It is not easy to live with a disease that produces chronic pain, fatigue, stiffness and daily inflammation. Mar García knows it well: he suffers from fibromyalgia since he was 14, a pathology that today, May 12, celebrates his World Day.
In an interview, Mar has told his personal experience: “The day to day is uphill since you wake up, if you do, because there are many sleep disorders and nights when you do not sleep at all”
The Spanish Society of Rheumatology (SER) defines fibromyalgia as a syndrome characterized by a generalized musculoskeletal pain and painful sensation to pressure at specific points.
It is an anomaly in the perception of pain, so that they are perceived as painful stimuli that usually are not.
In addition, fibromyalgia can cause widespread stiffness, especially when getting up in the morning, feeling ill-defined inflammation in the hands and feet, and undefined tingling that especially affect the hands.
The disease has no definitive cure and the goal of treatment is to improve pain and treat accompanying symptoms.
According to this scientific society, fibromyalgia is a common disease: it suffers between 2% and 6% of the general population, and especially affects women .
The case of Mar, affected by fibromyalgia
Mar García Muñoz is a member of the Fuenlabrada Fibromyalgia Association and has suffered from this pathology since he was 14 years old, although his diagnosis was very late and he has been recognized for five or six years.
Before coming up with the definitive diagnosis, it is common that those affected, before the symptoms, make a long journey through different medical specialties, since the cause of this alteration is not known, although there could be many factors involved.
“The day to day of a patient with fibromyalgia is uphill since you wake up, if you do it because there are many sleep disorders and there are nights that you do not sleep at all. In addition, you wake up a lot for the pain and from the morning you get up with rigidity and you have to take your time to get up, “says Mar during the interview on the radio program” El Bisturí “.
For her, daily life supposes “a continuous struggle “: “There are people who can not even work. I have a job with flexible hours and that allows me to be able to go at a certain time because there are times I can arrive at nine in the morning and other times I can not until 11 “.
In his case, the work consumes all his strength: “When I come back from work I have no desire to continue surpassing me. The normal thing is that I rest in the afternoon and I will be lucky if I can not think about the pain. You have to pull a lot of imagination and overcome your day to day even if you are sitting in a chair, “says this patient.
It also highlights that those affected by fibromyalgia should make alternative therapies for their well-being that “are very expensive”.
Empowerment of patients
In his opinion, there is still a lot of ignorance about this disease, especially in the patients themselves, precisely because of the delay in diagnosis.
Social networks disseminate information daily about symptoms or related illnesses, but Mar warns: “You have to be careful because the information is terrible”.
Two years ago, several people affected with fibromyalgia demanded greater socio-labor, economic and health protection, and for this they delivered 500 thousand signatures to the Central Electoral Board to get a law that addresses these chronic patients debated in the Congress of Deputies . “At that time there was a boom in all of Spain that made the disease known,” she says.
Mar believes that it is very necessary that patients are empowered because “it is a complicated disease, we do not know where it comes from or what the cause is and all those theories must be filtered because the information that reaches the general public is very confusing”.
“You have to be very strong. You must have gone through a very fat depression to know how is my case, to assess what you have. You can not always be thinking about pain, you can not lock yourself at home. The support of family and friends is very important and that fails in most of the time “, concludes Mar García.
People with arthritis often also have severe muscle pain because of fibromyalgia.