Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain LIFE Spring 2015, Issue 11 - Page 27

“Which one non-pain problem caused most distress?” Thus a patient with insomnia could also have problems with balance, but such additive problems are not captured in this chart. GETTING A DIAGNOSIS OF FIBROMYALGIA As many people with fibromyalgia symptoms are only too aware, getting a definitive diagnosis of fibromyalgia can be time-consuming and frustrating. One of the questions we asked in the survey was “how many healthcare providers did you see before getting fibromyalia?” Approximately one-third of the respondents had to see more than 5 healthcare professionals before getting a definite diagnosis of fibromyalgia. NON-PAIN PROBLEMS The survey asked about the symptoms/problems other than pain experienced by people with fibromyalgia. One of the questions in the survey asked: Out of all of your non-pain symptoms, which ones causes you most distress?” Replies are seen in the following chart (the numbers in the lower axis have a number of subjects reporting each problem). By far the commonest non-pain problems were insomnia and problems with memory and concentration (i.e., cognitive dysfunction). Note the question asked was SOME OF THE INDIVIDUAL COMMENTS WERE: • Fearing that being with people will aggravate pain later. • Feel like I am a burden to my children. • Feeling a burden and nonproductive, I can’t meet simple goals. • Sometimes feel suicidal. • Feeling as if I am living a “less than” life; not the life I envisioned. • Feeling exhausted and completely overwhelmed by the smallest tasks. • Feeling guilty that I can’t fix symptoms without medication. • Feeling hopeless because I cannot be who I was or do the things I love. • Feeling like a burden due to loss of productivity. • Feeling that I am not understood and that my physical/energy limitations interfere with living a full life. • Feeling worthless, that my life no longer matters, having to leave my