Saturday, February 20

Men, Pain & Fibromyalgia

I've suspected for a while that TB might have fibromyalgia in addition to the joint and other related issues that causes him so much pain he can't sleep and the doctor needed to increase his meds.

Here is a fact that is very frustrating: men are not "supposed" to suffer with pain. They are "supposed" to suck it up and tough it out and go do whatever even if they are ready to drop because of agony. That makes me crazy. I can tell you times when we weren't able to go to some function and someone said something to the effect that TB should just tough it out.

And fibromyalgia? Hey, that's "a woman's thing". Guess what. No it isn't! There are websites out there with information about men and fibromyalgia like this one.

Men are raised to believe that men don’t cry. They are told to "shake it off" and to "take it like a man." Men fix things, men are the hunters, men are supposed to be the breadwinners, the head of the household. Men are inundated with these concepts from a very early age. Showing pain is showing weakness to so many men. Fibromyalgia does not shake off. Fibromyalgia does not give up. It does not stop for anyone, or anything.

Even TB's doctor, the one who increased the level of his really scary-heavy-duty-narcotic pain medication scoffs. He agreed to check the trigger points from head to waist. Although TB was sensitive in all those places, the doctor thinks TB's got neuropathy or that all this pain is from "the loss of all that weight". Right. The pain in his neck and skull is from weight loss. Suuuuuuuure.

Like me, TB's also experiencing this scary thing called fibrofog. I think of it as like having cotton-candy-in-the-brain. It doesn't happen all the time but when it does, it's really debilitating! Now, have this happen to a man who's already saddled with all these expectations about what a guy is supposed to think and feel and it's even more debilitating because now they're beating themselves up because it's happening. Grrrrr!

That's okay. We're going to a chronic pain management specialist, one who deals with fibromyalgia and one who can advise us the best way to manage all that pain.

And everyone else? We're doing the best we can. We're not pushing past the point of endurance and no more sucking it up either.


Rebecca D said...

Have you tried increasing exposure to Vitamin D? When my Vitamin D levels are lowish but still in range, my pain levels are much higher. I find the best way to get my Vitamin D is through regular moderate exposure to the sun. Supplements can definately help but for some a high dose (10,000 IU/wk * 4 wks )is required to get levels to "normal" before maintaining at a regular dose (approx 1000 IU/day).

If pain associated with muscle stiffness after resting or exertion Potassium/Magnesium supplements may be worth researching further.

I personally take 250mg of Magnesium 2 to 3 times a day and use a herbal muscle cream containing Capsaicin for some pain relief.

Nancy in PA said...

Sending hugs and prayers... so sorry to hear that Ted is suffering so... :-(

Gattina said...

That's a very old fashioned thinking ! Why should man not cry or suffer ? That's like thinking that only women can clean a house or change the nappies ! Real stupid.
I am so sorry for TB, hope you find something which can help him !

Harry Spotter said...

So so very sorry to hear this. I am sending purrs and prayers to you all.

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