Today is May 12th, which is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. It's also the birthday of the woman who is probably the most famous fibromite of all - Florence Nightingale. As you would expect, I have some thoughts on this.
First, I am thankful for my circumstances. I have a job that I am able to do, and to work full-time, even when I'm flaring. I don't enjoy it so much during a flare, but I can be there. That's a great blessing.
Second, I'm thankful for the people in my life. Folks can be very hard on fibromites. (If that is difficult to imagine, look at any fibro board on Pinterest and you'll find a lot that deals with what we suffer from those around us.) It seems that I don't have any of those people. My doctor, priest, co-workers, and family believe me and are supportive. They understand as well as anyone who doesn't have it can.
Most of all, I'm grateful for you. The fact is that 75% of women who were married when their fibro was diagnosed had their husbands divorce them within two years. I believe that statistic appalled you even more than it did me. You understood what the diagnosis meant but you loved me just the same. It never occurred to you to leave me and it never occurred to me that you would.
I don't hope for a cure in my lifetime. I don't even expect anybody to figure out the underlying cause. The funding for research isn't there. We all would like to see money and research invested in us. But what we ask today is awareness. Know that we are here; believe what we say; understand that invisible illnesses are very real. We don't want pity, just respect. Today I'd like to stand up and tell the world, "Here we are. Deal with us."