I large number of my friends from high school also have Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a condition that is very common to me. I’ve fought it for nearly 20 years. The illness brings so many symptoms with it that I just honestly get overwhelmed by it at times. If it’s not pain, it’s fatigue, or fibrofog. Or it could be one of a million other things that fit into any of those illnesses.
One of my friends posted an article that really clicked with me this week. It really spoke to me. It seems to speak directly to matters that I’m dealing with right now.
As stated in an earlier article, a large percentage of individuals among the at least 10 million individuals in the United States with Fibromyalgia Syndrome experience problems with cognition which have collectively come to have the nickname of “fibrofog”. According to Jennifer Glass, Ph.D., cognitive function involves the ability to conduct intellectual processes, such as thinking, reasoning, remembering, imagining, or learning words. Other areas suffering in fibrofog include attention, concentration, orientation, and speaking clearly.
We now have some more specific information regarding these difficulties and even how those with fibromyalgia compare with others with rheumatoid diseases. According to Dr. Robert Katz, people with fibromyalgia also have cognitive issues. One of the cognitive issues amounts to what looks like learning disability.
The study referred to compared four distinct groups: one group of controls without rheumatic disease; one group of those with fibromyalgia (FMS); one group of those with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and one group of those with lupus (SLE). The four groups took questionnaires about difficulties in reading, writing, body awareness/spatial relationships and oral expressive language.
The results indicated that those with fibromyalgia scored worse reading and oral expressive language scores compared with the controls and worse scores in all areas compared with the SLE and RA groups. These results are probably not a surprise to those of us with fibro.
The results showed that those with fibromyalgia were significantly more likely to have the following difficulties:
– Making mistakes when reading, such as skipping words or lines (FMS 43%;
controls 0%; SLE 5%; RA 3%).
– Remembering what was read (FMS 59%; controls 0%; RA 11%; SLE 24%).
– Reading the same line twice (FMS 57%; controls 14%; RA 15%; SLE 19%).
– Comprehending a main idea or important details from a story (FMS 27%;
controls 0%; RA 5%; SLE 14%).
– Grammar or punctuation (FMS 28%; controls 14%; RA 8%; SLE 0%).
– Clumsiness or uncoordination (FMS 41%; controls 7%; RA 10%; SLE 10%).
– Hand-eye coordination (FMS 27%; controls 7%; RA 5%; SLE 5%).
– Self-expression in words (FMS 42%; controls 7%; RA 8%; SLE 5%).
– Finding proper words to say when conversing (FMS 57%; controls 8%;
RA 11%; SLE 24%).
– Getting to the point when speaking (FMS 43%; controls 7%;
RA 5%; SLE 5%).
Dr. Katz noted that many of the patients were very challenged in academic situations or have difficulties on the job due to these manifestations of a learning disability. It is important to remember that nobody is asserting that those with Fibromyalgia have learning disabilities. As Katz said, We rheumatologists aren’t ready to diagnose them with that. But we can screen them for that and send them to the appropriate experts.
It is my hope that armed with this knowledge, some of the treatments and techniques used with those with learning disabilities may be applied to fibromites to determine whether any benefits lie therein.
Respectfully Simone Ravicz.
So while I have considered going back to school or finding a minimal job I realize it’s just not something I can do. My body has been telling me all of the above for years. While I would love to be able to hold my own against anyone I’m just not able to intellectually. I’m not too proud to admit that either. The reason we stopped homeschooling years ago was because I could feel them getting ahead of me. I admitted that when I realized it. So everything above is true. In my head it’s been happening for a long time. Sometimes I can feel it happening quicker than others. But it’s definitely happening. It’s kind of sad. I’m only 45 years old. I still have at least that much longer to live. What in the world is my life gonna be like in 45 more years? Oh my!!