgia is a load of horseshit.

As for mental illness: you don't need a history of mental illness in your family for you to suffer from a variety of mental illnesses. Especially depression. Before you rule out a mental illness entirely, you should talk to a (good) therapist. Most psychiatrists, incidentally, are useless on this subject as they believe that all mental disorders are the result of chemical imbalance, and just push happy pills. A good therapist will be able to quickly dismiss most mental triggers for FM -- especially post-partum depression (since you've said you've just had a child, it is a possibility, no?).

You don't always need to be showing full-blown signs to be afflicted, either. Some symptoms can be so slight and irregular as to be easily dismissed or ignored, especially by the layman.

Granted, I am not a physician, but I reckon I'm pretty smart; the evidence for the existence of fibromyalgia is rather slim. All we have, to date, as to whether this condition exists is a list of symptoms (which are common to any of a thousand known conditions) and a lot of speculation, with a strong dash of medical profession wagon-circling.

I hope you feel better, but before I took any Doctor's word on something as nebulous as FM, I'd get a second opinion and make certain the second opinion explored every available avenue before he stuck a label on me.

Anonymous said...

The pregnancy could have been a trigger for the FM any physical or emotional stress will trigger a illness you have a predisposition for. With FM usually they diagnose like MS everything else is ruled out. Today Docs do not just throw it out there unless they do a complete work up. I am not sure why people have to try and make this women feel insecure about
being diagnosed with a legitimate illness. Like other illness lack of sleep, stress, anxiety, poor diet and depression will cause a flare or exacerbate your symptoms. Do research on the illness ,try and create a balance to keep your stress levels down. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and perhaps you might want to join a group with others of the same diagnosis. If you question your diagnosis get a second opinion. The more you research and educate yourself on the illness the less power it will have on your life. Don't let the bastards get you down and make you doubt yourself. Knowledge is power and all the latest research shows that Fibromyalgia is a legitimate illness.

Matthew said...

The latest research does NOT indicate that FM is a legitimate illness, because the primary question -- is this a real syndrome, a psychosomatic illness, or the result of poor doctoring? -- has yet to be answered.

I suppose that if you cherry-pick your studies, the question is answered definitively for you.

And no one was out to make the last woman to respond feel bad about herself.

Just because FM now comes with a victimhood ideology/psychology (the existence of a 'support group' is the first indication of this) doesn't make it any more real.

Matthew said...

Okay, it's time for a further debunking. If you read this article from WebMD, you'll see that the general bent of medical thought tends to indicate that FM is A MENTAL DISORDER from all the references to mental therapy, anti-depressants, and 'stress factors'.

The only physical indications of FM listed here are:

*Pain in 11 of 18 points when pressed.

I promise you, if I press hard enough on 11 of your 18 points, you'll feel pain. and...

*Ruling out a very short laundry list of 'other conditions that cause you pain" which starts with arthritis and ends with lupus.

The text then goes on to mention possible autoimmune diseases, which any doctor will tell you are often a bitch to pin down exactly, and which require extensive (and expensive) testing to diagnose.

In other words: if you do have an autoimmune disease, you'll probably never find out because who the fuck has all that time, and that sort of money, to pin it down? Just take a diagnosis of FM and this pill, and get out of my office, you hypochondriac!

There's also a blurb in there about finding "complimentary" therapies for FM, which includes the usual assortment of 'Holistic' bullshit -- accupuncture, massage and tai chi -- which we all know are about as useful as fleas are to a dog. People who claim to have relief from these therapies are more often feeling either temporary relief or the full-blown Placebo Effect, not an actual remission or cure.

In other words, if you BELIEVE these things will help you, they probably will.

Throughout the entire article, one theme is being constantly repeated: get yourself to a mental health professional for evaluation and treatment.

You can read the whole thing here:

http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/tc/fibromyalgia-topic-overview





Anonymous said...

I guess when I went to that link I read a different article than what you are saying. Let me see I think it went like this: Nerve cells may be to sensitive. Chemicals in the brain(neurotransmitters maybe out of balance. The deep phase of sleep(restorative,healing)may be disrupted and affect the amount of hormones that your body releases. Cognitive problems and chronic fatigue result from lack of sleep. These problems with concentration and memory can lead to confusion losing your train of thought forgetting and mixing up words/details. There is also now Proof on a MRI scan that a FM patient has to little and to much bloodflow to certain areas of the brain. If this were a mental health issue this would not be the case. If a patient with FM trigger pt is pressed (and you do not have to press hard) it feels like a knife the pain is intense, most patients jump or flinch in pain and these specific areas are always painful and activated. Sorry Mathew I believe you are a intelligent person but I do not agree with you at all. Can you imagine being on the receiving end of your response to these FM patients they would be devastated for someone telling them they have a fake illness and need mental health help, especially when there is proof now do the research.

Matthew said...

Apparently you did read a different article, and I would suggest that you basically took from it what you wanted to hear. That is, those (few) sentences that back up your assertion.

The words "seek therapy" appear in that article, in one form or another, some 10 times.

As for being on the receiving end, I can put myself into your position very easily, BECAUSE I'VE HAD ISSUES WITH MENTAL HEALTH TOO.

Why do you think this screed is called The Lunatic's Asylum?

But I'm much better now...

Listen, you keep trying to explain yourself as some sort of extra-special case (assuming I've been speaking to the same 'Anonymous' throughout); I don't know if this is genuinely true, but my guess is that it is not. Everyone likes to think themselves special or unique and worthy of more attention than others (and that no one else ever understands, sob, sob), and some go to fantastic lengths to secure it for themselves (even working themselves up into physical pain, for example).

My second guess is that it's very possible that the majority of your symptoms would magically go away if you simply saw a good therapist. It just has not occurred to you that your pain may not be physical.

I'm almost certain, too, that if your apparently at-a-loss physician suggested "perhaps you should see a therapist", then you'd be convinced that you had an extra-special mental illness that sob, no one else understood, sob, sob, too.

And that's fine; who wants to be told that they're crazy/addicted, even if it is true? Denial is a natural part of the process, too, you know.

I'm not out to hurt your feelings, or ridicule you, but I'm sick of hearing about what a "special" case you are. It makes you sound childish and yes...even crazy.

Why not just try some mental health therapy and see if it works, instead of sitting on your ass complaining about how fucking hard it is to be you? Oh right, then you would't be special anymore.

Better to believe that you have some exotic mystery syndrome, which has largely been made up out of thin air. Because that WOULD be special, no?

If you try it (therapy) and don't see a result (and the result won't be immediate, so be prepared to make a long-term commitment) then I'll STFU, and maybe change my opinion.

Until FM gets it's own Labor Day Telethon, I'll believe that FM is a fake disease the medical profession ginned up for it's own purposes, or worse, a mental condition that has been woefully misdiagnosed.

Anonymous said...

I believe you might be diagnosing yourself here look who sounds childish. Trying to have a intellectual debate with you is like talking to a 12yr old boo who? Anyway back in the day and lets be clear fm has been around for a very long time(do the research) doctors would send most of the patients to mental health consultations and low and behold they found more and more of these patients did not have mental illness. I guess misery loves company and you are trying to pull others down with you and make them feel as angry as you are well sure that works.

Matthew said...

Ah, yes, the old "your projecting your own problems onto me" routine. Heard that one a million times, too.

Just go see a therapist, "Anonymous". I'll bet dollars to douchbottles that you eventually find yourself pain free, once you've rid yourself of the ridiculous victimology mindset of this made-up disease.

Oh, and I'm sure your doctor will be more than happy to presecribe all the anti-convulsants (you know, the stuff they feed to epileptics and anxiety sufferers) like Lyria and Cymbalta just as long as the checks keep rolling in.

You do know those drugs don't actually TREAT anything, right? They just happen to help you forget you're felling invented pains from an invented disease for a little while, and then put you to sleep.

Oh, and while I'm at it, have yourself tested for herpes, as well, as this seems to be another signpost on the road to fibromyalgia (the herpes zoster virus causes shingles). You may be packing some herpes and not even know it.

Anonymous said...

Well sorry to tell you I've never contracted the gift that keeps giving how bout you perhaps it's what all the angers about. Oh well another theory is foiled..Now your not suggesting that everyone with FM is Crazy and has herpes? Is that like the every addict suffers from depression and has had the clap theory?

Anonymous said...

Viricella Zoster virus is the same virus that causes Chickenpox. If you had Chickenpox you are susceptible to get Shingles(Viricella Zoster Virus)in most cases in older individuals. Of course the trigger would be stress, emotional or physical...However this Viricella Zoster has nothing to do with the sexually transmitted herpes. What does this have to do with fibromyalgia?

Matthew said...

Shingles is a very painful condition. I wanted to know if it had been ruled out in some cases, especially whichever "Anonymous" keeps chiming in with "Yeah, but I'm special..."

No one said anything about SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED HERPES. Don't you people know how to read?

Then again, you believe that you have a fake disease that entitles you to special consideration, so I guess asking for literacy and reading comprehension might be a bit much.

Anonymous said...

Your the one who's claimed the position of" Master Know it All" Proclaiming that you could be the only person that has the right view on everything. You seem to be trying to just get a reaction and not even consider facts. Medical fact that you do not take the time or consideration to mentally digest. You are just chasing your tail round in a circle instead of opening your mind up and really retaining information. I guess being a self proclaimed lunatic gives you the right to rip everyone a new ahole. Lets not retain any facts or opinions that may have validity....Lets just bark at everyone that you are right and they are fucked because that is how you come acrosss you've boxed yourself in....Now who's special.

Matthew said...

First off: I never claimed to be an expert on anything. I only started the post with the words "I'm not a doctor".

Secondly, I related seven (7) tales of people who are personally known to me (most for many years) who have been diagnosed with FM, who share several common factors: serious injury, mental health issues, long-term use of addictive painkillers, and drew what seems a logical conclusion: if there's a syndrome here, that's where it is, not in some bullshit about 'overactive nerves'.

Third: Even the medical profession cannot decide whether FM exists or not. It is highly subjective, and depends upon who you speak to. The neuroscience guys say yes, it is a neurological disorder, the mental health professionals say no, it's the result of an undiagnosed mental disorder or addiction.

In defense of the 'hard' medical guys (neuros, kneisiologists, orthopedics, etc), when all you have in your toolbox is a hammer,everything starts to look like a nail. Of course something people complain about is a physical issue, and the fact that with all the modern diagnostic tools available, no one has been able to identify a true physical factor, doesn't seem to matter.

Easier to just dispense anti-depressants and anti-convulsants, and forget that a patient is a human being who should be treated by the full panoply of modern science, and not just pharmacology and expensive machines.

Fourth: a truly professional MD would do more than simply give you a pill, prescribed under false pretenses. In this case, that s/he knows what the hell is wrong with you when there is no general consensus about the 'syndrome' and that thus far, all anyone can point to for it's existence is a bunch of common symptoms which are indications of 1,000 other issues.

Fifth: if you don't want to have the argument anymore, then don't reply. No one has a gun to your head. If you're out to change my mind, you need a better argument than "Yes, but I'm the exception that disproves your rule". if you find me dismissive, ignorant, insensitive, go cry to someone who gives a crap. This is where I post my OPINIONS, and you are required neither to agree with me, nor argue with me.

Give me something solid to bring me around to your point of view, and I'll be more than happy to accept it.

Anonymous said...

Other than agreeing with you what would that be....your opinion is the only truth.

Anonymous said...

Fibromyalgia is an umbrella term for symptoms that are not profitable to treat. 90% of people diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women between the ages of 45 - 55. Sounds like the meno transition to me. Look up "Estrogen and Inflammation" in Pubmed. Bipolar is another umbrella term that is extremely profitable. Women are 2-3 times more likely to suffer from anxiety conditions due to fluctuating estrogen levels, so they are great consumers of anti-depressants and a host of other bullshit profitable drugs. We need to wake up and smell the Free Market Fairy's poison fart. Healthcare is nothing but a business and we are too stupid to be smart consumers.

Marlo said...

As Upton Sinclair reminded us: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"

Matthew said...

Sorry, Marlo, but I draw no salary from this...

Anonymous said...

When are you going to come out Matthew?

Matthew said...

Bet you stayed up all week trying to think of that one. Noticed that you post it anonymously, like most cowards do.

But to answer your question, just as soon as I decide to put a ring on your father's finger.

Anonymous said...

Now Now lets play nice people and get back on track...What about this leaky gut syndrome maybe that is related to fibromyalgia . When I use to work in the nursing home and check out peoples charts they all had one thing in common. They were either on anti-depressants ,anti-anxiety meds or both...so chronic illness will have one or both as a result. Anything chronic is hard to deal with pain being one. Mathew do you have distain for everyone with FM

Matthew said...

It's not disdain; I just don't believe that it exists as a stand-alone syndrome, or a disease. From what I've seen and read, it appears to be a variety of common symptoms simply lumped together (most of which may have other explanations) that is supposed to stand in for "We're not sure what's wrong with you, and damned if we can find out. But here's a name for it, and that should give you the impression that we do know."

Anonymous said...

You're a fucking idiot.

Matthew said...

Maybe so, but I least I don't believe I have a made-up disease and use it as an excuse to avoid either getting the mental help I need or finding a good addiction counselor.

By the way, if you wish to hurl invective (which doesn't bother me at all) at least be adult enough to put your name on it.

Only real idiots post anonymously.

Have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

Mathew, can you really blame anyone for reacting like that . You have no basis for your opinion. I mean reading through you consistently repeat FM patients are crazy drug addicts what's the deal? This makes absolutely no sense. I agree with your opinion on the medical system juicing the fibrofactor. Why wouldn't they, it's what they do best. But why rip on the patients ,you express so much anger toward anyone who says they have it.

Matthew said...

Anger? I haven't expressed any anger. I'm not the one writing things like "You're a fucking idiot" and "when are you coming out of the closet".

That would be the crazy drug addicts who believe they have a fake disease who have been doing that.

They're proving my point.

There's no anger in that post, only an opinion based on experience and a bit of research. It's amazing how sensitive people are these days; poke holes in their victimology fantasy and all of a sudden, people who can't breathe or blink without excruciating pain (allegedly) and anti-depressants can suddenly muster the strength and perseverance to operate a computer to write things like "you're a fucking idiot".

But I'm the one with the anger problem...go figure.

Anonymous said...

What is your intent with this blog just to piss people off and make them feel insecure about their illness. You are learning absolutely nothing! You just keep blathering about the same thing over and over. Did you mention you suffered from Stress or Anxiety(welcome to the human race}, did you know that's just an excuse to get drugs. Most people with stress/anxiety are just faking anyway.

Matthew said...

Nice try. Grow up.


Anonymous said...

Hey that just sounds like a reflection of your theory. So perhaps it is you that should grow up.

SarahmotherfuckinCarter! You have a 'name' now Matthew said...

I was literally diagnosed yesterday with FM. I have been suffering from a variety of symptoms for the past 2 1/2 years every single minute of my day, to include, but not limited to: deep pain/aches/knots/tightness & tenderness in muscles and joints throughout my entire body. shooting/lightening/electrical-like nerve pains and twitching over my entire body. My body feels like I am coming down with the flu with flu-like aches and pains and a weird pain in my skin every day. extreme fatigue and loss of concentration, migraine & tension headaches every day, Hair loss, Tingling and numbness in my thighs, extremely dry throat and mouth, and lower abdominal pains.
I ended up at a Rheumatologist after seeing both my OBGYN and PCP who ordered every single blood test in the world, (which even after my insurance coverage I am stuck with a $450 lab bill). She told me that because they are still testing on various trials on how to pinpoint and accurately diagnosis FM that at this time the only way to diagnose is to rule out everything else and due a trigger/pressure test on my body. I had already done my research and had found that most people were put on a SSRI. That stunned me because I know that I am not depressed and I refused such treatment. She agreed and I am now waiting to start aquatic therapy to see if this helps any. If not I will then try acupuncture, and if that does not help I will try message therapy, and so on and so forth until I find relief for these bullshit symptoms. I am desperate for some relief and as of now refuse to take any prescription medication bullshit. I would like to note that I am gainfully employed and have zero intention of even considering getting on SSI. I have not told a single soul about any of this in the past 2 1/2 years besides my husband and my doctors and now sharing on your pos blog so I am not seeking attention. I think it is easy to cast stones when it is something you yourself have never had the 'pleasure' of experiencing.
I do not know what is going on with my body. My diagnosis is FM or I like to now call FML. I agree with you that it is a made up, not fake, diagnosis for something that they have not yet figured out. What I do know is that I have something very fucked up going on with my body and it is not situational or subconsciously/psychologically created and it is chronic and daily and that no one has the right or wrong answers about it.
I would like to add that I have been in a few accidents and I have had traumatic emotional experience but WHO THE FUCK HASN'T????? I mean come the fuck on Matthew lets get real! How many people do you know that has never had someone close die????.....emotional trauma example. How many people do you know that have never been in a physical accident of some kind????..….physical pain example. You have the right to your OPINION and I will keep up on the FACTS. Have a good one Matthew and I hope you don't end up with any of these symptoms because it makes life hell. Just because the diagnosis is not 'real' does not mean that the symptoms are not very real. Fuck FM and FU!!! I'm out.

SarahmotherfuckinCarter...again said...

Hope I don't end up "anonymous" by the time you post my last dish... lol

Matthew said...

Thank you for making my point, Sarah: they (doctors) don't know what is wrong with you so they gave you a diagnosis of FM.

As for my own trauma, when you escape from a burning 110-story building that has a flaming 757 full of murdered people still stuck inside it, you too will truly know what trauma is. Maybe that's not as bad to some as losing grammy or their puppy, but it's pretty goddamned significant.

No one ever said your symptoms were fake; only that the diagnosis is a load of horsecrap. It is a term invented out of thin air by doctors who simply cannot admit that they don't have any answers for you, and so the thing to do was to prescribe you an anti-depressant and hope you'll go away.

In the meantime, until they get sick of seeing you, they'll be more than happy to keep padding your medical bills with tests and charging your insurance company for them.

Be glad it's only costing you $450; before I finally met a doctor who was willing to tell me the truth about my chest pains (that they were most likely psychosomatic) I had run up a bill of $25,000 (and that's the portion not paid by insurance, because they ruled that my five-day stay in a cardiac ward was medically unjustifiable).

SarahmotherfuckinCarter said...

Well just as you have no idea what it is like to live with these symptoms, I have no idea what it is like to go through something like the 911 devastation. It does not discredit either one of us OR the people that have had 'granny die'. People/we handle stress and trauma in their/our own ways. Stop trying to discredit one persons experience over another just because you think that it has to be this crazy fucking thing to happen to someone for it to be legitimate. The bottom line is we all go through things that fucking suck and no one persons experience is worse than the other. You need to stop worrying about everyone else and more about yourself. Sounds like you have some things you need to work through yourself and that might be in part the reason that you are focusing so much of your attention on shit that does not even pertain to you.

Matthew said...

GOD CAN'T YOU PEOPLE READ? Or are you too self-absorbed to understand what has been written, repeatedly?

No one has said that you, Sarah, may or may not be suffering with something. The only thing that has been said is that whatever it is that hurts you, it ain't FM which doesn't fucking exist.

What you are suffering from is something no one is able to explain. Period. Because no one is able to explain it, a mythology has grown up around it which ebbs and flows according to the latest theories, and which has spawned a victimology psychosis which leads to only one place: DISABILITY CLAIMS.

Because after you have exhausted your resources and reached your insurance caps, where else are you going to go?

In the meantime, you doctor and the pharmaceutical companies are growing stupid wealthy while pretending to treat you. They can't treat you: they don't know how. Mostly because looking into alternate causes (like addiction and mental health issues) takes money out of their pockets.

I predict this: so long as research money pours into laboratories and pharma companies to "find a cure" for FM, none will be found. Finding a cure means the end of the revenue stream. Searching for a "cure" to something that doesn't exist except as a bunch of disconnected symptoms, keeps the money flowing indefinitely.

Again, I looked at six or seven people known to me diagnosed with or claiming to have FM, and they were all lunatics with drug addiction problems, and drew a logical conclusion from what I know.

If you don't fall into any of those categories (actually, I'm begging to think you do, because you won't STFU about how special you are, and that's the first indication of denial), then I guess it doesn't apply to you.

Unfortunately, you're obviously so self-possessed that EVERYTHING mystically applies to you, even when it doesn't, and you keep coming back for more. Sorry, Sarah, but everything ISN'T about you.

I'm sorry if you're in pain but I didn't cause it, and at the end of the day, I don't really give a flying fuck at a rolling donut. All I'm saying is that if modern medicine cannot determine what is wrong with you, then either YOU are the source, you're being fleeced, or you're not getting really good medical advice --- because someone should have had you on couch already, I reckon.

I wish you luck in your Quixotic search for a cure to something which isn't real.

Matthew said...

You know what? Upon further reflection, that last comment was a bit over the top. So, Sarah, let's put it this way:

Let us assume that your doctors are the best in the business. They have a vested interest in seeing you made as healthy as possible, and they are on top of their game. They are knowledgeable, thorough, dedicated, caring individuals.

We can eliminate (as per you) physical trauma, addiction to painkillers/drugs/alcohol, and your doctors have taken this into account.

Now, if they are all these compitent, and if they've done their homework, and their answer to you is still "We don't know what is wrong with you". Then you have to consider the following:

a. There is nothing physically wrong with you that they can detect or recognize, and they're right, or,

b. For reasons known only to them, they're lying to you. Just screwing with your head for their own sick enjoyment. They're prolonging your agony as part of some conspiracy to hide the truth from you. It must be because the problem simply MUST be something other than YOU, right?

There is a third possibility which you have continually discounted, with which, I have personal experience.

After a third visit to an emergency room in six weeks, and five days in a cardiac ward, I finally had a doctor give me some tough love.

They were the harshest words I had ever heard, and they shocked me. At first I was insulted, then angry, and then I finally realized she just might be right. I'll paraphrase:

"We have examined you from head to toe. We have run every test we know to run. We have tried to identify every factor that we can, or know to look for. We have eliminated all physical possibilities. There is nothing wrong with you physically; perhaps you might consider seeing a psychiatrist? Now get the hell out of my hospital, please. I have truly sick people waiting who could use that bed."

It was the best advice I ever got, too. Perhaps if more people heard it, we'd have less of this FM crap.

I offer this advice and insight to you as an olive branch.

RegisteredNurseMSN said...

I am a Registered Nurse on a neuro/trauma floor.....I love your post. You hit the nail right on the head related to this diagnosis! If I were to do a "scholarly study" of those patients with "fibromyalgia" as part of their history, I'm sure that the majority of them present this way. When we, as nurses, read that the patient has a history of fibromyalgia, we can give a pretty accurate assessment of the patient before we even set eyes on them. So....where is the sinkhole in our medical practices?????? I think that it is the physicians. After all, most nurses aren't afraid to tell the patient the truth....without sugar-coating!

Anonymous said...

I have not posted on this blog for a while because Mathew has his head in a box just like this nurse you are both full of crap.

Anonymous said...

Mathew why do you project yourself and experience on others. Sarah has a CNS condition you have a MHC what is the problem. Anyone involved in the 9/11 horror would have some form of PTSD. This however does not make you an MD anyone reading this with a medical background and/or with any common sense can see you do not research anything you comments on this condition are laughable...thank you for that at least.

Matthew said...

To the first Anonymous who apologized for not posting for a while.

I don't remember anyone asking you to do so.

To the second anonymous who claims I'm not a doctor, and therefore, am not entitled to an opinion, I would like to say two things:

1) Fuck you,. Who died and made you Dictator, responsible for deciding who gets to have an opinion? By the way, you should learn to spell and use proper grammar when talking out of your behind, and

2) You did read waaaaay up top of the post where I wrote the words "I am NOT a Doctor"? You people have been commenting on this post for over a year and every single one of you misses this, but then calls me out with the "But you're not an MD!" bullshit.

Half the MD's in America aren't MD's. They're the products of foreign diploma factories that were allowed to pass watered-down licensing exams because of the critical physician shortage (about to made worse by ObamaCare),

And just for fun, once more,

3) Fibromyalgia does not exist. It is an invented name intended to cover a wide range of (usually) mental or addiction issues. I'm sure you can find a doctor or study that says the opposite, but I could counter with a 1,000 more that back me up.

How about you do your research?

Anonymous said...

Hey forget about pointing out the stupidity of others look in the mirror dude and your refection will be pointing at you.

Anonymous said...

Ok let it rip counter with the 1,000 healthcare professionals that actually agree with your stupidity back yourself up lets here the facts for a change.

Ben said...

You're ridiculous. I don't believe fibromyalgia exists- but that's beside the point. The medical system has to work on a standardized term status so as to not be influenced by opinionated terminology as much as possible and so that other health professionals can understand a basic idea of what they're dealing with. What you're really going at here is the terminology used and even the medical profession which you clearly don't have much of a personal understanding of. Doctors are not paid by drug companies to distribute medications. At all. It's actually illegal; and they no longer even are allowed 'gifts' (like pens, paperweights, etc) as promotional items from drug companies. They're paid for diagnoses, surgical work, not even referrals, and if a doctor is a general MD, they're paid a flat price for almost all visits, the money you pay for vaccinations and such often doesn't even go directly into their pockets, and they are certainly not sent checks from drug companies for prescribing say, Zoloft or Vicodin. If General Practitioners have attempted to diagnose you and done each biological test at their disposal and still have no answers and you complain consistently of GENERAL WIDESPREAD PAIN, then the explanation is fibromyalgia, doctors are people, and when you run out of food sometimes all you have left to eat is soup. A relevant analogy referring to the generally vague but not empty description of what constitutes fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is also highly studied, with backing from the Mayo Institute which does most of this nation's medical research... it's not that your argument even strikes me as that wrong, you bring up good points. It's just that the completely unnecessarily aggressive standpoint you argue behind shoots your credibility to shit, and you honestly know barely anything about actual medical workers and the system they operate in. Oh, and when you bitch about how Obamacare is going to ruin the medical system and that "Half the MD's in America aren't MD's" (probably a conclusion (that they got foreign education) derived by you because many MD's tend to be of different ethnicity than white American) and you've also incorrectly assumed that American standards for doctor's educational and practical capabilities has declined recently compared to in the past. Which, as a matter of fact, is the farthest thing from the truth that could possibly be (and you'd know this if you'd known anyone very well who'd went through college recently and has been accepted into medical school). You're clearly not an idiot, it's just that your arrogance makes a completely ignorant reader easily jump on that conclusion.

Matthew said...

@Ben: In reference to your final sentence -- so I should dumb it down for the mentally stunted, and I should also change my writing style so as not to remind them of their diminished mental capacity, nor remind them of their grave state of confusion?

Yeah, that always works.

Look, I'm a no-nonsense kind of guy. I don't like to sugar coat anything, and I expect people who speak to me to have the same quality. Things are much easier that way.

I get that the majority of the dissent here has not been about (strictly) substance, but (mostly) style. But then again, I'm not particularly interested in changing a thing, because this style has actually worked for me here since 2003.

The only difference here is that this post (no pun intended) struck a nerve.

Anonymous said...

Yes you indeed did strike a nerve, denying the existence of fibrositis this is major! It is obvious that you are a Lunatic but just for fun we will say that you are not?.. how brilliant. We sure are happy when showing our narcisstic tendency.

Matthew said...

Right. People claim to suffer from an invented condition and I'm the crazy one?

I'm sure there's something wrong with at least some of them, but it probably ain't physical.

Anonymous said...

I think you are projecting your own issues onto others.

Matthew said...

I guess that's the new "sticks and stones" - "you are 'projecting your own issues onto others".

That's psychobabble. It's crapspeak. It's feeble. I wonder: how much did Mommy and Daddy waste on a college education for the seventeen people who have accused me of "projection", like any good little freshman psych student?

I laugh at that assertion, as well as the one where I'm supposed to be getting stupid rich writing this stuff.

Just face it: when you can't defend yourself against truth, it's just easier to accuse your opponent of being a bully or of having a financial stake than it is to perhaps listen and maybe recognize something you didn't before.

I think people who accuse other people of "projecting" are perhaps the lamest people to have ever walked the Earth.

Anonymous said...

You might want to consider a med adjustment. Just reading this blog top to bottom it is clear you are just egging people on and trying to get a reaction. You must have at least taken psych 1 . Way to go and if you get paid for sounding fucking crazy that is laughable people are just messing back with you.

Matthew said...

Unlike most of the people who claim to have this fake disease, I do not take any medication, nor do I require any.

My sort of crazy doesn't extend to convincing myself (and others) that I feel severe phantom, psychosomatic pains as an attention-getter, or as a means to get my fix.

And no, I have never taken Psych 1. Experience always teaches better than a supposed institution of higher learning where lots of money passes hands, everyone is throwing-up drunk, and no one learns a damned thing.

Anonymous said...

Hey Matt I guess that 20% that went to college just to party they must be the ones who have fake fibro according to you, any addict has fibro right? You will never convince me you are not on drugs you sound like a narrow minded person. I am sorry you are incapable of processing factual information. Is your mind at all capable of any type of convergence relating to reality.

Anonymous said...

I had horrible shoulder pain from a rotator cuff strain. Then had a large object fall on me moving it down some stairs. Couldn't get a conclusive diagnosis. Then started getting horrendous neck and then thoracic spine then lumbar and leg spasms. My whole body went to hell in about 3 years.

I was told I had fibromyalgia by a few quacks but otherwise a number of other dumbass theories were put forward, but sought other diagnosis.
It turned out I had a spinal cord birth defect.


Eventually an MRI showed a syrinx, a cyst in the spinal cord itself, formed by a tether at the base of my spinal cord. After the removal of the tether, the spasms went away. The tether was NOT visible on the MRI, just the syrinx. I was told my pain was not related to the syrinx and that it was purely imagined because no tether was shown. Regardless, after the surgeon opened me up, there was a tether, the tether was removed.

Over the next few weeks the spasms in my entire body went away gradually.

Fibromyalgia falls into 3 categories:

1) crazy women
2) lazy doctor who doesn't want to proper diagnostics and a patient who gives up
3) disability seeking freeloaders.

Its a creation by the drug companies to sell anti depressant medication to desperate people.

Anonymous said...

Well anonymous tether how would you have felt if for the rest of your life you were told you were imagining the pain. Be grateful that you are pain free! People with FM have pain everyday. Must be nice to be cured and go on to throwing your obscure judgment around of people you do not know. Must be great to be pain free and cause others Pain with your degrading insults. This is when Mathew starts salivating with glee and says....Don't be so sensitive??That would be to mild. Bet you can't wait to top the Crazy Women ,Lazy Docs, Freeloaders comment this is your league of thinking for sure . Let it rip...

CurvyQT said...

http://mttop72.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/fibromyalgia-identified-as-an-immune-system-disorder/

Anonymous said...

If this blog is to point the finger at stupidity well...Meny patients with fibro take neither pain meds or antidepressant. Drug companies are in the business of profiting on illness this is not news. You or fortunate you had doctors that paid attention along with your own persistence paid off you are pain free so I guess it now gives you the right to put other people down with chronic pain way to go!

Matthew said...

No one ever said that these people weren't feeling pain. Only that the source of the pain is unknown, and is often not caused by an actual physical problem.

As for the "medical profession" and their attitude, think of it this way -- they are telling their patients "we're not sure what's wrong with you, and we're not sure how to figure out what's wrong with you, but we're going to treat you anyway".

And then they have invented an entire disorder mythology to justify it.

If that isn't a crime against humanity, I don't know what is.

As for fibro now being categorized as an immune disorder, I'm reminded of the Global Warming nuts who, having failed to prove that Global Warming was a danger to the planet, suddenly shifted the goalposts and claimed another Ice Age was coming.

Ask around, and no one in the know will confirm or deny that fibro isn't a mental disorder, a an addiction issue, or a neurological disorder, or even all three at once. An Immune disorder diagnosis seems just like more guesswork, no matter how well documented it might be.

Anonymous said...

Not sure what you have been researching but I would be willing to bet you love Fox News. Not finding fibro listed under psychiatric disorders must be part of the conspiracy. I am guessing you are a fairly young person to be spewing out all this nonsense with out getting your facts straight. You sound naive and silly.

Matthew said...

I'm actually a 46-year-old man, and Fox News has nothing to do with it, but thank you for confirming that you are, indeed, an idiot.

That whole "you must watch Fox News, therefore, you're crazy" meme is a favorite of insane candy-ass Libtards who want a cradle-to-grave welfare state, or legalized pot, even if it means they have to claim to suffer from an invented disease in order to defraud the disability system.

Or people who can't win an argument with facts and logic.

Unless you have something intelligent to add to this discussion, please stay off it. Other people could make better use the bandwidth.

Anonymous said...

When are you going to use Facts and Logic ,intellect might also help. Look at how you respond to anyone who does not agree with you talk about idiots look in the mirror. Just trying to keep this blog going and not learning a thing from it is insane in itself, anyone reading this whole piece of crap can see you narrow minded. Even when confronted with factual material you just blow over it like the wind. You are certainly full of that. Fibro isn't real!!! blahhh blahhh blahhh with your rant! You have no facts just your opinion which makes sense to only you.

Anonymous said...

Mathew you are 46? You are so angry and obnoxious chill out and grow up dude.

Anonymous said...

Insane candy-ass Libtards? Why so hostel you should up your anxiety meds and get a few more sessions in on the old therapy. Cool those Jets and Open your Mind. Peace

Anonymous said...

60 min was talking about how dirty lawyers and fakers are robbing the disability system blind. Some persons are faking it because they can't find jobs. Claims have doubled because of these low lifes. I know a person who was diagnosed with myofacial pain as a teen and then it was called fibrositis and now fibromyalgia. My friend is now in her fifties and has been in chronic pain the whole time she worked hard until she could no longer. She does not tell people she has it because of people like you who go ballistic. These people deserve social security disability not lame ass fakers who ruin it for everyone. I can see your point for being so angry about this subject but lets not crucify the people who are truly suffering and deny them there dignity. What is the point of being so outwardly cruel to everyone who tells you they have fibro. This condition has been around for so long now but because there are idiots that fake it more attention has been brought to it. I wouldn't want to be someone with this condition {30% legitimate cases)and have to deal with all this criticism. What if it was you or your family member. Do you not want people to have compassion and understanding for your health situations. Lets try and be mature open minded adults and be reasonable, live and let live. I sure you will have fun putting what I have said down because this is what I have read repeatedly from top to bottom.

Matthew said...

I'm not angry about it.

Ben said...

No, Matt. I'm not saying you should dumb it down at all. I'm telling you that if you want anyone to take what you've said here seriously, it needs to be 'smartened up'. Maybe some research thrown in there? Some ideas that aren't just blatantly opinion and shit-throwing with no backing? I'm no-nonsense to the core. Apparently more so than yourself because when I read someone trying to present their ideas as a valid argument, I like to see at least a shred/taste of evidence so that I know they have a hint of any idea of what they're talking about. Not just incessant ranting because you don't understand that fibromyalgia is a term referring to vague pain with no apparent cause, a consistent and highly documented medical phenomenon that's happened since recorded medical history to many. As our scientific knowledge has increased, we've come to be able to document causes of pain much better in many cases, but even with the best science available, doctors are still not gods able to perfectly break apart the sources of any ailment whatsoever (many of which are legitimately brought about because of augmentation through mentality of the patients). They are also extremely busy men with lots of work to do for other patients who don't complain of apparently sourceless phantom pains. I understand that your style has 'worked for you since 2003' but what you don't seem to understand is that you're being the most lowly kind of journalist here; fishing for commentation off the mere shock value of your points. Look at how over half of your commentators are just angry because you sound like an ass! Exactly the type of person that brings the whole world down in never understanding the values of teamwork.
Unlike myself who presented an actual piece of evidence in my reference to the Mayo clinic studies, AND managed to pose arguments for both sides of the battle in my explanation of my thoughts on the subject.
You didn't strike a nerve. Your blatant ignorance just pissed me off to the point that I felt I should dedicate five minutes to try and avail the uneducated and humble you a bit. But the angry dog will always bite the hand that feeds; and it does seem my points have all just coasted right over your head. Have a good one.

Anonymous said...

Discribed by Hippocrates in ancient Greece,Fibromyalgia is one of the worlds oldest mysteries . The desease ,a complex illness marked by chronic muscle,tendon and ligament pain, fatigue and multiple tender points on the body affects about two percent of Americans. Way to Go Ben!

Matthew said...

If I'm not mistaken, Hippocrates also ascribed all disease to an imbalance of "humors" in the body, which could all be treated with bloodletting, sweating, purging, vomiting, etc.

In this regard, Hippocrates would probably be a tremendous pill pusher of the sort we're used to seeing "practice" medicine, these days.

Quoting an ancient (and unanswerable, in this case Aristotle and God) authority was also the favored weapon of the Catholic Church, which was wedded to both an Aristotlean view of medicine (not all that much different than that of Hippocrates)that retarded medical progress for over a thousand years, combined with a (convenient) insistence that diseases were the just rewards of sin, which could only be lifted by divine grace (and a wealthy priest).

The modern medical establishment is more or less in the same boat, citing it's (questionable) authority and status as the sacred gatekeeper of medical knowledge, concerning a complex/disorder/disease that few among them can agree exists.

You're also doing exactly what the church once did, My Last Anonymous Respondent, and citing an ancient "authority" -- who has since been proven completely wrong by modern scientific method based solely on the fact that he is still considered an "authority".

Anonymous said...

Epic Genetics a biomedical company is marketing a new blood test for fibromyalgia. According to the developers, FM/a is a multiple biomarker-based test, which measures protein molecules called cytokines within white blood cells, a key part of your immune system. People with significantly lower cytokine levels have fibromyalgia. it uses a 1-100 point scoring system to determine diagnosis, and it calculates a positive fibromyalgia score between 50 to 100 pts. Cell-mediated immunity is impaired in FM patients,this reveals that FM is an immunologic disorder. This novel cytokine assay reveals unique and valuable immunologic traits which when combined with clinical patterns, can offer a diagnostic methodology in FM. In other words diagnostic testing and proof that it is indeed REAL. Find some other poor suffering people to pick on.

Matthew said...

Low cytokine counts would also be a prime indication of anemia. Are we extrapolate from that fact that everyone who has anemia also has FM, or the reverse?

The test you speak of seeks to confirm a symptom; it does not confirm the disease.

also, there is a fight in the biomedical world over just what constitutes a cytokine (some say that what may be termed cytokines are, in fact, instead hormones).

Quote from this article:
http://www.jrijournal.org/article/S0165-0378(01)00112-7/abstract

"Biochemists disagree as to which molecules should be termed cytokines and which hormones. As we learn more about each, anatomic and structural distinctions between the two are fading. Classic protein hormones circulate in nanomolar concentrations that usually vary by less than one order of magnitude.

In contrast, some cytokines (such as IL-6) circulate in picomolar (10-12M) concentrations that can increase up to 1,000-fold during trauma or infection. The widespread distribution of cellular sources for cytokines may be a feature that differentiates them from hormones.

Virtually all nucleated cells, but especially endo/epithelial cells and resident macrophages (many near the interface with the external environment) are potent producers of IL-1, IL-6, and TNF-α.[3]

In contrast, classic hormones, such as insulin, are secreted from discrete glands (e.g., the pancreas).[4] As of 2008, the current terminology refers to cytokines as immunomodulating agents.

However, more research is needed in this area of defining cytokines and hormones.

Part of the difficulty with distinguishing cytokines from hormones is that some of the immunomodulating effects of cytokines are systemic rather than local. For instance, to use hormone terminology, the action of cytokines may be autocrine or paracrine in chemotaxis and endocrine as a pyrogen. Further, as molecules, cytokines are not limited to their immunomodulatory role. For instance, cytokines are also involved in several developmental processes during embryogenesis."

*Sigh* Do you think I don't do any research here before I write this stuff?

Matthew said...

Oh, one other thing vis-a-vis cytokines and FM:

People need to stop taking speculative science as established fact. Facts are only established after they have been tested and verified.

A test that determines cytokine count is NOT an indication that FM exists. To make that leap of logic is to engage in speculation. It only confirms that a single symptom (which may also be an indicator of thousands of other medical problems) can be checked off the list.

By this sort of reasoning (that a low/abnormal cytokine result is indicative of a specific, poorly-understood syndrome/disease)is akin to making the assumption that everyone who runs a slight fever MUST have the Ebola Virus.

Anonymous said...

Well, as an ER physician who has seen tens of thousands of patients, I can certainly attest that fibromyalgia is MOSTLY bullshit. For the most part is is a poor label for stamping the the foreheads of fat ugly middle aged women with pathetic lives. I'm sorry but the truth hurts. Ask any ER doc with experience and they will tell you the same. We have the unique perspective of having an enormous sample size to draw our conclusions from. I do not deny that these patients feel bad, but about 98% of them fall into the same bucket of obesity, chronic pain, multiple allergies, too many medications, crappy social environments (not to be confused with poverty), prior injuries, anxiety, depression, etc.etc.etc.

The sad part is that so many patients are relieved to have another diagnosis that explains their "unique" constellation of symptoms....

Anonymous said...

I hope i never get you as my Doc even though i am sure you are just more of an adrenaline junkie, than anything else. Bet you just love the rush when all those middle aged pathetic, fat, allergic,socially stunted, junkies look to you for help. You Suck. You are the reason why i do not tell anyone of my FM. I am 5'5" 119 and considered attractive. I sure you get alot of hotties right Doc? Some shallow bitch will latch on to you just for the status of it. Darlin if you came home from work and spoke those words to any women they would peg you as worthless. You are a poor excuse for a person let alone someone people put there trust in. Maybe you should write the next book on FM you could call it..My Judgement call of The FM Type straight from the ER.

Matthew said...

Nope, there was nothing indicative of a mental disorder in that last response at all...

Anonymous said...

At least you admit to having a mental disorder Matt. Good for You! Thank you for setting such a good example of acceptance.

Anonymous said...

From top to bottom every women is crazy, you must have been really burned by one. Forget the FM and focus on the root of the problem. Each women that has been brave enough to admit to having this you go off on them. The MD that posted was a total creep and no comment from you. The women that let him have it is crazy right? There was nothing wrong with her expression on anger toward such a stereotypical comment. Many ER Physicians are adrenaline junkies. So what is your issue here with every women that posts. Fibromyalgia is similar to illnesses like FM and Lupus in fact the criteria for diagnosis is very close with similar symptoms. Sound like you are just trying to push peoples buttons to get a reaction.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for initiating this dialogue. I am encountering an aging group of acquaintances, and a couple of them are crying 'fibromyalgia'. There are some common threads among them: they are hot for the disability dole, are out of shape, and eat like shit. They've always been perpetual victims - of something. It's pissing me off.

Matthew said...

I really wish some of you would stop posting Anonymously, because it makes keeping track of who's talking difficult, and thus, hard to reply to. But, here goes:

1. Yes, women are all fucking bananas. It's what happens when you have a vagina and more hormones than brains and aren't in possession of a linear thinking process.

2. There's no "bravery" involved in admitting you have a fake disease. The only reason anyone "admits" to it (in the case of Fibromyalgia) is for sympathy, because a victimology has coalesced around it, just like it did for Autism Spectrum and Restless Leg Syndrome and any of the other 50,000 invented boutique diseases of the last decade.

3. The Doctor didn't require a response because he made cogent points without getting all hysterical up in this bitch. Then again, since he answered anonymously, who is to say he's really a doctor?

4. Whoever you are, you keep making an accusation that doctors are "adrenaline junkies", which makes absolutely no sense (in what context?), and then you expect someone to treat your statements and concerns as if they were rational?

BTW, many people claiming to have fibromyalgia are ACTUAL junkies. See above.

5. If you're upset, stop coming back. It's apparent the discussion and exchange of opinions that you disagree with is only upsetting you more. I sense an unhealthy obsession at work. Have you seen a therapist or is it just your time of the month (see reply #1 above)?

6. If I'm only just pushing buttons in order to get a reaction, then I seem to have definitely pushed your's. Boy, don't you feel stupid, now?

Anonymous said...

As far a you are concerned every one has the right to their opinion is that not what you keep barking out. So who made you the judge and jury you are spewing your opinion all over the place which makes only sense to you . Let people make their comments with out going ballistic on them. Opinions are like assholes everyone has one right and some are bigger than others obviously.

Anonymous said...

Dido on Bens Comment which was spot on. You need to smartened up, do some research(not copy word for word). and perhaps take a chill pill. You rip apart others point of view or opinion and yours is written in stone..bullshit. Then again you are the self proclaimed " Crazed Master of the Universe" so you can rock on!

nathan B said...

This is the greatest site I have found in a while. I don't think fibromyalgia is real either.I get people mad at me when I say It too. Oh well. Just like restless leg syndrome.....here take these magic pills

Anonymous said...

When are you going to be rational? You are just putting up walls between people if this is what gets you off go for it,although it seems like a huge waste of time. Your responses to all women posting are offensive,caustic, boreing and predictable. Unfortunately you are continually projecting the narrow spectrum of your own brain. You also sound like a woman hater.

Matthew said...

BTW, it is spelled "BORING". If you put an 'e' in it, then it has something to do with guns.

I'm thinking I might need one...

Apparently a sarcasm tag has to go on some of these responses. I will endeavor to do so in future for the sarcastically-challenged and for those who have no sense of humor.

Then again, I don't really care, so I'm probably not going to make a religious practice of it. It only says so at the top of the webpage, so deal.

As far as copying something "word-for-word" I have been repeatedly asked on this thread to produce scientific evidence. I did so, from a respected scientific journal, and now because it makes the person who brought it up look stupid or muddies his point, it's suddenly not good enough evidence for him/her. Go figure?

I'm not out to please everyone. It is an impossibility, so I don't even attempt it. Opinions are welcome, but it's strange how those who accuse me of being caustic and dismissive (and yes, I can be) are themselves the same way when it comes to me not giving a tinker's turd about their pet peeve. Some consistency is order, especially from those who yell the loudest.

If you're looking for sympathy, look elsewhere. I have none, except for children and dogs.

How hypocritical to demand civility and scientific exactitude from me, and then some of you go and do exactly what I'm being accused of!

Anyway, we're back to the circular firing squad; I don't believe fibromyalgia exists as a condition, the medical community cannot agree as to whether it does or doesn't, and those who think (or have been told) they have it beg to differ with both. Such is life.

I'll believe it's a real condition when it gets it's own telethon.

Anonymous said...

MS must be the only illness that is real/legitimate then ? The only disease with a telethon..yeah this is real rational thinking. As much I as I find most of your opinion laughable. I do however admire your ability to keep on barking your bullshit and the fact that you have compassion for children and animals makes you less, shall we say for Halloween.. Scary,Narrow Minded and Narcissistic?

Matthew said...

Actually, that's Muscular Dystrophy (which, incidentally, my beloved Tess Trueheart has. She will be the seventh female in her family to be diagnosed with Myotonic Dystrophy, and subsequently, die from it, as it doesn't have a cure. I care for her on a daily basis and unlike some of you whining pansies, she's actually in a wheelchair).

If MS (Multiple Sclerosis) has a telethon it would be news to me, but not terribly surprising.

I believe the March of Dimes also has a telethon, or used to have one, but that's beside the point. The point being that all of those maladies mentioned above -- Muscular Dystrophy, many forms of Birth defects, Multiple Sclerosis -- all happen to be legitimate diseases, with a consensus among the medical and scientific community regarding their existence, causes, symptomology and prognosis; they are not just a compilation of often random symptoms which cannot be pinned down.

As for your opinion of me, I don't really think I care one way or another. I've long passed that stage of giving a damn what other people think (most people happen to be retards, btw), and it is only the truly scary and narrow-minded who actually DO care what others have to say or think about them - if you have to depend upon the impressions of others (even complete strangers) to feel validated in your life, then I'm truly sorry for you.

But not terribly surprised.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you should do some research on MS and see how hard it is to be diagnosed. Some people get diagnosed after ruling everything else out,others because of their random nonspecific symptoms takes yrs for a proper diagnosis of ms. You come across some what retarded(Usually do not use this terminology out of respect for mentally challenged persons but you seem to enjoy it so..) when talking about diseases/syndromes /conditions etc. This is your new stereotype, if your not in a wheelchair your most likely a sissy. If you are like most people your retarded..I like it ! Glad we all have such a good sense of humor for those who may be offended and if you are? Well it's really not allowed on this blog...right. Are we having fun yet? Mathew seems to be.

Anonymous said...

The women that posted about her MS/FM diagnoses really upset me. This is so true in the medical profession misdiagnosed is omnipresent. If a physician diagnosed your condition quickly consider yourself lucky. People wait yrs. or die waiting for correct diagnoses. A close friend of mine lost function of his bladder because of misdiagnoses and being put on meds for a condition he didn't have. I believe Fibromyalgia is real contrary to what others are saying. I do believe it is just a matter of time before the haters will have know other choice but to accept the facts. There is more and more ProFM research and evidence which backs it's legitimacy.

Kim, RN said...

I have been diagnosed with fibro by multiple doctors and still don't accept it. My mental health is good ... well I'm as nuts as average.... I don't take narcotics or any of that garbage. I'm physically healthy. I do take gabapentin on occasion when the pain is too much.I work 2jobs and NEVER admit I have this because as a nurse I know what everyone assumes. There are a lot of people out there like myself. I don't want a "diagnosis" I have been scanned, poked, and prodded until I just don't want to do it anymore. Maybe it's the chemicals in our food or environment or whatever. I have pain, I don't know why. I just want something so I can live my life. So, Matthew, tell me the answer. I've done the counseling and they told me I need to accept the diagnosis.

Matthew said...

Kim, I haven't the faintest idea of what you should do. It would seem your choices are limited to the following:

1. Suck it up. For generations people once lived with a variety of maladies that made life difficult. One of the problems we have in America today is that everyone expects to go through life unaffected by anything (especially that disgusting species of human being we call The Baby Boomer), and without having to bear the slightest discomfort or annoyance.

We're a culture of pansies seeking immediate relief from everything with magic pills that do little except produce multiple side-effects.

For centuries, the people who came before us went about life with arthritis, creaky prostates, spastic bladders, unexplained aches and pains and worse, without a word of complaint (mostly because they had no choice) and the human species has survived. You will too.

It'll just suck.

2. Shoot yourself. Save yourself the time and trouble and aggravation of having to wait for a proper diagnosis, or the niggling aches and pains and uncertainty.

Look at it this way: once the bullet enters your brainpan, all your troubles are over, and it's cheaper than an MRI.

(Note: We do NOT advocate suicide here at the Asylum. Well, wait... I just sort of did... but that was really sarcasm).

3. Continue to test for everything your doctors can think of. Of course, this might get expensive and tedious and create far more anxiety (which is likely to result in more severe symptoms for you), but what the hell else do you expect them to do? Besides give you medication?

Maybe, one day, by process of elimination at the very worst, some doctor will finally have that "Eureka!" moment, and be able to tell you that you have a hormonal imbalance, or alien embryos feasting on your internal organs, or perhaps someone left his wedding ring behind after your last colonoscopy, or the mercury in your dental fillings is leeching out, or whatever.

I don't have real answers for you, Kim -- just like the medical profession --but it seems to me those are the only choices.

Anonymous said...

Like your opinion on FM not being Real...Well, I would hope against hope that you are not real either.

Matthew said...

Okay, I'll just post these and consider the argument finished:

Here's a funny blogpost by a professional pharmacist:

http://www.theangrypharmacist.com/archives/2008/05/fibromyalgia_is_the_new_low_ba.html

And here is a New York Times article in which THE DOCTOR WHO ACTUALLY 'DISCOVERED' FIBROMYALGIA says it's all bullshit, and is a catch-all term used to sell anti-depressants.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/14/health/14pain.html?_r=2&ref=us&oref=slogin&

So, there you go.

Anonymous said...

I have fibromyalgia, I had to give up my business from being ill. Would somebody give up everything they have wanted for a illness whats not even respected :-(.Fibro gives you thinking and speaking problems too, I have had to learn to speak again.My muscles in my body twitch constantly. Ive got better things to do then fake a constant twitch, I have hard lumps and knots in my muscles which you can see and feel. Oh hang on ! How do I fake that?
Their is evidence of fibromyalgia, you can see it in deep brain activity scans in the pain reception area. If you dont beilve me go to fibro action website. Its only used in research as its far too exspence for general use.
Shock,stress and truma can trigger can cause damage to the brain which triggers fibro.
MORGAN FREEMAN has fibro, hes live with it since his car accident!! Now are you saying a well respected person world wide would lie? His does not even like to speak of it because of people like you. There is one interview with him where he talks about his arm he injured and his fibromyalgia. Very rare to see im talk about it. The interview can be seen online.
IF we are going to fake a disease,dont you think people would fake somthing respected!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Morgan freeman about HIS fibromyalgia.

"Every so often he grabs his left shoulder and winces. It hurts when he walks, when he sits still, when he rises from his couch, and when he missteps in a damp meadow. More than hurts. It seems a kind of agony, though he never mentions it. There are times when he cannot help but show this, the fallout from a car accident four years ago, in which the car he was driving flipped and rolled, leaving Freeman and a friend to be pulled from the car using the Jaws of Life. Despite surgery to repair nerve damage, he was stuck with a useless left hand. It is stiffly gripped by a compression glove most of the time to ensure that blood doesn't pool there. It is a clamp, his pain, an icy shot up a relatively useless limb. He doesn't like to show it, but there are times when he cannot help but lose himself to a world-ending grimace. It's such a large gesture, so outside the general demeanor of the man, that it feels as if he's acting.

"It's the fibromyalgia," he says when asked. "Up and down the arm. That's where it gets so bad. Excruciating."

Matthew said...

Three things:

1. There is no correlation between brain activity and fibromyalgia. Or rather, I should say that there has not been any conclusive link between brain activity and fibromyalgia. If you had read the second article in my last reply (where the doctor who invented the syndrome says it's utter BS), you would have known that.

2. I'm sorry that you have had to give up your business or career, but then again, so did I when I was diagnosed with real mental health issues that can be proven to exist. It happens to people, sometimes. That sucks, I agree, but life isn't fair.

3. Who gives a fuck what Morgan Freeman (well-respected by who, btw?) has to say about ANYTHING?

He's an actor, which means he earns his living by pretending to be someone else in a convincing fashion, not a doctor. If i ever needed advice on the finer points of Porgy and Bess, I'd call him first and believe everything he has to say, but not about something as important as my health.

Morgan's niche in modern America is (as I believe Jonah Goldberg once wrote) is as "The Magic Negro", whose job it is to explain the morality of the movie you're watching to the rubes in Flyover Country who aren't smart or sophisticated enough (the Hollywood set believes) to understand the deep meaning hidden in a film like "Glory" or "Bruce Almighty".

If you're living your life by what Morgan Freeman says, then you're a dolt. Just because he's famous doesn't make him any smarter or credible than anyone else. Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian are famous (so I'm told) and I wouldn't let either walk my dog without a crash helmet -- for the pooch. Alec Baldwin is a great actor, but I wouldn't want him running my Foreign Policy or handling my money. It's people like you (who believe that because someone is 'famous') that keep alive the stupid idea that fame makes people geniuses. It's people like you who keep Access Hollywood on TV and People magazine in print.

Bob Dole was a US Senator and has erectile dysfunction; does that make him a savant on the issue?

Anonymous said...

"fibromyalgia is a result of the effects of pain and stress on the central nervous system, which lead to changes in brain circuitry, rather than a brain disorder itself "

So can you explain to me? Why my muscles spasms, and why I have muscles lumps?
Why do I have word finding problems?
It this is not real? Then you can fix me right? X



Anonymous said...

LETS JUST GIVE EVERYONE THE HEADS UP NOW!...DO NOT EXPECT MATHEW TO HAVE ANY INTELLIGENCE PERTAINING TO DISEASE/ILLNESS. HIS SOLE PURPOSE IN LIFE IS TO RIP EVERYONE A NEW ASSHOLE AND DEHUMANIZE THEM(HE GETS OFF ON IT) WITH HIS INSULTS. WHY BECAUSE HE IS THE MOST NARROW MINDED HYPERCRITICAL PERSON OUT THEIR. DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME TRYING TO EDUCATE HIM ON ANY SUBJECT HE WILL TWIST IT AROUND ON YOU,WHILE MAKING ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE ...JUST FOR THE FUN ON IT. HE HAS A LEGITIMATE MENTAL DISORDER AND EVERYONE ELSE IS A FAKER WITH A CONDITION THAT IS NOT REAL, IN HIS MIND ALONE. FORGET ALL THE RESEARCHED EVIDENCE. THIS PERSON IS JUST GETTING HIS ROCKS OFF. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME POSTING HE WILL RESPOND THE SAME WAY OVER AND OVER AND OVER LIKE A BROKEN RECORD. HE IS RETENTIVELY STUNTED AND THINKS THIS IS AMUSING. WHEN YOU READ THIS BLOG AS A WHOLE MANY PEOPLE WILL FEEL SORRY FOR HIM AS HE CAN NOT PROCESS OR RETAIN FACTUAL INFORMATION. PERHAPS THIS IS PART OF HIS ILLNESS. SO LET US DO WHAT HE IS INCAPABLE IN DOING FOR OTHERS AND HAVE SOME SYMPATHY FOR HIM. HAVING A PROVEN MENTAL ILLNESS JUST MEANS YOUR FUCKING CRAZY BECAUSE LIKE FM THERE IS NO SUCH THING. THE SADDEST PART IS THAT MATHEW ACTUALLY HAS POTENTIAL FOR WRITING. UNFORTUNATELY HE USES IT IN THE WRONG WAY. IT IS BORING AND HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE OVER AND OVER. IT IS ALSO FRUSTRATING AND SAD TO SEE HE IS INCAPABLE OF EVOLVING IN HIS WRITING.

Kim, RN said...

Its really funny you listed those options. I have basically chosen to "suck it up". We all have options. Rather than focusing on whether the disease is real or not, people should be more outraged that our health care system would rather condone this idea of "I can't figure out what's wrong, I don't really care ... let's just call it fibromyalgia. We can hook you up with drugs and you can get fat from inactivity and blame it all on the fibro" attitude that is out there. People on both sides of the argument are missing the point. It's our enabling, never-my-fault society that's to blame for all this. I was blown away by a comment I read on a site for "Living with fibro" that said you should just plan on "gaining weight" (I interpret as being morbidly obese) because you can't exercise. Can't you just put down the friggin' ho-ho's and pepsi? Since you only "feel" the pain and there's no actual damage, why would you not exercise? I have read the pharmacist's blog and I completely understand his point of view. It's just another excuse for many people to get drugs. That's what makes it hard for the rest of us - no matter what your diagnosis is, there's always somebody out there willing to fake it to get what they want. Another way to dodge responsibility and alter their level of consciousness. Thanks for the opportunity to rant... lol.

Matthew said...

*Sigh* From the NY Times article on Lyrica:

"Dr. Clauw said that brain scans of people who have fibromyalgia reveal differences in the way they process pain, although the doctors acknowledge that they cannot determine who will report having fibromyalgia by looking at a scan."

In other words: the brain scan is useless in determining if someone has finro, or even if it exists as an indentifiable condition.

Next quote, same article:

"Ms. Matallana said she had suffered from fibromyalgia since 1993. At one point, the pain kept her bedridden for two years, she said. Today she still has pain, but a mix of drug and nondrug treatments — as well as support from her family and her desire to run the National Fibromyalgia Association — has enabled her to improve her health, she said. She declined to say whether she takes Lyrica."

So, the founder of the National Fibromyalgia Foundation will not tell you the truth about her own taking of drugs, specifically, anti-depressants. One wonders just why, if, after all, she's so hot to have her illness legitimized -- probably because it would ruin her credibility to discover that she's been on an anti-depressant, or worse, that she has a long history of prescription drug use that includes the full cornucopia of brain-chemistry-altering nonsense.

Note: for the purposes of establishing my own credibility on the subject, it should be said here that I, too, have taken anti-depressants (Zoloft,350mg a day at one time, although I haven't had any in approximately 8 years now), and can say without reservation that they simply don't work.

And here's a final quote, same article:

"But doctors who are skeptical of fibromyalgia say vague complaints of chronic pain do not add up to a disease. No biological tests exist to diagnose fibromyalgia, and the condition cannot be linked to any environmental or biological causes.

The diagnosis of fibromyalgia itself worsens the condition by encouraging people to think of themselves as sick and catalog their pain, said Dr. Nortin Hadler, a rheumatologist and professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina who has written extensively about fibromyalgia.

“These people live under a cloud,” he said. “And the more they seem to be around the medical establishment, the sicker they get.”

In other words, you're a fucking hypochondriac or a lunatic, and the medical profession will be more than happy to keep emptying your wallet for you. The intensity of your illness is directly linked to a) the attention you get, and b) how much you're able to pay for treatment.





Anonymous said...

Is their any tests or scans that can prove ur mental illness is real??? No offence to people who have ,as most people with mental health dont judge others with disabilities.
I have had post traumatic stress so im not being rude.
Your right in one thing emotional truma or stress can trigger fibromyalgia, its a shock to the body. But even ur over the pain you still have fibromyalgia and you will have for life. We could say ur illness is all in ur head :-D

Matthew said...

In my case, my illness was "not all in my head"; that's just where it wound up manifesting itself, I guess. Heh.

To answer your question, specifically, there is a direct connection between some anxiety/panic disorders and hypothyroidism, which can be tested for with a simple blood test (guilty on both counts).

Conditions such as alcoholism (guilty!, see? I know addicts when I see them!)and depression (guilty!)are also thought to have a genetic link, although I must admit that the studies I've seen on this are mostly a 50/50 proposition, and most of them seem to have selling a drug as their main thrust.

My full diagnosis, post-9/11 (as I was at Ground Zero when the first plane hit) was PTSD, Depression, Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia.

I feel for you on the PTSD because it's NOT fun. The only thing I can tell you is that from my experience it passes with time. There is no magic pill for that, sorry. Take your time and sort yourself out; it will pass, but not overnight.

Also, don't make the mistake that I did, and simply take whatever your psychiatrist happens to want to give you. Mine gave me Prozac and Wellbutrin before he finally settled on Zoloft (despite the fact that Wellbutrin is a major no-no for people with anxiety/panic troubles! The dope!).

And even then, he was so convinced that a combination of Zoloft (daily) and Xanax (as needed) was such a panacea, that he had me taking 350mg of Zoloft a day. That is THREE TIMES THE RECOMMENDED DOSAGE.

And this guy was supposed to be "the best" for my sort of condition. At $400 for the 40-minute hour, he most certainly was not. Go figure.

That;s one issue I have with the psychiatric profession where there is a school of thought that says that all maladies are the result of chemical imbalance to be treated with drugs. This is often NOT the case, and they're over-medicating people or giving them medication when it's not even necessary because it's easier than working.

He probably set my recovery back a good two years with that sort of nonsense. As it was, while on that combination of drugs I didn't leave my own house for nearly three years, except to see doctors or to go buy food.

You wouldn't believe some of the obsessive/compulsive disorders you run through once that happens.

Anyways, I finally found a good doctor (who doesn't write scripts for amusement) and a therapist who actually knew what they were doing, and they straightened me out, thought it was a process after all the crap the prior one had me taking. Ask questions, and make certain you understand what the doctor is telling/giving you, and take an active role in your treatment.

Matthew said...

One clarification to that last response.

The blood test for hypothyroidism does not definitively indicate an anxiety disorder; it is simply a confirming factor.

i.e. not everyone with hyperthyroidism has an anxiety issue.

However, in most cases of mental disorders the determining factor in a diagnosis is behavioral, rather than a physical symptom. Unless we're talking something really out there, like schizophrenia or paranoia.

For example, in the case of anxiety disorders, the afflicted will display several common behaviors such as avoidance and obsessive thought patterns, insomnia, stomach issues which are indicators. In addition, there will most likely be psychosomatic responses (say, chest pains, dizziness, rapid heart rate, and shortness of breath which will mimic cardiac symptoms which lead to repeated emergency room visits).

Put enough of these behavioral factors together, and you have a diagnosis. Take a series of endrocrine tests (and achieve certain levels on some of them) and you have confirmed an anxiety disorder.

As for the medical history behind it, there is 5,000 years of it. The ancient Greeks called this condition The Living Death; the Romans, Vikings, Persians, Arabs and Hebrews also noted the same malady among soldiers.

In ancient times, anxiety and panic disorders were quelled by making warriors drink vast quantities of wine before battle (although the Spartans and Romans, for example, overcame it with discipline and stigma). In the case of PTSD, the Book of Exodus tells of the Hebrew warriors being obliged to stay out of their camps for seven days after battle, taking part in ritual cleansing and prayer before they were allowed to return to their families.

In the centuries since, there is an enormous written, anecdotal and scientific history associated with most of these issues, whereas in the case of fibromyalgia, it started with a paper published in 1990.

A paper which is now repudiated by the very doctor who wrote it.

Now, some will say that when determining whether a patient has fibromyalgia that a non-specific (in terms of defining a particular disease) symptomology test would offer similar results, i.e. that someone who, say, showed seven out of ten common symptoms has fibro. The difference is this:

When I was treated properly for my anxiety problems, the symptoms ceased. The issues all magically went away. The reason? No one was guessing as to what was wrong with me; they had 5,000 years of medical history to draw upon, and a course of treatment that had been developed over centuries and proven to work.

Not so with fibro, because it seems the more you do for some of these folks, the worse they seem to get.

Either we're dealing with something that is totally unknown to medical science, or we're dealing with a series of problems in the entirely wrong way. The medical establishment cannot agree (mostly because they're torn between their pocketbooks and their reputations).

The data, so far, points to the second possibility as the far more likely scenario.

learnFMnow said...

I am here to tell you that no matter what you believe about 10-15 million americans have this god forsaken pain that leaves us debilitated to some extent and some bedridden. And because you cannot "see" a test for it you don't believe it is real. My life is torn up over it. I want to say that many of us, if you did a study, you would find we have had lucrative careers we have lost, lost homes, lost relationships etc. Who in the hell would go around with the stigma labeled "fibromyalgia" if they chose to make something up or lie? We know we are not believed and are stigmatized so what the hell would we tell you this for? I was healthy until the ago of 40, have a college degree, was never lazy or sick and suddenly my life was ripped from me. so google they are finally finding evidence if you want to "see" something about this shit. Fuck you who don't believe this and I hope you suffer someday for your judgment calls.

Matthew said...

And I lost my career, had my finances wrecked, and lost a good seven years of my life to anxiety and depression. People get sick, and sometimes it has bad consequences. That's just a fact of life.

The difference is that some of us learn to deal with our issues, while others look for someone or something else to blame for them, and if you can find a medical professional to give you an excuse, so much the better -- because then you're not responsible, you're just a victim, and psychologically that's just an easier cross to bear.

When there's money to be made by peddling you both a mythology and a load of prescription drugs, you can always depend on some segment of the medical community to provide you with that excuse.

Anonymous said...

I am 29 year old female, I am not overweight,I like to be physically active and work out as much as I can tolerate. I have no desire to be on disability and have always been a hard working person with 1-3 jobs at a given time. I would not consider myself an attention seeker. I have had a few injuries and refused painkillers because, their addictive qualities and the fact that my son's father died from an overdose of them. I once was running in the dark and there was a close line wire between two posts I didn't see and I snapped in half with my ribs like I was going through a finish line. I screamed in pain and stated that it felt like I was internally bleeding and the area around it puffed up. Never went to Dr. Left it at that. I was raised to shake it off and tough it out because our health care sucked. So to this day things have to get pretty bad before I will go to the DR. Later down the line I went to the Dr. and had a chest X-ray for pneumonia and found out that I had broken a few ribs. So no I'm not a cry baby. I have been dealing with chronic wide spread pain, fatigue, stiffness,blue hands, cold feet my legs falling asleep very frequently and badly for about a decade now. I went to the Dr. once for it and he dismissed my concerns and made me feel like a hypochondriac so I left it alone. I don't complain about the pain I am in because no one wants to hear it and I don't want to be a whiner. So I struggled a lot with this for many years. My quality of life sucks! I feel SO old. I finally worked up the courage to go to the doctor again 10 years later. He did a bunch of labs I am still waiting on.He said that he has to rule stuff out but, he is leaning toward FM. I don't know what the hell to think about it. All I know is the constant pain around my joints I feel is real! It takes an incredible amount of mental strength to get moving in the day. I'm not lazy I want to do things and this S&*T is depressing to deal with day in and day out. I don't know what would be worse a diagnosis like lopus or RA which runs in the family and is crippling, progressive, and debilitating. Or being diagnosed with something no one understands and people make awful judgments of people for having. I just want to live a normal frickin active life. I don't want painkillers, disability, or attention I just want to feel better this is wearing on me.

Matthew said...

You did say "family history of lupus and RA" didn't you? And the doctor says to you -- before the lab results are back -- "I'm leaning towards fibromyalgia", correct?

You tell me: what is wrong with this picture? What sort of doctor does that?

You have my sympathies: I believe you do feel pain, I just don't believe it's anything called 'fibromyalgia'.

Anonymous said...

My doctor is great, I only take one tablet cause I dont want to be stuck on them. Yes their is people who like to make the point of being ill and some hate the fact that others are getting all the love and It can make people get angry . I think the reason why ur like this because its a inner problem you have got,which makes you hate people like me. We both have hidden illnesses. Ur no better then me and im not better then you!! what ever has happened to you it must have manifested in to hate. Fibro people are strong. We are fighters.

Anonymous said...

Hello I love your blog, just saying :-D

Matthew said...

I don't hate anyone, except Muzzbags and liberal democrats.

This has nothing to do with me, although if you must know, you can't watch 3,000 people burn, get crushed or pulverized to death, when they're not jumping out of 100 story windows, and not be affected by it. Maybe that's trifles in comparison to some people's achy joints and Vicodin addictions, but it's a traumatic experience, just the same.

However, that's the past, and I've accepted that the world is a fucked up place full of fucked up people and not everything has to make sense. I'm over it.

I'm making general observations and offering an opinion based upon what I have seen and what I know. I don't expect everyone to have the same viewpoint.

Anonymous said...

Fibro is not just aches and pains. It cause sensitivity to light, sounds and smells. Muscle spasms, painful sex, painful smears.swollen glands, hot flushes , sore nails and cognective problems......

Matthew said...

When I was dealing with depression I was sensitive to lights and sounds, too. Does this mean I have fibro?

Hot flashes and muscle spams are common in menopause, too, right?

Painful sex? Maybe you ain't doing it right.

I won't touch your painful pap smear with a twenty foot pole.

As for the aching nails...I mean, seriously?

Anonymous said...

Part 1
Fibromyalgia a ‘Real Disease,’ Study Shows

WebMD Health News
fibromyalga_real.jpg
Nov. 3, 2008 -- A new brain scan study concludes that fibromyalgia is related to abnormalities of blood flow in the brain.

"Fibromyalgia may be related to a global dysfunction of cerebral pain-processing," study author Eric Guedj, MD, of Centre Hospitalo-Universitaire de la Timone, in Marseille, France, says in a news release. "This study demonstrates that these patients exhibit modifications of brain perfusion not found in healthy subjects and reinforces the idea that fibromyalgia is a 'real disease/disorder.'"

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread muscle pain and fatigue. It affects 2%-4% of people, mostly women. It has been called the "invisible syndrome" because it can't be diagnosed based on a lab test or X-ray.

For this study, researchers took brain scans on 20 women with fibromyalgia and 10 women without the condition. Participants also answered questions to assess measures of pain, disability, anxiety, and depression.


The brain imaging technique, called single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), is able to detect functional abnormalities in the brain.

Anonymous said...

continued...
Past imaging studies of patients with fibromyalgia had shown abnormalities in cerebral blood flow, also called brain perfusion. In some areas of the brain, blood flow was below normal, and in some areas, it was above normal. In this study, by using whole-brain scans on the participants, researchers were able to analyze how perfusion in each area of the brain related to measures of pain, disability, anxiety, and depression.

Researchers confirmed that patients with fibromyalgia exhibited brain perfusion abnormalities in comparison to the healthy participants. These abnormalities corresponded with the severity of the disease. An increase in blood flow was found in areas of the brain involved in sensing pain and a decrease was found within an area thought to be involved in emotional responses to pain.

There seemed to be no relationship between these abnormalities and presence of depression or anxiety.

Matthew said...

Ah, yes, they studied a grand total of 30 people and found a common thread in the 2/3 of the very subjects they expected to find a problem with. Solid research, indeed.

Perhaps I should perform an experiment where I line up twenty parapalegics in the middle of the road and count how many of them eventually get run over, while my control group of 10 healthy people stand in the street and attempt to dodge slow-moving traffic. That would be just as scientific.

This does not mean that fibromylagia is real (sorry, but your headline is wrong); it would seem to indicate a problem with autoregulation in the brain, though, if I've just researched this correctly.

These sorts of issues (autoregulation issues in the brain) are also common with several species of brain injury, such as concussions. The biggest issue is with ischemia in the brain (not enough oxygen/glucose being delivered to brain cells because of low blood pressure/flow).

Ischemia would certainly explain symptoms that many complain of, like cognitive dysfunctions and sensitivity to light and sound. In which chase, we're dealing with something we already know: ischemia in the brain, not fibromyalgia.

That would be extremely hard to pin down: you basically need a full brains can to find it, and it had better not be of the intermittent sort or you might miss it.

Could it be that FM "sufferers" are really suffering some a form of ischemia that's routinely being missed or misdiagnosed? Sounds like an interesting thing to study.

When they have a study of a few thousands and get similar results, maybe I'll buy it.

You did note that the researcher they interviewed for the article(Eric Guedj, MD) used the words "reinforces the idea that fibromyalgia is a real disease" not the words "I've proven fibromyalgia is a real disease".

The headline "Study: Fibromyalgia a Real Disease" may be a bit premature. Let's see what happens.

Matthew said...

Oh, I forgot: the study says the 20 FM whiners had an increased bloodflow in one specific portion of the brain. This would be another indication of an autoregulation problem, methinks, in that the intercranial blood pressure in one area (the part that is related to pain) may be too high.

That sort of pressure leads to all sorts of problems (see: The Monro-Kellie hypothesis).

Autoregulation issues work both ways, after all.

Anonymous said...

Oh right so you belive that the problems are real and the pain? But its not got the right name?

Anonymous said...

I AM an MD, and just want to say that the only two FMS treatments that are backed by solid research to improve symptoms are 1) exercise and 2) cognitive behavioral therapy. Personally, I think FM is a garbage diagnosis for people who have no emotional coping skills, need attention, and get secondary gain from playing the sick role. This may be just an opinion but I have read the literature, have psychology and medical training. For what it's worth

Anonymous said...

The Government actually did a research study several yrs back on PTSD and the similarities to fibromyalgia. They are pretty much one in the same. Most of the comments you have made about Fibromyalgia sufferers can also pertain to you my PTSD friend. Anyone can fake PTSD. If FM is not a legitamate condition than neither is PTSD.

Matthew said...

You mean the same government that has a vested interest in not paying Veteran's benefits to our war wounded who suffer from PTSD, and yet includes the same Department of Homeland Security that says the greatest domestic terrorism threat is from mentally unbalanced veterans returning from overseas service with...wait for it...PTSD?

Laughable. Get a grip and just come to terms with the fact that you have a mental illness or drug addiction, already, and get it fixed. Stop embracing a convenient crutch invented by doctors who need to cover their behinds.

Anonymous said...

You are sooooooooo Dense and annoying. Your writing would be good if you would stop saying ignorant things.

Matthew said...

Oh, so my writing is all crap because you happen to disagree with one opinion?

Actually, I don't really care what you think of my writing. I don't do this to get other people's approval.

Thin skin abounds, methinks.



Anonymous said...

Connie A Luedtke RN at the Mayo clinic in Rochester discusses some common misconceptions about FM. The top misconception is that some people think FM isn't a real medical problem or "That it is all in your head" It's sometimes thought of as a "garbage can diagnosis" if Doctors can't find anything wrong they say you have FM. Researchers have learned more about it in just the past few yrs. FM patients brain and spinal cord process pain signals differently . As a result they react more strongly to touch and pressure, with a heightened sensitivity to pain. It is a real physiological and neurochemical problem. Researchers took brain scans on 20 people with FM and 10 without. The brain imaging technique, called photonemission computed tomography(SPECT) is able to detect functional abnormalities in the brain. Researchers confirmed that the patients with FM exhibited brain perfusion abnormalities in comparison to the healthy participants. These abnormalities corresponded with the severity of the disease. An increase in blood flow was found in areas of the brain involved in sensing pain and a decrease was found within an area involved in emotional response to pain. Fibromyalgia like symptoms can be induced in psychologically healthy volunteers through sleep deprivation or disruption. Sleep disorder is a fraction of FM. The first Doctor to recognize FM was a British rheumatologist WR Gower in 1904. Florence Nightingale was said to have suffered from this desease.FM causes soft tissue pain and inflammation mostly in the muscles and associated tissues. Patients also often suffer muscle spasms, joint stiffness and swelling. The most characteristic symptom is called tender pts. where mild pressure causes sharp pain. Fibromyalgia has a genetic component and does not go away.

Anonymous said...

Never said your writing was all crap. In fact I find it rather creative and amusing in a somewhat irritating way. Its your mindset that is crap, you never learn from that which you read. Honestly I could care less it's all in good fun.

Anonymous said...

At first Mathew really hit my nerves. I have fibromyalgia.Im not lazy, I donk like taking tablets,ive been bought up to work hard. But now I see that some of the things Matthew has said are real.
Most people who dont have fibro, cant really comment because they dont feel the pain or understand. How can we expected him to understand? Only fibromyalgia fighter know. Mathew has strong opinions, like I have and I also have strong opinions about things which I will never actually come across personally. Xx

Anonymous said...

menopause?? Im 25 years old. Lol.
Yes it does cause aching nails and sickness.This is only ur opinion. You are never going to understand because you havent got fibro .

Anonymous said...

There are people that have compassion for others and then there are those that are just looking for an easy target. We have to feel sorry for the Bullies in life. I do not know what it is like to have PTSD but I can have empathy and compassion, not wanting to make that person feel worse than they already do. Life is about learning if your mind is closed ,I guess you and those you spew at are subjected to negativity. Studies have also show the personality type for those with FM are overachievers and perfectionist. This however would not include the fakers ..perhaps they should take note and start faking that too? When certain abilities are taken away it is devastating so put on top of that people being critical for no reason....it's a shame.

Matthew said...

Here's a tissue. Give it a fucking rest, already.

Anonymous said...

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOh Excuse Me, I forgot your opinion is the only One that Matters Matt...blow it out your......!

Anonymous said...

Why are you using 9/11 as an excuse for being an a hole. But know one else can have a trauma to set off there conditions. You are so full of shit.

Matthew said...

I don't have "an excuse". I was there, I was traumatized, I got over it with the proper treatment.

I haven't wallowed in the misery (and sympathy) of others by using a disease (or the implication of a disease) as a convenient excuse for my fucked up life, or to feed my drug habit, or to seek attention and perpetual government benefits.

And all the "studies show FM sufferers to be made of candy canes and sunshine" bullshit is just that: bullshit. It was probably written or paid for by a pharmaceutical company to a) give doctors yet one more excuse to dispense anti-depressants to people who simply need a kick in the ass, and b) reinforce the notion that you suffer from a disease, and aren't a drama queen/hypochondriac, so that you feel better about begging for anti-depressants that you don't need,

Anonymous said...

Why are you picking on fibromyalgia? Ur bullying people and thats upsetting me. I have fibro and im still at school :'( :'(.

Matthew said...

Good for you!

You could be like the rest of the goldbricks and staying in bed all day crying for meds.

I'm not picking on anyone: I'm just telling you that your "disease" doesn't exist.

Matthew said...

By the way, as long as you're still at school, you could ask someone to help you fix your spelling and grammar.

What the fuck is "Ur"? That's not even a word.

I hope YOU'RE not in college, because the money is being wasted if you spell that way.

Anonymous said...

You are my new hero. Excellent post.

Anonymous said...

Ur meaning You Are a Bully..and you should go to college because you are slow and mentally stunted. You use this blog to go off on people . If you think you are better check again, read all of your posts you are sick and need help call 9/11..Do you really think a well balanced person would be as cruel and viscous as you have been just for effect and to get your rocks off. Go back to therapy..please

Anonymous said...

Look who's talking Mr. PTSD talk about an excuse to not have to deal with anything..how do you know how any of these people live. Were do you get off thinking you are any different with your condition. PTSD is just a nice way of saying nervous breakdown. I'm sure we could have a field day with that one..ahh but we choose not to.. Throw some more stones you idiot.

Anonymous said...

Taking the piss out of children on the net is horrible and with learning disabilities thats even lower.

Anonymous said...

I see you have not put my comments on but you will allow others to be shown to fight your corner.

Matthew said...

Actually, I would love to put your comments up. However, there was an issue with Blogger earlier this past week, and this page lost somewhere between 14 and 17 comments between Thursday and Saturday day evening (not just on this post, either).

Also, some of my respondent's comments are being tagged as spam by Blogger -- whether they are or aren't -- and it is my habit to simply delete everything that gets tagged that way, often without reading it. That, incidentally, is one reason why -- if you wish to comment -- you should not do so anonymously, in some cases.

If you wish to have whatever you had to say reposted, then please, make your point again. My apologies.

Do not think for a second that I select comments based on whether or not they fit my point of view. I am an advocate for free speech (no matter how stupid it is) and everyone gets a hearing here on the Asylum.

Just be ready to argue with me if I find your point to be questionable.

To the person who said I'm "taking the piss out of children": I suspect that you're talking about the college student with spelling issues, but if not, what specifically are you referring to? So far as I'm concerned, children are not fair game regardless of circumstances, and they never have been here at Lunatic Central.

Anonymous said...

Wow is all I have to say. What a bunch of insensitive people. Whether you believe it is over active nerves or psychological. It still robs people of their lives. And until you ha e gone from a healthy active lifestyle. No pain medications or alcohol to spending your days being shuffled from specialist to physical therapist to psychiatrist and therapist. You should not put everyone in the same category. Do some people fake it because they are lazy? Yes just like low back pain, depression, and anxiety. However there is more to fibromyalgia that just pain. There are muscle spasms, numbness in arms, legs, back, migraines, sensitivity to light sounds and smell. For us who do have it, it is not a luxury and not something we want to live with and it is humiliating. I have spent the last 15 years saying this is bullshit I do not have this or people who say they have it are exaggerating there symptoms. Guess what you can only rob Peter to pay Paul so long before you run out. I've ran out of energy and the ability to take tomorrow's energy to get through today. I'm sorry that you are so angry and judgemental to others.

Trina Seger said...

How can you have one disease that someone is telling you what you do or do not feel and then tell someone else what they do not have or feel! I do get uncontrolled shakes. A ticking clock makes me cry, lights give me migraines, I have days where I feel paralyzed. I have horrible spasms in my back, neck, and face. I wake up several times a night with complete numbness in my arms and back. I went to the grocery store last week and got home eat my groceries in the car and had no idea where I had been. A true FM diagnosis the person has been through the process of elimination. Has become a human pin cushion, has been in the living coffin of an mri machine several times. Had cat scans, has changed their diet, tried every crock pot idea out there to cure themselves. Nobody wants to live this way. Not to sound insensitive but at least if I had a terminal disease there would be an end I would become in remission or I would die. Not have lived and fought this for the past 15 years before I had ever even heard of it at 20 years old.

JeZaBoRoh said...

Meanwhile in the world of actual medical science...
http://americannewsreport.com/nationalpainreport/new-fibromyalgia-blood-test-is-99-accurate-8821072.html

Jessica said...

I am one of the psychos that has been diagnosed after beating cancer twice, been in a coma from a car accident which required me to learn to walk again, and who had her skull beat in by a man who was trying to do the unthinkable to her 3 year old little girl as the last sound she heard before she went unconscious was 'mommy! Help me! It hurts!'
Now I am diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and I work 50 hrs a week to support my family, I am studying to further.my education, and I have a concealed carry permit o'clock 9 make fun of me now

Anonymous said...

Sorry my spelling upset you. Im not old enough for college yet. Im trying to go school,fight fibro,i have speech
aphasia and stammer. Oh yer anxiety problems too. My spelling not good but im trying :-D

Anonymous said...

I have had FM , what seems like forever. But I still kid myself that someday it will go away. I remember being active and kicking butt out there. Don't get me wrong I still try very hard to be apart of this awesome world. FM is humiliating and cruel at times. Putting on a brave face and getting on with it is what we all do when dealing with these illnesses. I do however believe a MD could be frustrated with a patient and throw it out there as a missed diagnoses and this is the only thing I agree with Mathew about. Also it is hard to understand anything unless you have it. I wouldn't wish this on anyone. It is not the worst thing you could have, but it isn't something you want to be plague with either. FM effects you for life and I for one cannot wait to get the blood test and be able to hold my head up at least to say I am not faking anything(would have to be a kook) I have a legitimate condition. So for all the non believers ,well that's on you.

Anonymous said...

Matt are things getting to drippy for you would, you like a tissue? By the Way A Happy Thanks Giving To All.. especially those with PTSD..;]

Matthew said...

No tissues, necessary, thank you.

Would you care for another round of anti-depressants and another round of expensive medical tests that will be inconclusive?

And Happy Thanksgiving to you, too.

Anonymous said...

Somewhat sensitive to drugs, but I will be taking the blood test for FM when the cost goes down or when you can get it at the Doc's office . This will be sooner than you think. You might want to take it just in case all that negativity isn't solely from PTSD ;]

Anonymous said...

PTSD is collective symptoms. Just a coined term. I'm surprised you allowed any medical professional to diagnose you with something you could not see.

Fibro has become a lazy diagnosis when the medical profession are keeping their eye on you for other things developing (RA, MS, Lupus and such). You are attacking the victims of this however which seems odd.

I hope you have had treatment for apparent Narcissism and Aspergers. This is why you lack empathy, theory of mind, need to be right, cannot see anything unless it is black and white and have such concrete thinking. Those not working in mental health will and have found these traits hard to read and taken attacks personally. You might want to work on your social skills. There's a lot of good programmes available.


You have a lot of anger and, combined with your evident health issues I suggest people move themselves away from becoming your target and realise that some people are 'impossible.'

IMPOSSIBLE because they cannot be reasoned with.

Matthew said...

I am neither narcissistic, nor do I have Asperger's syndrome. Stop trying to justify your continued belief in a fake syndrome by poking holes in the legitimate diagnoses of others. I've only been accused 50 times in these comments of doing the same thing.

The difference between Me and the FM is a real crowd is those making the accusations in defense of FM are lying sacks of lazy crap with severe psychological problems who simply can't admit that they might have them.

The diagnosis of depression or PTSD or whatnot is perhaps more frightening to them than the possibility that that someone would call them on their bullshit.

PTSD has 5,000 of medical science and documentation behind it. It has had many names in the past: Shell Shock, Combat Exhaustion, for example. I wonder, if I were a Navy SEAL or US Marine suffering from PTSD after exposure to enemy fire, or a police officer or firefighter who has faced a deadly situation, would you tell them that they're full of shit with their diagnosis?

Just admit it, you're mental cases, addicts or hypochondriacs.

Matthew said...

Sorry, that was 5,000 years of medical science and documentation.

As for fibromyalgia, even the doctor who "discovered" it says it's a load of fertilizer.

Anonymous said...

You are an abject moron...seriously. I'm glad if you're going to try to discredit a very real illness you are doing it with this title and using the word "anyways." Your "facts" are even incorrect and I didn't even read past a couple of paragraphs to find so many flaws the entire thing became irrelevant. This article is laughable, and so are you.

Matthew said...

You're entitled to your opinion.

Now, go beg your doctor for another script for Vicodin for your phantom pains and unresolved Mommy issues, and find something more productive to do with your time other than to criticize articles you didn't even read, but feel compelled to comment on, ANYWAYS.


Denver Young said...

Throughout my years, I have met approx 10 people claiming to have FM and coincidentally they all fell under the categories of being/having; overweight, unemployed, attention seekers, complainers, victims of many abuses, laziness, displaying narcissistic behaviour, etc. I am 55 yrs old, I have daily soreness in my neck and shoulders, I can be lazy some days hang on the couch, I get migraines, my hips and other joints ache most of the time, I get melancholy occasionally, my eyes get blurry, my skin is sometimes sensitive to the touch, I get dizzy, my legs and feet are restless. If I walked in to a Dr's office today, he/she would probably mention the word 'fibromyalgia'. In a million years, I would never settle for this diagnosis. Why? Because it is a phantom illness that would allow me to play a victim, swallow and pay for prescriptions that would not make a difference, make myself obnoxious for my friends or family to be around and last but NOT least, continually sit in a pity pot and die alone. There!! See what all you FM sufferers have to look forward to? I'm getting older, that's my diagnosis, I could do things to help ease my pain and woes, mainly get up off my a$$ and move, as well as eat more nutritious foods.
Ugh, if I meet another person claiming to have FM, it will be too soon!!! Stop the madness!! LOL

Anonymous said...

Chronic pain conditions are widely thought of as a women's disease ,but new research suggest it is also common among men with PTSD. In A study of male war veterans half of the men with combat related PTSD also had the tenderness and pain characteristics of fibromyalgia. There is a growing body of research linking PTSD stress and chronic pain. Psychiatric illness is not correlated with Fibromyalgia, but PTSD certainly is. The symptoms may overlap. The degree and the intensity of these disorders are so closely related that it cannot just be a coincidence. Nearly 100.000 veteran of the 1st gulf war have chronic musculoskeletal pain that significantly impairs their function. Maybe you should check out how many Vets are on disability for Fibromyalgia and make fun of them you piece of Crap.

Matthew said...

Screw you, you Anonymously-posting douchebag.

Did it ever occur to you that combat veterans (as well as those who survived the collapse of 100-story office building)are exposed to things and may be suffering from the effects of that exposure?

As an example: I know from my own medical history that medical science seems absolutely stumped by the variable skin rashes that flare up on my body from time to time. Some have suggested that it's an immune system problem (sarcoidosis) and others shake their heads and shrug their shoulders. It has been estimated that World Trade Center survivors and recovery workers have been exposed to some 25,000 different toxic or cancer-causing substances that was present in post-9/11 dust, smoke, air, and water. I worked within 3 blocks of the site, and passed through it twice every day going to and from work.

Veterans often are exposed to far worse: depleted uranium, for example, jet fuel fumes, solvents, chemical agents, the medicines used to counter-act chemical agents, and so forth. Not to mention the stress of waking up every day wondering if this is the day you get your head blown off or go home minus a limb.

FM is NOT "the same as" PTSD.

FM is a made-up disease that was created out of thin air, and then used as another excuse to sell anti-depressants.

Anonymous said...

There you go again but what can we expect from a limited mind. We all know you are just trying to spark reaction anyway. Sorry but I am in health care and you have symptoms of FM. FM can be triggered by a trauma as you explained. Patients get this condition on set of trauma this could also include exposure to chemicals of sorts. Anesthesia, Many Meds used in childbirth for pain control. What does it matter what it is called don't be so sensitive.

Anonymous said...

Denver and Mathew can form "IWHPWFM" [idiots who hate people with fibromyalgia] right on you two morons! At least you have company in you stupidity.

Anonymous said...

Many believe PTSD is also a made up disease. Some human minds are fragile and easily broken. What's amusing is the perception of this great disconnect between mental and physical illness as if the two are not linked. Our minds come undone, we suffer trauma but the sad part is the nonsense we tell the victims of trauma. Filling people's heads with useless emotional garbage about their feelings and pain. I don't care whether you lost your puppy, witnessed 9/11 or survived the battle of Stalingrad, you can get over it and evolution designed you to get over it. Hanging on to a bunch of self-indulgent drama is bad for our species (I'm not accusing you or others of wanting to, I believe doctors have conditioned us to do this). I often wonder how much farther our species can go. Because with that complete lack of fortitude we could have never rose up from the lower apes to travel through space. I'm sorry your girl turned to crap, there's plenty more. You are angry at the lack of direction in FM; its the new autism, let's face it everybody has that now too.
I support your theory but your methods are hurtful and not likely to help anyone diagnosed with FM. For instance my wife started experiencing seizures during a high stress period. After all the testing it was proposed they were psychogenic, manifesting from the trauma of a childhood event as a sort of super panic attack. Armed with a great neurologist, great explanations and support the doctor was able to treat her medically to stop the events and allow her time to overcome the issue psychologically. Years later no seizures, no meds, fixed. We were lucky to have good insurance, good doctors and both work at a neuro health center so combining medical and mental care was just understood as standard procedure. Good for you to call out American medicine as being about money but don't confuse a bullshit industry with a real illness. I can attest to witnessing the reality of a psychogenic response. FM patients most certainly could have FM as a list of symptoms, it just might be though that FM is not solely medical or mental but bridges that space in the mind. Lastly acupuncture may be nonsense to the non-believer solely because they do not believe, much as snake oil works for the faithful. Horses do not have an opinion and I have seen acupuncture make great difference in their quality of life. That may seem like horse shit but its not bullshit.

Anonymous said...

This last poster certainly has a way with words and expression. I think we all wish we could express ourselves with such eloquence. Refreshing to read something that is not repulsive and limited.

Anonymous said...

Hm. I am a psychiatrist. I do not believe, not even the slightest bit, that FM is "real" in the sense of "a diagnostic entity" (the same disorder in all or at least most of the people diagnosed with it, even when diagnosed according to the "official" criteria, which were simply made up at some point of time). but i am from europe. maybe that's the difference. we dont really HAVE a lot of FM cases here for some reasons.
dont misunderstand: we DO have a lot of chronic pain of unknown origin. it's just not diagnosed as "FM" usually.

by the way, the gender ratio for "FM" is 2:1 for women... so the gay thing is really a bit off.

and also, previous accidents etc. are NOT common in FM at all.

and also: given the rate of "trauma" and abuse in the "general population", yo will always find high numbers in those diagnosed with any given disorder. those things are, if anything, general risk factor for ANY psychiatric diagnosis but never a prerequisite or even a causative factor.

there is that other diagnosis - multiple personality disorder or whatever it may be called- which we dont seem to have here in europe either. i'd really like to see that one day in my practice. i'd call ALL my colleagues immediately!

on a sidenote, even if you claim NOT to be homophobic, you COULD be a bit more polite and try not to insult gays with offensive words and STILL come across
as pretty funny.

Matthew said...

First of all, Doctor, I don't care if anyone is gay...I have my own problems, thank you. What people do with their gonads in the privacy of their own homes is none of my business. I only said at the top of the post that I did not intend to convey a message that FM is a disease common to homosexuals or that only homosexuals get it, or that it was even a common risk factor/symptom.

The rest of it is joking. We're still allowed to do that in America, and most sane people get it. The ones who don't typically have something stuck up their asses (oh no! You did it again!).

Second, I simply related the tale of six people known to me who have a diagnosis of FM. All suffered a traumatic injury, or multiple injuries, and had along history of prescription drug use (usually opiates). Perhaps I just got lucky with all six, Doctor? It would seem that a physical trauma (and opiate abuse) was common in those six cases, at least, no?

Third, I would guess that you don't see many FM diagnoses in Europe, in part, as a result of nationalized medicine. A diagnosis which is notoriously difficult to pin down and which responds to little in the way of traditional treatment methods (i.e. surgery, medication, physical rehabilitation), and which eats up scarce medical resources is probably one which hospital administrators (and government ministers) tend to avoid making, or believing. Especially when the medical research, to date, makes no definitive decision as to whether the syndrome exists, in the typical clinical fashion.

I would venture to say that you see more FM diagnoses in America because there's money to be made pushing anti-depressants and in performing repetitive, but ultimately pointless, testing.

With a private health care system (at least it is private until Obamacare gets done with it)there's more money floating around and more diagnostic tools/resources to use, which makes more money for private MD's and hospitals. Since it's all either being billed to an insurance company or government (and often both) which will pay out on such a diagnosis, there's less embarrassment attendant, and reticence, about making such a diagnosis.

Anonymous said...

I see we still like to talk out of our ass. First of all did you not state that you indeed personally know 3 poo-stabbing compatriots 1straight man and 2 women with FM? Well I guess it is a male condition in your world. Ahh and yes FM is notoriously difficult to pin down and responds to little in the way of traditional treatment Methods? Like Medication and Physical rehab. Not sure what world you are living in but you are debunking your own statements and making little to No sense at all.

Matthew said...

I make perfect sense. You, on the other hand, are deranged.

The proof?

You believe in made up diseases, and apparently have no sense of humor.

I made NO statement about whether or not FM was a male/female/gay thing. Any points brought up in that regard were/have been brought forward by others who have responded to this discussion.

In case you hadn't noticed, each response has a name above it. When I respond my name is above the text, likewise when someone else responds. You seem to have attributed something someone else wrote (concerning gender and sexual preference) to me.

You apparently don't read very well, and are having trouble keeping track of who has said what here.

Perhaps you should have another Percocet (i'm sure your MD has given you a lifetime supply so that he doesn't have to deal with your mental disorder), and maybe acquire the ability to read.

As for "traditional methods like medication and rehab" what, pray, would you consider a traditional method of treatment in modern times? Bloodletting? Cupping? Blistering? How else do we treat (real) disease in this day and age without medication, rehabilitation or surgery, Numbnuts?

Do we still sprinkle the afflicted with chicken blood, force feed them mushrooms and dance around a bonfire naked imploring the spirits to intervene on their behalf?

You're an idiot.

Brian key said...

Hep C can present these symptoms as well. Many people have it and do not know it.

Brian key said...

Hep C has many of these symptoms. And 1 in 10 people have it and do not know it.

Matthew said...

Once again for those who might have missed it (since reading is hard) is the ultimate end of the argument:

The Doctor who 'discovered' Fibromyalgia says it's all a load of crap:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/14/health/14pain.html?_r=2&ref=us&oref=slogin&

Oh, and one more thing. This article (from WebMD) cites research on fibro patients and discovers -- surprise! -- that the bigger loser you are, the more likely you are to have chronic pain!

http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/news/20080501/less-income-more-pain

And just for fun, because I loved it the first time. Pharmacist tells fibromyalgia fakers to fuck off:

http://www.theangrypharmacist.com/archives/2008/05/fibromyalgia_is_the_new_low_ba.html

Anonymous said...

Poor Mathew your psychologist/or psychiatrist must have a field day with your pathetic ass. Such an Angry Boy!(Certainly do not act your age) NaNa NaNa BooBoo I have something that's more legitimate than you do. Whaaaaahh! You sound like such a child. And a slightly evil one at that. I do however feel sorry for you. You remind me of the great Hoover(of FBI Fame) who use to put down the guys whilst being one himself. PTSD and FM exhibit the same symptoms get over it you big ass baby. Everyone is on to You.

Anonymous said...

I am a Physician also and In our Country there is no diagnoses of PTSD just neuroses ,depressive conditions and so on. Why must you be so cruel to these Fibromyalgia patients they are still ill are they not? As you seem to be as well my friend. This is all relevant , did you not also comment on your experience with dipsomania. There is also a link between this and neuroses . Try to calm yourself ,hatefulness has a way of coming back to you.

Matthew said...

Actually, my drinking wasn't dipsomania. It was self-medication (depression), which is why it was relatively easy to stop (sober for 16 years now, thank you).

I'm not "being mean" to people with FM, because there is no such thing as FM. There are, however, such things as depression, anxiety, PTSD (please identify this imaginary country of your's?), and sometimes, humor and forthrightness are better tools for healing than gushing fake fawning sympathy.

People become addicted to sympathy and attention, too, and invent new symptoms in order to get more of it. If you're a real physician, you probably already know this better than I do.

I will not indulge people who have nothing wrong with them that a good therapist couldn't fix, but who will not make the effort.

In the meantime, people abusing the medical, insurance and disability systems here in the United States are one of the prime factors in our national bankruptcy. The sooner the goldbricks and the drug addicts are kicked out of the system and put back to productive work, the better it will be for the rest of us.

because I refuse to keep paying for someone who just likes to take Vic's all goddamned day instead of doing something productive.

Anonymous said...

Oh you poor delusional man. Do you actually believe that what you are doing here is productive to any means? I am sorry for you and the people you are spewing your hate for.

Anonymous said...

Everyone knows PTSD and FM are the same thing.

Anonymous said...

"PTSD a Serious Mental Illness "written by J Davidson MD states: Just as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are considered serious mental illnesses, so should post traumatic stress disorder. A condition whose prevalence in the United States exceed the combined prevalences of the two disorders. The destructive effect of PTSD on intimate attachments and sources of support is well recognized. Overall PTDS imposes a heavy burden on the Health Care System

Matthew said...

Yep, giving the stupid and lazy the kick in the ass they need is always productive.

This (FM) is all a scam designed to sell anti-depressants and to wring money out of the healthcare and disability systems, and to give the 'afflicted' the proper victim mentality that keeps them coming back to spend (or waste) more money for 'treatment'.

Only in America can a doctor say to you "I don't know what is wrong with you, I can't find anything wrong with you, but I'm going to treat you anyway; here's a pill", and then get paid for it.

Only in America would people be stupid enough to fall for it.

Anywhere else, this would be considered a crime.

Matthew said...

@ the Anonymous who posted that PTSD is a burden on the health care system:

PTSD is curable. It's curable because there is a medical protocol that has been scientifically proven to work. (Most) people who acquire PTSD eventually go back to being productive, happy individuals.

Not so with Fibromyalgia, which medical science cannot agree exists, for which there is no established-and-proven medical protocol, and which no one ever seems to recover from (until they've medicated themselves to death, of course).

Anonymous said...

PTSD is an enormous burden on our health care system. So many vets are on SSD for life, Contrary to what you believe. All need antidepressants and therapy for life. You are a stupid person.

Anonymous said...

Please beg you psychiatrist for some more anti- anxiety meds or anti- psychotic meds you need help pronto.

Denver Young said...

FM will NEVER be recognized as a disease, simply because no scientist, doctor, or researcher has ever been able to pin down even one ailment that merits 'the... are you ready???...dreaded fibromyalgia disease'. All the symptoms are ALREADY symptoms of other issues; depression, loneliness, borderline personality disorder, obesity, migraines, not without mentioning disorders such as; narcissism and all the wonderful traits that come along with that (attention seeking, hypochondriacs, drug dependence etc.). How on earth can we put the word 'disease' behind a word when there is no known SOLID symptom, it just isn't going to happen. Sorry to ruin your fun girls and boys. Quit your whining, get up off the damn couch and do something productive with your lives instead milking any and every system there is. I couldn't imagine living my whole life whining to people about a disease that I knew most didn’t believe in, I wouldn't want to be remembered for that, and it would crush me to lie on my death bed only remembering the people I tried to convince I had this terrible, debilitating disease to...your poor children, spouses, relatives. What a pitiful life that would be to have. You that claim to have fibromyalgia, can't you see this??? What a waste of a precious life. There are varying reasons why I believe some claim to have FM in addition to the above mentioned reasons, such as; laziness, thinking they deserve something for nothing, attention, their joints or bones or muscles hurt for more than 5 days in a row (just couldn't be the fact that none of their joints are getting lubricated enough from proper exercise and nutrition), and quite possibly, one of their parent's milked the system their whole life..."apple doesn't fall far from the tree". Another coincidence I see, some elderly people I have met, who claimed to have lived with FM their whole life, live in to their 90’s and die of WOW...old age!!! Sorry, but that is not an ill person with a disease. I am a FIRM believer in, if something doesn’t make sense, it’s not true”, FM does not make sense, therefore, it is not true.

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