Are men with FM or CFS treated differently?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by justlooking, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. justlooking

    justlooking New Member

    I am just curious how men with FM or CFS are treated by Drs. It seems to be a common theme that women are dismissed by Drs when they first complain of symptoms and/or after diagnosis when we tell a new Dr we have FM or CFS.
    I personally have been lucky to find a PCP who has always taken the time to listen and do tests and a Pain Management Dr who is very compassionate, however trips to specialists and ERs, I get a completely different vibe from the Drs.
    As a result I try not to go to any new Drs. Is it just the women who aren't taken seriously with this illness or are men made to feel "crazy" as well?
  2. pacotaco

    pacotaco New Member

    Hi justlooking, i personally do not know any men who have fibro, but i will say that i believe that anyone with it will not be seen as sane. No one seems to believe that the symptoms are real, and that fibro is not a made up name that they gave just to apease us ailers. So if you have it, i feel sorry for you in too many ways. No one should have to suffer the pain and everything else that goes along with the illness, never mind the non believeing humans out there and in your own home. wishing you well....miss pacotaco~~~~~~
  3. heapsreal

    heapsreal New Member

    Male here with cfs and lots of aches and pains. Have done my rounds of docs and most say im just depressed, people around me would say Im not depressed, i get frustrated with this condition so mild depression is a symptom of what i have. But i have found a doc who is knowledgable about this thing and he is good.
  4. luckyman

    luckyman New Member

    Seriously, men have a more difficult time getting a diagnosis. My sister and I saw the same PCP, and I developed symptoms several years before she did. I was sent to Loma Linda, UCLA, USC.....and it took seven years to get a diagnosis. My sister who agrees that her symptoms are milder, was diagnosed on her first evaluation by a Dr. that I had never seen from Loma Linda in 10 min. and was asked to come back for a follow up. Lucky for her? Maybe. Of the doctors that do believe, most consider it to be a "woman's" disease. My two pennies.
  5. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    I don't know the answer to that either. Maybe men go to the Dr. less so when they do, they're taken more seriously? I don't know?

    I'm lucky - I've never been looked at as less than sane. My new Dr. immediately suspected FM - sent me to a rheumatologist who confirmed. Went to another Rheumy (first one didn't treat) as a resource for my PCP - never once felt like I wasn't taken seriously. Not once.

    Pain mgmt. Dr. I saw once had Fibro - so no disbelief there either. I've never run into the stigma about meds - nothing. So I guess I'm really fortunate.

    Maybe because of my personal experiences, I don't present myself like I have anything less than something real and very serious. Before reading online about any stigma with meds, did I ever really even realize there was one- so when I was talking pain meds with my Dr. I wasn't nervous or afraid.

  6. Wattz_dad

    Wattz_dad New Member

    I just turned 53, was diagnose 6 years ago with fms and I'm a man. Been married for 10 years. This has ruined my life. Wife doesn't care anymore, needs to be with her friends, I'm no fun, I never do anything, I have given up, 99% of the time she doesn't want to be married, I'm not the man she married, I am not to know where she goes, who she's with, when she's coming home, or what she's doing or I'm nosy. The list of things she says goes on and on... She bought a track phone. I said "why do you need a track phone? We have phones." She said "you can see who I call when the bill comes." I said "what difference does that make?" She said "I don't want you to know who I talk to".

    The methadone they gave me for pain has made my teeth break off at or below the gum line. It also has eaten my spine. I used to be 6' tall. Now I'm 5'5". It curves and is twisted. My ribcage sits on my hip bones. I sort of wish I could just go ahead and die.

    Are men treated differently than women? No, I don't think so.

    In regards to having been the breadwinner, man of the house, etc, that went by the wayside. She told everyone I was the kitchen bitch. I was to keep the house clean and have her dinner ready when she got home from work. It wouldn't hurt me to do the laundry either. Do I feel emasculated? Yes. Do I hate her? No.
  7. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    treatment is different based on gender. I am a man and have had CFS for about 29 years. Have
    never been treated for it.

    I have depression, sleep disturbance, lack of energy and brain fog. The only symptom that has
    been treated is depression.

    A doctor at Kaiser did tell me I had CFS confirmed by blood tests. But w/ the Kaiser system, I
    never saw him again. I have told a couple drs. I had CFS. They just ignored my comment.
    Maybe because they thought they couldn't do anything about it anyway.

    Sorry to hear about your situation, Wattz Dad. These DDs take so much away from us. Jobs, friends,
    social life, etc.

  8. pacotaco

    pacotaco New Member

    hi guy, I am sorry that you are ill, I know how it is but i am female k, but anyway, I don't know what city/state you're in, but I also have Kaiser ins. and at first I had that crappy docs telling me meaningless chat, I got tired of it because the pain was so bad, and i complained to no end, it got me to the head of neurorology and I'v been taken care pretty good since and am about as happy as i can be, it still isn't the best because no hospital really wants to spend much cash ya know, but I am better off than i was.Keep pushing because you have that right, also there are Patient Advocates there also. I feel for you. Please don't give up!! sending you wishs for better days...misspacotaco [This Message was Edited on 04/18/2009]
  9. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Thank your for your concern. I had Kaiser through work. Am retired now. Kaiser told
    me I could keep my coverage for about $8,000 a year, but I thought that was a bit

    Glad to hear you were assertive, and that it paid off. Maybe in 50 or 100 years people
    will look back the way we do on smallpox and polio. Yes, those DDs were terrible
    problems in the past, but they're under control now.

    Used to be a taco stand here in Los Angeles on Sunset Blvd called the Tico Taco.
    It's decor was distinctive. A table lamp made of popsicle sticks. Had good tacos

    Thanks again


  10. justlooking

    justlooking New Member

    thank you all for responding. I was just curious as to how men were treated with these DDs.

    As a whole, I believe men are taken more seriously when it comes to medical treatment, but it appears from those who replied, it doesn't matter with FM or CFS. I find it such a shame that we can lose so much, our jobs/careers, friends, families, security, independence, pride, self sufficiency, incomes, etc yet people don't take us seriously. Who would give up their whole life to "pretend" they were sick?

    I have been lucky in terms of Drs who I see regularly and with my family, who can clearly see I am not the person I was before. I feel bad for those people whose friends, family and Drs can't see how much you are suffering and make life more difficult by questioning your authenticity.

    There have been many diseases through the years that were considered "hypochodria" because there was no specific test to show they existed, many of those diseases now have scientific proof of their existence and I believe some day we will all be vindicated with a test specifically identifying FM and CFS, however it doesn't help with the suffering we must tolerate from people now.
    For those who have to deal with skepticism from others, stay strong!
  11. hensue

    hensue New Member

    Guys there is help we are all here for you. I do know that a man thinking he is all about being the breadwinner and pride. That is what they are made of. If that makes any since, you can see where women they would think it is a woman it is ok if she gives in and sleeps. I am a women of 56 I would shudder to think if my sons came down with this! They would think there life is over if they could not provide. It isnt!! The hope and the cure that will happen guys will happen for you also. I think men do not go to the doc like they should when they supsect something is wrong. It is of my opinion more men have it than we think. They many our world hasnt realized it yet.

    All I can say I would see that it would severely hinder a man much more than a woman. Not that it doesnt hurt us!!
    The men arent expected to have it! If they did they would be called wimps you see we as women go through.

    I just want to say I believe any Man that has it! I am sorry your wife doesnt understand. All the others good things will come in time.
    I really believe in KARMA!!

    Just hang in there and stay on this board we will always be there for you
    Take Care

  12. toddm

    toddm New Member

    Kamina I would like to hear which PCP you see, I've been through 25 doctors in the past 4 years. I agree Dr.Chey has been a live saver for me, received GI treatment I would only have gotten at the Cleveland or Mayo clinic. My problem has been with every other doctor I've been to.

    As far as which sex gets treated more fairly, i can only state what I've been through. Once a doctor says "I'm not sure what to do next", or "have you thought about a phsch consult?" I move on to another.

    I hope things continue to go well for you.
  13. pacotaco

    pacotaco New Member

    My comp. kicked me out, right in the middle of my last post to you, so here I"ll do it again! Well, I enjoyed your response, two reasons, first, the idea that our illnesses [whatever type] may have some hope for the furture, in that there can be relief of so much pain and unhappiness. sounds great, and i do pray for that, second, tacos! too bad tico taco is no longer around! I live close to L.A. and would have like to seen the lamp of popsicle sticks! I do like tacos also! my chihuahua's name is paco. Thats where i get the pacotaco name from, he is small enough to make a taco out of. Anyway Rock, thanks for your response! I have been off the site for a few days, due to the intensity of my pain, so I am wishing you good days!!!! take care......Miss pacotaco