99 | P a g e 93. MENGSHOEL 2017 : FMS diagnosis as an uncertain validator of sickness to others The diagnosis legitimises my illness to those around me and counters scepticism and negative attitudes. It allows me entry to 'the sick role'. At times I hide my diagnosis for fear of losing my job, or because of negative attitudes from colleagues. I also face scepticism at home. The diagnosis does not convey a clear meaning to others, nor help to make others understand what is wrong. You can’t look so well and be sick. Fibromyalgia is invisible. CHRONIC PAIN 94. MENGSHOEL 2017 : Endeavouring to confirm the reality of the illness I need to make sense of my pain and fatigue. I went to the doctor when I could no longer cope. I have been through a merry-go-round of consultations. Hope has been replaced by disappointment. HCPs think it’s psychological. At first I was relieved that I did not have an organic disease and that I wouldn’t end up in a wheelchair, and that I was not mentally ill. I was given a name to explain my suffering and tell others. CHRONIC PAIN 95. MENGSHOEL 2017 : FMS diagnosis has ambiguous validity and meaning My initial relief of getting a diagnosis is fading as I sadly realise that it does not mean a cure. My search for a diagnosis has been replaced by a trial-and-error process to find an effective treatment. My Dr has lost interest in me and trivialises my pain as a normal part of life. They think it psychological. They are sceptical that it is 'real’. This makes me confused and means I have lost faith in medicine. I have to actively resist being viewed as a malingerer. CHRONIC PAIN 96. CROWE 2017 : The body as obstacle Pain is a bodily experience, either local or all over. My body is an impediment that had to be overcome. My body does not work and is incapacitating. My body is an obstacle and confines me. I have to persuade my body to do what I want it is unwilling. CHRONIC PAIN
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