“Doctors are men who prescribe medicine of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less, in human beings of whom they know nothing”,Voltaire
Those of us with chronic conditions are constantly seeking relief from the myriad of symptoms that make our lives very challenging. Pain, fatigue, lack of physical abilities, sleep disturbances, depression, rashes, to name but a few of the minor to serious struggles with which we are faced lead us to desperately wanting relief in the form of medications. Living with any one of the daily distressing symptoms affects our quality of life and it is little wonder that we seek help in the form of chemicals to help us get through the day. Many, in fact, are essential to our conditions without which we could not survive. Others are prescribed from the sheer frustration of physicians who want to help but medical answers to many perplexing conditions are not yet available to them. Such is the case with fibromyalgia. What to do with a patient who has chronic pain but to prescribe a pain medication, that may or may not help? If the patient cannot sleep there is a solution: sleep medication. Depression and anxiety? Medications for altering moods.The list of medications for all sorts of conditions is limitless. Pharmaceutical companies are big booming businesses whose profits know no bounds.Physicians could not possibly remember the vast array of information that the drug reps tell them about their efficacy or that they learn about on line. More to the point ‘new’ diseases and conditions are constantly being ‘discovered’ for which new drugs must be invented. Read : The Medicalization of Everyday Life by Thomas Szasz, a psychiatrist, whose work in mental illness was compulsory reading for me as a medical sociology student in graduate school, many years ago.
” My friend…care for your psyche…know thyself, for once we know ourselves, we may learn how to care for ourselves”, Socrates
Fibromyalgia does not allow for any kind of scientific tests to aid in making the diagnosis of the syndrome. It is not a disease, but a broad spectrum of ‘symptoms’ which appear to be somewhat universal, that is, primarily pain, chronic fatigue, sleeplessness and often depression, but always present as chronic anxiety.
” Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse” , Lily Tomlin
I am weary. Try as much as I can, I cannot find many fibromyalgia researchers who are willing to stop this endless search for a medical cause of fibromyalgia! So many seem keen on trying to force the Cinderella slipper on the wrong foot! WHY IS THIS? It can’t be for research grants to enhance careers, but can it be that there is a naive hope of finding a ‘cure’. But, wait, I don’t mean to imply that all the researchers are cold hearted and don’t want to find a ‘cure’! Of course they do, who wouldn’t? But how about the ’cause’ question? Back and forth we go between cause and cure.
The pharmaceutical companies, for example, could not possibly want a social cause to be found or they might not be able to access the market profitably. But as a vaccine for a disease entity, that cure might make profits rise. Doctors would love findings that suggest there is a vaccine, or a medication to cure that would help them treat their patients more effectively. Nothing would make we sufferers happier than finding a medical cause that could be treated with a drug! So, why isn’t it happening?