For most of us, the beautiful weather found in the gorgeous month of May makes us want to get outside and get active. As the days pass, the temperatures increase and the grass grows, we understandably want to take advantage of these great conditions. However, for those suffering from fibromyalgia, this is not always as easy as it sounds.
While fibromyalgia is the second-most common arthritic condition (after osteoarthritis), it is surprisingly misunderstood and misdiagnosed. According to WebMD.com, “Its characteristics include widespread muscle and joint pain and fatigue as well as other symptoms. Fibromyalgia can lead to depression and social isolation.” Because it is so common (over 12 million Americans have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia) and yet so miscomprehended, it is necessary to focus on this condition in order to raise awareness.
How can you help others be more aware of this debilitating condition? Do your part by either participating in or organizing a fibromyalgia awareness event. According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, “The observance of National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, officially May 12, can take many forms. The 2010 theme, Make Fibromyalgia Visible, [was] the rally cry for fibromyalgia patients and supporters to make their collective voice heard.” The foundation reports that an estimated 700 people attended California State University’s most recent fibromyalgia awareness event, which featured educational seminars, an organized walk and a wellness fair. And, as written on the National Fibromyalgia Association’s Web site, last year in the month of May alone, at least 65 additional events were organized worldwide.
Therefore, it shouldn’t be too difficult to locate a fibromyalgia awareness event near you. For those of you who would like to plan your own fibromyalgia awareness event this year, listed below are a few tips provided by CareGiving.org:
- List your goals and objectives
- Identify your target audience
- Research the facts surrounding fibromyalgia and how you can help
- Choose a spokesperson to help distribute and discuss your messages
- Start organizing your activities as soon as possible
As you can see, helping to raise awareness for fibromyalgia is easy! So before you go for your next jog or bike ride this spring, consider that without your help, so many who suffer from fibromyalgia won’t be able to do the same.