Review by Jeanne Hambleton – UK Journalist & Fibromite
If you are looking for information about fibromyalgia, a new DVD made
in America can answer a lot of the questions. Hopefully it will soon be
winging its way to the UK.
Called Living with Fibromyalgia – it is the true story of a family
learning to live with their Mom who was diagnosed with this
But this is more than tea and sympathy for the patient. This is the
pursuit of knowledge by Daneen Akers, who is the driving force behind
the DVD, following a journey of hope and understanding filmed by her
husband, filmmaker Stephen Eyers.
Daneen interviews her Mom, Dr Stuart Silverman, a leading expert in the
field of fibromyalgia, doctors and other FMS patients who have learned
to survive and thrive with this invisible disease. Lynne Matallana,
co-founder of the USA National Fibromyalgia Association, tells her own
emotional story with support from her husband Richard.
The film, which lasts about 70 minutes, is the result of two years work
of interviews and research. It is a film Daneen and Stephen wished
they could have been shown when Mom was first diagnosed.
It is an interesting journey with tips, advice and stories from people
you can identify with. Strangely enough their story somehow becomes
your story too. The similarities are striking. They share their pain,
sorrows and hopes with the viewers.
As someone who also suffers with fibromyalgia, I found the DVD gave me
an insight into how others cope with the day-to-day pain, their
disappointments and accepting they can no longer achieve what they did
before. Yes there is life after fibromyalgia, but learning to live with
it is the secret.
Daneen’s Mom was in training in 1997 for the Honolulu Marathon just
before she suffered a knee injury. From that day her life changed and
would never be the same. But all these years later and feeling better
she is hoping to walk the Honolulu Marathon or at least part of it, one
There are a lot of lessons to be learned from this. Having watched it
once I was eager to watch it again in case I had missed something. It
is so full of information – details which families, newly diagnosed
fibromyalgia patients and those living with FMS, will find absorbing.
Interesting facts in the film confirm that millions of people around
the world are suffering with fibromyalgia and in America that figure is
between 8 and 10 million. It also appears that Florence Nightingale
also had fibromyalgia. In the 1800s it was called muscular rheumatism,
before it became fibrosistis. In the 1900s the name changed again and
it became known as fibromyalgia.
Dr Stuart Silverman from the Cedar Sinair Clinic in Los Angeles
confirmed fibromyalgia as a disorder of the central nervous system
while the cause remains a mystery. It is not degenerative and
fibromyalgia patients will not die said the Doctor.
One of the messages which made me feel better was Daneen’s Mom saying
she no longer felt guilty when she could not do the washing up. She
was now able to sit down and accept the kindness of others willing to
help. I have finally accepted this but it has taken me a long time to
The producers of Living with Fibromyalgia, a Trillusion Media
production, are donating 10% of the sales from the DVDs to the American
National Fibromyalgia Association. Log in to www.LivingWithFM.com to
see a trailer and find out more.
© 2007 Jeanne Hambleton