According to commercials for drugs to help treat the symptoms for Fibromyalgia it is a widespread pain that doesn’t go away.  According to the Mayo Clinic, “Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues.”  According to the blog of a lady who has it that is still and oversimplification.  The list of symptoms she gives is kind of ridiculous.  She lists, muscle pain basically everywhere, random back and shoulder spasms and she describes it “as if someone is reaching in and ripping my spine out through my skin”, waking up and it’s as if “she has no knee joints”, having allergies in all seasons, feeling like having a heart attack which is really non-specific chest wall pain, memory issues, mood swings, insomnia, chronic fatigue, numbness, headaches, anxiety and panic attacks, and vision problems.  Those were just some of the things she mentioned.

From the biomedical side of things it is hard to treat because there is no real set of symptoms and it varies widely from patient to patient.  The treatment is just managing the symptoms they do have with a pharmacy worth of drugs and a heating pad.  Patients have to just tolerate the symptoms and try to go about their lives.  It is not something others can really see or understand easily, and the women said, “when people don’t understand how I can be so sick, but look so “normal” it makes me sad… frustrates me.”  I guess it can be frustrating for people when others make light of their suffering.

I think belief has a strong affect on healing.  When I was younger my mom told me that your mind can make your body sick because if I started to think I was getting sick I would keep focusing on it, and it would just keep getting worse.  Then the second I got distracted from thinking about it I’d start feeling better.  So I’d figure if you can make yourself feel worse then you could probably make yourself feel better.  A lot of times just the thought that something is being done can be enough to help.  At least that seems to be the deal with placebo pills or the fake surgery in the “Placebo: Cracking the Code” film.

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