Seven Big Reasons Millions with Chronic Pain Should Be Believed Too
Hockey fans in Canada and beyond continue to await news of Sidney Crosby’s return to the NHL. Will it be the next game? Next week? Next month? Sid the Kid hasn’t played a game in the NHL since early January, more than 10 months ago, after he suffered the second of two head injuries, in games 5 nights apart. Diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome because he complained of fatigue, fogginess and sensitivity to light and sound (according to Hockey News http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/41685-A-timeline-of-Sidney-Crosbys-concussion-and-recovery.html), he has been held back from playing by his doctors. But can he prove he feels fatigued or foggy or is sensitive to light and sound? Of course not. But no one doubts him.
An estimated 5 million Canadians suffer from significant chronic pain, and roughly half of them have pain that is not easily explained or even believed by doctors, like back or whiplash injuries, chronic headaches, and the whole-body pain and other symptoms of fibromyalgia. One in four Canadian doctors believes that all these patients are faking. Others claim they are just trying to de-fraud their insurers for ‘free money’, and that pharmaceutical companies marketing drugs specifically to treat conditions like fibromyalgia are fanning the flames of a non-disease just to sell drugs (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/14/health/14pain.html?pagewanted=all.) Denied disability payments or compensation for injuries, by now some of these sufferers must be asking: “Do you have to be famous to have your symptoms believed?”
Seven Reasons to Believe Chronic Pain is Real
· Many other, now well-accepted diseases once were disbelieved too. Did you know that, as recently as 1950, multiple sclerosis was called progressive psychogenic paralysis?
· So-called compensation-driven diseases like fibromyalgia are actually more common in countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh than anywhere in the West.
· Several famous personalities have had life-long wide-spread pain, as far back as the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne in the 800s, and Sir Alfred Nobel and Florence Nightingale in the 1800s, long before any compensation or insurance systems existed. More recent celebrities who have come forward as having debilitating chronic pain include Dancing With the Stars’ Jennifer Grey, who has become a spokesperson for Partners Against Pain, and Frances Winfield Bremer, wife of Paul Bremer III, chief US administrator in Iraq, who is a spokesperson for the National Fibromyalgia Association.
· As opposed to post-concussion syndrome, where there are virtually no objective physical findings, many patients with fibromyalgia do have them.
· A huge number of lab abnormalities have been identified in those with chronic pain, in research centres around the world.
· We now actually have the technology to SEE pain in the brain.
· A genetic defect for fibromyalgia has been identified.
Kevin White, MD, PhD, is an internationally-recognized expert in chronic pain, and a multiple award-winning author of several books, most recently the Reader’s Favorite award-winning book BREAKING THRU THE FIBRO FOG: SCIENTIFIC PROOF FIBROMYALGIA IS REAL. He has written 15 books overall, and over 400 songs. He even has published a comic strip. An award-winning novel he has written, called INSIDE A HOLLOW TREE, deals with the huge issue of bullying in schools. Proceeds from all his books are donated to a variety of charities.
See his website at www.thefibrofog.com.