Fibromyalgia has no celebrity spokespeople; no annual telethons. Quite honestly, many people think of it as a disease that exists only in the minds of those suffering it. Those cynics don’t realize that the United States Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes fibromyalgia in relation to service in the Gulf War, or that the Arthritis Foundation says:
…medical studies have proven that fibromyalgia does indeed exist, and it is estimated to affect about two percent of the U.S. population today.
Part of this problem stems not only from a medical establishment that often turns its back on fibromyalgia, but patients that do. They turn away because so many have turned away from them.
But it is time for fibromyalgia patients to demand respect and acknowledgment. Once fibromyalgia patients start respecting themselves, others worth their while follow suit. This kind of openness allows for more research and interest in the disease, as well as takes the stress off patients who isolate themselves from those they feel look down on them.
Remember, the Arthritis Foundation also says:
With a treatment plan that integrates several modalities that include exercise, rest, stress relief, coping skills and medications, people with fibromyalgia can live happy, productive lives.
So live one.
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