Popular Faces with Fibromyalgia
Despite the fact that many of those with the disorder fibromyalgia often feel they are alone in their struggle, this post will show you that they are not. There are countless people around the world suffering from the symptoms of fibromyalgia, and countless more who simply have not triggered them yet.
Fibromyalgia is often considered an arthritis-related condition, it is not truly a form of arthritis. While it is frequently misdiagnosed, there are symptoms doctors use to diagnose the disorder. There is widespread pain, usually a dull ache that lasts at least three months. It occurs on both sides of the body, above and below the waist. Patients of this disorder complain of being exhausted, even after just waking from a long sleep. Those who have fibromyalgia often suffer from sleep apnea, or restless legs syndrome. This is all often accompanied by "fibro fog," which is an impairment of one's cognitive abilities, as well as the following: depression, hypersensitivity to the heat or cold, numbness in the fingers and feet, incontinence, headaches and stiffness. For some reason, women are more susceptible to developing this disorder. It is something one can learn to live with by controlling the symptoms through exercise, stress reduction, medications and relaxation.
So which celebrities also have fibromyalgia?
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Morgan Freeman is a well-known and well loved actor, narrator, and director. This beloved man was in a horrific car accident 4 years ago. He was driving a car with a friend, and it flipped and rolled. They were trapped, and had to be saved with the Jaws of Life. They recommended surgery for his damaged hand, but it didn't work. There are many people hoping he will become the spokesperson for fibromyalgia since he would be perfect for it. He is still very active -- both in movies and in life -- and gives many patients suffering from fibromyalgia hope for their own future.
Frances Winfield Bremer
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Frances Winfield Bremer was an American author, writing and working hard to produce wonderful stories. She struggled with the disorder for over 30 years, but now she has stepped up to become an official spokesperson for fibromyalgia. She was featured on the cover of Fibromyalgia Aware magazine, promoting awareness and motivating others to keep fighting. Along with her husband, Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, they have contributed as well as raised a lot of money towards organizations that are fighting the disorder. Currently, there is no cure to fibromyalgia, but Mrs. Bremer and her husband believe that they can help encourage interest in finding a cure.
Rosie Hamlin is well known for her fight against this disorder. She was the singer in a popular 60's group called Rosie and the Originals. Considered one of the greatest singers of her era, she was featured in 2004 on the cover of Fibromyalgia Aware magazine. She spoke of her struggles against it, as well as how she fights it. Using her music, she continues to fight for awareness. She played at the "Leaders Against Pain" convention in California and touched many people's hearts. They related to her, and she still helps people to overcome their limitations. However, she finally had to stop touring due to the pain of fibromyalgia. She has found a new creative outlet in painting, and has been using her "celebrity voice" to appeal to those who have recently been diagnosed and are scared.
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Sinead O'Connor, a redheaded Irish rock star, was diagnosed with this disorder and revealed it in 2003. She disappeared from the music scene for two years after that, treating her fibromyalgia. It was a brave thing to do, as so few people are able to bring themselves to admit that anything is wrong. She was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and somehow manages to have a singing career and raise four children. She says that her most difficult symptom is being so tired all the time, but she has learned to plan around it and know her own limitations. A strong, beautiful woman, she has dedicated time and energy to educating others about fibromyalgia, as well as encouraging other patients to be strong.
Florence Nightingale documented her own struggle with what was likely fibromyalgia through personal notes and discoveries of health conditions and dietary information about her patients. She was a nurse during the Crimean War, tending to the injured or ill. In 1858, she published a book entitled Notes on Matters Affecting the Health, Efficiency and Hospital Administration of the British Army. By 1910, she was bedridden, and at age 90, she passed in her sleep.
There are many other well-known, and not so well-known, individuals suffering from fibromyalgia. Alongside those mentioned above is Michael James Hastings, an actor that played Captain Mike on the series The West Wing. He was forced into retirement by fibromyalgia and became a national spokesperson. Janeane Garofalo and Jo Guest both have announced their own struggle with fibromyalgia.
- Life with FMS, "Celebrities with Fibromyalgia" http://www.livinglifewithfms.com/2012/04/celebrities-with-fibromyalgia.html
- National Fibromyalgia Association "The Broken Column." http://www.fmaware.org/News29c4a.html?page=NewsArticle&id=7289