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A longtime reader, I'm writing to express my gratitude for "Getting the Point about Fibromyalgia" (February 2007).* I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1990 and have experienced many prejudices from fellow nurses who simply don't understand the impact this disorder can have. Many nurses still don't believe that fibromyalgia is a real illness.

  
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Fibromyalgia can significantly disrupt a person's life due to unrelieved pain, fatigue, cognitive impairment ("brain fog") and other distressing symptoms. To continue in my nursing career, I take important steps to protect my health. Because I provide direct patient-care, I don't take benzodiazepines or opioids to control my pain. I advocate for a schedule that allows adequate rest between shifts, and I refuse to work shifts longer than 8 hours. Skipping a break is simply not an option. In addition, I no longer share my diagnosis with coworkers.

 

I urge all nurses to read this important article. To holistically meet our patients' needs, we must first understand the impact of this life-altering illness.

 

-NAME WITHHELD BY REQUEST

 

*Individual subscribers can access this article free online at http://www.nursing2007.com. [Context Link]