I am in your corner
Updated: Apr 27, 2021
First, I want to say, "Thank you," and "I am in your corner," to all those who have struggled and continue to struggle with fibromyalgia. I want you to know that you have a physician who cares for you and understands that fibromyalgia is real and that there is hope.
A few years ago, I started to consider writing a book on fibromyalgia and related syndromes. Having never written a book and being very busy with my existing clinical practice and family life, I wasn't sure if I would ever go through with writing it. It changed about two years ago when I started to write the book. I have typically referred patients to books I recommend that I find valuable and expand beyond what was discussed during the limited time in the clinic. These topics apply to many, including diabetes, heart disease, and healthful eating, to name just a few.
However, when I looked at the landscape of fibromyalgia literature, I was hoping for a book I could confidently endorse. None fully met my expectations.
The writing progress was slow initially, with the general goals of informing, inspiring, and equipping being the driving themes. I reached out to Dr. Joel Young, MD, in the spring of 2020 and was able to talk with him for a few hours and get his perspective. He has done a lot of research on fibromyalgia, and I appreciated his insight. I asked him if it was me thinking there was a gap in fibromyalgia literature or did he also share that sentiment. I also wanted to know if this was a worthwhile endeavor to expend countless hours researching and translating it into a meaningful and digestible book. He responded with a resounding yes and encouraged me, which helped me push hard to finish it. It also did help that during COVID, I had unusual amounts of free time to dedicate to writing that would not have been available in non-COVID years.
I wanted to bring readers up-to-date, evidence-based research along with my clinical experience regarding fibromyalgia. I first intended the book to be helpful for those who have fibromyalgia. I wanted those suffering to have their voices heard. I am a doctor who doesn't have fibromyalgia, but I wanted to bring the voices of those suffering by sharing patients' stories. If you have fibromyalgia, you will likely identify with several of those in the book. If you don't have fibro, but your loved one does, you too will hear familiar struggles. Inspiration comes from hearing their fibro improve through a comprehensive approach. These stories help bring the book alive beyond the likes of a textbook.
The book is also intended for physicians to grow in their understanding. Physicians genuinely want to help their patients feel better but have not likely had adequate training and awareness to give meaningful fibro care beyond just lip service. A comprehensive approach is needed, and for many people suffering, medication is a crucial component. As you will learn in the book, it is not a haphazard approach to medications but a thoughtful approach to addressing specific issues that would benefit from medication. Medication is only one part of the comprehensive approach.
As you ponder what you read in the book, there is a good chance you will identify family members who also share struggles with fibro-related health problems. I hope you share the book with them, their loved ones, and the doctors who care for them. There is no way I can help everyone with face-to-face care, but I hope that this book will be a tool to help many.
Thanks again for taking the time to read this, and I hope to write more in the months to follow. The next blog is discussing the meaning behind the cover I chose.
Michael Lenz, MD