Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome that affects millions of people around the world. However, the condition seems to come along with a lot of stigma. There are still people out there (and even some doctors) who don’t believe it is a real disease. Because of this, your spouse (friend, coworker, etc.) needs your compassion and understanding. He or she may also be on edge about certain statements that seem to betray a lack of empathy.
We are going to take a look at some of the most offensive statements for fibromyalgia sufferers. This will help you to avoid causing hurt feelings that could actually trigger a flare-up. That’s right – emotional stress is one of the triggers of fibromyalgia symptoms, so don’t think of this as stepping lightly around your loved one. You are essentially helping them to manage their symptoms by being kind and thoughtful.
“This Is Just In your Head”
Let’s get right to the heart of things to begin. This phrase, or anything like it, should never come out of your mouth. It is the number one worry of fibromyalgia patients that this is what their loved ones think. This is the opposite of what you want to accomplish. If you genuinely don’t believe that fibromyalgia is a real condition, that is on you. There are plenty of legitimate sites where you can do research and learn more.
On the other hand, if you think your loved one has received a misdiagnosis or is wrongly self-diagnosing, that can be a tougher situation to deal with. Regardless of the reality of the case, you need to be supportive. Even if the diagnosis is wrong, hurting your loved one’s feelings is not going to make it better. There are still real symptoms, even if they turn out to be from a different condition such as chronic fatigue syndrome, a thyroid problem, parasites, Lyme’s disease, RA, or something else with similar symptoms.
“You Seemed Fine Just a Few Hours Ago”
And maybe they felt fine a few hours ago too. Fibromyalgia flare-ups come and go, and they don’t care if you have dinner reservations. Drawing attention to the fact that the symptoms can arise suddenly can, once again, give the impression that you are doubtful as to how bad your loved one is feeling right now. It is like saying that your spouse is just using illness as an excuse to get out of something they didn’t want to do anyway. That’s a pretty crummy thing to insinuate.
As an aside, to someone living with fibromyalgia or another chronic condition: it is essential always to be honest about how you are feeling. If you are not up to doing something, say so. You have to advocate for yourself because your mate may not be able to see how you are feeling just by looking at you. One of the reasons fibromyalgia has such a stigma is that you don’t usually look ill.
“You Don’t Look That Bad”
Again, you want to avoid anything in the range of this statement. It basically implies that if you don’t look sick, then you can’t feel sick. It’s a big part of why fibromyalgia patients fight to make others believe they are ill. You may not get the same look as a person who has the flu, but that doesn’t mean you feel okay.
“I Have Pain All the Time Too”
You can only get away with say things like this if you also have a chronic pain condition. Even then, it’s not a competition about who feels worse. For example, if you have chronic back pain but feel like you can push through to go to work today, you can’t complain if your spouse isn’t able to do the same. There’s no way to compare pain between two people because we each feel our own pain level. You just have to trust your mate – which is a pretty important part of a relationship anyway.
“You Know What You Need to Do…”
You can present ways to help your spouse to mitigate symptoms and get the condition under control. You just have to be careful about the way you do it. There’s a big difference between saying, “Hey, I read this article, and I think you should [eat this, do these exercises, try this supplement, and so on],” and doing some research to present the facts.
Your loved one will feel cared for if you are genuinely researching alternative forms of care. Just be careful not to be pushy about it. No one gets to a fibromyalgia diagnosis without a long medical journey. Sometimes the patient is just tired and wants some time to adjust to living with the disease before trying something new.
When your mate is ready to try something new, you may want to consider researching upper cervical specific chiropractic.
Something Your Mate Will Want You to Say
Once you do the research, you will find that upper cervical specific chiropractic has been able to help some fibromyalgia patients to lessen their symptoms, especially in studies. Because it is a very precise and gentle form of chiropractic, there is no popping or twisting of the neck to concern your spouse. They have enough pain as it is from the disease.
If this is something you think your mate will want to try, start by doing a little more research here. Then you can use the search feature on this site to locate a preferred doctor in your area.