Being a Man with a “Woman’s” Disease

man-390587_1280So far I feel like I have heard the phrase “Isn’t that a woman’s disease?” so many times I could do more than just scream, I could vomit or depending on the overall attitude of the conversation I may want to hit the person. See there is a lot of stigma with having the “f” word.

Fibromyalgia is unrelenting, uncaring, unbiased, and worst of all incurable. I have friends and associates who try to understand, then there are those who, no matter how many times you tell them about it/you they never seem to get it. I was diagnosed four years ago in 2012. At first I thought it was just my arthritis acting up, but then the migraines were getting worse, my sensitivity to smells, sights and sounds was on high alert. It even was getting to the point if my wife barely touched me I would writhe in pain.

I believe they say 90% of fibromyalgia cases are women, it has to be because men are being misdiagnosed or just not telling anyone about the pain, and other symptoms they are feeling. It is hard as a man to admit to being in constant pain and nothing helps. It’s also hard to be in so much pain to where all you want to do is lay in the fetal position and cry, or lay in bed all day because you can’t think straight enough to do a simple task.

I used to be a hard working man, doing whatever I could to provide for my family and this stupid disease has taken away the majority of my ability to do that. I hardly sleep consecutive hours. I cannot sit/stand for extended periods of time. I’m literally half the strength I used to have while feeling like I’m three times the size I used to be. It is a daily struggle to be with my family, do my school work, and attempt to do normal things I once took for granted. But, all of this shouldn’t be because it’s a “woman’s” disease. When I hear that phrase I chuckle to myself and then sigh. If people really know about this disease I wouldn’t get the dirty looks in the parking lot when I have to use the handicap space.

I wish the commercials for the medications would use men to help shine some light on the problem. As a community of people we are not asking for much, we are just asking to be recognized. And for the record NO! It’s not just a woman’s disease.

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