Being a male with FM is tough.

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Manwithfibro, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. Manwithfibro

    Manwithfibro New Member

    I don't think society is open to having a male complain about pain or even mention it. Men are expected to be tough and suck it up. There is no sympathy or empathy in our society for men in pain. It is like a taboo or something.

    Normally, I would say you can fight through it. FM pain, though, is so chronic and non-stop, that it is impossible not to bring it up atleast once in awhile.

    I don't think this is an issue that has been mentioned much - the emotional toll on men with this illness.

    TIM
  2. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    it is one I will often bring up though not in connection with FM.

    I once played on a co-ed softball team with my company. One night the batter hit a line drive back to the pitcher and hit him on the shin. I was in the dug out and could see the knot come up from there.

    Poor thing had to limp around the pitcher's mound saying, "I'm alright, I'm alright" when I know he probably wanted to sit down and cry, which is probably what I would have done. Maybe not. I didn't when I got hit in the chin catching, but I wanted to. Anyway, the point is, if I DID sit down and cry, it would be okay cause I'm a girl.

    My husband once hit himself in the forehead with a deadblow hammer (don't ask) and there he was sitting on the floor, with a lump on his forehead, everyone teasing him and he was trying not to cry.

    It is not fair, is it?

    Sonya
  3. Manwithfibro

    Manwithfibro New Member

    Starts at a very young age...we are socialized to be tough little boys while girls are allowed to show feelings. Then you wonder why the divorce rate is so high. We are raised so differently that we are on a different plane of existence. I don't think society is comfortable with men in pain or men expressing themselves (unless it is anger).
  4. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I agree. I think it is even more difficult for men to contend with FMS/CFIDS. Social pressures can be difficult to overcome, especially when one feels horrible.

    I do think, though, that the fact that some men do get these illnesses gives them legitimacy. Otherwise, they would continue to be viewed as illnesses of hysterical, depressed women.

    Our illnesses are finally beginning to gain recognition and more and more research is being performed. I hope we see some benefits soon.

    Love, Mikie
  5. Yucca13

    Yucca13 Member

    My husband tries very hard to not complain - partly because we BOTH have fibro, arthritis and spine problems. He will just say something like: "I could hardly get up off my knees today" and then say: "Why don't I just shut up!"

    I know he feels guilty about expressing his frustration with the pain that never ends. He hasn't found any medication that really works and won't take any narcotic type med and drive. He feels badly for being "boring" and needing to go to bed early most nights because he is so exhausted. He never sleeps more than a couple of hours at a time and that contributes to the whole pain syndrome. No insurance because it is too expensive when you are self-employed doesn't help either.

    Sometimes he beats himself up for not getting more education and having to work so hard physically at 54. (He helped raise four non-bio children for which I give him a lot of credit). In our present economy, with no pension, it gets discouraging when you wonder how you will ever live if you try to retire?!! That adds emotional stress to physical stress.

    I guess maybe we are together for a reason - at least we have empathy for each other's chronic pain. The old saying: "It takes one to know one" may be true in this kind of situation. Don't feel alone with the lack of understanding though - my younger daughters told me a while back that I just want everyone to feel sorry for me. That hurt a great deal. Oh well, you can't expect 'normals' to get it. At least we get it here!!
    Wishing you good days.
    Val
  6. Yucca13

    Yucca13 Member

    My son is only 31 and has severe back pain. I don't know if he has fibro because he is another person without insurance and his diagnosis has been sketchy. He thinks his back problems have to do with being an avid skateboarder for years and stressing his body every day. Being young, male, and in chronic pain is something not many people can understand, so some think he is a drug seeker which makes him angry. It interfers with his work as an artist (he makes replications of ancient Hawaiaan artifacts and has to sit a long time to carve them).

    I feel terrible when I talk with him on the phone (he lives on Maui) and he tells me how hard it is to cope. I sometimes feel guilty that I may have passed on some of my physical weaknesses to him. He takes a small amount of Lexapro and can tell the difference when he doesn't take it for a while. Anyway, another example of a male in chronic pain!
  7. icare

    icare New Member

    This is a good topic, and being a man, i can relate to what is being said.This is not easy to say, but when i first started seeing Drs, i thought everything was going to be ok.I was the only one working with a wife and 2 teenagers.AS time went by and i seen more and more Drs and my health was getting worse, i started getting very frustrated and the stress was tremendous.

    I thought i was going to loose my mind and also everything that i worked for, becuase all my tests where coming back ok and disability was refusing me.

    I did cry.I didnt cry becuase of my illness, all i could think of was I wanted to work and provide for my family.
    Thats what i was suppose to do, and that is what i wanted to do.

    I worked for 5 yrs and it was the most dreadful time of my life.My job required alot of walking and i couldnt walk more than 15 mins without being in pain.The last year of work i missed 28 weeks Total and many days i left early.

    The 5 yrs I worked with this illness i pushed myself right into a black hole.A few Drs finally said i should have left work sooner.But really how could i, with nothing on paper to say im sick..It was a vicious circle.

    Things are better today but your always trying to prove that your Sick..People dont understnd this illness and some dont even want to do the research, they just want to diagnose you with there eyes.

    Rick
  8. schaken

    schaken New Member

    I can understand. My son refuses to admit that he has this DD. He is almost 29. Diagnosed a month ago.

    Part of the reason I married the wonderful man I am married to is because he can cry. My father allowed all 8 of his children to see him cry. Not always but sometimes.

    I think it is a sign of strength.

    Just my opinion.

    Leslie
  9. neen85

    neen85 New Member

    Willis,I admire the fact that you were able to see what needed to be changed in your family and do it......mostly things get worse and worse with each generation.

    You are right,there are far too many children growing up without daddies,or ones that are worse than none at all.
    Well said! Daneen
  10. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Tim,

    I agree with your post. It is really sad that society expects our men to suffer like we women do, but not be able to talk about it, and when you do, they is no sympathy -- you should just be tough and suck it up.

    That is so unfair. If I were treated that way, I would be so upset.

    I have been married to my husband for nearly 35 years. He has only been to the doctor 2 times in this 35 years. (Once for surgery for a hernia repair.) Our own daughter is a physician and he will not ask her any medical questions about himself and he refuses to let her listen to his heart or anything!

    I guess he thinks he is Superman and will live forever. However, I really think he is scared or afraid of what he will find out. He smokes a pack a day, has a high stress management job, and does hard physical farm work after work on on the weekends. He just turned 60 and mentions quite frequently about how he won't be around much longer.

    I do feel empathy for men with fibro, because I know that they are NOT weak, that they are in pain every day. You should not suffer in silence.
  11. liwizard

    liwizard New Member

    51 y'old male here. pain,it wears you down to a nub. but don't forget the other wonderful things like if the a/c goes out you wake up like you have just taken a shower when others who sleep next to you are dry. the drooling when sleeping. snoring. nowaday thats the frist thing the doc's ask me when i mention this DD. weak knees and ankels, glad when i was younger that beatle boot were in, lol. the fog, at work i make sure the i don't take on to much. i supervise. and much more. sorry if this sounds more like a vent. just turned 51 and kinda have the blues. and i have 5!! more firbo growths that i am going to have to have cut off sooner or later. that will make 10 in the last 20 years. damn doc's told they were firbo type each time they took them off. and they never even asked anything about this damn DD i mean wasn't that some kind of clue?
    [This Message was Edited on 08/14/2005]
  12. backporchrags

    backporchrags New Member

    I think that in most areas of life the standards for men's conduct is more overt. Yes, in public and with the guys it is taboo to discuss things such as constant, debilitating pain. Know that you are understood here.
    Being a male with FMS you are in a unique position to point out the many misconceptions of FMS. Many docs still call it the "white housewives syndrome" or worse. So let your voice be heard! We will all benefit.
    Hugs,
    A
  13. mhammie

    mhammie New Member

    I appreciate the courage that all of you men have showed by sharing what you go thru, because of our ignorant things we have taught our boys to suck it up.

    The more men that come forward, the better off we will all be. Hopefully the medical field will start really taking us women seriously as well as any man dealing with this awful illness. Hope as more are diagnosed the doctors will start to see more needs to be done to help men, women, and children suffering with chronic pain, etc.

    As for the tears that men need to shed when their in pain, turn on the faucet and let them flow. After all if men weren't meant to cry, they wouldn't have tear ducts to make those tears.

    Thanks GUYS,
    Mhammie
  14. lilbird

    lilbird New Member

    for men to be tough. Especially coming from other men. I'm thinking though, that when you are around your girlfriend, wife, mother, or other women you are close to that they have more empathy.

    but I bet its tough for you to go to work and be around other men if you complain you will be regarded as weak.

    Well, you wont get that here. We know that sometimes its not only the level of pain but the constant unrelenting pain that get to you sometimes.

    We all need to put the shoe on the other foot before we judge. I have personally been tring to do this more and more sense I have been sick.

    Cathy
  15. Manwithfibro

    Manwithfibro New Member

    A recent survey shed light on the fact that while women
    claim they want a sensitive man, they actually are far
    more attracted to the non-sensitive stereotypical male.

    I don't know what role evolution plays in this (survival of fittest etc) but it is clear that society has no tolerance
    for either a man in pain or a sensitive man. Then you have
    someone like me...a sensitive man in pain...no wonder
    I feel society is against me. For the most part, I just
    keep quiet about my condition unless I chat on this board.
    Thanks for all of your replies.
  16. Jgavi

    Jgavi New Member

    Your right!

    I know many men out there who wont go to the Dr because they dont want the lable of being "weak" or having a womans disorder...so they self medicate.
    Dangerous and sadly they are very un happy...and suffering badly.

    All I know is I have "something" and its called PAIN....chronic PAIN and using the word Fibromyalgia I dont use much anymore when people ask....

    jgavi
  17. Mother_Margaret

    Mother_Margaret New Member

    Many soldiers came down with 'gulf war syndrome' which is about the same thing if you check the ailments they share on.

    Not much help for any of them after all these years ... whether man or woman

    I think this is how to find 'the fatigue'
    www.valdezlink.com/pages/thebasics.htm

    Which I suspect to be caused by this chemical
    www.valdezlink.com/same.htm

    A very common exposure for everyone in or out of the military ... since before WWII -

    What was going on with you when your CFS/FM started? Did you have any flu-like symptoms at that time?
  18. poodlemommy

    poodlemommy New Member

    hi Tim; there is a great fibro site for men. its menwithfibro. (edited to remove URL) you meet some great guys who understand and can give you the male support. There is also a doctor on there who will answer your questions. Women are welcome on this site too. Im one of the regulars on there and the guys are great. Ive had the doctor on there help me out a few times too. check it out.
    hugs, poodlemum
  19. backporchrags

    backporchrags New Member

    Don't give up on finding the woman who will appreciate a smart sensative man. Just look for a strong, self sufficient women. Women who are looking for "the typical insensative man" probally are needy and looking for the alpha male to care for them. Now we self sure women are more apt to judge a man on his qualities and beliefs, not what kind of car he will be able to buy. We already have the car don't ya' know!
    I feel we all play down our symptoms to others, not just men. I found out at an early age to keep my pain to myself. Some people will ask how you are doing but not really care to hear an honest answer. But you will find those rare people who actually do care. Until then, we are here so vent away!
    Hugs,
    A