"Autoimmune disorders", Autoimmune Diseases, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Disability, Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Health, Healthcare, Lung Cancer, Sjogren's Syndrome, Women's health

New criteria proposed for diagnosing fibromyalgia

New criteria proposed for diagnosing fibromyalgia.

Years…and I mean years ago I was first diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I think the year was 1990 when the “official” diagnosis was made, but I had been suffering with the symptoms since the early 1980s.

My beloved family physician who has since passed away was very well read and stayed current on many medical trends. He saved my lived twice by discovering lung cancer in a patient with little or no risk factors to give her even a modicum of a chance of even thinking “lung cancer” will afflict my body…but it did anyway and Dr. James S. Davies was smart enough to catch it and save my life…

Anyway, during the 1980s when these “non-specific” symptoms began to rear their ugly head, Dr. Davies said there was a lot of talk about a new kind of illness or syndrome that doctors were having a hard time “pegging” but that a lot of people were showing up with…he said it was kind of like having mono all the time and never getting rid of it…that was the best way to describe it back then…

By 1990 there was a young doctor who was in practice with Dr. Davies for a while and he was pretty sharp, too. He diagnosed my Raynaud’s Syndrome and between him and Dr. Davies they were able to put their finger on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Here is where we begin to see that as far back as 1990 our health care system was “sick” itself. At the time I was insured under the ex’s plan at work which was Blue Cross/Blue Shield. They refused to pay for any of the blood work, tests and visits that were done at the the time because of the diagnosis…”chronic fatigue syndrome”.

Not only was I livid, I was curious…this bill was several hundred dollars…a substantial amount even for those days. I was told by BC/BS they would not pay for anything related to chronic fatigue syndrome because it was a mental disorder and not covered.

Being the bright gal that I am I explained to BC/BS that no indeed, there was enough research done on the subject that suggested several causes for CFS not the least of which could be a retrovirus and that I was certainly not insane, crazy or mentally ill, but I certainly would be after dealing with them…

They were not amused…

The only way BC/BS would pay was if the diagnosis was changed…so the doctors simply took the word “syndrome” off the diagnosis and viola the bill got paid! They would pay for chronic fatigue…period…

Later, fibromyalgia became the talked about subject and I can tell you it clusters in my family making me wonder if there is some kind of genetic link…my momma had FMS and so does her sister, my maternal aunt…

A few years later after being referred to the rheumatologist who diagnosed my Sjogren’s syndrome (1993), he confirmed fibromyalgia…

The debate is this…are CFS and FMS one and the same or two separate issues?

All I know is this…either/or make you very sick, debilitate you, alter your life and change the quality of your life…forever…there is no getting better. It is about more than just the pain…which is indescribable…it is the muscle weakness…the disabling fatigue…the stomach problems…yes, the dizziness…the whole enchilada as they say. The above link to the article and the information therein is, in my opinion, a long time coming when it comes to calling out everything that goes with FMS.

All I can say is…it’s about time!

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