Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a condition of widespread pain and profound fatigue. The symptoms may be worse at some times more than at other times.

Fibromyalgia

Jo, Sam and Tony from the local Fibromyalgia support group share their stories on what is Fibromyalgia, the challenges they face with the condition, work, socially and their coping mechanisms, finishing with some tips for the community on how to make inclusion easier for any with their Hidden Disability.

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What is Fibromyalgia?

The name fibromyalgia is made up from “fibro” for fibrous tissues such as tendons and ligaments; “my” indicating muscles; and “algia” meaning pain.
Fibromyalgia is a condition of widespread pain and profound fatigue. The symptoms may be worse at some times more than at other times.
The fatigue ranges from feeling tired, to the exhaustion of a flu-like illness. It may come and go and people can suddenly feel drained of all energy – as if someone just “pulled the plug”.
If symptoms are severe people may not be able to hold down a paying job and some people can feel quite frustrated, isolated and alone.
While fibromyalgia’s symptoms are not easy to understand or deal with, fibromyalgia is not a life-threatening disease.

Coping Strategies

  • Rest frequently
  • Review your work situation, can you reduce working hours to part-time, change roles or consider bank (temporary) work
  • Find a sense of balance between work, rest and life in order to maintain a good quality of life
  • Attend a local support group
  • Do not be afraid to ask for help
  • Use mobility aids such as a walking stick, a Zimmer frame or a wheelchair if necessary

However, people who suffer with fibromyalgia do not necessarily have all of these symptoms and can have the symptoms in different degrees, at different times.

Top Tips

Top Tips for the community interacting with someone with Fibromyalgia.

  • Listen, let the person explain how the condition effects them as there are many symptoms, each different for each individual
  • Be flexible, as a friend, work colleague or manager. The condition can result in symptoms arising fast. Someone may be appear fine one day and be in chronic pain the next
  • Rest is important, build it into work or social life
  • Be understanding, if symptoms mean a change in plans
  • Read the factsheets and watch the videos to understand more

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