Last week, my cousin posted on Facebook that her Fibromyalgia had been extremely bad this winter. She proceeded to detail how much pain she deals with on a daily basis. She's also suffered from Trigeminal neuralgia since her late 40's. In just a few minutes, she had 35 comments from people that said they too have Fibromyalgia and live in constant pain. These comments were all from friends and family that live in southern states. It's important to note this cousin is recently widowed, her brother died a few months ago, and she is a caregiver to her 90 year old mother. This exchange led me to ponder if southerners are more likely to have TMS. I've lived in the south my entire life. I adore the people, culture, food, accent, and slower pace of life. But, southerners seem to spend an inordinate amount of time discussing their "ailments." Even those in their 20's and 30's. The south has been dealt many economic blows and it's no secret we have an abundance of problems: poverty, lack of education, drug abuse... just to name a few. Historically, southerners have held tight to faith and family to get them through the hard times, but the demographics are changing rapidly. Now, fewer households attend religious services and families are scattered across the globe. I come from an extremely large extended family. I would estimate that 70% of those over the age of 30 have some sort of chronic pain issue. I'll admit, I'm cautious about discussing TMS with them. The few that I have, are not receptive at all. It's sad to me that so many of my loved ones are needlessly suffering.