National Fibro Awareness Day
Today is May 12th, the day decreed to be National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. Decreed by whom you might ask? Well, I’m not sure who started that ball rolling, but I’m thinking it was helped along in part by the National Fibromyalgia Association ( http://www.fmaware.org ) and the proponents of research for Fibro, and maybe even a little by the 10 million of us that have Fibro in America.
Just like in the Lupus or MS community, we fibromites are hoping to spur action from medical community and law makers in hope of getting the word out to the world at large and educating people about the syndrome. Fibro isn’t a disease like cancer or even the flu, it’s a collection of symptoms that haven’t been well explained over the last century, even though Fibro has in fact existed all this time.
Back in the early to mid part of the 20th century, those that suffered from Fibro were deemed hysterical or a hypochondriac and it was often referred to as a hysterical woman’s disease since so many of its sufferers are women. Some time towards the end of the century, in the latter part of the 80’s and early 90’s, a few doctors decided that there might actually be something to this collection of symptoms. The fatigue, body aches, and cognitive fog were too similar in too many that were seeking help and research has taken off.
Unfortunately, Fibro is still a very controversial diagnosis. Even though my neurologist told me that because of my particular “brand” of Fibro, I would have been diagnosed with MS (Multiple Scleroses) 20 years ago. That’s how close my symptoms are to MS, but the only difference (for me anyway) is that they haven’t found lesions on my brain or spinal cord on any MRIs. So because it’s Fibro instead of MS, I come across unsympathetic doctors and hear that it’s “all in my head” far too often. The new awareness of Fibro has helped a lot though, and I get taken more and more seriously. It’s hard to argue with blue fingernails.
I hope that you, my gentle readers, will take the opportunity today to learn a little more about Fibro. Check out fmaware.org, please spread the word and share my column with you friends and loved ones, and thank you for coming along on my journey with me.