What is Fibromyalgia?

According to the Mayo Clinic….

Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.

Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event.

Women are much more likely to develop fibromyalgia than are men. Many people who have fibromyalgia also have tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression.

While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, a variety of medications can help control symptoms. Exercise, relaxation and stress-reduction measures also may help.

I have severe chronic pain in my neck, low back, tailbone and hips. With pain in my knees and down my left leg. Numbness of most of my left foot and part of my right foot. I also suffer from migraines, panic disorder, anxiety disorder, IBS and Depression! I have strangely had Epstein-Barr syndrome twice in my life as well as fifth disease. I was also attacked by a gang in my own front yard in 2010, who were after my neighbor at the time. So, where did all this begin? My panic disorder came out of no where in 1995. Epstein-Barr was in 1983 and again in 2006. The horrible unrelenting pain has been with me since 2010. Hmmmm…..

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Sharing a post I just read

I had to share this because it tells the truth………

Myth-Understood
by Purple Law Lady
I read this blog post from The Invisible F and was really impressed by the way the information was presented. I just HAD to re-blog:

Six Common Fibromyalgia Myths
WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING IS TRUE?

(A) NESSIE IS REAL

(B) FIBROMYALGIA IS REAL

*

Alarming doesn’t quite sum up some of the myths people have about fibromyalgia – a condition that affects possibly 3-6 % of the world’s population.

I assure you, it is real. The pain is real. The debilitating chronic exhaustion is real. The insomnia is real. So is every other symptom that makes it a dreaded illness to contend with.

What is also real is the ignorance that people show towards it and us – the sufferers. Here are some of the common myths that people have about FMS.

Myth 1: It’s all in your mind.

Truth: Really? When people perpetuate these misconceptions they add to the stigma of fibromyalgia as a figment of our imagination. We are not hypochondriacs. 20 years from now when science and medicine expose more about this baffling condition, you’ll have to bite your tongue. Don’t be part of the problem, please.

Myth 2: You can cure yourself with…wait…don’t tell me, the acai berry! No wait! what was the latest quick fix being advertised online?

Truth: There is no such thing as a quick fix. Most sufferers will tell you they’ve tried any and everything, desperate for a solution, as well as spending years to and from specialist doctors, doing all manner of medical tests.

Myth 3: Some good ole exercise will fix yuh up!

Truth: This is one of those times when I have to once again go ‘really?’ I’m not saying exercise doesn’t help but the notion that some doctors and people have that regular exercise will sort our problems is wrong. Most sufferers, including myself, CANNOT manage proper exercise.

On a very good day, if I push myself I can manage 9 minutes of graded exercise with a break in between. Then I pay for it afterwards. Sometimes we can be in bed, sore and aching for says after exercise. Every sufferer is different of course. What I will say is routine stretching and physical movement (i.e. walking the dog or rushing to work) sometimes helps in decreasing the severity of muscle pains. It doesn’t in any way affect my debilitating exhaustion as the doctor promised.

Myth 4: It’s another excuse for laziness

Truth: Firstly, let me say shame to all those who beguile the social welfare system by abusing the invisibility of fibromyalgia and other chronic pain illnesses. Such actions are ignominious and hurt the REAL sufferers.

Secondly, to the sceptics, we are NOT lazy. Just because we look well it doesn’t mean we are not in pain or badly exhausted or dizzy or hurting from one of our myriad of symptoms. We might look normal but our bodies are functioning with defects and abnormalities in our central nervous system. Take it for granted that the simplest of activities tire us immensely and can encourage flare ups. For me sometimes it is having a shower, combing my hair or walking up a flight of stairs. Many of us fix steely facades on and we brave the day. We take care of families, we force our bodies to work…because we have to. Our friends who cannot manage this and depend on social welfare, are no less courageous than we are. So judge us only if you can walk a mile in our shoes damn it.

Myth 5: You just need to lose weight

Truth: If I got one pence for every time a fibromyalgia sufferer has complained about being told this, I’d be well on my way. Certainly, as with any condition, having a healthy weight contributes to the overall well-being of the individual. But to suggest to any sufferer that their muscle pains and slew of other symptoms like migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia and exhaustion would be remedied solely by weight loss, well… it is ludicrous.

Myth 6: You can live a normal life like everyone else

Truth: I wouldn’t call it a normal life, whatever normal is anyway. We TRY to live but with great difficulty. TRYING to live with chronic pain and unbearable exhaustion, migraines, cognitive impairments etc makes it incredibly hard to focus on THE NOW. And what is living if one cannot live in the present? And enjoy the beauty of now? Have you tried to think clearly or creatively when you have a bad migraine or pain? Well multiply that and imagine having to live with it everyday. We contend with something like this and I cannot call this normal. Also, please note comparing other’s ailments to ours doesn’t reduce our suffering in any way. It serves no purpose.

What other myths have you heard or had to debunk? Tell us so we can clear it up for them.

Gentle hugs

Purple Law Lady | February 20, 2013 at 10:47 am |