From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton
by Helen P. Bonner Lake Wales
This article’s reference to fibromyalgia as a shadowy illness is just one reason why this illness needs to be researched further, earn greater awareness and continue to get as much support as it can get from drug companies, physicians and Congress.
Until one has walked in the shoes of a fibromyalgia sufferer, one cannot truly understand the debilitating pain, fatigue, depression, etc., sufferers must bear day after day, after day. I was diagnoses with this horrible illness in 1997, after having seen over 20 physicians, physical therapists, psychiatrists and mental health counselors. I had to leave a wonderful career and fight for years to win my disability claim.
I had been told by my rheumatologist, who finally made the diagnosis, that the drug companies and the FDA were working diligently to find a reason and help for fibromyalgia sufferers. The Arthritis Foundation (AF) and National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA) have been a wonderful source of aid to sufferers and the successful lobbying of Lynne Matallana, president of the National Fibromyalgia Association, for more research funding for fibromyalgia cannot be overstated. The drug companies, Arthritis Foundation and NFA are trying to make this illness known to the public. For too many years sufferers were considered to be hypochondriacs, lazy, etc.
The drug, Lyrica, is one of the reasons I now lead a less painful and more normal life. I am pleased when I see the advertisements for Lyrica and Cymbalta on TV. People need to know about Fibromyalgia. It is no longer ‘the wastebasket disease’ as once it was called by many. I only pray research continues for fibromyalgia, understanding there are other diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc.
Let us all work together the American way.