First of all, this doctor obviously hasn’t kept up with the latest research, which clearly demonstrates that fibromyalgia is a very real, physical disease. Also, to date the FDA has approved three medications to treat fibromyalgia and they generally don’t approve medications for imaginary illnesses.
4.If you got more sleep, you’d feel better.
One of the major problems with fibromyalgia is that something prevents the body from going into the deepest stage of sleep, when the body naturally restores and replenishes itself. Even if you manage to stay asleep for several hours, you’re most likely not going to awaken feeling refreshed.
5.I read about this new product that cures fibromyalgia.
This can be one of the toughest comments to deal with because it is usually said by well-meaning friends or relatives who genuinely want you to feel better. Read Let the Buyer Beware for tips on how to evaluate product claims.
6.You just need to exercise more.
If more exercise were the answer, I’d be all over it. Yes, exercise is an important component of any fibromyalgia treatment plan, but it’s only one part and it has to be approached slowly and carefully to avoid triggering a flare.
7.But you don’t look sick.
If we let ourselves go and show how we actually feel, people are uncomfortable and don’t want to be around us. On the other hand, if we manage to fix ourselves up and put on a brave face, no one realizes we’re sick.
8.It’s all in your head.
I used to launch into an explanation of how fibromyalgia is a very real physical illness, complete with symptoms, etc. Now I simply say, “You’re right, it is in my head. Researchers have found that there is a problem with how my brain processes pain signals.” Enough said.
9.I think I have that, too – I’m always tired.
The fatigue of fibromyalgia is so much more than just being tired. It is an all-encompassing exhaustion. You are drained of energy – like someone pulled your plug, cutting of your source of power. It’s kind of like taking the batteries out of the Energizer bunny.
10.At least it’s not fatal.
Of course I’m glad it’s not fatal. But that doesn’t help reduce the level of my pain or the depth of my fatigue. Nor does it help to raise research funding or bring attention to the needs of fibromyalgia patients. Understandably, people tend to be more interested in preventing death than in improving the quality of life.