Loving Those With Fibro Revised

‘Hello. My name is Mike, and I am married to the most spectacular woman on planet Earth. (Sorry guys; she’s taken.)” I adore my wife to the very core, but there’s something I want you to know about her. My beautiful, smart, intelligent, godly, fun and spirited wife has a disease called Fibromyalgia…

Ever since I posted these words in February of 2014 I have had an overwhelming response. I have had thousands of views and dozens of people contact me with their own stories and battles. Because of this response I have decided to offer “Loving Those With Fibro” in book and Kindle form. This way we can further educate our family and friends, and help them become better Fibro Friends.  Loving Those With Fibro will release on May 12th (Fibromyalgia Awareness Day) in book form. It has a few things added, like compelling questions at the end of each little chapter and a few added thoughts from me. DON’T WORRY, I intentionally kept it small so it’s an easy read for your family and friends who need a little help understanding this disease.

So be looking for “Loving Those With Fibro” in book and Kindle  on May the 12th!











31 thoughts on “Loving Those With Fibro Revised

  1. I was diagnosed with R.A. first and then 2 yrs later, I was diagnosed with Fibro. I also have 5 other medical diagnosis. But out of all the diagnosis’, the Fibro and R.A. are by far the worst! I am now 45 yrs old, but at 39, I had a heart attack, which scared me out of my boots. So I started concentrating on heart healthy, when I received the R.A. diagnosis and a year and a half, the Fibro diagnosis….How do you determine which one you should concentrate on? I just feel like a sitting duck at this point.Am I going to wake up in excruciating pain or am I going to have a heart attack today? I don’t know, I just saw this posting and felt like maybe there was someone else out there like me that I could talk to. It is a very lonely place when you are facing these health issues alone. Don’t get me wrong. I have an absolutely wonderful husband of 21 yrs, who has been sooo supportive, but he just doesn’t understand how fast the pain can come on. The past two years, he, himself, has had SERIOUS HEALTH ISSUES that literally almost took his life. I am now dealing with PTSD, as I literally watched him dying in front of me. We lost our dream house that we worked ungodly hours to pay for, for years, because my husband couldn’t work or take care of our property. We now live in the smallest house I think I have ever seen, 890 SQ FT. DEPRESSING, but at the same time, thankful, if that makes any sense. I am just LOST AT THIS POINT and would love to be able to talk to someone that truly understands what I go through every day.

    Hope to hear back from someone very soon,

    Thank You,

    Sheila Speckl

    • Sweet Friend,
      Thank you for your honest post. April and I read this tonight and we weep with you knowing a little of how you feel. You are not alone. We understand the loneliness you feel and the great loss you manage everyday. We would LOVE to talk with you in a more private manner. April will contact you via e-mail tomorrow, so you can connect. Feel free to contact me as well at mikeholien@me.com. For tonight, know that we have prayed for you. We love you. M.

  2. I really enjoyed your story of your lovely wife April. I also have Fibro and SLE, a form of Lupus. My name is Vanessa and my Mother actually led me to your post by saying, ” this guy is from Whitefish too” ;-).
    I was not diagnosed with any of my many health conditions until I was in my early 30’s and after I had a brain aneurism. My whole world changed, everything I was use to was no longer the same. I lost most of my friends, my husband had recently been shot in Iraq and our children were very small.
    The points you shared are great, most people just do not understand. Also its important to not make them feel like they are no longer in control, important, or able.

    all my best,

    • Vanessa, thank you for sharing a piece of your heart with us. I am in awe of how humankind can overcome very difficult life situations. Your story is powerful. Please know that April and I have prayed for you today. Thank you for your encouragement and sharing with us. M.

  3. I developed Fibro around age 25. It took at least 15 years to get a diagnosis as most doctors had still not heard of it. They concluded, as did my former husband, that it was all in my head. I believe mine developed from the stress I lived with daily in an abusive marriage. After 30 years, I left that situation and since then have moved away almost 180 degrees from the pain that constantly followed me. I still take a muscle relaxant to help me sleep. It’s very difficult for the outside world to understand when they can’t see any reason for the pain and fatigue. At times I almost wished I had broken my leg just to prove to others that, indeed, there is pain happening in my body. I can sympathize with your wife. Hated waking up each morning feeling like I had been hit by a Mack truck. In my situation, my husband continued to force me to work like a man 10 -12 hours each and every day. It was horrible. So glad that doctors now realize that this is real and are working to help the people afflicted with this debilitating disease. God Bless you and your wife as you continue your journey.

  4. Thank you for your understanding and words of wisdom. My husband married me knowing I was sick and only going to get worse. He has the same attitude that you have and that is very rare. I have shared your letter on facebook in hopes that even more people will see it and have a better understanding of what we go through on a daily basis. Thank God for you and your wife. I will keep you in my prayers.

  5. My husband was diagnosed with Fibro and of course Chronic Fatigue early last year. Our oldest daughter came to me and said that Dad was having a ‘moment’ and that I should check up on him. We have been married for 26+ years now and in that time I have seen my husband get ‘teary’ 2 or 3 times at the most. Today he broke down. A first! He was reading your story. Someone actually got and understood what he was going through and it was like ticking off boxes of symptoms etc. I have had to become the wife that remembers things for my husband because of ‘Fibro fog’. I have had to be his Cheerleader. I have had to be his Chauffeur because he is in too much pain or exhausted to be able to drive the car. I have had to be the ‘mother’ and tell him he has to stop because he is pushing himself too much and there will be repercussions later or the next day. I don’t understand fully what he is going through because I don’t suffer the way he suffers. It’s hard to watch someone you love go through this. My husband can’t even take any pain killers. He has had reactions to them. We pray. We are practicing Christians and are ever thankful that we have God in our lives and he gives us the strength and comfort to endure and try to overcome.

    • Donna, thank you for posting you and your husbands story. Having never met a man who suffers this disease, I have often wondered if the struggles were the same for men as they are for women. I see that they are. I agree it is very hard watching our loved ones struggle with Fibro. Wanting so much to reach out and just heal them with a touch. I admit, I still do pray prayers of healing over my wife asking God to heal her like I know He can. And although He hasn’t answered my prayer in the way I would like (yet :)), we too have found comfort and strength in Him daily. I can’t imagine what your husband deals with not being able to take pain meds. Please know you have friends here. We understand much of what you are going through. Just yesterday April endured a HIGH pain day. Frankly, it just sucks. But God is good through it all. He teaches us things daily. I admit it is hard to hear some days, but we keep trusting. Please know that you and your husband have been prayed for today. I will ask for Kenny, what I ask for my wife. “That God would heal him, and bless him. That the Lord would bring comfort to him body and soul. That through the painful moments of life God would send the Comforter to bring peace.” I also will pray for you Donna. As the spouse you care for and endure this disease as well. May the Lord give you strength to continue to love like Jesus loves. May you have His eyes of compassion and His strength for the days tasks.
      You are loved. M.

  6. I am very glad to read of couples who can handle these things, and care enough to be so supportive. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Thank you for sharing this. I was diagnosed with Fibro last year, after being diagnosed with PSC (a liver disease) and Ulcerative Colitis. The last 20 months have been a roller coaster ride for me and my life has changed a lot. Fortunately, I have friends, children and a spouse who are pretty understanding. It is encouraging to hear yours and April’s story — Thank you for sharing it. I love forward to learning more about you.

  8. Thank you for writing this. Thank you a million times. :’)

    On my page I have a collection of my fibro artwork if you or your wife are interested in seeing it. A lot of people have told me it helps others understand the pain of fibro.

    Anyways, every person with fibro should have someone like you in their life. Thanks again.

  9. Thank you Mike and April for sharing your story. I was diagnosed 15 yrs ago right after the loss of my unborn son. I suffered for a while until I just couldn’t take it anymore and I actually thought I was dying and the drs were just going to let me. As they all kept saying nothing was wrong with me. Finally the diagnoses. About 7 yrs ago, I went into a kind of remission, as I call it, where I had no pain. Just a minor ache here and there. I thought oh my I am healed or the drs were wrong. Unfortunately, a little over a yr ago it came back, and with a vengence. It was as if it had lost time it needed to make up for. The problem is, unlike 15 yrs ago, I do not have any insurance. I suffer daily with only aleve or bc arthritis powders, which believe me has done a number on my stomache. I feel for anyone with this disease. What i really wish for would be to be able to get a massage, because I so desperately need one, and it not feel as if someone is poking a huge bruise over and over again. One that covers your whole being. My boyfriend, bless his heart, tries very hard to massage me the softest he can. Thoughts, prayers, and soft air hugs to April and all others dealing with pain.

    • Amy, thank you for sharing your story. We are very sorry for your pain. We empathize. Please know you are not alone in this struggle. We care for you. Praying for you and your boyfriend as you navigate these tough seas. M.

  10. Thank you for your post that will hopefuly help others understand a little more about fibro.
    I find it interesting that you shared a link to an article saying that fibro is caused by changes in the skin. What is happening in the skin is not what is causing fibro. That would not explain the lack of sleep, fibro fog, IBS, fatigue, deep muscle pain, painful mensus and a lot of other symptoms. Fibro might be causing changes in the vascular system around the nerves but I can’t immagine it would be limited to the skin.
    I would not be supprised if fibro turns out to be caused by a neurotropic virus like one of the herpiesvirodae (chickenpox or herpies symplex) or rhabdovirodae. Maybe it is a mutated virus in one of these families.
    At least the medical community now realises that fibro is an actual disease and there is research being conducted to find a cause. We have hope for a cure.

  11. Thank you so much for this post. I am 30 years old and was diagnosed with RA and fibromyalgia 7 years ago. I find it very difficult to explain my situation to people. It can be difficult for them to understand since those of us wuth these diagnoses “look” fine. In fact, I’ve even had people tell me that! I have learned not to get upset when people say things that hurt because they simple don’t understand. I am single and live alone, which can be a blessing and a curse. It becomes difficult when you just can’t get certain things done not to have someone to help, but it’s a blessing for me to not have someone see how bad it gets on those bad days. I truly appreciate your post and the heart behind it. So often, I feel I become defined by my diagnoses. I’m still me, just with some setbacks! And you are right, when people stop even asking, you to do anything, it does hurt, no matter how much you tell yourself you couldny have done it anyway. I will be sharing this with family and friends, in hopes they will share it as well. I believe the more people know about this disease, the more they can support those they know that are struggling with it. One blessing from fibro is that you do find many more small blessings in each day and you have the opportunity to learn how much we need to rely on the Lord for support. Thank you again! I will be praying for you and your wife!

    • Joy thank you for sharing your story with us. April and I are sorry to hear about your struggle, and will be praying for you as well. We thank you for your prayers! It is very hard when family and friends do not understand the illness. I am glad this article helped, even if just a little. I hope you have a support group to come along side you and love you as you navigate this storm. You are not alone friend!
      Blessings. M.

  12. Guaifenesin Protocol WORKS. I have self-treated myself and my four sons. You can have your life back. It takes a little work, so I recommend a partner to help you get started. I use the book, “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Fibromyalgia,” by Dr. St. Amand and Claudia Craig Merek, as my manual for treating Fibro. For lots of good information see the website: fibromyalgiatreatmentcenter.com
    Wishing you all improved health.

  13. Your story is amazing! The way you described what your wife goes through and experiences is exactly what I am experiencing. I was diagnosed November 3, 2011 with Sjogren’s Syndrome and Fibro along with a form of arthritis that they cannot seem to know if it is psoriatic arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. I have been plagued by migraines for years before my diagnosis. I am now scheduled to see a counselor for my depression and anxiety. It has been very busy with doctor appointments and now counseling.
    Your wife is so very lucky to have you in her life. You are so right about the support we all neeed when dealing with this puzzling disease.
    Your story is amazing and your love for your wife is out of this world!
    You both are an inspiration to all of us that are suffering from Fibro.
    Sending prayers and gentle hugs! ♡ ♡

    • Thank you Rose for sharing your story with us. You are an encouragement, and it’s good to know we are not alone. Thank you for the prayers, we are sending some up for you and yours as well. 🙂 We pray for health and happiness for you! M.

  14. Hi Pastor Mike and family.. my story is a little different but it is an important one to tell.. I was diagnosed at age 30 with fibromyalgia and was basically told to live with it. Along with the fibro I would have attacks of exhaustion and sleepiness that came a long with it. As a child I was very bright but lacked coordination and physical stamina. I couldn’t pass any of the physical fitness tests given while I was in elementary school. I had other health issues like paradoxical reactions to medications.. times when my heart would race and times when my muscles jumped and twitched. Pains were called growing pains. Inattention in school was because I was bored. Night time issues of being unable to move were considered emotional even though I didn’t think I was depressed as I pretty much loved life. I just couldn’t do as much as many of my peers. Another odd thing about me or one of my quirks as I called it was that trips to the dentist were horrifyingly painful. I was also extremely jumpy and had an exaggerated startle response. At the age of 53 I noticed or realized both of my children had grown up with variations of my symptoms and were both suffering in ways similar to me. At 53 I realized there must be a genetic component to our issues.. and indeed there is. Three months into my search I found a genetic disorder called Andersen Tawil Syndrome on line. I met the criteria and almost every symptom I had ever experienced fit this very rare disorder. It is an ion channelopathy a type of muscular dystrophy that most Doctors have either never seen or they didn’t recognize it when they did. By changing my diet to a diet low in carbs low in sodium high in potassium and with organic proteins and supplemental potassium my pain literally stopped. My blood pressure became stable and stiffness that had also been present in my spine for all of those years literally stopped.. I am not cured however, and will probably be in a wheel chair in a few more years. But at least now I understand and I am doing what I can to make things better with diet and supplements and yes.. limiting exercise. The biggest gain for me was the ceasing of the endless pain and the extreme sensory overload issues that were also part of my illness. My point I guess for others diagnosed with fibromyalgia if certain parts of your health do not make sense to you, do look further, because fibromyalgia, at times, can indeed be a misdiagnosis. If you feel your heart racing is frightening or you have attacks of extreme weakness or you feel you just can’t get up, it could be something else that needs to be explored. Andersen Tawil Sydrome is an Ion Channelopathy and it is very difficult to get a diagnosis. If you suspect this could be you google Andersen Tawil Syndrome, Periodic Paralysis and or The Periodic Paralysis Network. Thank you Pastor Mike for your loving and supportive attitude in caring for your wife and family.

  15. Wonderful post and so accurate!!! I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia for ten years and it comes and goes, seems like I have a few good months where I hardly notice it and then some bad months where it is an effort just to get out of bed. I have a good dr. who has found some meds that really help me, I will list them here for those who have not found great meds yet. I take Cymbalta daily, tons of supplements, Neurontin on bad days and sometimes muscle relaxers as well. I eat a super clean diet, gluten free, do yoga and accupuncture. Even with all of that, there is no telling why it will just flare up out of the blue :(. I read two good articles that I will post here that look promising. I have not tried the Fisher Wallace device yet but I am going to speak to my dr. about it at the end of this month.

    1) This article talks about a study that is testing using anti-virals for Fibromyalgia patients although from what I have read on Bulletin Boards from patients who have tried this, it does not provide long-term results, so we will see:.

    2) This Fisher-Wallace device seems to alter brain patterns and could potentially help with sleep issues.

    My best to everyone!

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