A long Overdue Fibromyalgia Update

I tried uploading this list to facebook, but, it was rejected as spam. Celebrities and quak doctors can shill crap and have their links shared on facebook, but average person shares a list pertaining to a medical condition, and its spam. Stay classy facebook.

Anyway, because I’m often asked about the symptoms of fibromyalgia, and more often hear “but you don’t look that bad off,” I’m once again posting the ever lengthening list of things that people with fibro go through, and how they affect me in particular. Sorry if your finger cramps scrolling down, the new list is even longer than the old one.

Bear in mind, this is how it affects ME PERSONALLY, fibro hits everyone differently.

1. Activity level decreased to less than 50% of pre-illness activity level – Yes, it seriously cuts into your energy and stamina, and those things that you used to do all day now require a nap at lunch.

2. Cold hands and feet (extremities) – This is annoying as anything, tromping around in the blistering heat with cold, sweaty feet. All that much more fun in the winter.

3. Cough – Throat gets dry and irritated, coughs happen. Generall a ‘non-productive’ cough.

4. Craving carbohydrates – Yes, no idea why, if I were to offer a completely non-scientific guess, and notice I did qualify that, I’m not a doctor, I don’t play one on the internet, I am a patient. Fibro robs energy, so carb cravings could be a way to try and boost energy by the body; also, the brain apparently uses carbs to operate, so fibrofog may help drive it as well.

5. Delayed reaction to physical activity or stressful events – Spend a day working, feel fairly good that night, wake up the next two or three days feeling like you were hit by a truck.

6. Dryness of eyes and/or mouth – This is annoying, eyes start dry and then the body overcompensates and you wind up with tears later. Dry mouth sucks, talking normally and your tongue is suddenly glued to everything in your mouth.

7. Edema – This freaked the doctors out, my legs swell occasionally from the knees down, apparently it can also be a sign of heart or kidney trouble, and that stuff gets MD attention. Or, they can give you motrin and send you on your way, your mileage may vary.

8. Family member(s) with Fibromyalgia – None known to me.

9. Fatigue, made worse by physical exertion or stress – I always thought physical exertion and stress were the causes of fatigue, now days, just makes it worse.

10. Feeling cold often – Feeling hot and cold kind of run together, so I’ll answer them as one, cold hands and feet are addressed elsewhere, but these two are because the body seems to lose track or how to regulate body temperature, so if you get cold, you stay cold, and if you get hot, you get the picture. There are also times though, when I’ll be running around in a t-shirt in the cold and feeling warm, or wearing a sweatshirt when it’s warm. One of those dress the best you can, and roll with the punches things.

11. Feeling hot often – See above

12. Frequent sighing – I wasn’t aware I do this, I apparently sigh a lot because now and then Kim asks me why.

13. Heart palpitations – Yes, and they are annoying as hell. One of these days I’m likely to have a heart attack and not realize it is happening because a lot of heart attack symptoms are normal life for me.

14. Hoarseness – Yes, especially when I’m getting to the end of my energy. My voice is lower in pitch and can be monotone anyway, then through in a rumble like a gravel truck, and that’s me.

15. Hypoglycemia (blood sugar falls or low) – Possible, I think it goes low on me and my body screams for a Dr Pepper. This has always been my most reliable Dr, by the way 😉

16. Increased thirst – Yes, gets so bad sometimes that I’ll even drink water if nothing else is handy.

17. Low blood pressure (below 110/70) – Dodged this one!

18. Low body temperature (below 97.6) – Mine is around 98 usually, but things change in either direction.

19. Low-grade fevers – Often, start to feel it come on when my eyes not only get dry, but feel hot.

20. Night sweats – This is nasty, wake up covered in a sweat that has the consistency of clue, pure funktastic.

21. Noisy joints – with or without pain – I sound like a box of tic-tacks being rattled, and sometimes you can hear my tendons and ligaments creak when I stretch. Even my sternum pops now and then.

22. Poor circulation in hands/feet – Goes along with cold, right?

23. Profuse sweating – Like a pig, no offense to pigs.

24. Recurrent flu-like illness – Yes, achy, drained and feeling like crap.

25. Shortness of breath with little or no exertion – Happens a lot, don’t know why, hate it. I used to run and ride bikes, now I can get short of breath sitting and reading a book. Passes quickly is not brought on by exertion, hangs out a while if I’m pushing myself.

26. Severe nasal allergies (new or worsening allergies) – All the frigging time, I’ve even had sckin reactions to unscented and colorless detergents and fabric softeners.

27. Sore throat – Yes, sometimes mild, sometimes worse.

28. Subjective swelling of extremities – (feels swollen but can’t find anything) – I really feel this in my knees, they feel like they’re blowing up, but look and feet normal to the touch.

29. Sweats – I could swear we discussed sweating, but okay, yes, I’ll randomly start sweating like a pig, especially if there’s a bit of humidity, on a cool day my hair can be soaked.

30. Symptoms worsened by air travel – Flying sucks, my insides feel like they’re being twisted, and I’m going to have to run for a bathroom after I land.

31. Symptoms worsened by stress – Yes, but what doesn’t stress make things worse in anyone?

32. Symptoms worsened by temperature changes – Temperature or weather changes can trigger a flare, which means everything that can feel bad, feels worse.

33. Tender or swollen lymph nodes, especially in neck and underarms – Yes, not much more to say about that.

34. Tremor or trembling – Handshakes range from slight to really noticeable.

35. Unexplained weight gain or loss – My weight can slip 10-20 lbs either way fairly quickly, with no change in diet or exercise.


36. Abdominal wall pain – Yes, and chest wall.

37. Bad hip pain – Yes, makes walking hard, have shot weddings when I could barely move. Not fun physically, but I still had a good time 🙂

38. Burning Nerve Pain – Yes, disconcerting to say the least.

39. Chest pain – I’ve been in the ER 3 times for this, one turned into a hospital stay, my heart is apparently doing just fine.

40. Collarbone pain – Not often, but occasionally.

41. Diffuse swelling – Yes, in addition to phantom swelling, some real swelling happens now and then.

42. Elbow pain – Yes. Pretty cut and dry, sometimes they hurt.

43. Exacerbated Plantar arch or heel pain – I get this a lot working events when I’m on my feet a lot. The pain starts in my arches and slowly goes along me feet and climbs my legs, if I can get off my feet before it hits my knees, I recover overnight, usually. It hits my thighs, I’d better stay off my feet the next day, it climbs to my hips, two days to recover.

44. “Growing” pains that don’t go away once you are done growing – I wasn’t showing blatant symptoms until my 30s and wasn’t diagnosed until I was a bit over 40, so my growing pains were long done, but yes, similar pain, as I recall.

45. Headache – tension or migraine – Migraines suck, some with pain, some without.

46. Inflamed Rib Cartilage – Yes, part of the reason I was in the ER for possible heart attacks.

47. Joint pain – Um, DUH! Yes.

48. Lumpy, tender breasts – Okay, how to put this delicately. Don’t play with my nipples or I’ll smack you, it hurts in a way that isn’t fun. Chest muscle gets irritable too.

49. Morning stiffness – Keep it clean folks. Yes, joints pop and muscles, tendons and ligaments audibly creak.

50. Muscle pain – Yes.

51. Muscle spasms – Yes. Annoying, especially when I get a head twitch.

52. Muscle twitching – Yes, see above, but hands, arms and legs all twitch now and then, sometimes the full body flinch, which apparently looks odd.

53. Muscle weakness – Yes, sometimes even turning a doorknob is hard work.

54. Pain that ranges from moderate to severe – My average day is roughly a 6, but it can get a lot worse, never to the level of passing a kidney stone, but sometimes it’s close.

55. Pain that moves around the body – Yes, free-roaming pain is a thing.

56. Paralysis or severe weakness of an arm or leg – Paralysis, not yet (knock on wood) but weakness, yes.

57. Restless Leg Syndrome – My legs are dancing now, thanks for making me notice it.

58. Rib Pain – Yes, doesn’t this go along with chest wall? Then again, sometimes my ribs on one side or the other feel like I took a hit in a football game. That’s football, not soccer.

59. Scalp Pain (like hair being pulled out) – Yes…and it is bizarre.

60. Sciatica-like pain – Yes, kind of goes with hip pain and the pain that starts in the feet I discussed earlier. Sometimes it’s damned near crippling.

61. Tender points or trigger points – All of them. See picture, by the way, it is a real pain to find a gender neutral diagram, c’mon people, men have fibro too!

62. TMJ syndrome – Click, click, pop, OUCH! Yes.

63. “Voodoo Doll” Poking Sensation in random places – If I find who has the voodoo doll, I will show them pain! 😉

64. Blackouts – Thankfully, not that I remember.

65. Brain fog – All the time, thinking slows down, awareness is none to nil, concentration lost.

66. Carpal Tunnel – Tight hands, typing is rough because between fibro fog, clumsiness that can occur, and something else I was going to mention but can’t remember it, typing can result in words with none of the right letters, just as an example.

67. Feeling spaced out – Far out man…yes.

68. Hallucinating smells – I’ve smelled wonderful meals that nobody was cooking, and really nasty smells that didn’t come out of me, and I’m the only one in the room.

69. Inability to think clearly – I thought we discussed this already? If we didn’t, yes. Comes with fibrofog.

70. Lightheadedness – Lightheaded and vertigo? Yes, and yes.

71. Noise intolerance – Yes, sounds can be hugely annoying.

72. Numbness or tingling sensations – Yes, especially in my feet.

73. Photophobia (sensitivity to light)

74. Seizures – No, knock on wood.

75. Seizure-like episodes – No, knock on wood.

76. Sensation that you might faint – Have felt it…

77. Syncope (fainting) – Haven’t fainted, but had serious tunnel vision and was close to dropping.

78. Tinnitus (ringing in one or both ears) – Yes, all the frigging time, the VA likes to pretend I’m just hearing things.

79. Vertigo or dizziness – Yes, it’s like being drunk to walk, and heaven help me if I look down. Sometimes when I’m at a stoplight, a care next to me will start to roll a bit and when I see it out of the corner of my eye, it feels like I’m moving, had a few calf cramps from trying to push the break through the floor.


80. Bumping into things – Yes. Hello wall, I didn’t see you standing there…or did you try and jump me?

81. Clumsy Walking – Yes, lessened with my cane.

82. Difficulty balancing – Yes, again, the cane helps.

83. Difficulty judging distances (when driving, etc.) – Sometimes.

84. Directional disorientation – I get turned around pretty easy. Google maps helps get me places.

85. Dropping things frequently – Yes, with an entertaining juggling act as I try and catch it a few times and make it worse.

86. Feeling spatially disoriented – Far out man…yes.

87. Frequent tripping or stumbling – Yes, partly, I’m sure, due to the shuffling walk I have these days.

88. Not seeing what you’re looking at – I thought that was a man thing in general. Yes.

89. Poor balance and coordination – Yes.

90. Staggering gait – Yes.

91. Alertness/energy best late at night – I am very much a night owl these days, but this can shift.

92. Altered sleep/wake schedule – If you mean always changing in odd and unusual ways. Yes.

93. Awakening frequently – Yes.

94. Difficulty falling asleep – Very yes, unless exhausted, then I just get a nap though.

95. Difficulty staying asleep – Yes.

96. Excessive sleeping – Excessive, sometimes, other times I get 6-8 hours, over 3-6 naps of varying length throughout a 24 hour day, often unproductive between naps.

97. Extreme alertness or energy levels late at night – Yes, we discussed this, I’m sure of it.

98. Falling asleep at random and sometimes dangerous moments – Yes, some days just not moving for a moment is a nap.

99. Fatigue – Oh hell yes, frequently and often to always.

100. Light or broken sleep pattern – My sleep patterns are nightmares of their own. Sometimes two hours at a time with an hour or two between, sometimes longer sleep and awake periods.

101. Muscle spasms/twitches at night – Yes, the bed dance.

102. Narcolepsy – If you mean I nod off, yes.

103. Sleep disturbances – Yes.

104. Sleep starts or falling sensations – I blame vertigo for this, it could be its own thing.

105. Teeth grinding – Yes.

106. Tossing and turning – Yes.

107. Un-refreshing or non-restorative sleep – Yes, most of the time.

108. Vivid or disturbing dreams/nightmares – vivid often, nightmares, sometimes.

109. Blind spots in vision – Sometimes.

110. Eye pain – Sometimes

111. Difficulty switching focus from one thing to another – Yes, makes photography tricky, but I’ve learned to compensate. Mostly.

112. Frequent changes in ability to see well – Yes.

113. Night driving difficulty – Yes.

114. Occasional Blurry vision – Yes

115. Poor night vision – Yes

116. Rapidly worsening vision – Mostly stable now with swings either way.

117. Vision changes – Yes.

118. Becoming lost in familiar locations when driving – Yes

119. Confusion – Yes

120. Difficulty expressing ideas in words – This is HUGELY frustrating, though the looks I get when people think I’m crazy are amusing.

121. Difficulty following conversation (especially if background noise present) – Very yes. In crowds I sometimes find myself unable to understand what people are saying if I can’t see their lips.

122. Difficulty following directions while driving – Depends on who is giving directions.

123. Difficulty following oral instructions – Sometimes, isn’t that a man thing?

124. Difficulty following written instructions – I hate government forms, but who doesn’t?

125. Difficulty making decisions – Sometimes.

126. Difficulty moving your mouth to speak – Has happened, rarely.

127. Difficulty paying attention – Yes.

128. Difficulty putting ideas together to form a complete picture – Yes.

129. Difficulty putting tasks or things in proper sequence – Sometimes, or get lost in the middle and have to start over.

130. Difficulty recognizing faces – Occasionally, more of a problem putting names to faces.

131. Difficulty speaking known words – Yes

132. Difficulty remembering names of objects – Yes

133. Difficulty remembering names of people – Very yes.

134. Difficulty understanding what you read – Sometimes

135. Difficulty with long-term memory – Sometimes, but if I use long-term memory trick my longterm memory is better than short term.

136. Difficulty with simple calculations – My mental math can be way off.

137. Difficulty with short-term memory – Post it notes for everything.

138. Easily distracted during a task – Yes.

139. Dyslexia-type symptoms occasionally – Especially when typing, I have all of the letters but the order is off.

140. Feeling too disoriented to drive – Yes. @__@

141. Forgetting how to do routine things – This sucks, yes.

142. Impaired ability to concentrate – Yes, when you have to concentrate to concentrate, can be a problem.

143. Inability to recognize familiar surroundings – Yes. Grrr

144. Losing track in the middle of a task (remembering what to do next) – Yeah, I do a lot of things in very set ways to try not to lose my place and have to start over.

145. Losing your train of thought in the middle of a sentence – All the time.

146. Loss of ability to distinguish some colors – Not that I’ve noticed.

147. Poor judgment – Not that I’ve noticed, but I probably wouldn’t

148. Short term memory impairment – Didn’t we discuss this? Yes.

149. Slowed speech – Yes, sometimes I slow to a crawl when I talk.

150. Staring into space trying to think – Yes.

151. Stuttering; stammering – Oc-c-casionally.

152. Switching left and right – I get my north-south-east-west off more than left right, but occasionally I have to look at my hands to be sure.

153. Transposition (reversal) of numbers, words and/or letters when you speak – Don’t think so.

154. Transposition (reversal) of numbers, words and/or letters when you write – Don’t think so.

155. Trouble concentrating – Sometimes.

156. Using the wrong word – Frequently.

157. Word-finding difficulty – Yes, then I stand there looking for a word or name and people look at my with humoring expressions and it gets worse XD

158. Abrupt and/or unpredictable mood swings – I can get grumpy quick, but I calm down quick too.

159. Anger outbursts – Yes >.>

160. Anxiety or fear when there is no obvious cause – Not that I’ve noticed.

161. Attacks of uncontrollable rage – Uncontrollable? Not sure it has gone that far, just an occasional yell.

162. Decreased appetite – Sometimes, believe it or not.

163. Depressed mood – Not that I’ve noticed.

164. Feeling helpless and/or hopeless – Not that I’ve noticed.

165. Fear of someone knocking on the door – …no O.o

166. Fear of telephone ringing – Fear, no, not wanting to talk on the phone, yes.

167. Feeling worthless – Nope.

168. Frequent crying – Nope.

169. Heightened awareness – of symptoms – Yes.

170. Inability to enjoy previously enjoyed activities – Many.

171. Irrational fears – Not that I’ve noticed.

172. Irritability – Occasionally.

173. Overreaction – I don’t think so, but I probably wouldn’t.

174. Panic attacks – No.

175. Personality changes –usually a worsening of pervious condition – No.

176. Phobias – Heights, all my life.

177. Suicide attempts – Hell no.

178. Suicidal thoughts – Hell no.

179. Tendency to cry easily – Nope.

180. Abdominal cramps – Yes.

181. Bloating – Yes.

182. Decreased appetite – Occasionally.

183. Food cravings – Yes, mainly cracker and occasionally something sweet… and Dr Pepper or Ginger Ale, depending on how I feel. And purple powerade.

184. Frequent constipation – Occasional.

185. Frequent diarrhea – Yes, you have to time what you eat with what you’re doing over the next few days. Tomatoes are satan.

186. Gerd-like Symptoms – Yes, nothing like waking up with a mouthful of stomach acid.

187. Heartburn – Often

188. Increased appetite – Occasionally, mostly fairly stable.

189. Intestinal gas – Yeah, I should carry matches.

190. Irritable bladder – Yes, sometimes feels like I’ve been kicked in the junk. Sometimes I need to pee right now; sometimes I suddenly needed to pee 10 minutes ago.

191. Irritable bowel syndrome – Ranges from irritable to completely pissed off.

192. Nausea – Yes. Ginger ale is your friend.

193. Regurgitation – Happens, if you mean it stops just short of puking.

194. Stomachache – Frequent.

195. Vomiting – Once in a while.

196. Weight gain – Happens

197. Weight loss – Happens

198. Decreased libido (sex drive) – I once told a lady that was hitting on me “I could disappoint you in ways you can’t begin to imagine.” So, I’d call this a yes.

199. Endometriosis – No, but this is apparently rare in men, but most fibro stuff is aimed at women.

200. Frequent urination – Often.

201. Impotence – More like the urge isn’t there usually related to pain in the region.

202. Menstrual problems – …no.

203. Painful urination or bladder pain – Uncomfortable.

204. Pelvic pain – Yes.

205. Prostate pain – Not that I’ve noticed.

206. Worsening of (or severe) premenstrual syndrome (PMS) – if I had it at all, I’d call that worsening, so, no.

207. Alcohol intolerance – Yes

208. Allodynia (hypersensitive to touch) – Sometimes.

209. Alteration of taste, smell, and/or hearing – Taste, lost the ability to taste for a while, smell is very sensitive, hearing, very much off.

210. Sensitivity to chemicals in cleaning products, perfumes, etc. – Yes.

211. Sensitivities to foods – Some, like tomatoes.

212. Sensitivity to light – Yes, I’m like a Mogwai in bright light.

213. Sensitivity to mold – Not sure, hasn’t come up.

214. Sensitivity to noise – Yes.

215. Sensitivity to odors – Yes

216. Sensitivity to yeast (getting yeast infections frequently on skin, etc.) – No

217. Sensory overload – Can happen

218. Sensitivity to pressure & humidity changes – Very

219. Sensitivity to extreme temperature changes – Very

220. Vulvodynia – Lack proper equipment.

221. Able to “write” on skin with finger – No idea what this means.

222. Bruising easily – Yes.

223. Bumps and lumps – Yes

224. Eczema or psoriasis – Could be, get a weird scalp things.

225. Hot/dry skin – Yes.

226. Ingrown hairs – Not since I quit shaving.

227. Itchy/Irritable skin – Very

228. Mottled skin – Sometimes

229. Rashes or sores – Often

230. Scarring easily – Yes

231. Sensitivity to the sun – Yes

232. Skin suddenly turns bright red – well, if I’m hot or in the sun…

Cardiovascular (Heart)
233. “Click-murmur” sounds through stethoscope – Yes

234. Fluttery heartbeat – Yes

235. Heart palpitations – Yes

236. Irregular heartbeat – Occasionally

237. Loud pulse in ear – Sometimes

238. Pain that mimics heart attack – Yes, I’ve stopped going in for it, which may become a problem one day.

239. Rapid heartbeat – Occasionally

240. Dull, listless hair – Losing my curl *shrugs*

241. Heavy and splitting cuticles – Sometimes

242. Irritated nail beds – Sometimes

243. Nails that curve under – On my toes

244. Pronounced nail ridges – Yes

245. Temporary hair loss – Not that I’ve noticed

246. Canker sores – Don’t think so, but I get fever blisters if I overheat.

247. Dental problems – Yes

248. Disk Degeneration – Not diagnosed

249. Hemorrhoids – not that I’ve noticed

250. Nose bleeds – Occasionally

251. Periodontal (gum) disease – Yes.

The list came from from: www.inspiredlivingwithfibromyalgia.com/2013/04/200-symptoms-of-fibromyalgia.html but I’ve added how these things actually affect me personally.

© 2018 – 2020, Tim Boothby. All rights reserved.

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