I’d always found it incredibly painful talking to dismissive, ill informed doctors about fibromyalgia.
The pain normally becomes intolerable when they start telling me about what I’m NOT feeling and what’s NOT happening in my body, despite me living in my own body, walking around in it, and enduring the pain and discomforts that I face in it daily.
I had somehow found strange hope when I read literature that suggested fibromyalgia patients see doctors no older than 40 years old, as they are more likely to have been educated about this complicated illness that’s still causing confusion in the medical fraternity.
It might have been naive optimism.
But, I thought maybe…just maybe there was something to it, seeing that the last two sympathetic, understanding and knowledgeable rheumatologists (one of them at the Fibromyalgia Clinic) I saw knew what they were talking about.
Vanish away? Really?
I didn’t have to argue with them about what goes on in my body. Or try to persuade them that it’s not all in my mind. And unlike my last GP they didn’t tell me the severe pains in my feet were due to my shoes being too tight.
So imagine my surprise when the 31 year old doctor I was chatting to started telling me about how I should deal with this “quite psychological” condition.
Like many doctors he advocated a low impact daily exercise routine and a “short, low dosage of Amitryptyline,” after which he said “all your weakness and complaints will completely and rapidly vanish, or it will be very very simple to find out the cause of your mysterious fibromyalgia…”
Oh really? Does the rest of the medical fraternity know this? Someone should really tell the other fibromyalgia sufferers.
Now I am not dismissing the inarguable link that many physical conditions have to one’s mental and emotional state and vice versa.
But it is NOT all in my head. And it certainly won’t just vanish away.
(Luckily for me, I took the time to learn more about this condition so I don’t believe everything that comes spurting out of the mouth of some doctors…you should take the time too).
Fibromyalgia is real
Research has shown that fibromyalgia is a real illness which is included in the WHO’s Tenth Revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems.
Most of us who suffer from this debilitating condition have done much of what’s recommended by our doctors, with no great relief or results.
I wish there was something that could make this incurable condition “vanish.” It would be great to actually sleep well and wake up feeling refreshed for once instead of so exhausted like I’d run a marathon. And it would be wonderful to romp with my little cousins without being so sensitive to pain about my body. And it could be so much more comforting to not have to deal with irritable bowel syndrome for heaven’s sake!
Unfortunately fibromyalgia is what it is.
If some exercise and medication could make it dissipate into thin air, I and so many others would be cured.
But unfortunately I have lived with these symptoms for much of my life, and research has shown that this will be a lifelong condition for most sufferers.
That is not to say we won’t try new recommendations by doctors and hope for a cure someday.
It is a battle living a normal life with fibromyalgia. And the battle is made no easier by those telling me my condition is imaginary. Most sufferers have already had to endure years of trials in finding doctors who could correctly diagnose us, and take us seriously with compassion.
I don’t know why some doctors continue to trivialise fm and dismiss us in the face of growing corroborative research.
In any event, the confusion or whatever is in their heads, not mine (or yours).
Gentle Hugs 🙂