Is Fibromyalgia real?
I'm not a doctor so I can't tell you anything from a medical perspective but I can tell you from the perspective of someone who suffers from a chronic health condition and my answer is...
'I don't know.'
I don't know if fibro is real because they don't know what causes it, they don't know what it is that makes us feel the way that we do. The name Fibromyalgia (and I am quoting from Wikipedia, here, so this is as accurate as the Wiki writer is) 'derives from New Latin, fibro-, meaning "fibrous tissues", Greek myo-, "muscle", and Greekalgos, "pain"; thus the term literally means "muscle and connective tissue pain".' (quote from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibromyalgia) When they find out what causes fibro then the name 'fibromyalgia' might not be the right name anymore, who knows?
What I do know, though, is that this pain is real. The exhaustion, the headaches, the IBS, the fog, the muscle weakness, skin sensitivity and... ok well I'm going to stop, I have so many symptoms that it's hard to count and sometimes it's hard to remember them all. You might say that, if I suffer with them then I should remember them! Well imagine living with this, in varying degrees of severity, for your whole life. And then imagine that you spent most of your life telling yourself it's normal, everyone feels this way and you're just weak. So, no, I don't remember every symptom because I spent most of my life thinking they're normal.
|Would you like some coffee with those meds?|
There Are people who're misdiagnosed because it seems to have become a cop out for doctors. And I do believe there Are people who just play things up for sympathy because I've seen it happen with other illness and other situations, people like that are out there. But, again, that doesn't take away from what's happening for genuine sufferers.
You must also keep in mind that there's a wide variety in severity when it comes to conditions like fibro, and plenty of others too, so just because you know someone who has it who's 'just fine' it doesn't mean that those of us who have it to a stronger degree are 'just fine' too.
|Not quite the height of fashion but another way to get through the day|
I know this post is rather defensive, but sometimes that's necessary. Chronic illness, invisible illness, everywhere is being ignored, discounted and played down by a lot of people - Sometimes through lack of awareness, sometimes through anger, sometimes just because they don't understand, but it's really important that people understand the truth because it could be tomorrow that someone comes in to your life that suffers with fibro, ME, lupus, depression or anything else that you can't see but really Is there, and you'll need to be able to understand all of this. This post was a long time coming, but it was sparked when I got drawn into a very big discussion with someone who was convinced fibro isn't real - Many of us got involved and it got me thinking about how I'd have wanted to respond, at that time, if I'd had the chance to put things in to words properly.
I don't know if fibro is real, but I do know that there's a condition with a wide variety of symptoms, that many of us have, where our symptoms overlap in many ways - And I do know that I WISH it wasn't real.
On a more positive note some of the lovely ladies, from a group that I'm a part of, thought of a way to improve awareness of invisible illness by using the has tag #YouCanSeeIt followed with ways in which our conditions show, even if it's not the obvious. I've written a good few myself, had some great replies and re-tweets and the # is really coming together - Keep an eye out for it and if you want to get involved please do!