I chose the illness fibromyalgia because I have never learned about this condition before in detail and the blog “Fibromyalgia + The Type “A” personality” caught my interest right away. I also work in a Physical Therapy clinic, and plan on going to school for Occupational Therapy, and we have had a couple of patients with the condition. I wanted to learn more about it from a first person perspective. Based on the blog, the syndrome has many symptoms that vary from person to person. The girl who wrote the blog expressed her experience and what she deals with on a day –to- day basis. Some symptoms include pain in every area of the body, muscle spasms, diarrhea, nausea; irritable bowel like symptoms, flu-like symptoms, insomnia, and anything that is controlled by the central nervous symptoms. Culture can influence the experience and also how the illness is perceived. In the narrative, she mentioned others will ask questions like “But you look so healthy, how can you feel so bad?” Society and culture can affect the patient’s personal feelings toward their illness by how others perceive them and also the treatment methods used in the culture. In the blog, the fibromyalgia patient has to take several types of medications to control some of the symptoms. To treat the syndrome, the majority of the medications that can be prescribed are used in biomedicine. Other cultures might view and treat this condition differently. Both culture and biomedicine can impact the management and treatment of the condition by how is it viewed and what treatments are available.
The placebo effect has always been a topic of interest of mine and after watching “Placebo: Cracking the Code,” I am more convinced that it can be an effective way to treat some conditions. It proves that there is a connection between belief and healing. Just like the documentary showed, people experiencing extreme knee pain and wished for surgery, felt cured and no pain after receiving a placebo surgery where nothing was done to their knee besides cutting the skin. Also, the placebo effect proved to cure depression in the patients involved in one research study. I am starting to question many illnesses that exist in the medical world and wonder if some are mostly related to the mind and what someone truly believes is happening in their bodies. From my own experiences, I can say that I have felt sick, pain, and have maybe thought I was developing a condition but was proved wrong, It shows me that the mind is very powerful and our beliefs might be more powerful than medicine or technology that is meant to cure.