If you or a loved one has fibromyalgia , let me suggest that you now have a favorite NFL football player.
His name is Dominque Easley, a defensive lineman for the New England Patriots. You may or may not know that he was a first round draft choice of the Super Bowl champions out of the University of Florida just a year ago.
He’s making news this weekend because he’s trying to raise awareness about fibromyalgia.
Easley’s 16-year old sister, Destinee, suffers from the disease. She’s had it since she was 11 (although it took a bit longer to actually diagnose).
“It’s when you have chronic pain all through your body,” Easley told the Boston Globe. “She’s had it since she was 11 years old. Sometimes it’s where you can’t get up in the morning and walk – two weeks ago she was in a wheelchair.”
“I’m just trying to raise awareness because a lot of people don’t know about it, how serious it is.”
As many of you know, May 12, 2015 was proclaimed Fibromyalgia Awareness Day and the theme promoted by the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association was “Make Fibromyalgia Visible”.
Dominque Easley, or more factually, his sister Destinee, is helping with that.
“I’m fairly certain that I’ve had fibromyalgia since I was a teenager,” said Anna Flynn, a retired Houston area teacher who shared her story recently on the National Pain Report. “Doctors then didn’t know as much about the disease then, so my condition went undiagnosed.”
I’m so happy that Mr. Easley has decided to make awareness and education about fibromyalgia a goal. The fact that his teenage sister is suffering from it is a reminder that this disease can strike anyone at any time.,” she said.
Fibromyalgia impacts nearly six million people. It can manifest with chronic widespread body pain, moderate to severe fatigue, sleep disorders and disturbance and can result in psychological distress like anxiety and depression.
Recent research indicates that the disease burden on fibromyalgia patients is worse than it is for chronic pain patients without fibromyalgia. (Here’s a recent National Pain Report story on the topic).
There’s quite a bit of research on the disease. Fibromyalgia is now considered to be a lifelong chronic nervous disorder which causes chronic pain. Dr. Daniel Clauw of the University of Michigan presented those findings at the American Pain Society Annual Meeting in Palm Springs last month. (Here’s the National Pain Report story on it.)
“Fibromyalgia can be thought of both as a discreet disease and also as a final common pathway of pain centralization and chronification. Most people with this condition have lifelong histories of chronic pain throughout their bodies,” Dr. Clauw said.
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