I read a great description of
FMS in the flyer "Beyond Fibromaylgia" by Brooks Spinal Care--
"One of the underlying causes of
fibromyalgia is a change in brain chemistry from distress in
the central nervous system. People who suffer from fibromyalgia experience
exaggerated pain in at least eleven of eighteen trigger points and a wide range
of associated symptoms ranging from migraine headaches and tempro-mandibular
joint pain to irritable bowel and PMS. It feels like sufferers have the
flu all the time with a low-grade fever and sometimes cold hands and feet.
Also included are sleep disturbances, fibro fog (a loss of mental clarity),
chronic fatigue and episodes where over-activity will bring on a
complete collapse that takes from days to weeks to recover. The
disease is complicated by the irritability, the depression, the anger, sadness
and the feelings of being helpless and hopeless, and finally a resigned detached
sense of giving up."
There are tremendous personal and financial
losses associated with having FMS/CFIDS. Many patients
are not able to work full-time, if at all. FMS/CFIDS sufferers endure the
misunderstanding and even ridicule of family,
friends, employers and co-workers, since they don't look
sick and there is no definitive blood test for this illness.
Those of us with FMS/CFIDS have also had a
"CASHECTOMY"--the removal of
money from our wallets by doctors, pharmacies, treatments, therapies and
supplements that didn't help. Many have had a "JOBECTOMY" too--the loss of our employment because we
couldn't work. Strangely, most of us with FMS/CFIDS were once the "movers
and shakers" in our communities and in our careers. We tend to be Type A
personalities, articulate, intelligent and responsible. I have wondered if
there is a "designer virus" targeting this type of individual--or that
mycoplasma infection may be involved. See http://www.fms-help.com/mycoplasma.htm
for more details.
On May 1, 2005 thousands of FMS/CFIDS sufferers participated in the Million Letter
Campaign http://www.fms-help.com/letter.htm. It was our
best hope for AWARENESS of this illness in our society. Response to the campaign was minimal, despite cartfuls of letters that were sent to media and government. Although FMS/CFIDS has been at epidemic proportions around the world for
years, we are no closer to understanding this illness with many doctors even
denying it exists!