Saturday, April 14, 2012

Crazy people

I've noticed that there are a number of specific diagnoses that seem to be irresistible to crazy people.  They just can't seem to stay away from them.  Just like fat people lust after the double greaseburger with extra mayo and supersized fries with a side of garlic butter, crazy people absolutely adore certain conditions.  Instinct drives them to be diagnosed with something - it truly gives them a sense of purpose in life.  Life without a medical condition is a life that hasn't met it's full potential.  Whereas normal people find worth in career, family, philanthropy, etc, crazy people find joy in their illnesses.

I use the word crazy very loosely.  It's hard for me to come up with a concise definition of who I consider crazy. The way I see it there are normal people, and there are crazy people.  And every now and again there are really freaking crazy people.  You all know what I'm talking about. A good chunk of crazy people probably have some underlying psychiatric illness.  But there are also those who don't necessarily fit DSM criteria for phyciatric illness, but whom I still consider crazy.  So I guess I use the words mentally ill, weird, and crazy interchangeably.  I know that the term crazy isn't politically correct, which is probably why I like it so much.  If you are offended by it, then I might consider you to be crazy too!

The best test I have found to screen for craziness is to simply add up the total number medication allergies and cats that patients have.  The higher the number, the higher the likelihood that you are crazy.  Less than three is usually normal, and anything greater than five is nearly 100% accurate for a diagnosis of crazy.  Having allergies to cats is usually a good negative predictor unless you have four or more other allergies, in which case you meet criteria for crazy.


When a normal person is diagnosed a condition, he finds out how to compensate so he can maintain a normal life, hold down a normal job, and enjoy normal activities.  He tries not to let it affect his life and wishes that he didn't have it.   A crazy person, on the other hand, looooooves his disease.  It will change his life for the better!  Obtaining that elusive diagnosis is like winning the crazy person lottery!  He will mold his life around his diagnosis.  It becomes his identity.  Deep down he is secretly happy that he was lucky enough to get it.  He will frequently mention it in casual conversation.  Everyone around him knows that he has it.  It becomes an excuse for everything from which he wants to be excused.  And if he can get disability for it, even better!  That way it even feels like a job!  Talk about convenient!  The diagnosis is so powerful that it magically liberates them from all responsibility that life demands.

I'm amazed that the crazies gravitate to many of the same diagnoses.  It's almost like there is an underground convention of crazy people that decreed that all their crazy little followers must go at once to the medical establishment and seek out specific, authorized diagnoses to prove their loyalty and be considered part of the group. They don't like the diseases that actually kill people, but the ones that garner the most attention while allowing them to live semi-normal lives.  They adore conditions with extremely vague, subjective symptoms.   These folks are typically found in highest concentrations in one of a few different clinics.  Of course they all start at their PCP's office but quickly get referred out to a subspecialist because the PCP doesn't have time to deal with their vague, crazy complaints.  From my experience, the highest ratio of crazies are found in one of the following specialties:

Allergy/immunology
Rheumatology
Neurology

They end up in these clinics because these are the specialties where subjectivity is common.  The physician has to take your word for the symptoms you are having.  Specialties such as cardiology, pulmonology, nephrology, endocrine, and orthopedics don't have as many crazies because you can objectively test for stuff.  If you can do scans or blood tests and rule out any problems, you politely tell them that nothing is wrong and they don't need to come back.  This infuriates the crazy patient because he feels that the doctor doesn't believe him.  So what do they do?  They pester their PCP to send them to someone else.  Thus all roads traversed by the crazies eventually end at one of the three specialties noted above.

When they visit these clinics, they have a constellation of symptoms sooooo broad and nonspecific that they could reasonably fit into a number of diagnoses.  The doctor listening to the rambling complaints does his best to make sure nothing real is going on, because crazy people occasionally do have real problems.  The looming threat of a potential lawsuit compells even the most skeptical of physicians to at least do some sort of workup.  And once the workup commences, it's only a matter of time before some of the crazies get a diagnosis that will change their lives forever!  Some of them are diagnosed appropriately, while others are the victims of over-diagnosis.  Crazy patients don't really care if the diagnosis is accurate or not - all they care about is that they got one. 


Let me detail a few of these incredibly powerful diagnoses.  For those of you that have been diagnosed with any of these conditions, this may be the first insight into your potential craziness!  You can thank me later.

At the top of the list of crazy people diagnoses is the dreaded fibromyalgia.  It's a condition in which patients have tenderpoints in their muscles all over their bodies.  There is no objective sign of any dysfunction of the musculoskeletal system.  If you were to biopsy these areas, they would be totally normal.  These patients also have a constellation of symptoms that usually includes depression or anxiety, poor family relationships, physical inactivity, poor sleep habits, obesity, and just flat out being weird.  They are predominantly women, but men are afflicted as well.  These are the people who love to tell you stories about how their bodies don't react like other peoples' bodies do.  There isn't much you can do to treat it.  Nothing works for these people.  About everything in the book has been tried, but they just have pain no matter what.  Eventually someone makes the terrible mistake of giving them a narcotic in attempt to control their pain, which does nothing but make them addicted to opiates.  It rarely helps their pain, yet they won't give them up.

Normal people don't get fibromyalgia.  As a physician, you cringe when you see fibromyalgia on someone's problem list.  You might as well just cross it out and write "crazy" in it's place.  Physicians love to tell stories about their fibromyalgia patients.  "So the other day I had this fibro patient in clinic" is a common way to start a good story.  Heads will turn and attention will be keen, because this story is gonna be good! 

The worst part is that fibro patients see this as a real disorder.  They are completely oblivious to the fact that many physicians use this term synonymously with "crazy".  They love to tell people that they have it.  It's always the number one problem that they list on medical forms.  Forget the diabetes, previous six heart attacks, major stroke, and hypertension - they always list fibromyalgia as number one! 

I once heard a colleague say that he wished fibromyalgia would be renamed "Nobody Loves Me Syndrome."  So much more accurate!  I think I'm gonna start doing that.  

Next most popular diagnosis for crazy people is allergies.  You pick the allergy - it doesn't really matter.  Animals, drugs, foods, chemicals - it doesn't matter.  For some reason they love allergies.  When confronted with negative allergy testing, they refuse to believe it.   Surely the test was wrong!  And none of their so-called allergies react in the typical IgE-mediated fashion - they always have some bizarre type of reaction like "my pinky finger ached for an hour and then it felt all gooey like pudding" or something else ridiculous.  Yesterday I had a patient that was totally convinced that the cortisone injection in her wrist caused her to have pus drain from her eye.  Ummmmm ok. 

I remember a lady complaining of headaches, throat pain, burning in the fingers, abdominal discomfort, and dry skin who was convinced it was due to a food allergy.  Where do they get this stuff?  Is there a crazy people manual out there that I've never seen?

The good thing about allergies is that there aren't many harmful treatments for it, so even if you are mistakenly diagnosed, you don't have to worry about killing a patient with the medication you prescribed. 

How about lupus?  As House MD famously says, "It's not lupus."  Whenever a new patient comes to me with a diagnosis of lupus, I don't believe it until I have reviewed all pertinent records and come to that conclusion myself.  I can't tell you how many people are erroneously diagnosed with it.  And once they are, it sticks with them for life.  Even if you look at their chart and tell them they don't and actually never have met criteria to have lupus, they refuse to believe you.  It's like taking their child away - they won't let you do it!  They'd rather die than lose the precious diagnosis of lupus. 

Seizures are another common complaint.  They like this one because they don't actually have to prove it.  All you need to do is say that you've had them, and no one can disprove it!  Brilliant!  Even a normal EEG and MRI don't rule out epilepsy.  So they really like this one.  One thing they can't do, however, is to perform a proper seizure.  They will occasionally try to seal the diagnosis by seizing in your presence.  It's not easy to do and requires a high level of fitness to contract your muscles intensely for a number of minutes, so most peter out after a few seconds of pathetically flailing around.

Speaking of neurology, multiple sclerosis is also a favorite.  This is another one I doubt by default until I see proof of it.  Like seizures, it's sometimes very difficult to prove, so you can weasel your way into a diagnosis without objective proof of the disease.

Occasionally you get a new feigner of illness who doesn't quite know the ropes who just happens to pick the wrong disease.  I had a guy last week who wanted to be excused from work for 3 weeks because, in his own words, "Doc, I've been spraying blood out of my rectum."  Shockingly, his hemoglobin level was normal.  I never call people out on their lies, because I'm a conflict avoidant person.  Plus, you never get anywhere arguing with the crazies.  But I do enjoy presenting them with the facts and then letting them come to their own conclusions, which always amuse me.  "Wow, I made a remarkable recovery," he told me, suggesting that his uber productive bone marrow had cranked out enough red blood cells in the past 24 hours to replace the gallons of blood he had lost out of his rectum.  Ok dude, whatever.  Go back to work.

These are just a few of the gems that I deal with on a daily basis.  Some days they provide great entertainment.  Other days, however, they make my day a living hell.  But for the most part I've gotten so used to the crazies that I see them as just another patient.  If nothing else, they provide me with highly entertaining story material.   And who knows, if they stopped showing up, life might just be too damn boring.  See you next visit, Mr. Crazy, but don't come back too often!

63 comments:

  1. When I was pregnant I gained 30 lbs on my 5'2 frame. And at 39 weeks I stopped exercising, because I was convinced that my water was going to break while on the elliptical. I didn't exercise for a total of 12 weeks and by that point every single muscle in my body hurt. I figured that this was what fibromyalgia must feel like, so I got my ass off the couch and started moving again. And the pain was gone. Funny how that works.

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  2. Oh, and you forgot about those crazies that list food intolerances as allergies. Like "I'm allergic to lactose" or "I'm allergic to gluten". Another key that they are crazy: they say they are allergic to almost all food yet they weight 500lbs.

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    1. Ahhh yes, thank you for reminding me of the absurd misuse of the term "allergy"! That must be in their crazy people manual as well!

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  3. Funny you mention your new name for fibromyalgia. Frederick Wolfe, the author of both the classification criteria for the syndrome, says something similar:

    Fibromyalgia is a socially constructed illness. It represents a common set of symptoms that all human beings have.

    ...

    Very often what people with fibromyalgia need are friends…



    http://violentnecessity.net/post/from-the-man-himself

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    1. Brilliant! Thanks for this enlightening read. I had no idea that the man himself has reneged on the diagnosis he created! This has truly made my day.

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    2. If the link above doesn't work, you can find this at:

      http://www.acpinternist.org/archives/2009/05/fibromyalgia.htm

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  4. Because you said that normal people don't get fibromyalgia, I have to ask... what about fibromyalgia that is secondary to another illness, like rheumatoid arthritis? Are those people crazy, too? What a patient got that diagnosis from a rheumatologist at one of the top rheumatology practices in the U.S., and the patient has a doctorate degree, works full time, engages in lots of extracurriculars, mows their own lawn, cleans their own house, only takes time off from work when absolutely necessary, only takes methotrexate and Enbrel for the RA and don't have any inclination to take any drugs other than those two, has lots of friends, doesn't have a lot of allergies, and doesn't have any cats? Just curious. Because I get that there are a lot of "crazy" people out there, but I find it hard to believe that every single person on the planet with a dx of fibro is not "normal." I'd like to think I'm pretty darn normal despite my RA and secondary fibro.

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    1. Hmmmmmm, in my mind fibro is fibro. I'm in the camp that believes that it shouldn't even be a diagnosis, sorry. And in my corner is Frederick Wolfe, the rheumatologist who "invented" this diagnosis, stated in the following paper that he wished he hadn't even made it a diagnosis.

      "Some of us in those days thought that we had actually identified a disease, which this clearly is not,” Dr. Wolfe said. “To make people ill, to give them an illness, was the wrong thing."

      Bravo to the poster who pointed this out! I love it!

      http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/14/health/14pain.html?pagewanted=all

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    2. Well then, off to try and find more friends to try and "cure" myself of this fake diagnosis that I never asked for in the first place! I guess that's a tall order since I am crazy and not normal. Well actually, I can just look for some other crazy people to be friends with, I guess. Good thing there are a lot of them out there!

      I'll be sure to thank my rheumatologist for this unsolicited diagnosis that now relegates me to the role of "crazy" person.

      Thanks for your insight!

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    3. You should be ashamed of yourself. I have a sister scheduled for a major jaw surgery in which they'll have to break her jaw and infuse bone because her's stopped growing years ago. She have Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. But you're right, the dozens of MRI's, doctors, consultations, and blood tests that CONFIRM her rheumatological condition must be rigged or something. I probably just imagined my baby sister being in chronic pain because her face stopped growing.

      I'm sure you don't have any physical health issues, allowing you to be flippant, rude, and downright ignorant about problems people actually have. However you did spend the time to write a lengthy article attempting to disprove several medically accepted disorders. If you want to be the idiot doctor telling your patients that their sleepless nights, intolerable pain, and emotional instability due to such problems are simply because they are "crazy," there's a special place in hell for you. Because I know several QUALIFIED doctors who would be embarassed for their field after reading your crap.

      PS- Posing to be a doctor could be a symptom of Multiple Personality Disorder. You should really get that checked out.

      Sincerely, a pre-med student aspiring to kick people like you out of the medical world.

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    4. Anonymous pre-med student who posted on June 21 at 1:31 pm: thank you.

      The asshole who writes this blog is dangerous -- he stereotypes and judges, and when he finally commits malpractice by flippantly misdiagnosing someone as "crazy" or as having "fibro," when they actually have something else going on that he could have figured out if his head wasn't up his arse, will probably blog on and on about how he's some kind of victim and doesn't deserve to be persecuted. You, on the other hand, might actually be able to restore some respect to what was once an honorable profession.

      Signed,

      The girl who was told she had fibro and was ignored by numerous "physicians" for years, but actually had RA and a rare muscle disease that was only diagnosed after she found an intelligent, nonjudgmental doctor who could think for himself and realized that his patient was quite sane and not at all "crazy"

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  5. If I didn't have a bunch of crazy facebook fibro dx friends, I would so share this. This is fantastic!
    To the person who is 'offended' by this.. Welcome to healthcare. When your complaints don't fit any other way, you'll get the diagnosis. For the record, you can be highly educated and still be crazy.. and from my experience, the crazy people are the ones who get so worked up and take it personal. Not to mention the histrionic people who like to brag themselves up and make wild claims like they are a genius on the internet and real life because they think people actually care.

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  6. As an NP who does psych and Internal Med, I laughed until I cried...am sharing this with all the providers I know. What a hoot! Right on the money...

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  7. OH my gosh this is so hilarious and TRUE. Everyone I know who claims to have fibro, has a history of some sort of mental or emotional disorder, like depression. I have one friend that with each new medical phenomenon, she had it. First it was chronic fatigue syndrome, then it went to her kids and they all had "night terrors" and then she had fibro and now it's under active thyroid. Honestly, I don't know anyone with "fibro" that doesn't have some major "issues" and had them before being so called diagnosed.

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  8. I don't have fibromyalgia nor do I know anyone who has that disease.

    But I find it in very bad taste for anyone to make fun of anyone who is pain. Rationalize me as the naively moral person if you want to, whatever lets you justify your own ill treatment to the suffering. I would never consider abandoning or insulting people who're suffering, even if their suffering I don't consider to be "real".

    I honestly believe fibromyalgia is real. It's just highly unlikely from a statistics point of view that hundreds of thousands of independent people are going to have similar symptoms. If it is somatization then you would expect a host of presentations as diverse as the brain's imagination.

    Far more likely is that fibromyalgia is an illness of the autonomic nervous system. Studies have already been conducted that objectively show that FM patients have measurable autonomic issues compared to control subjects. But even if that is not the case then I still refer back to my statistics argument.

    And you might say it is counter productive to treat a person without a "real" cause like they are ill, and I might agree with you there. But I wouldn't judge them, it's not in my position to judge a person who comes to me for help. I will use my judgement to objectively tell them (if I believed their illness is not real) what course of action and behaviors they need to change. But I will do it honestly and without the immature undertones of mocking them. For, if you have ever suffered yourself from a chronic illness, then you would know that it is truly a hell unlike anything else, and it is a cruelty beyond cruelty to treat a person in such a state that way.

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  9. I've dated several women with the fibro diagnosis. Phone conversations start with , "My fibro..." Every one was a train wreck, anxious, pet hoarder, etc. In my layman's experience, I have proven the good Dr.'s post to be true through extensive field research. I'll close now, and return to work and ignore my knee and neck pain like I have for the last seventeen years.

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  10. Online bullying by an anonymous doctor and his or her anonymous groupies. Awesome.

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  11. I think the saddest thing about this post is the possibility that you might actually be a real physician. But then, Google and a Tabers medical dictionary can make anyone sound like they work in healthcare.

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  12. I find your post to be completely devoid of compassio.....Bahahaha!! I could barely type that without laughing. As an ER RN, I completely agree with your observations. The minute we see fibro or an additional T-Sheet completely devoted to allergies then the chief complaint becomes evident, I'm lonely, lazy, and my husband won't put up with my BS anymore. I am going to start using your nobody loves me syndrome. Doc, keep up the good work.

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  13. I was diagnosed with this when I was in my 20s. I never believed that the disorder existed so I basically ignored it. I did, however, tell my mother about it. She'd been suffering from chronic pain for a while and she immediately said, I kid you not, "Oh, that sounds really bad. ...I wonder if that's what I have?" The next day, she went to her doctor, seeking a diagnosis of fibro. She continued her fibro journey, going from doctor to doctor until she was finally diagnosed and it has been her entire life for the past ten years. In ignoring the diagnosis when it was presented to me, I am still in pain, but dropping weight and changing my lifestyle has improved the issue. My mother, however, has decided to keep it. She owns the disorder, it is "My fibro" as she puts it, as if she has the monopoly on it. No one in the entire world is in as much pain as she is. A few years ago, I was hit by a car. My head went through the windshield and I was thrown to the street, breaking several bones and causing a head injury that has since damaged my thinking. But I have in no way suffered the way SHE has suffered. Last year, she went in for knee surgery because she also supposedly has rheumatoid in her knee. While she was in the hospital, the doctors refused to let her have her oxycontin that she's been on for the past seven years. She takes a cocktail of oxycontin and hydrocodone. I know she takes at least eight of each a day, although I do not know the dosage. At any rate, when the doctors refused her, she terrorized the nurses by throwing things and grabbing the bed railings to shake the bed. My mother is 5'10 and weighs around 240 lbs, not a pretty sight. Then I discovered that my mother's partner had been sneaking Oxycontin into the hospital via stuffing it into a plush toy. When I confronted my mother on this, she told me she never wanted to speak to me again. Fibromyalgia coupled with Oxycontin has completely ruined any semblance of a relationship we used to have. She does speak to me, but she didn't for months after that incident, and it was only when she decided that I needed to apologize. Fibromyalgia is always her chief complaint at the ER, too. She'll tell the doctor "Well, I have Fibromyalgia" and the doctor will be like "And?" Of course, like any fibro patient, she'll get her panties in a wad over it. The person above who got all defensive is just like all the rest of the patients. When someone calls them on their b.s., they prove that they're crazy by acting like it. I don't know if Fibromyalgia is real, but it seems to me that if these people just calm the fuck down, they won't be in so much pain. The diagnosis seems to just make them sicker, where they now have this horrible sounding 'disease' that they can be martyrs with. And, yes, my mother has been diagnosed with several mental illnesses. She is also overweight and stressed out. What a shocker.

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  14. It is ignorant and highly disgusting to know how you so called medical professionals are treating people. It is ow proven that people with Fibro have a problem with blood flow in the brai . It can now be seen in the cells, the brain, and even the skin of people who suffer from this terrible illness. Instead of posting biggoted BS online, you should pick up some medical journals and educate yourself on the latest research

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    1. *pats you on the head* Those differences in the brain and cells are found in the same mental illnesses people afflicted with this 'disease' all seem to have. How convenient. Perhaps you should be the one to "pick up some medical journals", hmmm?

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    2. Every fibromyalgia patient I have had the pleasure of speaking with is crazy, wierd, and/or highly annoying... most so annoying everyone (including their families) cannot wait for me to knock them out (with anesthesia)... no medical journal necessary...

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  15. I dont know much about Fibro, but it does seem that there are mental illness attached to the problem. Does the mental illness cause Fibro or does the Fibro cause mental illness???? Seems the crazy ones are the Doctors who keep telling people they have it. Think about it, you are a persons trusted doctor and you tell them they have some sickness that you claim is not real. Again sounds like we have extra large supply of crazy doctors in the USA.

    I witness a doctor telling a lady she had Fibro after a 3 min exaim. How is that possible? The lady had been seeing the Doctor for years and this was her first complaint about any pain.

    Whos to blame... Insurance Company? Government? no sounds like Dotors to me..


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    1. Exactly!! I had a doctor who said i had it after 5 minutes. The doctors are labeling people with this for an easy way of earning your $150 visit and a cut of the prescription they write. Lyrica is about $240.00 What a joke and a scam the medical system is these days. My pain is gone after 6 months. Thank god i didn't waste any more money on getting any treatment from a doctor.

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  16. I have Fibro. I am not crazy. I do not have a mental illness. I was not afflicted or diagnosed until my mid 30s. I was a professional dancer until get mono and basically never recovered. I have a husband, kids, a home, friends, hobbies etc. All of the things that I apparently should not have according to you.

    You spend 1 flare in my body and then you can say what ever you want.

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  17. From my med school classes I've taken, apparently there are times where the pain wires get crossed. I might buy that people who have suffered nerve damage or tissue damage or have undergone some really extreme bodily stresses may develop something weird. It seems strange that a non communicative disease that didn't even exist 20 years ago is now affecting millions of people, 95% of whom are on medicaid/disability.

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    1. Why are you anonymous? Are you afraid us "crazies" will look you up and find you're not a real doctor. There are so many studies on fibromyalgia and yes even biopsies of muscles show changes in the cellular walls that "normal" people don't have. Is our mental illness causing that too? You also need to check your statistics. 95% of fibromyalgia sufferers are not on Medicaid or disability and those two can not be used interchangeably.

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  18. Wait, I have those symptoms too. My doctor said it was because I am fat and lazy, but maybe I should just get a new doctor.

    If I wasn't so lazy, I would do it.

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  19. Im an addictions therapist. Interestingly im seeing more and more "fibromyalgia" patients coming in to the methadone clinic where I work. Mostly whiny women..... id say half white and half black. Ages 20 to 50. Mostly overweight. These patients are NEVER on enough benzos or methadone. And of course NOBODY understands their pain. Its like a club ..... very exclusive, and question the membership..... get your head bitten off! Its MY fibro and you cant tell me I dont suffer more than anyone in the world! these women are ending up on methadone for a reason. they get as much oxycontin, Percocet, vocodin, etc that they can get from there pain management doctors but eventually get cut off for abuse. So they come abuse our system too! Its very annoying. Most of these women are predictably on disability so of course they can't work..... but they CAN have 6 kids and shop, loiter in the parking lot for pills to supplement their dose, and hang out with friends at the local gas station ( while chain smoking of course). Funny lots have lupus too! Its getting so hard not to roll my eyes when I hear about this " diagnosis" .... " fakeromyalgia". Most just need a good kick in the ass and a JOB. LOL.

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  20. OMG THANK YOU! I was just reading some stupid fibro post about all the symptoms of fibromyalgia and reading it I was like "well, that just sounds like normal shit everyone else deals with!", and then there was another one saying that fibromyalgia feels like living with a sunburn that will never go away.... I am so annoyed by this, these fibro "sufferers" wear their illness like a badge of honour, like they are in an exclusive club, and have to spend all their time making the rest of us "understand". I get so fed up! So I googled "People with fibromyalgia" to see if I was alone in my annoyance, and low and behold I find this article and I was so glad to read it! Kudos

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  21. I am in a wheelchair due to fibro. If you think this is my idea of a good time you are a fucking idiot. I do everything I can to resolve my pain by following my board certified rheumatologist's recommendations. I loath the meds I am forced to take to function at all. get a life - or better yet try mine for a week. I was a highly paid professional before this crap. I want my life back. Jerks like you just make it harder. Sure there are fakers - but fibromyalgia is unfortunately quite real.

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    1. Wow, those are some pretty unbelievable credentials. Smells like b.s. to me.

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    2. You can check my credentials.. I am an open book and while your at it spend more time researching instead of judging others. You may learn something... look at the latest update http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/fibromyalgia/print.html

      What will you choose to do with your precious time on earth?
      I can honestly say that despite my struggles with fibro I choose to live a full life!
      I choose not to take steroids which ultimately wear on and sometimes poison the body,
      I choose to take only over the counter pain meds so I can be present in my families lives,
      I choose to give back to society through my work and volunteering.
      I choose to be patient with the medical society until they catch-up with true help and understanding for fibro patients.
      I choose to push through the pain and rest when needed

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  23. Laughed out loud reading this post and was disappointed to see that you are no longer blogging.

    You nailed it. I don't know anyone well that has fibromyalgia, but every one of them that I have come in contact with is pretty much batshit crazy. I am in Canada and I have a neighbour that is fighting for disability coverage that she has been denied. Her fibromyalgia keeps her from working don't you know.

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  24. To the doctor:
    You may need to seek help! Have you ever been diagnosed w/ diarrhea of the mouth (your case may be specific to blogging instead of speaking)? It is a contagious condition characterized by an uneducated mouth full of shit that exits the pie whole uncontrollably. It pollutes the earth having a negative impact on those who come in contact w/ them. unfortunatley, it appears you may have already infected a few others who seem to be spewing crap as well. You may want to seek treatment to get your condition under control because if you are in fact a Dr. you may be spreading disease instead of curing.

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  25. Love this article. I supervise an employee who has the exact craziness. She has mental disorders and has beenn diagnosed with just about any allergy and illness you can think of. Of course misses wokr constantly. She just mentioned that her mom was diagnosed with fibro and her poor son is following her course. How can we help her?

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  26. I think you have a great point our world is full of crazies and that's to bad for those people who really do suffer from those illnesses and have been mistaken for a crazy!!

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  27. All these fibro "sufferers" are hilarious. Way to prove the point that you're crazy.

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  28. Ahhhhh, thank you good Doctor, for speaking the truth on "fibro-my-ass-glia". My spouse and I eagerly await your return and wondrous words of wisdom. Until then, we continue the fight against co-dependency by the fibro/neuro/immuno/rheumy CRAZIES!

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  29. As a health care provider, I have found these patients to be an exhausting life sucking force. Visit after visit of complaining and no active attempt to make their lives better. Apparently, fibro is a very selective disease, did you know this????0 It only afflicts late middle aged woman who don't work, exercise, and have complete passive-aggressive tendencies. All have never actually completed a single day of real physical work in their lives. I don't see any pipe fitters, loggers, or physical laborers with fibro! Every single patient I try to get moving complains for some reason they can't. The slightest touch on a "trigger point" sends them through the roof, but apparently they were able to get off the couch, drive themselves to my office and complain about it. Half are looking for disability, the majority are looking for pain meds. Nobody wants to do the obvious thing, which is exercise and reset that thing in the brain that makes them think they are in pain.

    Not a single one of them, as sure as they are born, have actually made a single honest attempt to work through this to get a better place, with every single attempt to very, very gradually introduce some sort of physical activities. At some point they mule kick back for no physical reason into complaining about why they have to stop and discontinue treatment, "but please refill my prescription." Fibro is a absolute myth.

    If you thinks its real, well... you are crazy.

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    1. I was a hard working "A" personality. I was working as a special accounts CS for a Company that moves films to theaters for the studios when i got so sick I couldn't get out of bed, literally. I could hardly open my eyes. It started out with what the doctor advised was my epstein barr and mono showing their ugly head again. I had at that time worked overtime, the job was extremely stressful, I would go home cook, clean, take care of 3 children and a husband, cut grass (walking behind lawnmower), wash cars, garden, and stayed active in my chilldrens school. The illness was the start of my dowfall. I moved up in the company, CS to Lead CS to supervisor of CS then I became an accounts manager for a few studios. I fought hard to stay working but i had to be able to move around, think on my feet etc. But i had to stay glued to that chair, use math and excel spreadsheets etc. My mind was starting to "fog" i would mess up words or not have any at all while talking to the studio big-shots, a pure no,no. I had to quit finally and i hated it. But u fuckers that think i've made up fibro and enjoy the extreme pain, skin hurting when touched light, fog, knots in the muscles that you constantly have to work on due to myofascial problems etc. Well then again, you cynics go fuck yourself!! Don't judge someone unless you've walked in their shoes, don't throw rocks... FUCKERS!!!!

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    2. You say you were stressed at home....did you feel put upon? Unappreciated? When you got sick...did people pay attention to you more? We're you tired of working? Tired of having to keep up two lives? Does any of this sound familiar?

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  30. It's a me me me syndrome. Look at me . All fibro sufferers went through some drama in their lives but refuse to address this . They need to change their way of thinking but are too far gone. With these people the glass is not half empty it's fucking empty. Always negative and complaining and they love playing the victim .

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  31. I stumbled across this post after searching in google for "are people who have fibromyalgia crazy" -- Glad I'm not the only one who has questioned this.

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  32. Wow. You, my friend, are an uninformed, insensitive, dangerous idiot. I am sick of ppl like you vilify others in extreme pain. I doubt YOU can hang a day with fibro.
    Fibro patients....stand UP and fight this ignorance! This nonsense has got to stop. Its dangerous. They did the same with Diabetes at its inception..now is THAT ones head? We are the pioneers of such a mysterious illness and will fight for its awareness. YOU MY FRIEND SHOULD GO BACK TO SCHOOL AND BACK AWAY FROM BLOGGING!

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    1. We rest our case your honor.

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  33. Perfect. Show this to ANY ER nurse or doc and they will laugh out loud and agree 100%. Fibromyalgia is a bullshit diagnosis. Interesting to observe over the past 2 decades as an ER doc how 99.9% of "fibro" patients are fat ugly pathetic depressed middle aged females with 12 allergies and a predilection to increase the size of their med list. Funny how a physiologic disease process can somehow select for this strata of humanity. Why can I say this? because I have seen well over 50,000 patients and you haven't. And it is always the same pathetic mantra over and over....

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  34. I have been a physical therapist for over 25 years and can tell you every single person that has come in for treatment of Fibromyalgia has the same personality. They complain of pain that never gets better, they are passive-aggressive, and dismiss suggestions at any prescribed self-care program. It is true, they act as if they have the worst pain in the world. I have seen people involved in horrible traumatic accidents who have more motivation and perseverance to maximize their physical potential. Based on my clinical experience it does seem individuals with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia would benefit from participation in cognitive retraining with a mental health expert.

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  35. 95% of the Fibromyalgia patients I see are people looking for drugs or disability payments. And 99% are crazy. The 1% that aren't are misdiagnosed.

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  36. This is a hot topic. As a therapist for 20 years, whenever I see a client with Fibromyalgia, there is inevitably depression, anxiety and often trauma...and the coping skills are horrid. I also see lots of attention seeking. It's right up there with pseudo seizures. Exercise, eat right, make friends, learn coping skills, get your big girl panties on (all of us have aches and pains) and WORK!

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  37. This is not written by a real doctor. Maybe he has some knowledge of medicine and/or the healthcare field, but if he was actually a doctor his patients could be in serious danger. He probably has this blog to compensate for low self esteem. On the internet we can construct false personas and be anybody we want, and a doctor is someone with high social status.
    In high school I had a friend who claimed his father was a psychiatrist, and would therefore claim to know about psychiatric conditions and medications. His information that he claimed to learn from his father was false, and after some time it became clear that this friend was lying about other details of his life to seem more interesting and intelligent than he really was. The writer of this blog is probably doing the same thing. Perhaps he works in a medical setting or maybe even started to pursue a career in medicine while in college, but I would guess the bulk of his information comes not from textbooks or experience, but from documentaries and Google searches.

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  38. Went through a period of time in which I had many symptoms that mimicked fibro v. well... went for some tests, nothing of any substance was found. It was bewilldering to me have such symptoms, and yet, no explanation for what was happening to me.

    I had a feeling I was getting brushed off a little by my GP, and after a season of the tests, each finding nothing wrong, I stopped trying to figure it out, via referrals and testing and such.

    Next stop was Dr. Google (I know... I know... well, now I do...). Ran into many people (alt. health care) who promised the moon and stars, but in the end, I simply ended up with less money in my pocket, really.

    Onto the fibro/cfs forums I went (to observe, not participate), and I started to see patterns emerging. The level of denial that fibro-cfs could possibly... just possibly... have anything at all to do with lifestyle choices and habits of thinking was notable. Erm... very notable.

    Here I was in lots of pain, discouraged and dejected, and seeing these things, after a while, started annoying even me.

    This is getting long, but bottom line is I learned a lot by observing these trends. I have nothing bad to say regarding individuals, but the trends were hard to miss. I ended up, little by little changing my lifestyle and am starting to learn to chill a little bit on a regular basis.

    It isn't easy, it's a process, and patience is a must. There have been setbacks. But it's getting better.

    Far better than the frankly horrible prospect of extreme deconditioning (a little-appreciated phenomemon), and letting anxiety take me over, simply stopping trying, and expecting any human being to do it for me, or rescue me from it, and getting upset when they cannot and will not.

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  39. I know this is an old post but I have a relative who is very much like what all of you are saying and of course she has fibro too. Since her diagnosis she has become completely nonfunctional, blaming fibro. She already had mental issues and it's a complete disaster.

    One thing I wonder though - if so many of these patients are mentally ill, could fibro actually be real and tied to the mental illness physically somehow? Did the mental illness cause the fibro/did the fibro cause the mental illness? I'm just curious. If bipolar disorder can be regulated with medication, is there something that can be done for both the fibo and the mental illness? I guess there probably is...but they need to choose it.

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  40. I would love to hear your thoughts on Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, I'm sure they would be just as nonjudgemental and helpful as your comments here. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and MS wrongly before they did enough testing that they discovered Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, Chiari I malformation and other diagnoses were actually causing my symptoms. Doctors like you are the reason why when I do seize, I have an understanding with everyone that knows me that they are not to call 911 or get me medical attention in any way unless my heart stops again and even then to give it a second because it can start right back up on it's own. I sincerely hope that you get recorded like happened with that colonoscopy that went public so at least your patients can know what you really think of them. If a doctor thinks you're crazy/a drug seeker/just full of crap they could at least have enough respect for you to tell you they don't think there's anything wrong. I've been hospitalized multiple times because my PCP and many specialists (including two cardiologists, two GI specialists (one pancreatic specialist) and others) have ignored my symptoms and seemingly normal test results until my condition worsens dramatically and I require admission. They ignored the POTS for over 20 years until my regular cardiologist came into my life and diagnosed me. By that time it had gotten bad enough that he admitted me for a couple of days to see what my body was doing (my vitals were bad and he wanted to know if they were like that consistently or temporarily. it's consistent.) and to get me more stable with IV saline and medications (Midodrine and Florinef always, Metoprolol as needed). I have always worked to take as few medications as possible and focus on diet and exercise/muscle tone as the key to treatment and I still encounter many doctors who are not up to date on research, have the wrong information and refuse to listen to anyone (even specialists in the area we are discussing). Even if the patient is sick from mental illness, haven't we shown that even depression causes physical reactions? Why does their true diagnosis, if it is a misdiagnosis, mean they deserve less? I am tired of seeing suicides because people lose faith in any doctor ever helping them. What ever happened to first do no harm?

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  41. This is the best article!!!! I was just trying to explain to someone with no medical background how we as medical professionals feel when a person states they have "fibromyalgia". I'm an ER nurse and I cringe and unfortunately discredit whatever else comes out of their mouth once I hear fibromyalgia. I loved reading your article. You nailed it!

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  42. By far one of the most truthful articles written on the subject.
    I know people in my life who basically got diagnosed with fibromyalgia from other sufferers who told them to go to this and that doctor for follow up. The thing is that "their fibro" becomes their lives - nothing that they can be prescribed or do ever has any benefit, the only high point of their lives is commiserating within the "fibro community" and telling each and every person they come across all about "their fibro", and try to educate them with total BS nonsense. I have known 2 people who have since realized that once they let go of the illusion of this "legitimate invisible illness" and do proper medical follow up, they realized that the primary thing that was going on was depression. they had talked about depression previously, but calling it simply a secondary effect of the "fibro", not wanting to even consider that a clinical depression may actually be the culprit behind the mysterious aches&pains, lack of energy, and other ailments. However almost at the moment they started to follow up with serious attempt at psychotherapy and antidepressant medication, they realized that "fibro" was merely a smokescreen to not have to deal with depression which still does carry some stigma with it, but is something that is much more understood and manageable. Anyone who says they have "fibro" really needs to let that go, and seek help from a psychiatrist and psychotherapist and deal with the problem in terms of a number of different mental illnesses which are actually behind the "fibro" fad.

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  43. I started having very bad leg pains when i was 3 years old. I woke up in the middle of the night crying and hurting so badly, i got out of bed and woke up my mom to tell her. she said, go walk it off. wow. later, a doctor told her to give me warm tub baths for the pain, that did help. he thought it was growing pains. it seems to go into remission years at a time. i am 67 now, and still get the pain. at this point, it seems to be triggered by weather conditions - such as a sudden weather change, hot to cold or the other way around. also, windy weather, and changes in humidity. the only thing that helps is using a heating pad. i do have a very real allergy to nsaids, so i cant use them for pain. i was told, after taking a relefen tablet, not to ever take nsaids again, since my lips, throat, etc. swelled up and it was hard to breathe. i saw a dr. when this happened and it was very real, i did not make it up! i didnt ask for a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, but thats what i got. i dont even believe i have fibro bc i looked it up online and i dont have painful pressure points, just alot of pain at times in my legs and sometimes in my arms. but i go with fibro bc thats what my dr called it. however, one friend told me she thinks only crazy people who want lots of attention have fibro, i stopped telling anyone i have it. my dr also told me i have chronic fatigue syndrome, since every time i have an episode of pain, i also get very tired and sleepy. I wish i knew what it really is. i feel funny after reading the original article here, i also have a lot of allergies! again, they are real, otherwise why would i get the red rash with hives on my arms, and/or have trouble breathing? one time my dr gave me lidocaine and in 20 minutes, i had the red rash. he said, never use anything that ends in caine again. i would like to know what is going on with the red rash, etc. if it isnt allergies? i am not making it up. i am allergic to some medicines, foods, chemicals, etc. how can i be somehow manufacturing fake allergies if i get the rashes? and no, i do not want to be sick. i do my best to ignore this stuff when it happens, rarely see the dr, just live with it.

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  44. You and all healthcare providers that are agree with you need to have some humbleness and humanity lessons. I'm not a "Fribo" patient, have not any illness, don't even get sick with cold or fever, had never visit a hospital and hope never for my own sake, be a victim of one of you all "Frankenstein doctors" Don't ever judge every person because some of them abuse of their illness!! Is not up to you to judge, is up only to God, anyway you did studied a doctor carrier for help the sick, not Matter if you don't believe in them being sick or not. And if you can't be just simply human and guide or advice a true suffering patient or not, then you shouldn't have taken medicine college. Btw your cruelty make me feel sick of my stomach. God my forgive you MONSTER!!

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  45. This is the greatest treatise on any subject ever written!

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