People living with an “invisible” illness don’t just have to content with chronic pain and fatigue, there are many other symptoms with Fibromyalgia which include –
Chronic widespread pain without apparent cause
But the most distressing thing about Fibromyalgia is people not recognising, or even believing, that your experiences are real. Even today, there is still a significant lack of understanding around fibromyalgia in terms of its causes, diagnostics and how to best manage it.
According to Bupa, it affects up to one in 20 people. Des Quinn, chair of Fibromyalgia Action UK, said: “We frequently hear of doctors saying they do not believe in fibromyalgia to a patient.”
Some of the typical points Fibro patients say –
Looking ‘well’ does not mean I am fine, I have just made a real effort today.
Not getting a diagnosis for years and years can be soul-destroying and make your symptoms worse through the stress of trying to get a true diagnosis.
Some say they have to constantly explain what it is they have which can be exhausting. Just because you do not walk around with something in plaster does not mean you are not in awful pain.
Lots of people with fibro still work but struggle on some days more than others but having an understanding boss is one in a thousand.
Every day is different which means you cannot always plan ahead. But when you are on a good day you may end up doing more than you should and then suffer from it afterwards.
Sufferers can be fine one minute then it suddenly comes on big time and its an effort just to walk.
The chronic fatigue with Fibro is very difficult to explain but imagine you stayed up ALL night for a couple of nights on the run and that is how the fatigue feels. It totally takes over.
Some may comment on the different types of medications you can take making it look easy to just pop a pill and the pain will go away. That is far from the truth as most of the pills have awful side effects and don’t always work. Its a balancing act to work out what helps the most.
‘Pace Yourself’ seems to be a very popular phrase used by many people including the professionals. If it was as easy as that then we would all be in a much healthier state. A bell doesn’t tend to ring until you have overdone things and you only overdid things because you were on a good day.
The change in seasons can affect us badly and according to Fibromyalgia-symptoms.org, there are five “major weather factors” that can affect our bodies. They are temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, precipitation and wind. I am afraid the weather is something we cannot control.
May, as you can see from many of my posts is Fibromyalgia Awareness Month so please take your time to read through the many posts going out this month to help people understand the condition a bit more. Here are six facts about Fibro to remember.
- It is a real disorder with measurable biological abnormalities.
- There is a specific set of diagnostic criteria developed by the American College of Rheumatology to be used for diagnosing Fibromyalgia.
- It affects men, women, and children of all ages.
- Several studies have revealed markers of inflammation in Fibromyalgia.
- Exercise, when done properly, can help to reduce Fibromyalgia symptoms.
- Although there is no cure for Fibromyalgia, it can be managed with the right combination of treatments and therapies.
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