What is the common denominator???

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by sumbuni, Aug 30, 2003.

  1. sumbuni

    sumbuni New Member

    Just wondering what we all have in common...

    and if there is more than one thing that causes fms/cfs?

    Like this: compare yourselves to these statistics about one SUMBUNI:

    DOB: 11/6/47









    Can you think of other things that might be similar with us? That might have brought this on??

    Depression, heart problems, athritis, years of stress and heart ache...

    Just wondering...and thinking that if there is a connection, then maybe a way out this.

  2. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    You will probably get as many different opinions on this as the number of answers you get.
    IMO, the underlying thing we all have in common is extreme sensitivity. We are people who feel things more intensely, and our nervous systems are wired so that we have a stronger than average tendency to be in a hypervigilant state, and to get stuck there, more or less full-time, once a big enough stressor comes along and triggers us.
    I, and others, have noticed that Fibro people tend to have very high ideals, a strong belief that life should be fair, are very responsible and conscientious, and caring to the point that they get taken advantage of. We expect others to be as caring and careful as we are, and are constantly disappointed, since they are not.
    I think this sets us up for problems because the society we live in does not appreciate sensitivity. Jeffrey Maitland, PhD. wrote an excellent piece about this, which is printed at the back of Dr. Jacob Teitlebaum's classic book on CFS/FMS, called "From Fatigued to Fantastic". The piece is entitled "Stone Agers in The Fast Lane", and is brilliant, IMO. It explains how ultra-sensitivty would have been a prized trait in the stone age tribal society, and our hypervigilant alarm systems would have saved us many times from dangerous animals, warring tribes sneaking up on us, etc. However, in the crazy lifestyle of today, with constant alarms going off all day at the office and while sitting in traffic and phones ringing, etc. our nervous system alarms are being triggered over and over, many more times daily than they were triggered in a whole year back in the stone age! The same people who thrive in the present day environment would have been eaten by tigers very quickly back in the Stone Age,since their relative insensitivity would have prevented their alarm system from triggering to the sound of the twigs breaking far away as the tiger snuck up on them. We simply have a very sensitive genetic adaptation to the stress response that is dangerous to the point of being non-functional in present-day society. Dr. Maitland says we don't really have a disease, we are just genetically obsolete...though he does make the point that present society is totally nuts, and something has got to give, or more and more people will get sick just like us.
    I can't explain this nearly as well as Dr. Maitland did, but you can read more about these ideas on the website of Dr. Gerald Poesnecker who has similar ideas and has been treating fibro for 45 yrs.
    [This Message was Edited on 08/30/2003]
  3. pearls

    pearls New Member


    I'm not convinced, but am very interested in these posibilities. The main trigger for me seems to have been my chronic sinusitis. (There's an intriguing article new on a possible sinusitis/fms link on the this board's home page).

    However, I've been pretty sure the stress of my job also put me into this state. In my California school district, things were increasingly crazy over the past six years. We had to handle an increasingly impossible workload, and where in the past we would get ready for major changes for the next year, we suddenly were required to change major things for the next month! I kept looking for a place to curl up and shut out the world. I think only a crazy person would continue to run that rat-race if he could find a way out.

    Right now, I'm going to read that article, Klutzo. Thanks. I'm wondering, too, if were are the canaries, the vangard of a sicker population. I hope not.

  4. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    Now you have to have things ready faster and faster all the time. You are never off work, thanks to cell phones and faxes. You dopn't even have to go back to the Stone Age...Just go back to our parents generation. Did they try to take care of a husband and a home, which is a half-time job, take care of kids, which is a full-time job, and have a full-time career too? Plus,they were allowed to grow old. Women now are expected to stay young looking and act sexy, on top of working round the clock. The human organism can only tolerate so much! I am not at all surprised that mostly women have this illness.
  5. mamacilla

    mamacilla New Member

    i agree with klutzo about the personality type. and i also think 20th century living (& now beyond) is toxic. stress, pollution, expectations, etc.
  6. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    Maybe we could have shirts w/a little canary embroidered on the pocket. Sort of secret sign to others in the know that underneath lies a sister (or fellow) canary.

    It's true, though -- for me, though, the underlying tip factor was stress, stress, stress -- sensitivity is waaaaay up at the top of the symptoms list. My MD couldn't believe that I could tell the difference between the 125 mg/day and the 150 mg/day of Zoloft that I insisted I needed to change between before and after (respectively) I ovulated.
  7. wildzootv

    wildzootv New Member

    Interesting question.

    I have 5 siblings and no one else in my immediate family has it or lupus. I would think since we all had the same parents and were raised in the same house under the same conditions that someone else would have it. But I also have more brothers than sisters.

    When my life became great my lupus got worse. I had found Mr. Right and was out on my own. I did have lupus growing up and did have a stressful home life but like I said it wasn't worse until I was gone from home for years. I did have an extremely stressful job though. So maybe?

    I swear the fibro is from the terriorist act done apon my husband's camp in Kuwait. That was the worst night of my life and my body has been paying for it since.

    As far as eating: we always eat well....but being from Texas we are big meat eaters and I've seen studies saying our bodies can not digest animal meat properly and the hormones they add to the animals to make them bigger do damage to us. Still.......I love beef. sigh.

    [This Message was Edited on 08/30/2003]
  8. sumbuni

    sumbuni New Member

    the sensitivity, also.

    My first memory is of a fight that my parents had...a hum-dinger! Chairs out the window, bottles of milk smashed all over the kitchen, the back door broken down, and mama's plan to leave dad...in the aftermath my dad sat in the rocking chair crying...and blaming me, a 4 year old girl.
    There are other "great memories" about growing up...stress was the name of the game from "BEFORE" I was born...I was born with a huge bruise on my forhead...mama claimed to havae dropped a book on my head when she fell asleep reading. YOU believe if you've never been pregnant...and if you have never owned the book she claimed to have been reading...no doubt it was another ballyhoo and dad belted mama..and me...because daddy never raised a hand to me in all my growing up years, but had a real good swing when it came to my youner brother and my older sister, which I also witnessed, and was terrified of the same treatment, tho it never came...

    Yes, I could agree with the stress..."extreme stress" all my life.

    And the sensitivity...I'll "amen" that one too...

    And Klutzo, I'll buy the whole theory that the DR. wrote about the stone age...the "fight or flee" mechanism is always hung on "go",now days they call it "anxiety", or "panic attacks", I think. But no matter what they call it, it hinders sleep and causes the heart to pound, you sweat. I remember more times the desire to take off running, and run until I could run no more. No explaination as to why I felt this way...premonitions of what was coming, maybe?

    Even now, the fear of failing, not being able to survive alone, not measuring up to someone's (ANYONE'S) expectations...I constantly feel adrift, not knowing exactly where it is that I'm headed, wishing I could find a cave to hide in...avoiding contact with people because my heart just can't stand anymore.

    Do I sound like a really big "sicko"?

    sumbuni (wearing my tweety bird shirt as we speak..canary!)
  9. baybe

    baybe New Member

    My sister had lupus back in the 70's when it was fairly new. The doctors back then said that lupus and diseases like it were what you found when most opportunistic diseases were taken out of the mix. Meaning that in the generation before people with the immune systems like her would have passed from yellow fever, TB, pneumonia all the diseases that modern medicine had learned to cure. Now we just live in a compromised state and not so comfortably.

    I believe the medical field hasn't figured out what to do with all the people they saved but still have the weakened systems. Ignoring us and not mentioning us keeps them from having to look at the morality of how far they push the span of a lifetime. We are complex people and we scare them.
  10. kerrymygirl

    kerrymygirl New Member

    I asked for my own interest and went over hundreds of charts.

    I do believe there has to be a predisposition,genetic mostly first.

    Stress without a doubt. But no diff. than if you were given the genes for cancer, heart, etc. Then a major stress can bring to surface.

    I agree with KLutzo on alot of what she said, so will not reitterate.

    Childhood, many mentioned severe throat prob. even if they wer not sickly. Poss. the beginning of break in immune system.Also, Including so many with these so called growing pains non of my friends had,or theirs, I did not grow till 16 very much at all.

    Yes, Super Woman type, YET being more sensitive,than norm.
    Thanks womens LIB???? Not sure what we bought there.

    Now I believe my grandmother who lived a extremely quiet, ate well, totally spoiled later in life had it. She did have a very diff childhood thow.

    Too late now to remember the rest......

    (Oh, most important huge percent had whiplash, not always car accident. Or some sort of spinal injury....)

    [This Message was Edited on 08/31/2003]
  11. shoshi68

    shoshi68 New Member

    I'm new at the CFS/FMS thing. But what Klutzo said was me to the tee. As a nurse, I know that there is a mind-body connection to all things healthwise.

    I really think that the stress that I have experienced is the reson for all this.

    It may be true that we experience things more acutely, but if you tie that into all the other pieces of the puzzle, this is the end result. Each person is unique, so even with similarities, our triggers and pain experience seem to be highly individual.

  12. Myth

    Myth New Member

    I am female and that is as for as our commonalities go. The most commonly mentioned triggers of accidents, sickness or surgery also do not apply to me. I have never been in an accidenct, I was already ill with FMS when I had my wisdom teeth pulled via surgery when I was 16. And I have never had any wierd illnesses, although I had almost every childhood illness you can imagine. I use to be a worrier and when I was in my late teens I went through a period of depression. But it seemed that this all began before all of that. I remeber it all starting when I hit the age of 12 and suddenly lost the ability to sleep. I have hypermobility syndrome as well, and that joint related pain began was I was real little- the real FMS stuff did not start until I had such horrible troubles sleeping. I think it is genetic and I think it makes out bodies have difficulaties dealing with stressors of any sort. So FMS may develop early in life or later depending on how much your body can take and how long it takes for something to knock your system right out of whack- the actual stressors may be different for all of us.
  13. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    There are many things which can trigger our illnesses, but no one knows for sure what causes our illnesses. Most seem to agree that stress can trigger our illnesses and can make them worse too.

    Most researchers now believe in a genetic predisposition. The fact that our lives are more stressful and our environment more polluted probably accounts for the large number of people being diagnosed with our illnesses at younger and younger ages.

    In the "old days," people with our illnesses probably did succome to infections of opportunity. My Grandmother probably had this from what I have been able to learn and she died very young. My Mother, my daughters, and I all have had FMS, and I have CIFDS as well. One of my daughters also has interstitial cystitis and vulvadynia, both autoimmune disorders. One cousin has had a strange autoimmune disorder which doesn't fit into any category. We have had ADHD and annorexia, both of which seem to be connected to these illnesses.

    It is the lack of common ground across the board which has baffled docs when it comes to our illnesses. Genetic predisposition is the only theory which makes sense and will probably be borne out with further genetic research.

    Love, Mikie
  14. sumbuni

    sumbuni New Member

    You make sense...but I do Have a question...you said that you and your family "HAVE HAD" fms...does this statement mean that at least you are in an extended remission?

    If this is true, then the fact that at one time I had all the prime symptoms of fibro...joint pains and tender points, but do not seem to have now...but now I have muscle stiffness, muscle pain and the worst fatigue I could ever imagine.