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New member
Aug 14, 2018
I am a 36 year old male and I served two combat tours in Iraq back in 2003 and 2004. For the past 10 years, I have been dealing with widespread pain primarily in my knees, shins, shoulders, back, neck, and hips. I've also been dealing with numbness in my hands and occasionally my feet (this lead to testing for Multiple Sclerosis which was negative). I've had multiple Xrays and blood work done with no results or answers. I also suffer from sleep issues, migraine headaches, light sensitivity, and nausea which I'm told is attributed to the traumatic brain injuries (TBI's) that I received from blasts. Through the Veteran Affairs (VA), I currently receive disability for PTSD, multiple TBI's, Photosynthesis, Anxiety, and Depression.

Over the past couple of years I have been suffering from extreme fatigue (sleep apnea has been ruled out from sleep study), frequent use of the bathroom, and difficulty concentrating in addition to my widespread pain. My widespread pain itself has also increased and intensified. Minimal activity now causes me pain for days to follow. Aside from the widespread pain, fatigue is my biggest complaint. Sometimes I am aware that I am tossing and turning at night but even after sleeping well (or what I would think), I wake up feeling like I've never slept. It takes everything in me to get out of bed each morning. I have an hour commute into work each morning and I'm struggling to stay awake as I drive. I have zero energy, I'm always exhausted, and I find myself avoiding activities for the fear of the pain to follow. This is affecting my daily life as well as my family life.

I have seen multiple doctors both through the VA as well as private. I feel like I am constantly being pushed aside or not taken seriously. Recently I read that for whatever reason, veterans who deployed to the middle east are at a much higher risk of Fibromyalgia. This was the first I've heard about it and after looking into it, I felt like I may finally have an answer. I requested from my primary VA doctor that I be tested and I'm waiting for my appointment next month. I know that nothing can be diagnosed through the internet but am I right in thinking that I should be tested or am I crazy? I know that many of my symptoms are symptoms of my current disabilities and that this can make a diagnosis even harder. Any guidance or advice is greatly appreciated, thank you!
Hello there. First off Thank you for your service! I am sorry your in so much pain and for what you have been through it sounds as if you have had a hard road in recovery..

It never hurts to ask questions and finding out if you have fibro might explain your symptoms and put your mind at ease in the knowing, so ask your doctor and see if he will refer you Rheumatologist. Another thought is sleep apnea, that can cause sleeping difficulties and feeling like your not getting refreshing sleep. Any time we don't sleep well that alone can cause muscle cramping and constant pain and brain fog. All of which can happen with fibro too.

While your waiting spend time finding new ways to help your condition at home. you can do that by asking our members how they help their muscle problems and other issues. Because even if you have fibro , knowing will not help the condition. Sometimes medication will but only to a point. So self-help will help you in the long run. Personally I found a few ways that helped me, like reducing stress in my life with soaking in a tub with ebson salts in the water, watching funny movies, as laughter is good for the soul. Going to a local swimming pool or YMCA. Exercising in water is easier and does not hurt like other forms of exercising. I love reading, watching animals (birds), having a pet, spending time with friends, and coming here to learn from others.

Read old and new posts and ask questions. Most everyone will be happy to share the good and bad times with you and help you by sharing what they have learned. Use what you can and be creative in developing your own ideas then share them here. Mostly don't ever give up! :)
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