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The “F” Word — With Many More than Four Letters

I hurt everywhere. For weeks, every time some body part bumped against something, it hurt way more than usual. The smallest thump and I yell, “OW!”

I recognize this kind of whole-body soft-tissue inflammation as a condition that I have denied having ever since I was first diagnosed with it in 1991.

The scene: I’m on a osteopath’s table, having just had an adjustment. I was there because the pain from a car accident several months earlier had not abated.

“You have fibromyalgia,” the doctor announced.

Immediately I declared, “No I don’t! I don’t have anything with a name that sounds like that!”

At the time I didn’t know what the word meant. When I learned, I had to admit that the symptoms fit.

But I hate diagnoses that mean nothing. Okay, not nothing. What I mean is that that word (and many other diagnoses) are “negative diagnoses,” meaning medical professionals have grouped together symptoms that are often correlated with each other and given the amalgamation a name. So voila! they have a medical moniker for what they previously could not name and still can not explain. Or treat.

Except I have a treatment: When I do not eat sugar, dairy, gluten, alcohol, caffeine or any of the many other ingestibles that my body can’t handle, then I do not suffer the symptoms of fibromyalgia (except fatigue, which has a life of its own in my corporeal experience/body consciousness).

When I do eat any single item on the list of ingestibles that my body can not property digest, I have fibromyalgia.

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