Monday, 27 February 2012


A couple of people have commented that my previous blog about how to start an exercise routine (called Does Thinking about Exercise Burn Calories?) was a little cryptic. Or perhaps even a little demented (or were they talking about me?)

Anyway...  to review, I gave you 8 tips for how to select and start an exercise routine. They were:


What’s so cryptic about them?

Well... okay. I guess you’re right. I’ll start taking my anti-rabies medication again.

In the meantime, here is another attempt at exercise tips for those of you who’d like something a little easier to remember and a wee bit less psychotic.

The tip is EXERCISE!

Or should I say E-X-E-R-C-I-S-E!

Here it is:

E stands for ENJOY IT. Pick some exercise you think you’ll enjoy, because the more you do, the more likely you will stick with it.

X stands for CROSS OUT (e.g., X out) all exercise that’s high contact (e.g., punching, pounding, pulverizing, etc.) And for most, this includes running because of the invariable pounding of feet against pavement. Mind you, if you still want to run, a treadmill is probably easier on you. Mind you, I haven’t seen many people with fibro start up running.  Mind you, who the heck ever tells me anything?

Nevertheless... swimming, gentle aerobics, walking, pool exercises – these all make more sense to me.

E stands for EASY TO GET TO. In other words, choose an exercise that is not inconvenient for you to do... e.g., something you can do at home or at least in the neighbourhood, or maybe something you can do with family or friends to coordinate rides, etc.

R stands for READY YOURSELF, in terms of having good shoes to wear and comfortable clothes to exercise in. (And if that includes a Speedo... so be it.)

C stands for CHECK THE CALENDER (or conditions). In other words, don’t start a big outdoor walking routine in September if you live in northern Minnesota or Manitoba, because minus 40 degree temperatures are soon going to nip your exercise routine in the bud (or give you frostbite on your b---).

I stands for INITIATE SMALL.  In other words, start your exercise routine with a miniscule amount, like 5 minutes of aerobics, or one lap of swimming, or a quarter block walk. I’ve even told people to start their exercise routine just by changing into their exercise clothes and then sitting down to think about exercise... for the first three weeks until getting ready to exercise itself has become a habit. Then, once that habit is down, actually start the exercise you intend to do.

S stands for SLOW GOES IT!  In other words, once you’ve started exercising, don’t increase the amount you do too quickly.  For example, if you’ve started by walking just to the end of your block and back 5 days a week, continue doing this for 2-3 weeks BEFORE pushing yourself to walk a little bit further. SLO-O-O-O-O-LY increase your exercise over weeks and months. You’re not training for the Fibro Olympics here.

And finally...

E stands for ENJOY EACH SUCCESS. Celebrate each milestone, whether it’s with your favourite dessert, or splurging to rent and watch a video or go to a movie you’ve wanted to see, or anything involving someone ELSE in a Speedo!.

So again, that’s

Enjoy the exercise
X out contact exercises
Ensure your exercise is Easy to get to.
Ready yourself, clothing and equipment wise
Check the Calender
Initiate exercise with a very small amount
Slowly increase the amount you do
Enjoy your success.


T-H  T-H   T-H  T-H-A-T-S  A-L-L  F-O-L-K-S! 

Kevin White, MD, PhD
award-winning author, researcher, speaker and all-around NUT!

Friday, 17 February 2012

My Humorous Rant Against the New 'Improved' Way to Diagnose Fibro

Here it is finally - the video I've been promising you. I had to wash a lot of laundry to prepare for this one. I hope you enjoy it.

Kevin White, MD, PhD, multiple award-winning researcher, author, teacher & speaker

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Valentine's Day Poll

Well... Valentine's Day has come and gone and the flower and confection shops are just digging out from all the money they've made... and it's time for you to see the results of my first annual pre-Valentine's Day poll. On the home page of my website I asked visitors (mostly with fibro I presume) what they and their partners tended to or liked to do to celebrate International Flowers & Chocolates Day... and here are the results.  Drum roll please...

So there you have it. It's mostly chocolates & flowers or NOTHING.  But a few of you creative souls came up with something better. I know I can't help but wonder what that courageous 4% did. Either way, I hope you all had a relatively good day in terms of pain, fatigue and spending time with those who love and support you.

Speaking of which... a new poll has been posted on my web page that I'd love you to answer. The question is: Which disbelieving person in your life would you MOST want to believe that your fibromyalgia is real? To answer this, just go to my website homepage and scroll down a tad to find the poll box.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Kevin White, MD, PhD, multiple award-winning researcher, author, teacher & speaker

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Another Great Video

The video I have been making for you for the last week is almost done. But, in the meantime, here is a great video I just was told about that you should make sure your loved ones and anyone else you want to have believe you see. It is extremely well done.

I should be posting my video tomorrow or Thursday.

Take care.

Kevin White, MD, PhD, multiple award-winning researcher, author, teacher & speaker

Sunday, 12 February 2012


I am working on a new video which I hope to post on YouTube and on my blog page and home page in the next couple of days.

Friday, 3 February 2012

A New Song - written for a former fibro patient of mine.

Over the years, I was moved by the life stories of many of my fibro patients, and some of these stories ended up in songs. This is one of them.  I hope you enjoy it. Though the song is sad... the story had a happy ending, as a good lawyer and I ultimately were able to get this young man the disability and injury compensation he needed and deserved.  The song is called Land of Opportunity. I wrote it when the Conservative Government in Ontario, under then Premier Mike Harris, had stripped away almost all benefits and protection for injured workers.  This young man lived through 3 years of dire poverty because of it.

I hope you enjoy the song.

Kevin White, MD, PhD, multiple award-winning researcher, author, teacher & speaker


When I was still in practice, I saw it all the time: patients with fibromyalgia would come in to see me feeling devastated because their partner - who’d they’d been with for 5 years, 10 years, 20 years or more – was leaving them... ALL BECAUSE OF THEIR FIBRO.

Sometimes their partners actually said so – they didn’t believe in fibro and were just tired seeing their partner lying around all the time.  Others were more covert, just drifting away a little more each day. They’d insist that it WASN’T the fibro; it was just that they needed to move on; or maybe it was their own inadequacies that were driving them away. Whatever it was, the emotional pain of the patient in my office was no less. Now, no longer was it just that they hurt everywhere, or were exhausted all the time, or had headaches and bellyaches. No longer was it just that they felt in such a mental fog. NOW they were alone too.

In sickness and in health... no more.

I have questions for those of you who have a partner with fibro, and are having trouble with it, and with them. The first is: what if it was cancer – would you drift away then too? If your answer is ‘Yes’, then there’s not much I can say. But if your answer is ‘No’, then what about multiple sclerosis? Still ‘No’? Then why fibro?  Because research evidence is increasingly revealing fibromyalgia to be a neurological disease much like MS. And, much like MS, not all that long ago, MS was called progressive psychogenic paralysis and NOT believed in. People were supposedly just giving up on life; or so psychologically disturbed they’d let themselves waste away to nothing in a bed while not moving. But then, with the advent of advanced imaging scans – first CAT scans and later MRI – MS started to be believed.

THE SAME THING IS NOW HAPPENING WITH FIBROMYALGIA – TECHNOLOGY IS CATCHING UP! In fact, we now have scans that can SEE pain. We now know, because we have seen it, that at least a large part of the pathology that exists in fibro lies in a part of the brain called the midbrain, where there is altered blood flow and abnormal electrical activity in response to a variety of external stimuli – like pain, temperature, and even sound. And a genetic defect has been identified in families in which fibro is rampant.  And a variety of other chemical abnormalities have been identified in numerous different body tissues, including the brain, spinal cord, spinal fluid, muscle and nerves. In short, FIBRO HAS BEEN PROVEN REAL.

My second question for you is – what if it was your kid who was sick - would you stop loving them too? Once again, if your answer to this second question is ‘Yes’, there’s nothing much I can say (at least, if I try to remain polite). But if your answer is ‘No’, consider this:  Kids DO get fibro, even kids under ten years old. And some outgrow it, but at least 30% do not, and continue to have pain, fatigue and other symptoms well into adulthood, if not life-long.  In other words, if you have a child, they could get fibro too... and if you won’t allow yourself to stop loving them, why stop loving your partner?

I know it’s difficult. I know it’s unfair. And I would be a complete hypocrite if I did not acknowledge that I haven’t been the best partner in the world all the time either; but at least my marriage has survived.  So recognize that it is difficult for your partner too... and quite equally as unfair. Despite what you might think, almost no one WANTS to be sick. I say this from having seen and treated thousands of sick people... and I never met one who I believe WANTED to be that way.

And I know that extra work may be placed upon you now; and extra worry. And maybe your partner used to share in all that much more than they do now. But then I come back to my first question: what if it were cancer? Would you begrudge that too?

So now it’s nearly Valentine’s Day – the international day of love. And I don’t know how much you want to celebrate or even could celebrate. But here are a few things you CAN do:

·        Believe your partner and show that you do in both your words and your actions. Maybe take a little time to read about fibromyalgia beforehand so you understand it a little better; or watch some YouTube videos about it. In fact, if you’re reading this, that’s a good start.

  • Sit with them: Just be there for them, even if that means letting the dishes go or using paper plates and not fretting about the bills on that day. Or, if you have the resources, paying for a babysitter to look after the kidsfor a few hours so you and your partner can have some time together and undisturbed.

·        Talk with them: Remember those days when you first started dating and sat opposite each other at a table and gazed into each other’s eyes, and all you wanted to do was get to know them and get them to know you a little bit? Well... do that again. Learn about each other... again.

  • Turn back the clock, at least for one day: Again, remember back to when you first started to fall in love, and all you wanted to do is hold and protect them, and care for them. Feel like that again, even if for just this one day. And maybe throw in some flowers and/or chocolate and/or breakfast in bed, and/or time together in a hot tub.

But, most of all, take this day to recognize that dealing with fibromyalgia isn’t easy... for anyone.

Then again, neither is life all the time... is it?

Kevin White, MD, PhD, multiple award-winning researcher, author, teacher & speaker