Fibromyalgia is an illness characterized by widespread chronic pain. People with fibromyalgia experience some level of pain everyday. One of the other most debilitating symptoms is chronic fatigue, which can leave patients unable to get out of bed for days at a time.
Other symptoms can include anxiety, depression, nausea, dizziness, joint pain, difficulty sleeping, numbness, and cognitive impairment (loosely known as fibro fog). Not all patients experience all symptoms at all times. Additionally, the intensity of each symptom can vary on an hourly basis.
The cause of fibromyalgia is currently unknown, and thus treatment usually focuses on managing specific symptoms. Because so little is understood about fibromyalgia, diagnosis can be a serious struggle. Fibromyalgia is an invisible illness; patients don’t look sick, and blood and urine tests come back unremarkable, as do x-rays and a number of other tests. All of these factors can make diagnosis and treatment a difficult process. I am told that there is serious interest and research occurring in the medical community, but there is currently no cure.
Fibromyalgia affects approximately 2-4% of the population, with the large majority of those being female. Statistically, fibromyalgia emerges when people are in their late 30′s or 40′s, but there are exceptions. I am 21 now, and was only 17 when diagnosed.
Fibromyalgia is an illness that affects every aspect of life. It is complex and difficult to fully explain, which is part of the reason I started this site. It can be an isolating illness, because you are experiencing levels of pain and exhaustion that those around you simply cannot conceive. This is another reason for this site – to offer explanations to friends and family of fibromyalgia patients.
It is not possible to quickly and effectively describe all of the difficulties involved in living with fibromyalgia, which is where this blog comes in. I plan to chronicle some of my struggles and triumphs in living with this illness, in the hope that my story will offer help or comfort to someone else.
If you have any questions about fibromyalgia or my site, please feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org)! I’d love to hear from you!