In 1816 Dr.William Balfour a surgeon at the University of Edinbourgh noticed some of his patients showed some of the same symptoms. He was the first to give fibromyalgia (fibro or FMS) an official name. He called this widespread pain fibrosistitis. He was perplexed even then regarding the cause, treatment, and prognosis of this strange malady.
Twenty five years ago, Dr. Yunus published one of the first well documented studies concerning fibromyalgia, and started the trend of using fibromyalgia as its common day name. In the Old Testament we find Job could very well be a candidate for fibromyalgia; As far as men having fibromyalgia, perhaps Job was the first to of recorded his symptoms. In the Old Testament, Job tells us of his physical pain and agony when he says; “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) - King James Version: Job 3-4)
3 So am I made to possess months of vanity, and wearisome nights are appointed to me.
4 When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone? and I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day.
16 And now my soul is poured out upon me; the days of affliction have taken hold upon me.
17My bones are pierced in me in the night season: and my sinews take no rest.
So if we were going to create a time-line for the history of fibromyalgia, it would possibly start with Job in the Old Testament, 1816 Dr. Wm. Balfour gives this malady a name, Dr. Yunus writes one of the first documented studies about fibromyalgia, and that would be basically the history of fibromyalgia. Give or take a few events along the path from Job to the present day
One wonders how many rivers of tears have been cried over the pain of fibromyalgia in the past? Enough to fill an ocean, perhaps. How many people have spent a vast majority of their “well time” trying desperately to create awareness and knowledge about fibromyalgia? How many have died, never to of seen the fruit of their dedicated work? And how many more will continue to attempt to educate others about fibromyalgia, and even today, falter and fail?
Centuries of the “it’s all in their head” attitude has created a concrete frame of mind, which will not change over night within the medical community. Chisels, jackhammers, picks, and sledge hammers will not be able to crack the firmly set concrete of this mental attitude. Those of us devoted and determined will have to continue to chip away at this old fashioned attitude, and make whatever progress we can, where and whenever we can.
Heartbreak is a symptom of fibromyalgia as far as I am concerned. It should be listed along with all the other symptoms the doctors reluctantly search for in their attempt to confirm a diagnosis. Heartbreak and financial devastation, should certainly be two new symptoms of the malady. Even Job speaks of his “broken heart.” The heartbreak often comes from those closest to the person with fibromyalgia. Friends, family, co-workers, and even spouses tend to disbelieve fibromyalgia can cause a life filled with pain. “You don’t look sick!”, “You just need to exercise more!”, and other negative statements are used to display their disbelief.