March 24, 2012 Leave a comment
Today is like any other rainy Saturday. I’m just sitting hear playing around on the net while trying to distract myself as my fibro pain remains at bay. However, I know that any second now the pain is going to hit above a level 7. Oh boy, what fun! So what do I do but torture myself by reading articles on FMS. Yeah I know- I’m smart.
However, I found an article that caused me to wonder. Turns out that the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) and Forest Laboratories Inc. just published some interesting results from their recent surveys- “Two Takes on Fibro: Public Perceptions and Private Realities” – designed to gather views about the condition from the general public and fibromyalgia patients themselves. 1,022 adults from the general public and 1,215 fibromyalgia patients were questioned as part of the studies. (via)
The results fascinate me because I don’t think that I’ve ever asked many of my friends about their perception of FMS or how I deal with it. According to the surveys, this is not uncommon. In fact, may of us feel that others see us as weak- hence why we hide our illness from some. The results show that the general public see people with FMS as courageous- a surprising 41% of them. And, only 17% of FMS patients feel that this is the case.
With me, it depends on who I’m calling the “general public”. People who know me personally who see my ups and downs- sure, I believe that they see me as courageous. However, those people who do not understand or worse yet, don’t even believe the existence of FMS- I think they only see my life struggles as failure. Makes me wonder just how do my friends see my illness. How does my family? My co-workers?
The surveys also showed the impact that FMS has on our lives.
Career and Work
• 60% of fibromyalgia patients said they take more personal days or sick days.
• 70% said they have trouble completing work-related tasks.
• 56% reported that their personal income has declined due to their symptoms.
• 61% disclosed that their work life was more difficult due to fibromyalgia.
Intimacy and Romance
• 64% of fibromyalgia patients reported intimacy difficulties.
• More men (56%) than women (48%) found it difficult to be physically intimate with a partner.
• 15% of women and 25% of men reported not being able to sleep in the same bed as their partner during a fibromyalgia flare up.
• 71% of fibromyalgia patients disclosed having difficulty cleaning, vacuuming or doing yard work.
• 58% reported difficulty taking out the garbage or carrying groceries.
I wonder if I took this survey, how I would answer. My life has so significantly changed since my FMS onset, that I really don’t see difficulty with work or daily tasks. Some activities I just don’t do anymore. Like yard work- why bother when I can be out having fun on good days.
So I ask you friends, family and strangers-
How do you see people who have fibromyalgia?