My good friend Jeanne Hambleton, a journalist and advocate from the UK, has asked me to contribute an article for her upcoming book, Pain 24/7 – To publish a self help FMS book 12/05/2007
Jeanne’s book is being written to raise severly needed research funds into Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Stndrome, M.E. and is a vital part of moving forward with research into these illnesses.
Please if you can, contribute to the book project by visiting this link:
http://www.jeannehambleton.chipin.com/login as your donation no matter what size it is, will help bring this vitally important book into existance, hopefully on schedule.The need is urgent and the time to act is now.
Jeanne asked me to write an article called three illnesses, one battle, but I did take the liberty with her permission to include “Chronic Multisympton Illnesses” in general, and how this is several illnesses being fought on many fronts.
Chronic Multisymptom illnesses come in a number of forms, ranging from “Fibromyalgia”, “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, M.E.”, and “Gulf War Syndrome.”, simply to name the more common and widely recognized ones.
Each of these illnesses faces one common challenge in the medical community. A severe lack of research funding. In spite of the lack of funding we have begun to learn a great deal about some of these illnesses, however the funding is scant at best when it comes to developing these discoveries into usable treatments.
One area we severly need improvement on is in Physician Education. Many Physicians, and these are good Doctors, simply have not taken the time to read the latest clinical research results. They were trained at a time when these illnesses were thought to be some form of somataform illness or psychiatric disorder and unfortunately so many of them are still under the belief that this is the case. To quote a favorite phrase used in psychotherapy, “denial is not a river.”
We severly need all Medical Professionals to be on the same page when it comes to understanding these illnesses. It is the simple way out to to deny these illnesses are legitimate in nature and dismiss them as such when the current medical facts are far from that common misconception. It creates a situation where many learned medical professionals appear as if they simply do not understand these mechanisms, nor do they want to, and it is creating a situation where many suffer needlessly as a result.
I strongly urge the medical community to look at the facts. If one is not part of the solution, one becomes part of the problem. One of the main area’s where a lack of Physician Education has taken it’s toll is in Canada. Most Canadian Physicians simply don’t know how to diagnose or treat these illnesses. As a result the Statistics Canada data on these illnesses is severly flawed. This fatal flaw affects research funding in a very negative way.
I am calling for the Medical Community to come together and formulate a plan to make Physician Education into these illnesses a major priority.
I will do my part to help make this happen and work with as many Clinical Researchers as I can to help develop this vital information.
The time to create change is now so that we can move forward and find viable treatments that can restore the sufferer’s of these illnesses to some kind of reasonable quality of life. The refusal to do so or denial of these illnesses is neglegent, and neglegence is not in anyones best interest, it does not serve the best interest of the patient, neither does it serve the best interest of the Physician. The evidence is there and we must act upon it. The Physicians oath to “do no harm” is poorly served by dismissing these illnesses based on information that is decades outdated.
I plan to work with many of the top Clinical Reachers in these fields to improve Physician Understanding and Awareness in the coming months and cannot understate the importance of the work that lies ahead of us all.
Each of us has a responsability to learn as much as we can to bring these illnesses into a managable modality that will improve the quality of life for these patients.
Richard L. Usher