It’s been a very busy past few weeks since I have had the opportunity to write another blog. This one I’m sure will cause a number of responses. One of the reasons why I have such strong emotional feelings for all fibromyalgia patients and wrote my book, is an event that occurred in 2000 here in the Valley. A thirty year old mother and wife went from doctor to doctor and various emergency rooms for help with a painful body condition that the doctors apparently did not, could not or would not offer any proper time to really find the answer to her on-going health problem. The easy way was to believe that either she was into drugs or the usual “it was all in her head.”
After numerous attempts at trying to obtain some form of diagnostic answer and help for her health problem, she decided to not live with her pain or the stigma of being crazy. One morning she made breakfast for the children, lunch for the husband and sent them off to school and work. She then drove out to I-60, got out of her car and stepped in front of a truck, thus ending her and apparently the medical establishments problem. It didn’t end there. A further evaluation of her death found that her symptoms and the lack of objective test findings should have led to a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
In the year 2000 the term fibromyalgia was not new since the American College of Rheumatology published its paper naming and describing the many symptoms of fibromyalgia. Since that time the term “syndrome” has been used to describe the many symptoms that make up this “condition.” Having treated patients for over 20 years, I have believed for years that fibromyalgia is a condition and that the term syndrome does not do this health problem justice. “Syndrome” allows insurance companies the availability to question whether or not a patient should be covered in part or in its entirety. We have seen too often where insurance companies change the coverage on conditions or treatment if it is costing the companies too much money.
Fibromyalgia can historically be traced to biblical times as far back as Gilgamesh and yet it took until October 2013 by the National Institute of Health to accept fibromyalgia at least as a “syndrome.” This health problem is not in the patient’s head but a true health problem. Thank you, but how many people have suffer the same fate as the young lady? I have not found any studies related to fibromyalgia-suicide deaths. What a sad state that many of our health professionals refused to either accept fibromyalgia as a viable health problem or decided not to go the extra mile to find the true diagnosis and instead brush the patient off.
I’d like to know how many of you have had to face this same situation. When patients enter my clinic, they speak of a lack of empathy, understanding and time given by medical professionals. They speak of such high levels of frustration and thoughts of suicide. This should never happen or be allowed in our society for any condition, especially fibromyalgia.