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  • Writer's pictureMichael Lenz

Conquering Your Fibro. The book cover meaning.

Updated: Aug 13, 2022

As you look at the book cover, what meaning do you see? You may see the weather looking like a cold day in January in Wisconsin on the left. On the right is what you would see in June when the tree and grass around it have come to life. On the left, there is no life or vitality. The tree has no leaves. The weather is overcast. The temperature is cold and very uncomfortable. It's a place you don't want to be, especially if you have fibro. The right side of the tree is full of vibrancy. The weather is warm. The grass is full.

The person on the left has their shoulders slumped, with their head downcast. There is little confidence and hope. On the left, he looks like he just climbed a mountain, or perhaps, woke from a refreshing night's rest. The stance is one of confidence and overcoming. On the right, there is a path.

For those of you wondering, I do not have fibromyalgia. The closest I get is an infrequent headache and some motion sickness if I try to read in the back of the car going through windy roads. You may be curious as to why I would want to write a book on fibromyalgia. Many books written in this and other health areas are driven by a physician's own experience of managing this complex disease.

I wrote this book because I wanted to help the suffering. So much of alleviating suffering is to be empathetic and understand what one is suffering. But beyond the understanding, it is to offer real solutions and real hope. As a pediatrician, I care for infants through college-age and have seen how fibromyalgia begins in newborns and expands as one gets older. These symptoms are manifesting often more intensely as they get older. The symptoms and locations may vary from person to person, but there are recurring patterns I was able to recognize.

As an internist, a doctor who specializes in the non-surgical care of adults, I was able to see fibromyalgia in young adulthood through the elderly. Similar themes with different specific syndromes may predominate in one person, but the same underlying amplified central nervous system. For many people suffering with fibro they may feel stuck in quicksand with no hope for help. They may feel they just have to "learn to live with it." Have you ever thought that? Now there are two sentiments to "learning to live with it." One feeling that I am afraid is more common is to accept that I have an extremely challenging disorder, and there isn't much that I can do to make me feel substantially better. At best, I can only hope for minor improvement.

The other sentiment is one of hope. This belief is the one I want you who are trying to battle with fibro will take on. As I detail in the book, there is a path that one can do to help navigate through the waters to the other side. When Magellan tried to circumnavigate the world, he had to make it through many complex, uncharted bodies of water. Now ships travel with relative ease around the globe with modern satellite mapping and GPS systems. The mystery is gone.

In similar ways, fibromyalgia can seem complicated and almost hopelessly challenging to get through. Many turn back to safety or want to go back to Spain. As I describe in the book, for one suffering from fibro, it can feel like you are blindfolded, bound, and tortured by an unknown assailant for unknown reasons with little hope for rescue. What's even worse is that no one sees the torture because there are no visible bruises they can see. The first goal in the book was to deconstruct the labyrinth so you can see the map and remove the mystery. I also wanted to offer inspiration and hope. When the blindfold is removed, and you can see what has been binding you better, you can get through the challenging waters more manageable and hopefully not go in the wrong direction. The book will help you become more equipped. The left side of the book is one of feeling hopelessness and despair. The right side is one of hope and overcoming. The left side is one of a drab forlorn existence. The right is one of vitality.

Why did I use the title, Conquering Your Fibromyalgia for the book? The title I didn't choose is Fibromyalgia: Conquered. Conquering implies an ongoing action versus the one-time solution of conquered. When living with fibro you know it is a constant battle similar to staying the course is essential when navigating a ship around the modern world. It would be best if you stayed on the path as best you can. Storms may come and knock you off course, but use the map to get back on course when they do.

Thanks for reading, and I would love to know your thoughts.

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