Pain, disturbed sleep, sensitivity to sound, light or cold; the list goes on. These and more frequent symptoms could describe a chronic widespread pain disorder known as Fibromyalgia. (FM)
Researchers have not yet discovered the exact cause or causes of FM, however many factors have been deemed potentially responsible. In some cases, the onset of FM has been attributed to accidents/injuries, viral illness, surgery, infections, trauma and/or emotional and physical stressors.
To be diagnosed with FM, physicians would most likely run tests to rule out other conditions that have similar symptoms, including various types of arthritis and Chronic Fatique Syndrome.
There are no tests that can provide a specific diagnosis of FM, however, if your doctor thinks you have Fibromyalgia, he/she will most likely perform a physical examination.
FM would be diagnosed if it was found that you had a number of the characteristic features including the existence of 11 of the possible 18 points of deep muscle tenderness.
There is no cure for FM. Along with prescribed medical treatments, there are management techniques available to assist you in maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.
A support group for those who suffer from FM is beginning in Princeton this coming Friday. At 2 p.m., on Sept. 23 at the Riverside Centre, The Fibromyalgia Well Spring Foundation (FWSF), will open the first meeting for the community.
Local Jennifer Bernard suffers from Fibromyalgia. Bernard found out about the FWSF from friend and former resident, Jason Stratman. Stratman himself suffers from FM, as did his mother, Wendy. Wendy Stratman was a well known and well liked member of the community who passed away in 2006.
Jason introduced Bernard to the Well Spring Foundation Facebook page and website.
“I was thrilled with the information available on the site and through the Facebook page,” stated Bernard, “the links are just phenomenal.”
Bernard took it upon herself to extend an invitation to Cheryl Young, Founder and Executive Director of FWSF and her husband Nigel Thom, to visit the community.
“The Fall Fair was the perfect opportunity for them,” added Bernard, “so I invited them to attend it.”
For two days Young and Thom, met with residents, answered questions, handed out information packages and collected email addresses. On Sunday, September 4, the day was held to honour the memory of Wendy Stratman and was appreciated by those who knew her.
Young has been living with FM disorder since 1992. She and her husband Nigel have devoted their lives to creating public awareness, to educate and give FM sufferers hope and eventually, to build a village for those with FM who require subsidized housing.
Young, Thom and Bernard have become fast friends and with the interest generated during the fair weekend, have bonded together in an effort to help locals.
Bernard will be the local contact for the support group and can be reached at 250-295-7438. For more information visit the Facebook page or the website, www.fibromyalgiawellspringfoundation.org