On October 1st, 2015, fibromyalgia was finally entered into the ICD-10-CM, which is the International Classification of Diseases Classification Manual. The ICD-10-CM used by physicians around the world. Fibromyalgia was given its own diagnostic code, M79.9. So in actuality, fibromyalgia became a legitimately recognized disease in October of 2015. Fibromyalgia is still in its infancy. Yet fibromyalgia Awareness has a National Awareness Day, May 12th, and a colored ribbon, purple that it shares with other chronic conditions like;
ADD, ADHD, Alzheimer’s Disease, Crohn’s, Cystic Fibrosis, Domestic Violence Awareness, Elder Abuse Awareness, Lupus, Pancreatic Cancer, Epilepsy, Chronic and Acute Pain, Rett Syndrome, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Thyroid Cancer, and more.
Fibromyalgia seems to be … trending as of late. It seems someone knows someone who has it. There are T.V. commercials for fibromyalgia pain medications. There are advertisements for supplements and essential oils promising to reduce symptoms. Many new therapy programs are forming and claim to not only treat fibromyalgia but cure it. People are beginning to come forward, stating they have fibromyalgia. What are the pros and cons of this? The pros – awareness, and the cons – incorrect information.
Fibromyalgia is real and has been around for many years. It is believed that Florence Nightingale herself had fibromyalgia! Although controversial at first, she was bedridden with fibromyalgia in 1986. The catalyst was said to be an infection she had years earlier. Morgan Freeman has admitted publicly to having fibromyalgia as has Sinead O’Connor, and recently, Lady Gaga. The point is that even people with well-known public profiles have stepped forward and spoke up that fibromyalgia is something they have been diagnosed with. Fibromyalgia awareness is happening before our very eyes. It is about time this invisible illness is brought out of the darkness and into the light.
With the awareness comes uninformed ideas about what to do with this debilitating syndrome. False information can be fed to very vulnerable, chronically ill individuals. You may believe the claims and spend a lot of money thinking that their treatment will be the one that provides you with a “cure.” Fibromyalgia is chronic, there is no current cure. Any program or person claiming otherwise does not really know what fibromyalgia is. Remember, it is chronic, and there is absolutely no cure … yet.
I encourage you to become your own encyclopedia. Fibromyalgia does not affect people in the same way. Our chemical makeups are different. We may have different catalysts that caused our fibromyalgia; physical trauma, stress, illness, genetics, all leading to various symptoms presenting at different times. There is more than one way to treat fibromyalgia; the trick is to find your way. You have to seek out what works for you. This will take time and energy, but you can do this!
Remember, May is Fibromyalgia Awareness Month, and May 12th is the nationally recognized day of Fibromyalgia Awareness. The more we learn, the more power we will have over this condition.
Live your best life!