Once again I saw another human at the end of their rope because a friend, loved one, co-worker or any other allegedly sentient being on the planet did a number on them about their fibromyalgia.
The stories are always the same… “you’re an attention seeker”, “you’re lazy and trying to get out of _____”, “it’s not really *a thing*, it’s just lazy doctors who want to dump people in a pile when they don’t want to find out what’s *really* wrong with you – or – there’s nothing wrong with you, everyone feels that way from time to time.”
Speaking on behalf of our brothers and sisters, here and across the globe. Our pain and symptoms are very real, regardless if you “buy it” or not. We do not need you to be patronizing, to offer us lip service, telling us what *you think* we want to hear, or have you be downright defiant and dismissive of what we are going through by claiming it to be “all in your head”, or that it’s a “b*llsh*t excuse the doctors use when they don’t know what’s wrong. To some degree. that last one is correct.
Doctors used to write off symptoms that they could not find the root cause, lumping them in a pile named fibromyalgia. As a result, what’s happened is that someone finally noticed similarities in all of the patients’ symptoms in that pile. After that, they started recognizing that this is a real, somewhat treatable, currently incurable disease/condition. It is unknown as to whether the cause of the symptoms are in the nerves or if it is in an area of the brain sending wrong signals which cause our symptoms or environmental sources. I’m inclined to believe it is the latter two, but I don’t know any more than anyone else.
Why are some people allergic to something and some else, even in their own family sometimes, are able to binge on. I was born with several health problems including a severe intolerance to lactose and in those days (no old jokes please) there weren’t the options that there are now. My sister came along 5 years later, spent 3-4 days a week in the hospital under an oxygen tent. Once they were afraid that her heart could wind up damaged from all the epinephrine they were giving her, they finally agreed to allergy testing.
Out of the 204 things that she was tested for, thankfully she was *only* allergic to… 196 of them. Only… sheesh. And guess what, none of ours overlapped and still haven’t. I have spinal diseases, she had cancer, She’s allergic to morphine and it doesn’t even work for me. The list of differences goes on an on. The same is true for fibro, we’re all alike, and we’re all different.
I read somewhere that fibro can be caused by a traumatic experience where you got hurt. For me that makes total sense, that’s when mine reared its ugly head, but you could put 200 people in a room and only perhaps 7% of us would be able to point to it as when fibro walked into our lives like a person you can’t stand who now won’t leave your house.
Personally, I think we’re all f*cked to some degree because we are all members of what I refer to as the Pop-Tart generation. So many things were not on the landscape until the 60’s with the ‘fortified with vitamins and minerals”, why did it need to be fortified in the first place? Pop-Tarts were fortified with 5 vitamins when they started and now it’s 16 and calcium and fiber? Why was Tang nutritionally better than orange juice? Cold cereal was introduced, prior to this it was oatmeal, Cream-of-Wheat or grits, and we all know what the ingredient list looks like on the side of the box of cereal. We started running public water to more families, fluoridated of course. Our bodies have been beaten like a bad boxer with no end in sight.
We need acceptance, acknowledgment, better treatment, and a hope for a cure. Empathy and the willingness to take us our word for it won’t cost you a thing; much like manners, this is free to use and available 24/7 if you choose.
Thanks for listening