Fibro Update

So, been having on of my more spectacular fibro flares over the past six weeks or so, new record, woo, go me, etc.

I tried resetting my sleep schedule, up all night and sleep all day is fine if you’re an undead prince of Wallachia, fine and dandy, but it sucks if you like human interaction, even if its the quarantined internet variety.

So, took some sleepytime meds at 10, was out hard by 11 and pinged wide awake by 3:30. Not gonna lie, it’s kind of funny, and still sucks, but we’ll see how long I’m up for.

Over the past few weeks I’ll be plugging away on something, like editing a photo, I pause for a second and wake up when my computer is beepbeepbeepbeepbeepbeepbeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeping at me because my face has squashed all of the keys at once. Yes, a keyboard makes a nice pillow if it wasn’t for all of that racket.

Its not uncommon for me to fall asleep at odd times and places, done it all my life. I suppose of of the oddest ones was waiting on a download to finish back in the dial-up days, I woke up to Kim laughing because I had dozed off and head was resting against the head of a huge-assed nail sticking 6″ out of the wall. I don’t remember why the nail was there, house was a rental and we didn’t touch it because the house might have fallen down. As it was the window it was next to popped out at lease once, but we’d winterized it so it didn’t go far.

Anyway. it’s a quarter till four, which sounds like coffee to me.

Thus concludes the ramble.

© 2020, Tim Boothby. All rights reserved.



How to describe fibrofog…?


It’s a bit like forgetting where you set down your keys, then while you’re wandering around looking for your keys you stop and wonder why you needed your keys in the first place, and while you’re standing there wondering you realize that your legs are cold and it dawns on you that you forgot to put on your pants. You find your pants and the keys are in your pocket and you wonder why you wanted to find them when they were in the most logical place to find them, and then you notice your bed isn’t made, and you wonder why that is important. Then you wake up in bed a few hours later in your nice warm bed you vaguely remember dreaming about keys.

© 2019 – 2020, Tim Boothby. All rights reserved.


Fibro Update

To my fibro buds, it’s unlikely to get better, but it can get worse, learn your triggers to help yourself try and maintain equilibrium. There are dozens of symptoms, none of us have them in the same way, each of us is different and FM wears a different pair of boots to try and kick our individual asses. Just do your best to avoid the triggers, learn the pace that you can safely maintain, and ride out the flares as best you can.

Finished up my doctor stuff that’s been going the past few days, bled into vials, peed into cups, caught up a few immunizations, got my meds refilled. Going to the base I rarely see the same doctor/physicians assistant/nurse practitioner twice, so I get to explain whatever baffles them in the copious patient notes. Today’s boggle, breathing issues, don’t really have them, per say, it is just that at times my chest wall tightens up, so I can’t get a full breath. Then we discussed heart attack symptoms, since I’ve been treated a few times for events that resembled heart attacks. This is caused by an inflammation of cartilage, specifically the stuff that joins the rib bones to the breast bone, and then back bone…

Sorry, broke out in song there… anyway…

anyway, that cartilage gets inflames somewhat painfully, sometimes very painfully, (called costochondritis if you’re in a googling frame of mind), add to that, both shoulders and my neck have been jacked up several times over the years, and when the neck and one of the shoulders acts up, it can shoot pain down an arm. Add all of this together and I ended up in a bed in the base ER, hooked to more wires that an 80’s stereo.

So, if I’m breathing loud and funny around you, odd are very high that I’m not about to drop on the spot, so you don’t need to google CPR or anything. Seriously, no kissing.

So, the doctor lifted his jaw off of the floor and asked if I just ignored the symptoms. No, I don’t, I sort of do an inventory to see if what is happening is what has happened before. Anything weird is added to the equation, bet heavy that I’ll say something. It’s just something I have to do a few times each month, sometimes weekly. I manage it like I do all of my symptoms, and odds are, if you don’t know me, or what to look for, you’ll have no idea it is going on.

So, if it looks like I’m having one of my good days, or, maybe I’m just good at masking, like most people with chronic conditions are so we can enjoy our lives. Those of us with positive outlooks on life are probably the best actors you’ll ever see, if you could wire us to a gauge that shows just how crappy we feel behind the smile. Unless I’m really wiped, like after closing time after a convention, I get a bit dazed and confused after days of exertion, hard to play that off. That being said, I’m still fine, I’m just going to be very lazy for the next few days.

I also represent an age demographic of veterans that tends to have the mindset that the answer to the questions “how are you doing?” or “how do you feel?” the answer is probably be “fine.” Because any day above the dirt is fine, no sense of complaining about not being dead.

We’re a bit strange that way, I’ll admit, but, we hate to complain, it doesn’t feel productive.

Damn, this post was supposed to be about 30 words long. I appear to have exceeded that.

Doing fine, signing off! 

© 2019 – 2020, Tim Boothby. All rights reserved.


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: but I’ve added how these things actually affect me personally.

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


So, Why the Cane?

Interesting question came in the other day, and its a question that I get a lot so I’ll answer it and give a long-overdue update on the state of my health. First off, the cane comes from a variety of problems: my right ankle has a great big knot on the outside because I’ve blown it out a few times, the first and worst time was running over uneven ground in combat books doing something or another in a military fashion. Secondly, I bent my left knee backwards cooling down after a 5-mile run, and then did it a while later when I followed the doctor’s advice to stay off it for a few days and then start working my running distance back up slowly. Then I have a hip I tweaked somehow, it REALLY bothers me when I ride a bike but walking and standing annoy it too, but I mostly ignore that. Finally, I have arthritis in my spine, I hurt my back several times before I retired and it all sort of added up to make my back a sore and touchy subject. Without the cane, at the end of the day my upper back curves forward and the pain can be intense. Using the cane helps keep my back straight and keep the pain down to really bothersome. So, onto the rest of the stuff, namely the legion of afflictions that accompany fibromyalgia.

  • Abdominal cramps/colic: Colic, in case you didn’t know it, is gas. You figure out what causes it or you spend a lot of time with unseen hands practicing for their merit badge in knots on your inner workings. Not pleasant, the discomfort and the gas. I think I’m done mentioning gas, for the more delicate of my readers.
  • Aching jaws, especially when chewing gum: This was annoying as hell when I was chewing gum to quit smoking.
  • Anal/genital/perineal pain: Well, and we thought gas was unpleasant. Yes, I spend a lot of time feeling like I’d just been kicked in the groin. Sorry to the delicate readers, but that’s it in a nutshell, a throbbing ache punctuated by sharp pain right in the male-specific bits.
  • Appendicitis-like pains: This will freak you out, right up there with the symptoms like a heart attack.
  • Balance problems/staggering gait: Yeah, give up any notions of grace, you’ll trip, flounder, flail and drop stuff.
  • Bloating/nausea/abdominal cramps: Really, after I made the squeamish squirm already we have to go here? Its like colic and it sucks at all ages, especially since it is coupled with irritable bowel syndrome. Whoever Came up with that name has a talent for understatement, the bowel is not irritated, it is throwing a tantrum and has gas and matches.
  • Bruise/scar easily: Goes with clumsy. People with Fibromyalgia don’t heal quickly, or easily. Sometimes little things can take forever to heal up.
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding): I hate this. Badly. Especially since I had a bone graft in my jaw, and I’m about to get a second one.
  • Buckling knee: Yeah, blown knees (one rebuilt) wasn’t enough, now they do this. Usually when standing or bending the whole leg just collapses and there isn’t anything you can do but try and land softly.
  • Carbohydrate/chocolate cravings: Oh hell yes, if you don’t get the carbs your lips tingle and you feel weak.
  • Carpal tunnel-like pain in wrist (watchband area): This drives me insane because it makes working on pictures really painful. A smart person would step away from the computer, but I’m not that smart and I like working with pictures so you just deal with it.
  • Chronic cold symptoms (sore throat, stuffiness, nasal drip, swollen glands): Yeah, why bother getting the flu shot, I can’t tell the difference.
  • Confusional states: Especially in the morning, the fibrofog gets bad and I need time to get my thought processes herded up and going in the same direction. When I overdo things I get bad, I forget names, can’t remember how to navigate, it ain’t pretty.
  • Delayed reactions to “overdoing it”: Yes, the crash. Work hard to day, pay for three days. Work till you can’t any more and you’re in trouble for a week or two. It is exhaustion that reaches deep into you and makes even breathing tiresome.
  • Depression: Believe it or not, I don’t have a lot of problem with depression, I get short tempered.
  • Difficulty speaking known words: Oh yes, I lose words all the time, and then you fight to remember it and people look at you like you’re an idiot and that frustrates you and if you let it it just landslides and gets worse.
  • Difficulty swallowing: This is weird, but it can happen. Small bites or you can hurt yourself, and you notice that you tend to catch yourself trying to swallow saliva down the wrong pipe.
  • Diffuse swelling: For no rhyme nor reason, things will swell. My lower legs are the worst at it but it can be anywhere.
  • Directional disorientation: I mentioned getting lost, yeah, if I was a duck I’d fly north for winter.
  • Dizziness when field of view moves: Ok, you’re sitting at a red light and a car pulls up beside you, you see it in your peripheral vision and get a lurch in your gut because you can feel your vehicle rolling forward and step harder on the brake, by the time you get a green light your calf can cramp.
  • Double/blurry/changing vision: Glasses may or may not work, you may get a new prescription that works for a few days and then you have to go back to your old ones. Keep the new pair around though, things may change again.
  • Drooling in sleep: Oh this is horrible. I mean I get dry mouth when awake to the point I can’t speak or swallow but let me doze off and its drool…well, it ain’t pretty.
  • Dropping things: We mentioned clumsy above, but it really effects things like typing too. You’re just that tiny bit off.
  • Dry cough: Yup, not much to add to that.
  • Earaches/ringing of ears/itching ears: Yeah, loud ringing and the itching is maddening. I’ve used a bobby pin to scratch in there. I don’t recommend it.
  • Eyelid drooping: Eyes yes, heck the whole face can droop, I looked in the mirror once and it looked like I was having a stroke.
  • Family clustering (other members of the family have FMS): No, thank heavens. I appear to be the only one in my immediate family.
  • Fatigue: Tired like you wouldn’t believe.
  • Feeling continued movement in car after stopping: Addressed above, and its spooky.
  • Feeling tilted when cornering in car: Everything in a car can startle you. I drive, but its not always fun.
  • Fibrocystic breasts: Yes, I’m a male, yes I had to have a fibrous mass removed from my chest.
  • First steps in the morning feel as if walking on nails: Creaking, popping stiffness and painful, beats staying in bed though.
  • Free-floating anxiety: I’m not an anxious person really, but deadlines off in the distance bother me more than they should now.
  • Fugue states (staring into space before brain can function): Yes, brain revs but it won’t go in gear.
  • Groin pain: Yes, addressed above and we shared enough.
  • Growing pains in children and youth: No symptoms until my mid to late 30s.
  • Handwriting difficulties: Hand pain, coordination off, hand shakes. It all adds up.
  • Headaches/migraines: Flashing lights, sensitive to smells, light, noise. Face goes numb, believe it or not you get used to it, you just have to face the fact that you won’t be getting anything done until it passes.
  • Heel pain. Heel, then foot, then toes and up the ankles to the calves and to the knees and up the thighs and then it doubles bow in the “man pain” and if you let it get that far before you get off you’re feet, you’re done for a few days.
  • Hypersensitive nipples/breast pain: Lets just say that as long as everybody leaves my nipples alone there’ll be no unpleasantness between us.
  • Impotence: Impotence, not. But to be delicate, being turned on by the feeling like you’ve been kicked in the groin is not a fetish I can claim.
  • Inability to enter deep sleep; unrefreshing sleep: Your body is tired, so you go to bed and sleep, but you hurt so your sleep isn’t deep enough to put your body into the healing cycle, so you wake up sore and tired and this is a cycle you’d better get used to riding.
  • Inability to recognize familiar surroundings: I get the point, yes I get lost easy! Quit picking on me!
  • Irritable bladder syndrome: Pissed off bladder is too redundant, so yes, you feel like you need to pee when you don’t really and suddenly you really do and you feel like you’ll explode and you swear you feel the bladder tearing and it doesn’t but damn!
  • Irritable bowel syndrome: I hate this. There are foods that can really wreck you. To be delicate, your body advances things down the track, but it hits the end of the line and it sort of sits there and does nothing, so your gut ties itself in a knot because the tunnel and the exit are 180 degrees out of synch with each other. Add diarrhea, including the explosive kind, constipation and a churning and sick-feeling guy and you have the beginnings of the fun you’re in for. See, I handled that with some decorum.
  • Lax, pendulous abdomen: Huh, they found a name that sounds better than owning up to having a beer gut, cool!
  • Loss of ability to distinguish some shades of colors: Only when I’m having ocular migraines, this means a migraine without pain but all sorts of sensory confusion, especially vision.
  • Loss of libido (Loss of sex drive): Again, unless groin kicks turn you on, very little will some days.
  • Low back pain: And mid, and upper, and neck. I have problems added to problems here.
  • Menstrual problems and/or pelvic pain: Pelvic pain from irritable bladder, no menstrural pain, but I do feel bloated and cranky now and then.
  • Mitral valve prolapse: Yes, finally heard by a doctor as I take meds that can help mask it. Basically a valve in my heart doesn’t always work right and it can cause problems.
  • Mold/yeast sensitivity: Haven’t noticed anything with this one.
  • Mood swings: Yeah, happy to grumpy can happen quick, depending on circumstances.
  • Morning stiffness: Yes, and get your mind out of the gutter. You wake up stiff and sore all over and it takes a while to make things feel somewhat normal.
  • Mottled skin: And weird rashes. Mottles and rashes can come and go at will.
  • Muscle twitching (even in large muscles or muscle groups): Happens mostly in my neck and legs, but it can happen anywhere actually.
  • Myoclonus (muscle movements and jerks at night): Yeah, this can irritate the one that shares the bed with you.
  • Nail ridges and/or nails that curve under: Comes and goes, and it looks really weird.
  • Night driving difficulty: Sometimes.
  • Numbness and tingling: Here and there and everywhere and not always with any rhyme or reason.
  • Painful intercourse: Groin kick, try one on for size and get back to me on how your performance went.
  • Painful weak grip that may let go: I hate this, I have strong hands, but sometimes they just don’t want to hand and just up and quit without giving notice.
  • Panic attacks: Fortunately, not really.
  • PMS (Pre-menstrual Syndrome): Oh hell no!
  • Pressure of eyeglasses or headbands is painful” And hats.
  • Problems going up or down stairs: Yes, but you gotta keep doing it!
  • Problems holding arms up (as when folding sheets): I don’t like my hands over my head at all.
  • Rapid/fluttery/irregular heartbeat/heart attack-like pain: Yup, had a few fake heart attacks and even had the ride in the ambulance.
  • Restless leg syndrome: They are doing it right now, its like I’m giving horsie rides to invisible kids.
  • Sciatica: Pain or numbness and tingling in the legs and feet. Yup.
  • Sensitivity to cold/heat: Winter sucks about as bad as summer. I can’t get warm in winter and can’t shed heat in the summer.
  • Sensitivity to humidity: Makes me feel really sickly and makes breathing fun.
  • Sensitivity to light: Migraine trigger.
  • Sensitivity to odors: Migraine trigger.
  • Sensitivity to pressure: Migraine trigger.
  • Sensitivity to weather changes: Migraine trigger.
  • Sensitivity to wind: Migraine trigger.
  • Sensory overload: Migraine trigger.
  • Shin splint-type pain: Yup, hate them.
  • Shortness of breath; sucking air during exercise: Yup, leads back to humidity sensitivity and mitral valve prolapse.
  • Short-term memory impairment: I write notes and repeat things over and over to try and get them into long term memory, otherwise I can forget anything.
  • Some stripes and checks cause dizziness: Any pattern can trigger vertigo and make you feel sick and dizzy.
  • Sore spot on top of head:  Weird, but yes.
  • Stiff neck: Stiff to not moving at all.
  • Stress incontinence: Haven’t lost it yet.
  • Sweats: Like a pig.
  • Tearing/reddening of eye: Yup, alleries.
  • Tendency to cry easily: No, just allergy tearing.
  • Thick secretions: Snot, yes. If that’s not what they mean I don’t wanna know.
  • Thumb pain and tingling numbness: They feel broken a lot of the time.
  • Tight Achilles tendons: All the way up to my ears.
  • Tight hamstrings: Ditto on the up to the ears.
  • Tissue overgrowth (fibroids, ingrown hairs, heavy and splitting cuticles, adhesions): Had a fiberous mass cut out, toenails split all the time, ingrown hairs if I shave, so I don’t.
  • Trouble concentrating: Yes, which pisses me off because I used to be good at it.
  • Unaccountable irritability: Well, unaccountable to some, I seem to think there’s a good reason for it at the time.
  • Unexplained toothaches; shooting pains in gums and teeth: Hard to say since I’ve had to have surgery on my jaw and have another one coming up.
  • Upper/lower leg cramps: Leg cramps, check.
  • Urinary frequency: Hard to say, I pee a lot but so do most coffee and tea junkies.
  • Urine retention: Sometimes, like constipation but in the other system.
  • Visual and audio effects/falling sensations before sleep (called “sleep starts”): I definitely feel the drifting off more than I did years ago.
  • Visual perception problems: Depth perception? What is this thing you speak of? Normally its ok, but it can get interesting.
  • Weak ankles: Did I mention the big-asses knot on the right one?
  • Weight gain or loss: Oh yeah, both but mostly gain.

© 2013 – 2020, Tim Boothby. All rights reserved.


An Updated List of Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Every now and then a new and more inclusive list of fibromyalgia symptoms comes out, this one has a bit more of the weather influences and actually discusses eyes and ears. This will probably be the basis for the new list I use for updates, which I should do more often.

  • Abdominal cramps/colic
  • Aching jaws, especially when chewing gum
  • Anal/genital/perineal pain
  • Appendicitis-like pains
  • Balance problems/staggering gait
  • Bloating/nausea/abdominal cramps
  • Bruise/scar easily
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)
  • Buckling knee
  • Carbohydrate/chocolate cravings
  • Carpal tunnel-like pain in wrist (watchband area)
  • Chronic cold symptoms (sore throat, stuffiness, nasal drip, swollen glands)
  • Confusional states
  • Delayed reactions to “overdoing it”
  • Depression
  • Difficulty speaking known words
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Diffuse swelling
  • Directional disorientation
  • Dizziness when field of view moves
  • Double/blurry/changing vision
  • Drooling in sleep
  • Dropping things
  • Dry cough
  • Earaches/ringing of ears/itching ears
  • Eyelid drooping
  • Family clustering (other members of the family have FMS)
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling continued movement in car after stopping
  • Feeling tilted when cornering in car
  • Fibrocystic breasts
  • First steps in the morning feel as if walking on nails
  • Free-floating anxiety
  • Fugue states (staring into space before brain can function)
  • Groin pain
  • Growing pains in children and youth
  • Handwriting difficulties
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Heel pain
  • Hypersensitive nipples/breast pain
  • Impotence
  • Inability to enter deep sleep; unrefreshing sleep
  • Inability to recognize familiar surroundings
  • Irritable bladder syndrome
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Lax, pendulous abdomen
  • Loss of ability to distinguish some shades of colors
  • Loss of libido (Loss of sex drive)
  • Low back pain
  • Menstrual problems and/or pelvic pain
  • Mitral valve prolapseMold/yeast sensitivity
  • Mood swings
  • Morning stiffness
  • Mottled skin
  • Muscle twitching (even in large muscles or muscle groups)
  • Myoclonus (muscle movements and jerks at night)
  • Nail ridges and/or nails that curve under
  • Night driving difficulty
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Painful intercourse
  • Painful weak grip that may let go
  • Panic attacks
  • PMS (Pre-menstrual Syndrome)
  • Pressure of eyeglasses or headbands is painful
  • Problems going up or down stairs
  • Problems holding arms up (as when folding sheets)
  • Rapid/fluttery/irregular heartbeat/heart attack-like pain
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Sensitivity to cold/heat
  • Sensitivity to humidity
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to odors
  • Sensitivity to pressure
  • Sensitivity to weather changes
  • Sensitivity to wind
  • Sensory overload
  • Shin splint-type pain
  • Shortness of breath; sucking air during exercise
  • Short-term memory impairment
  • Some stripes and checks cause dizziness
  • Sore spot on top of head
  • Stiff neck
  • Stress incontinence
  • Sweats
  • Tearing/reddening of eye
  • Tendency to cry easily
  • Thick secretions
  • Thumb pain and tingling numbness
  • Tight Achilles tendons
  • Tight hamstrings
  • Tissue overgrowth (fibroids, ingrown hairs, heavy and splitting cuticles, adhesions)
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Unaccountable irritability
  • Unexplained toothaches; shooting pains in gums and teeth
  • Upper/lower leg cramps
  • Urinary frequency
  • Urine retention
  • Visual and audio effects/falling sensations before sleep (called “sleep starts”)
  • Visual perception problems
  • Weak ankles
  • Weight gain or loss

© 2013 – 2020, Tim Boothby. All rights reserved.