July 24, 2019

The Dilemma of a Bucket List Disorder

Having studied Fibromyalgia and worked with patients who suffered from it for years, I was happy in the early stages of discussion thinking that once it finally had its own 18-point designation, it could easily be differentiated from Rheumatoid Arthritis, a disease it was frequently mistaken for.  It was such a relief to believe that the ability to define it, identify it, and understand it would finally be universally possible.

Over the years however, the opposite has happened. The clear, distinct, characteristics of Fibromyalgia have become amazingly blurred by physicians and patients who seem to have very little understanding of what it actually is. For years we knew there were 18 points of designation. In the beginning, when 16 of those 18 points were considered to be acutely painful, there was a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. The qualifications changed along the way to needing only 11 points being considered acute under pressure for the diagnosis.

Sadly, far greater blurring has taken place with this disease over the years, usually due to the confusion of the physicians who in turn confuse the patients. If you were to observe any of the almost half-dozen Facebook Pages established to support those suffering with this, you would understand the misinformation being promoted.

Because constant stress from pain or limitations can effect the immune system, Fibromyalgia    patients with plenty of both, see their physicians repeatedly for a wide array of diseases that are absolutely unrelated and highly varied. However, because they occur while the patient has an initial diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, as a patient asks if one is a part of, or caused by, the Fibro many doctors quickly say yes, whether out of confusion or out of a lack of any other reason to explain its existence.

Consequently, in “speaking” to Fibromyalgia patients you hear one say her IBS, her eye problems, and her skin disorder are all a part of Fibromyalgia. Another will say her depression, eating disorder, and anxiety are all a part of Fibromyalgia.  

In speaking with an Emergency Room physician recently, she told that she and so many of her peers are absolutely confused about what to do when a patient presents in the ER with a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. Her confusion is that each presents with a completely new set of “Fibromyalgia symptoms” and so she has no idea what or how to treat the patient.

This approach of dumping everything into the bucket called “Fibromyalgia”, not only makes treating the disorder itself very difficult for physicians, it causes patients to believe that all the symptoms of all the other conditions are life-long as well and therefore overwhelmed is a common condition. They are all seen as one large mess to be carried and suffered with until death.

What if each condition was classified as an entity unto itself and treated accordingly? What if each condition was shown to be a result of stress and is curable or at least treatable? What if we finally accepted that Fibromyalgia is a curable disease when treated on its own? My research, my work in the field, all show me that there is no reason in the world for this to be permanent.

The particular stressor that causes Fibromyalgia, a Bladder Meridian Disorder, can be quickly identified and dealt with. Life changes can be made. Life style choices can be made, and a temporary treatment plan can be enacted so that a healing takes place. If that miracle occurred wouldn’t it be amazing if all the secondary conditions, one at a time, disappeared as well? They can.     

Let’s start by eliminating the Bucket List of disorders, diseases, and symptoms. There is no room for a Bucket List in health care. A greater education of physicians and other health care providers is a great beginning as to the treatment and cure is called for. Their educating their patients would also create a rapid ripple effect of healing. For those patients attached to the disorder and the “benefits” of being diseased, they will continue to be in pain. For those who are ready to do the work needed to heal, emotionally, spiritually, and physically, it is possible.

So many diseases such as cancer were one time misunderstood and given a dire prognosis and then proven wrong. Let’s do the same for Fibromyalgia. It will be life-changing.

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