Fibromyalgia is not “an imaginary disease”, it is real and it needs to be addressed as such. It is a seriously misunderstood illness, mainly because, as you know, many sufferers may not “look sick.” This is why it is so important to talk about it as a so-called “Invisible Disease,” because not a lot of people nor medical doctors take it seriously.
Clinicians should be familiar with the signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia and diagnose the condition with minimum investigation. Any Medical Doctor who doesn’t know how to detect this pathology, needs to take some courses about how to diagnose it and treat it.
If you are suffering from fibromyalgia, you need to know some facts about it and remember: do not feel shame for feeling the way you do. You can control this disorder and don’t let it over-power you.
Fibromyalgia can be a hard disease to get a diagnosis for since so few people understand it.
It is imperative that we learn and educate our patients, my followers and our loved ones about what fibro warriors go through every day. Let’s take in consideration their suffering and support them fully.
UNDERSTANDING THE ILLNESS:
Patients with fibromyalgia experience body pain that weakens them. There is chronic aching in different points of the body, stiffness and tenderness.
They feel tired most of the time and this makes them nervous, worry and in some cases their blood pressure tends to increase due to the pain and the worryness.
Patients often tell me that they feel their vitality is going away and their strength with it.
Problems for mental concentration start to appear because of the lack of serenity and constant pain that doesn’t go away with pain killers. Yes, the pain, they say, might subside for a little bit, few hours maybe, but it comes back, sometimes in the same area of the legs, knees, shoulders. Some other times it comes back stronger attacking another area of the body.
Patients say “even the skin burns, it hurts so much it is scary”. Patients do hurt, not only physically but mentally, so much that their quality of living begins to diminish. At this time is when this disease -fibromyalgia- causes panic attacks, excessive crying and/or depression.
FIBROMYALGIA IS A DEBILITATING DISEASE
Patients tell me they have problems to go up and downstairs, difficulty to lift up the arms. They feel a burning sensation along the inside of the skin of the legs, the arms, even the back.
They refer to a constant “pain in my lower back”, call lumbalgia.
The cervical spine and both sides of the neck hurt so much some doctors confuse the diagnosis with torticollis and prescribe medicine for it. Of course, the patient might feel some relieve for a day or two and then the pain comes back.
Muscles, tendons, ligaments and skin burn and hurt, making the movements of all the parts of the body strenuous, walking and daily activities very arduous and depending on the gravity of the illness, even impossible.
…include headaches, lose of strength in the hands to hold objects, which they fall off their hands: “Things just fall off my hands. It’s like my muscles don’t have strength anymore”.
Tripping on is more common, clumsiness, general discomfort. Sometimes patients lose balance and fall backwards or forward.
ORIGINS OF THE FIBROMYALGIA
This illness has multiple causes and factors. Usually a very stressful childhood, child abuse of any kind.
PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) of any origin: soldiers who come back from war, a stressful or violent marriage, separations, forced immigration, traumatic abandonment of any kind, the loss of loved ones, even the loss of a limb can trigger this syndrome.
THE PATH TO RECOVERY