Fibromyalgia Questions and Answers part 3

Fibromyalgia Relief Center of the Bay Area

First an announcement:

Starting Tuesday December 6, 2011  A Telephone Support group. The details are all finalized and all who sent in e-mails to inquire will be contacted early this week.


The telephone support group will be a safe, warm and supportive environment for people to talk about their issues with Fibro or anything for that matter. You’ll be able to meet people, make new friends and be with non-judgmental people. The tone will be uplifting, affirmative and positive. The idea is to learn, to find some joy and to leave feeling good about yourselves. I (Dr. Martin) will also speak on a topic (can be your suggestions and or my choice) and there will be plenty of time for questions and answers. The nice part is that after the teleconference, an audio copy will be e-mailed to you within 24 hours. The hours will be:

Every Tuesday:                                  6 PM Pacific

                                                            7 PM Mountain      

                                                            8 PM Central

                                                            9 PM Eastern

Send an e-mail to and I’ll fill you in on the rest of the details. Remember that with cell phones or Skype, even long distance calls are pennies these days. Take a positive step

 Fibromyalgia Questions and Answers Part 3

14 Why am I so tired all the time? The basic reason and simple one is that you are sleep deprived. As you know, with fibro, sleep is so difficult. You’re not getting the sleep required, thus you’re extremely fatigued. Keep in mind that the sleep meds used still do not allow you to deeply sleep and achieve the R.E.M. level of sleep which you need to replenish your body, thus you’re always tired. Probably the most common sleep meds used are Amitriptyline or Nortriptyline and possibly Valium. The first two are anti-depressives (older generation) which have a side effect of making you tired, Valium is, of course an anti-anxiety med, which also has a side effect of making you tired). Therefore, these are really not meds for sleep.

15 Why am I so oversensitive to Sounds, smells and even taste? There are two reasons for this. Firstly, as I mentioned above, you are sleep deprived and a consequence of not enough sleep is this oversensitivity. Secondly, being that the nervous system is always on overdrive (which is what fibro really is), the nerves controlling smell, taste and sounds are working at a higher level, thus more sensitivity. We once had a patient who played cello her entire life in orchestras, and when she developed fibro, she could no longer play because the sound of the cello was like fingernails on the blackboard. When her fibro was gone, she was able to resume playing. Many times, when the senses are so over sensitized for long periods of time, as in fibro, ultimately the neuro-receptors are used up and the result is that you might become under-sensitized for a while, your taste and smell might be lessened as your ability to hear. As the neuro chemicals replenish and then are released in force (due to the hyper nervous system), you return to the state of oversensitivity. Thus for some it’s up and down for others it’s always hyper sensitivity.

16 Why do I have so much trouble collecting disability insurance? I certain am disabled!

This may be due to a number of reasons. First, here in the U.S. government money is very low (or so they say). There is a concerted effort to save as much money as possible. One way is by denying disability benefits (my opinion). I know that this is unfair, but then again, this is politics and when has politics been fair? Secondly, many of the Docs working for the disability companies are being paid their salaries by these companies. The docs might be insecure enough that if they approve too much disability, they will lose their jobs. This isn’t as crazy as it sounds when you consider that disability is a form of insurance and how difficult it may be it to commonly collect from insurance companies, when the claims are legitimate (which they are the majority of the time contrary to what the companies say). Make no mistake about it, these companies know very well that Fibromyalgia exists and is disabling. Fibromyalgia, despite what any doctor or insurance company might say is an illness and has an ICD-9 number. (ICD-9 numbers are codes for diagnoses and every doctor and health insurance company uses them). Lastly, I believe that these companies, realizing how sick people with Fibromyalgia are, believe that the patient s will ultimately give up trying; after all, they don’t have the energy to keep applying, being denied and fighting with the disability and Insurance companies.

17 I have Fibromyalgia, but I can’t afford medical insurance, Shouldn’t health care be free to all who need it?

This is very controversial. I personally believe that everybody should have access to health care but at a very reasonable cost. If all health care was free, who would pay for it? This really gets into the politics which is not my arena, but the only way health care could be free is by raising taxes, something that most are opposed to. This has been an ongoing struggle in the U.S. for decades, and again it hasn’t come to pass due to political maneuvering. After all what Congressman or Senator wants to vote for higher taxes and then go back to his contingency and explain it. Chances are that he or she would be voted out of office. This also leads to the question of why health care is so expensive. The medical system is in actuality a large business and is really run and funded by Pharmaceutical companies. All business is profit driven. With enough lobbyists in Washington, these huge cartels get away with increasing their prices leading to the insurance companies having to increase their prices. The U.S. is perceived as the world’s richest country (perhaps it is, I’m not sure), which is why the same medication is sold for sometimes 1/5 the price in Canada as it is here in the states. The Pharmaceutical companies blame this on the fact that they spend billions on research and bringing a drug to market, yet they spend almost as much on advertising and marketing. Don’t be so fast to blame the doctors either as most are hard working professionals putting in more hours per day than the average worker, and are under huge stress. The concept that all doctors are wealthy is just not true. In fact the joke about a good plumber making more money is often the case. Of course there are exceptions, but in a day of HMO’s and PPO’s, doctors are restricted in what they do, what they can prescribe, and they are hustling to cover their overheads and make a living. In summary, the health care system (at least here in the U.S. (is severely broken and I wonder if they will be fixed any time in the future.

Please keep I mind that we are starting our on line info and support group in December 6. There is a very small charge (the companies, not mine) to cover the downloading of the weekly sessions and controlling who can and cannot join. this is to keep the troublemakers and spammers out.

Dr. Gene Martin

Fibromyalgia Relief Center of the Bay Area

520 South El Camino Real, Ste 520

San Mateo, Ca. 94402


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