Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Invisible Illness Awareness & Support

For quite a few years now, I have been blessed by Lisa Copen who has started online ministries and help resources for people who have chronic illnesses that are not visible from the outside. Many health issues are visible, such as those who need to use canes or wheelchairs or oxygen or those whose appearance has been affected by their illness in some way. The majority of people with chronic illnesses though, you can't see what they are struggling with. These are classed as "invisible illnesses". You can see the icons for invisible illness sites and invisbile illness week on the right side of my blog, these are from Lisa's sites. She has over 600 webpages/websites, and does a lot of public speaking and awareness through public speaking, writing books, book tours, and now a new concept, BLOG TOURS.

Blog tours are when a person asks bloggers to post an interview on their blog, to increase awareness of a certain issue or product. I am very honored to be included in this endeavor. Her websites have sustained me, helped me grow in my relationship with the Lord, and put me in contact with very spiritual people who have learned wisdom through thier struggles, and can pass that wisdom on to others. Through them, I have learned so much that I would never have figured out alone in a lifetime alone, so I am now able to reach out to others who are quite new to the world of chronic illness, and so the circle continues. The student
soon becomes a teacher.

That is where I spend most of my time, getting counseled and offering counsel from others who are suffering, and we help each other get farther away from worldly things, and closer to eternal concepts. Through sheer necessity, we get closer to the Lord, because of our need to constantly leean on Him. We learn to not only talk to Him, but to listen for the answers. He will answer our prayers. James 1:5 says"

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God,
who gives to all men liberally,
and does not hold back; and it shall be given him

I believe people with physical limitations have no choice but to spend more time "Being still, knowing that He is real." That is one benefit of being slowed down, to be able to learn to listen to the answers (There are actually many blessings and benefits that come from hardships.)

I can't find the scripture I want, but one says we will be shown the mysteries of the universe if we are willing to ask and to learn to listen and recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit and the Savior and the Father.
It is a great feeling to know that even though we are limited physically, we can still be useful, we can still feel needed, by helping others online. We contineu to learn as we help others. Before the days of internet, I can't imagine how people surivived emotionally or physically for very long through serious illnesses that would make them shut-ins. How isolated and lonely they would be! I am so grateful to live in the age of Internet so the Lord can send me wise and loving friends from all over the world, and they are available at my fingertips. Now, to introduce you to a great influence in my life (and hundreds of thousands of others),

Lisa Copen.

Copen joins us today as the founder of http://www.invisibleillnessweek.com/ .

National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week this year is September 14-20, 2009, and there are lots of ways to get involved, including a free 5-day virtual conference. Lisa is on a blog tour to help people know about the event and how it can specifically encourage you.
Sheila: Hi, Lisa. Thanks for connecting with us here today at Life--4 hours at a time blog.
LC: Thanks for having me. I've had a great time getting to visit so many incredible blogs that cover such a variety of health and illness topics.
Even I have been surprised just how many there are, and the quality of them. Both readers and writers of blogs have made such a difference for people who live with illness.
I appreciate all of the bloggers who bring more awaremess amd familiarity, not just to illnesses and conditions, but to who the people are who live with the constant "daily-ness" of chronic pain or health issues.

Sheila: Yes, those who struggle with constant pain and fatigue seem to be a deep-thinking, quality type of spirit. Speaking of awareness, tell us about National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week. That's quite a mouthful!
LC: I know. You'll often hear it described as just Invisible Illness Week too. Our mission is to have a designated time, worldwide, in which
people who live with chronic illness, those who love them, and organizations are encouraged to educate the general public, churches, health care professionals and government officials about the affects of living with a disease that is not visually apparent.
Through programs and resources, we seek to recognize the daily challenges of more than 100 million adults and children who live with invisible illness. Its also a great chance for people with any illness to be involved in a national event to increase the under-standing of their own particular disease. They can use our event to blog about the emotions of living with their illness, for example, how they often may look perfectly fine, but are in deep pain.

Sheila: Tell us about this virtual conference.
LC: The virtual conference is a unique opportunity to attend a conference
without having to get out of your pajamas! The main event of National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week is this 5-day virtual conference--which is all completely free--September 14-18. We have 20 speakers who are experts in chronic illness and their specific area and each will be giving a 40-minute seminar and then taking calls from our listeners live. The seminars are M-F, 4 times a day, and will feature a variety of topics such as going to college, the challenges of marriage, applying for disability financial assistance, cleaning and organizing, finding the right job, faith, preparing for surgery, parenting, and many more. You can listen to them all free live, or later on your computer, even download them from itunes. Or they can be purchased on a CD.

Sheila: Really? So are last years programs available too?
LC: They are. We used a chat room originally so we had written transcripts, but one can ALSO hear 2008's programs from a computer, itunes, or purchased on a CD.
Sheila: I know a lot of us would love to attend a 5-day conference on how to better cope with chronic illness, but because of our illness, traveling, finances, sitting for so long, and other factors, it just isn't possible, so this is perfect.
LC: Isn't it? It's kind of ironic that we began virtual conferences years ago, but now many organizations and companies are making this a trend because of the economy and costs of a real conference

Sheila: Why did you see Invisible Illness Week as something that was needed? What made you decide to start this program?
LC: Well, a few reasons. I began
Rest Ministries in 1997. It's a Christian organization
that serves those who live with chronic illness and the sponsor of Invisible Illness Week. I kept seeing many people who felt very alone, misunderstood, and frustrated, feeling that their illness, pain, and suffering were completely invalidated. Many people have a spouse who even doubts the existence of an illness.

Then I also heard from family members of those who are ill, pastors, caregivers, and even doctors who really wanted to communicate better with those who dealt with chronic pain and just didn't know what to say or how to say it. They may have tried to say the right thing, but it ended up coming out from so they would just withdraw from the relationship. The fact that illness and pain is invisible to see can make it hard for healthy people to understand. And those with illness can easily become bitter when their loved ones believe it is being exaggerated. It makes for a sad situation all the way around and I thought communication could be a helpful first step.

This sounds familiar. I've heard many people say this.
LC: Yes, sadly it does, doesn't it? Even those of us who say we cope well on a day-to-day basis with our chronic illness can suddenly be overwhelmed with the emotions when we legally parked in a disabled parking spot and someone walking by gives us "the look" of skepticism. Or perhaps one of our dearest friends unknowingly asks, "So, you must be feeling a lot better by now, right?" There is a difference between being sick with a cold virus and being chronically ill. With a chronic illness you don't get "all better", but instead you go through the seasons of the illness. This difference is hard to grasp what you've never tell with a chronic condition.

Sheila: So you decided to start Invisible Illness Week and address some of these issues?
LC: Yes, I wanted to bring people together to encourage one another. I saw people hurting when they had every reason not to and I knew they could encourage others. It really doesn't matter what illness we have, where we live, what age we are, how long ago we were diagnosed, etc. The fact that most of our illnesses are invisible and not seen by people gives us a lot more in common that most of the physical symptoms of our specific illnesses ever could.

Sheila: What illness do you have, Lisa?
I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 1993, at the age of 24. A few years after that, fibromyalgia. I've never been in remission, so I have had a difficult time of it, though I know it could have been worse. Each day is a challenge and I am on multiple medications to just try to have some quality of life and keep walking. My hands and feet are pretty deformed now and I have many surgeries in my near future. My illness has gone from being completely invisible to much more visible and it's not just the pain that bothers me now but the loss of being able to do things, or do them with ease. Driving or unloading the dishwasher is an event because of my hands. Suddenly stepping off a curb is a challenge.

How can people get involved with Invisible Illness Week and find out more information?
LC: Thank you for asking because just by helping us spread the word, for example,
sharing about this blog post or by linking to it or posting it on Facebook, is the perfect ways to help our grassroots cause. I probably don't have to tell you that we don't have a marketing budget! When people introduce their friends or family to our virtual conference or tweet out our twitters or articles, they are making a significant difference. We also have some fun items to help spread the word like buttons, and tote bags, silicon bracelets that say "Invisible Illness, Visible Hope," awareness pins, and of course bumper stickers.

Our theme this year it is "A Little Help Gives a Lot of Hope." We are also accepting blogs from people to be featured on our site as a guest blogger. And we have a place to sign up to commit to blog on the topic of invisible illness on one's own blog. You can join our cause on Facebook and share it with others, tell people about our video, our twitter facts about illness, things like that. Tell your doctor, counselor, pastor, colleagues; we have brochures available too.

Some people use this week as an opportunity to call their local paper and share about the week, their support group and their illness, and get featured in a story. Since it's listed in Chase's Annual Events, journalists can tie it together.

Sheila: How has blogging and twittering and other forms of social media made a difference? Has it helped in how you've been able to let people know about Invisible Illness Week?
LC: Yes! So much, it's unbelievable. It's given every person who is interested in letting people know about what is important to them (like increased awareness about an illness) a forum. We've sent out some series of tweets in the forms of lists, like 20 things to say to a chronically ill person, illness facts, 20 things not to say, etc. with the twitter hashtag #iiwk09. There have been some really deep conversations at places like Facebook, spurred on from our posts. Be sure to follow us @invisibleillwk on Twitter!
We have over 1600 people who have joined our cause on Facebook. And we are giving away prizes to people involved in these different areas of outreach.

Sheila: I know there are a lot of people who feel so utterly alone, as if no one understands what they are going through. What do you tell these people?
LC: Honestly, if I could just sit beside them and give them a long gentle hug, I would do that first. I struggle with just listening myself; I always want to start solving the problem! But I know someone to listen to them is what most people really need. Secondly, I would also validate that they are right--no one can really can understand what they are going through. Illness is a unique and lonely experience. That said, there are a lot of ways to connect with people who understand more than they may expect; they just have to find them. There are lots of ways online to connect when you can't drive to a support group. Our social network is Rest Ministries Sunroom and I recently began Illness Twitters to connect people who Twitter about illness or health issues.

And lastly, since my faith is in the Lord, I couldn't let them walk away without sharing how knowing God has a plan for my life, despite my illness, has kept me going. I would want to tell them that despite any bad experiences they may have had at churches or with other Christians, God still has a "Plan A" for their life. The illness hasn't bumped them down to
"Plan B." That all may sounds cliche. I know that. But every day I hear people who say their faith in God is the only thing that gets them through it.

Sheila: You have a book out that gives people ideas about how to help a chronically ill friend, don't you?
LC: Yes, its called "Beyond Casseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend." It's a helpful book that I refer to for ideas, even though I wrote it, because when someone I care about is hurting it is hard to think beyond bringing them food. We also have cute little JOY cards that stand for "Just Offering You..." that look like a gift certificate. A person can fill it out with what he or she is able to do like running an errand or doing laundry.

Sheila: That's a terrific idea! I would imagine that it would be easier to accept help from someone if it looked like a gift certificate.
LC: I think so. The cards are great for a support group, a womens ministry, or really anyone who wants a light-hearted way of saying, "I'd love to help. Here is what I am able to do."

Sheila: As a person who suffers from an invisible illness, what is the best way to react when people around me comment that I look fine, (therefore, in their mind I must be faking my illness)?
LC: That is a hot topic isn’t it? We have a few posts on our web page where people have addressed this question too. I think that it depends on your relationship with the person. Is this someone close to you who you feel comfortable being a bit vulnerable? If so, consider sharing, “I know it may sound silly, but for some reason when you say that, even though I know you mean it as a compliment, it FEELS like no one understands the actual pain I am in. Rather than saying that, if you said [fill in the blank] I would feel a sense of relief that you are one of the few people who actually ‘get it.’
If it’s someone who is an acquaintance, it’s not really necessary to explain. Or if you want to, though it’s natural to want to throw out a sarcastic remark, I think the gentler we are in our response, the more likely people will try to understand. Even though you may not be close to the person, she may have a relative who is very ill. Your response may open her eyes to what her loved one is going through. So laugh with your ill friends about what you could say, but offer grace when it comes to the words you actually do say.

Sheila: What is your best tip to keep yourself going when you hit bottom?
LC: My quick response would be “how deep is the bottom?” because there are bad days and then there is BOTTOM. On a bad day it’s good to pamper yourself a bit. If I can I love to go see a movie that will make me sob all by myself and splurge on popcorn. My son and husband recently went to visit his family and because of my health I really couldn’t travel. But the morning they left I went and saw “My Sister’s Keeper.” Very emotional movie, but it was just the “fix” I needed.

It’s also helpful to call a friend. Just go for it and call some people who you know would make you feel better and ask them to stop and get you your favorite snack and come over for an hour. It’s okay to ask for help (I am learning this… I still struggle with it too.)

Since my faith in Christ is my foundation, I also will blast some worship music. I love “Mary, Mary” or CeCe Winans or Mandisa--something with some soul! I also will turn to the Psalms and for some reason, I’m always surprised each time just how God seems to have written certain scriptures just for me at that moment.

Then there are those very dark moments. Those are the “get in the shower and sob” till no tears are left moments. Recognizing the difference and knowing it is time to talk to a pastor, counselor, doctor, etc. are essential. Don’t ever be ashamed or embarrassed when you have to ask for help or counsel.
Sheila: Have you ever had a near death experience?
LC: No, thankfully not. Although they can also be life-altering when you do. One of the best books on this that I’ve read that is very comforting is Don Piper’s “90 Minutes in Heaven.” If someone you love has passed away, the first chapter in this book can be very comforting. And then read the rest of the book to be encouraged. Don was in a car accident and continues to live with severe daily chronic pain but has gone on to have quite an amazing ministry reaching out to people and sharing his experiences.

Sheila: Thank you again so much for joining us today, Lisa. And thank you for starting National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week. I know that you have your own health struggles and that you are also a wife and mother, so I know by experience it can't be easy to do it all.
C: Its not, and yet it keeps me going too. And I have a wonderfully supportive spouse. Thanks for hosting me at your blog today. I hope everyone will visit us at National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week and let your friends know about our free virtual conference! We're going to have a fun time!

One of my favorite scriptures I hope encourages you is
“My comfort in my suffering is this: [God’s] promise preserves my life.” Psalm 119:50

Lisa Copen
Rest Ministries, Director

What is Lisa up to?

Connect with us & our causes as we
prepare for National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week
in September!

· · Twitter: http://twitter.com/lisajcopen

· · Facebook http://www.lisaonfacebook.com/

· · Invisible Illness Week Facebook Cause

· · Other Social Networks:




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Sunday, 26 July 2009

Free Gift of HOPE

One of my favorite spiritual teachers is Joyce Meyers. Her books and CDs are a bit expensive, so I was so happy to see that she is offering a free 4 CD set about HOPE to people because of these difficult times. Its a $60 set if you were to buy it, but now its free!

If you would like to download them to your computer or ipod or MP3 player or whatever, go to this page http://tinyurl.com/ajloxw about half way down, on the left side where it has the picture of the HOPE CD and beside it, it says "Free Download".

Below that in blue are 4 titles. Right click on them one at a time, and then click "save target as" or "save as" and choose where you want them saved. I save them to my desktop them decide a better place to store them later. I put them into a file called "The Promise of Hope", then put it in my file of E-books.

On the right are other articles you can download.

Joyce's TV show goes to 32 countries, as does her service to the poorest of the poor. She has never asked for money on her show, which is so different from other TV evangelists. All her income is from selling her books and CDs and voluntary donations.

If you are in need of prayer, there is a link below the download where you can email your prayer requests. Someday I am going to collect as many prayer sites as possible to post and to send prayer requests, because there is strength in numbers, especially in prayer.

I hope these downloads will help bring you joy and hope.


Monday, 20 July 2009


"The REAL Last Supper"

"My Struggles are About Him"

by Max Lucado

What about your struggles? Is there any chance, any possibility, that you have been selected to struggle for God's glory? Have you "been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake"? (Philippians 1:29) Here is a clue. Do your prayers seem to be unanswered? What you request and what you receive aren't matching up?

Don't think God is not listening? Indeed he is. He may have higher plans. Here is another. Are people strengthened by your struggles? A friend of mine can answer yes. His cancer was consuming more than his body; it was eating away at his faith. Unanswered petitions perplexed him. Well-meaning Christians confused him. "If you have faith," they said, "you will be healed."No healing came. Just more chemo, nausea, and questions. He assumed the fault was his small faith. I suggested another answer. "It's not about you," I told him. "Your hospital room is a showcase for your Maker. Your faith in the face of suffering cranks up the volume of God's song."Oh, that you could have seen the relief on his face. To know that he hadn't failed God and God hadn't failed him--this made all the difference. Seeing his sickness in the scope of God's sovereign plan gave his condition a sense of dignity. He accepted his cancer as an assignment from heaven: a missionary to the cancer ward.A week later I saw him again. "I reflected God," he said, smiling through a thin face, "to the nurse, the doctors, my friends. Who knows who needed to see God, but I did my best to make him seen." Bingo! His cancer paraded the power of Jesus down the Main Street of his world. God will use whatever he wants to display His glory. Heavens and stars. History and nations. People and problems. Rather than begrudge your problem, explore it. Ponder it. And most of all, use it. Use it to the glory of God. Through your problems and mine, may God be seen.

May this bless you as you struggle, as it has helped me.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009


(not written by me) Thanks to Cynthia Martin for finding and posting this in a fibro support group.

Although the term "fibromyalgia" was not coined until 1976, throughout
history people have reported illnesses with strikingly similar symptoms.
These reports can be found as far back as Old Testament Biblical times.

Early Evidence:

Depictions of chronic widespread pain have appeared in literature since the
dawn of literary embellished recorded time. For example, such references to
the protagonist' s symptoms and appearance appeared in the Babylonian epic
of Gilgamesh from 2800 B.C.

In 500 B.C. Hippocrates wrote about "those lighter pains which have no
evident association with podagra and do not cause swelling." He observed
that the pains had imprecise localization and character, tended to be
weather sensitive and were assocaited wtih stiffness, tenderness and

The Bible also includes references to chronic neuro-muscular pain.

Following is Job's vivid description of his physical anguish: "I, too, have
been assigned months of futility, long and weary nights of misery. When I go
to bed, I think, `When will it be morning?' But the night drags on, and I
toss till dawn.And now my heart is broken. Depression haunts my days. My
weary nights are filled with pain as though something were relentlessly
gnawing at my bones." (Job 7:3-4; 30:16-17 - NLT)
or also from Job 30:17 "...my bones are pierced in me in the night season
and my sinews take no rest."
Also the passage, "It is nothing to you, all that pass by? Behold ye and see
if there be any pain like unto my pain, which is done unto me, wherewith the
Lord hath afllicted me in the day of his fierce anger. From above hath he
sent fire into my bones...and I am weary and faint all day." (Jeremiah in
Lamentations 1:12-13)

Alfred Nobel, who invented dynamite and originated the Nobel Prize, may have
endured fibromyalgia. Many letters to his mistress describe multiple muscle
aches and pains, migraine headaches, gastrointestinal disturbances, cold
intolerance and problems when the weather changed.

Another well-known person who reported fibromyalgia- like symptoms was
Florence Nightingale, an English army nurse during the Crimean War
(1854-1856) who was a pioneer in the International Red Cross Movement.
Nightingale became ill while working on the front lines and never really
recovered. She was virtually bedridden much of the rest of her life with
pain and fatigue resembling fibromyalgia until her death in 1910.

Descriptions of musculoskeletal aches and pains can be found in the European
literature dating back to the late 16th century. The French physician
Guillaume de Baillou first introduced the term rheumatism to describe
clinical manifestations of muscular pain and acute rheumatic fever in 1592.
In the 1600's Fibromyalgia- like symptoms were first given a name: muscular
rheumatism. By the 18th century, physicians started to distinguish articular
rheumatism with deforming features from painful but nondeforming soft tissue
musculoskeletal disorders, which generally were called muscular rheumatism.

Changes in weather and their association with symptoms were recorded by
Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night's Dream. "Therefore the moon, the governess of flood. Pale in her anger; washes all the air. That rheumatic diseases do abound. (Act 2, scene 34, I, 105).

Robert Burton's treatise on "The Anatomy of Melancholy" published in 1621,
noted that "the Minde most effectually works on the Body, producing by his
passions and perturbations, miraculous alterations as Melancholy, Despaire,
cruelle disease.." Some people with melancholic depression were noted to
have pain and fatigue as well.

In 1750, Sir Richard Manningham described "febricula" or little fever, among
mostly upper class women who were afflicted with "listlessness, with great
lassitude and weariness all over the body...little flying pains...the patient is a little...forgetful. "

The term "rheumatism" was also used to be a diagnostic of nonarticular
musculoskeletal disorders by F.B. de Sauvages de la Croix in 1763 in the
first modern classification of rheumatic diseases.


Fibromyalgia was once thought to be a mental disorder. This mysterious
illness has been studied since the 1800's and has been identified by a
variety of names, including hysterical paroxysm, muscular rheumatism and
fibrositis. The symptoms were stiffness, aches, pains, tiredness, and
difficulty sleeping.Literature on muscular rheumatism was published by
German, Scandinavian, and British physicians from the beginning of 1800s. In
1816, Dr. William Balfour,a surgeon at the University of Edinburgh, gave the
first full description of fibromyalgia. He described nodules and suggested
that inflammation in muscle connective tissue is the cause for nodules and

In 1821 the British physician R.P. Player observed that patients reported
pain when certain vertebrae were pressed and "in many instances patients are
surprised at the discovery of tenderness in a part, of whose implication of
disease they had not the least suspicion." The tender points that are common
with fibromyalgia were first described by Dr. Balfour in Scotland in the
early 1824.He argued that chronic rheumatism included disorders of the
"cellular membrane which abounds in the human body and connects every part."
In 1827, another British physician, Scudamore, identified rheumatism as
"pain of a peculiar kind, usually attended with inflammatory action,
affecting the white fibrous textures belonging to muscles and joints, such
as tendons, aponeuroses, and ligaments; the synovial membranes of the bursae and tendons; and nerves.." He endorsed the idea of inflammation in fibrous tissue asserted by Balfour. The term "spinal irritation" entered the terminology in 1928 largely due to the efforts of Thomas Brown of Glasgow, who noted that young women had painful tender spots in their spine on pinching. This pain was "in the majority of cases more severe than in those of real vertebral diseases." And in 1832, I. Parrish noted that irritation of the spinal marrow accounts for a "peculiar neurologic affection of females."

In the 1841, F. Valleix set forth in his treatise on neuralgia, "Traite de
Neuralgies", the referred painful trigger point concept (points douloureaux) .
He described painful points in various parts of the body, which caused
referred pain to other regions on palpation. He noted that these painful
points were closely related to the route of different nerves. He proposed
muscular rheumatism as a form of neuralgia.

In 1858, Inman remarked that the radiation of pain was independent of the
course of nerves. He proposed a functional change in muscles and explained
nodules as hypertonus or spasm of the muscle. In 1903, Cornelius opposed
Valleix's idea of referred pain via nerves. He suggested that local points
of tenderness were related to hyperactive nerve endings, which he called
nerve points. He attributed nerve point hyperactivity to external
influences, such as climatic, emotional, or physical exertion. However, he
insisted that the radiation pathway was different from nerve routes. He
explained referred pain on reflex mechanisms.

Robert Froriep, a German physician noted in 1843 a type of rhuemetism in
which he would palpate what he called "muskelschwiele" or muscle callouses
or welts. He described a rheumatic state in which tender areas in the
muscles were accompanied by pain, stiffness and occasionally, fever. In 19th
century Germany this condition was called Weichteilrheumatism us or soft
tissue rheumatism. The Swedish massagist Unna Helleday described neurologic
pain spreading from nodules in rheumatic muscles in 1876.

A psychiatrist in the United States wrote in 1880 about a collection of
symptoms consisting of fatigue, widespread pain, and psychological
disturbances. He called it neurasthenia and attributed it to the stress of
modern life. The first description of this condition with the term
neurasthenia can be found in a text published in 1892 by a physician
referred to as the father of modern medicine, Sir William Osler. In his text
The Principles and Practice of Medicine: Diseases of the Nervous System he
describes a condition termed "Neurasthenia" as one that is associated with
"sleeplessness, unhealthy reaction to stimuli, weariness on the least
exertion, and the constant complaint is that of aching pain in the back of
the neck."

In 1904, the term "fibrositis" ("fibro-" means to fiber; "-itis" means
inflammation) was first used by Sir William Gowers in an article in the
British Medical Journal entitled "Lumbago: It's Lessons and Analogues" to
describe the chronic and crippling pain of fibromyalgia. The ending "itis"
was used as a part of its name because swelling was thought to be a cause of
the pain. Gowers began his study from his own lumbago and his interest in
back pain that did not have a mechanical nature. Dr. Gowers observed that
his patients were exhausted, unable to sleep, and that their illenss was "so
painful it would make a strong man cry out." He tried everything he could
think of in an attempt to relieve this pain and found that nothing worked
well. He chronicled a list of failed therapies, including salicylates (the
newly discovered aspirin) and noted a few things that seemed to help, such
as gentle manipulation and cocaine injections.

In 1913 in the British Medical Journal, a physician by the name of Luff
talked about the factors of fibrositis. He noted that the symptoms grew
worse when the barometric pressure lowered and rain was approaching. Luff's article also talked about temperature variations, fevers, infections and motor vehicle accidents. He also drew the connection between "growing pains" in children and fibrositis. In 1937, Arthur Steindler followed up on an earlier work relating to painful and tender areas and is credited with popularizing the term "trigger points" and injecting them with procaine. The 1930's and 1940's also saw the publication of studies from Michael Good in Great Britain, who exhaustively mapped out "myalgia spots" and Michael Kelly of Australia who connected "visceral" pain syndrome with fibrositis.

In 1960, Canadian Dr. Hugh Smythe wrote an article about fibrosis that
appeared in a textbook. He is thus credited wtih being the man who brought
the illness of fibromyalgia into the modern spotlight. Dr. Hugh Smythe laid
the foundation of modern FMS in 1972 by describing widespread pain and
tender points. The first sleep electroencephalogram study was performed in
1975.The term fibromyalgia was first coined in 1976 in an effort to describe
its primary symptom. It was changed because swelling in the body was no
longer thought to be the cause of pain. The term fibromyalgia is taken from
three Latin and Greek words: fibra, which means fibrous tissue and has to do
with painful tendons and ligaments; myos, which means muscles; and algos,
which means pain.

In 1981, the first clinical study was published by Dr. Muhammad B. Yunus,
considered the father of the modern view of fibromyalgia. The study
confirmed that symptoms and tender points could actually be found in the
body.This same study also proposed the first data-based criteria.The
important concept that FMS and other similar conditions are interconnected
was proposed in 1984, again by Dr. Yunus.Serotonergic/ norepinephric drugs
were first shown to be effective in 1986.

In 1987, it was first recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA)
as a "true" illness and the cause of disability. This acceptance was largly
due to a study published in an article that same year, in the Journal of the
American Medical Association (JAMA), by a physician named Dr. Don
Goldenberg. He described the symptoms, lab findings and treatment results of
188 patients with fibromyalgia. Goldberg used the term fibrostis and
fibromyalgia interchangably at the beginning of the paper the he switched
exclusively to fibromyalgia throughout the rest of the paper.

It wasn't until 1990, when Dr. Hugh Smythe, along with Drs. Yunus, Wolfe,
Bennett, Goldberg and Bombardier carefully detailed the location of eighteen
tender points symmetrically located around teh human body for the American
College of Rheumatology' s Criteria for the Classification of Fibromyalgia.
This became the developed diagnostic criteria for doing fibromyalgia
research, and the term fibromyalgia gained wide usage.

On January 1, 1993 the Copenhagen Declaration established fibromyalgia as an
official disease recognized by the World Health organization. The document
described the condition as painful, non-articular (not in the joints) and
predominately involving the muscles. The World Health Organization added
several other symptoms to the list, including "the presence of unexplained
widespread pain or aching, persistant fatigue, generalized morning
stiffness, and non-refreshing sleep." The Copenhagen Declaration also
recognized depression and anxiety as possible manisfestations of the
syndrome. In 1997, the first national organization for fibromyalgia, the
National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA), was formed. It helps educate people
with fibromyalgia about their condition. It also helps them manage their
condition. By speaking out about fibromyalgia, NFA helped to create a
greater awareness of the condition.

In 2005 the first guidelines for treating fibromyalgia pain were published
by the American Pain Society

Information gleaned from:













Thursday, 9 July 2009


I was just told about a free Bible program that has 200 Christian books, various versions of the Bible, dozens of classic Christian books, Bible dictionaries, and other commentaries! I wanted to share this great opportunity with you. If you go to this page
It tells what books are included besides all the various Bibles that you can read or compare to each other verse by verse, and at the very top is the download buttons to download onto your PC or onto your Mac. ENJOY and share with anyone who might like studying the gospel!!!

Monday, 6 July 2009



Slow me down, Lord.
Ease the pounding of my heart
By the quieting of my mind.
Steady my hurried pace with a vision
Of Eternal reach of time.
Give me, amidst the confusion of my day,
The calmness of the everlasting hills.
Break the tensions of my nerves
With the soothing music of the
singing streams that live in my memory.

Help me to know
The magical restoring power of sleep.
Teach me the art of taking minute vacations,
of slowing down to look at a flower,
to chat with an old friend or make a new one,
to pat a stray dog,
to watch a spider build a web,
to smile at a child,
or to read a few lines from a good book.

Remind me each day
That the race is not always to the swift,
That there is more to life
than increasing its speed.

Let me look upward into the branches
of the towering oak
and know that it grew great and strong
Because it grew slowly and well.

Slow me down Lord,
And inspire me to send my roots
deep into the soil of life's enduring values
That I may grow towards the stars
Of my greater destiny.

~Wilfred Arlan Peterson


Wednesday, 1 July 2009


Too bad animated pics work only in the sidebar, not in the posts,
because this sparkles and glitters.
God bless my online friends. I'm so grateful for you and for
this wonderful country I'm in.
Blessings, Sheila

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