I still have t-shirts in a drawer somewhere from the 1980s: “Everything You Know is Wrong,” “They are LYING to You,” and “Question Authority.”
These came to mind when I see that everyone who fancies him or herself an “authority” on the deep-sea Gulf oil gusher–spokespeople from university medical schools, government agencies, and the oil industry itself–mainly trying to “reassure” us.
One of the best ways to envision fibro is as a generalized anxiety disorder of the muscles, initially triggered by a stressful event and then perpetuated by the pain of the muscles themselves.
Patients and physicians unfamiliar with fibromyalgia are rightfully a bit shocked when they learn the average fibro patient uses five prescription drugs to make it through her day. Not one of these is “for fibro,” in the sense of a cure, the way penicillin cures a strep throat. The medications don’t even actually treat fibro, the way insulin treats diabetes. At their best, the drugs (sometimes) reduce symptoms.
Let me start with a fact that many doctors acknowledge but prefer not to discuss: Numerous well-conducted studies have shown that all chronic pain patients, but especially women, are seriously undertreated by physicians.