It’s Not In My Head!

Ms. Meniscus:

I’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, finally. I’ve been whining about my pain for a year now and two doctors told me to go see a psychiatrist. Now that I’m on my medication – Lyrica – I’m feeling better, but when I tell people I have fibro, they look at me, literally, like I’m crazy. This is a real disease and I’m tired of having to defend it. What can I say to these people when they insinuate that it’s all in my head?

Fibro-sufferer

Dear Fibro-sufferer,

Pain is invisible.  People tend to sympathize with diseases that they can see.  Education is the only way for people to become aware of diseases like fibromyalgia that mask themselves. This is why people who have cancer sometimes do not find out until it is too late. While the cancer is eating their body up from the inside, their gradual decline is sometimes not even noticed by them. 

You should educate yourself about fibro first, so that you the next time someone dismisses your condition, you can know the facts about your condition. Auto-immune diseases are absolutely real and can be debilitating or even deadly. Why else would we need to go into the doctor’s office periodically for sometimes very personal tests most of us would like to forget forever?

The next time someone insinuates that you are crazy because the disease is in your head, insinuate that they are crazy because they think that every condition has to manifest itself visibly and insist that they go to the doctor for a physical.

–M

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