Monday, May 18, 2009

Awareness About Fibromyalgia Needed

Taken from ShrevePort Times
Provided by Member Susana
Originally Posted May 12th

Today is the sixth annual National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. The first Walk of F.A.M.E. (Fibromyalgia Awareness Means Everything) was held in 2008. This year the National Fibromyalgia Association has changed the Walk of Fame to include virtual walkers since some Fibromyalgia sufferers simply can't participate in an organised walk or run. Their symptoms simply don't allow them to exert themselves physically.

Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterised by chronic, body-wide pain, persistent fatigue, chronic headaches, cognitive or memory impairment, low blood pressure, blurred vision, gastrointestinal disorders and non restorative sleep. Instigators include trauma, neurological conditions, neurohormonal changes, autoimmune irregularities and myofascial pain. More than 6 million Americans, 90 percent of them female, suffer with Fibromyalgia, affecting relationships with family members, friends and employers. There is no cure. Effective treatment consists of concerted efforts of educated patients and physicians.

I've joined the cause this year. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 1989 and have spent some years since in debilitating fashion and some in relative remission. The past seven months have probably been the most difficult for me with Fibromyalgia. The disorder is exacerbated by stress, and I've had quite a bit in the past short while. My husband's grandfather passed away in August, followed by our house burning down in October. A total loss, including losing one of our precious dogs, our boxer, Baby, who saved our lives. Our company's been bought out, and adapting is hard, in addition to fear of downsizing.

I am usually a positive person; I think all my friends would say that I'm one of the most positive people they know, always laughing, always finding the bright lining in things. It is because of this that many people who suffer from Fibromyalgia are misunderstood and believed to be "fine." Many of us don't let the trials and tribulations, the pains of every day, and the impossible fatigue stop us on most days.

The Lyrica commercial leaves much to be desired. It portrays a person who has Fibromyalgia as "not one to lay down and quit" only if they take Lyrica. This is a bad commercial and a bad portrayal of the many of us who suffer from this disorder. Most of us don't lay down and quit any time; on the contrary, we fight to function normally and be considered normal. It's those times when we can't that really get us down, in addition to the perception that we are "fine" because there are no outward signs of the disorder.

Please join me in supporting the cause: Contribute to research at Even if you can't or don't desire to contribute, you can still make a difference by recognising the limitations of those of us who have Fibromyalgia. A little understanding goes a long way.