Thursday, June 14, 2012

Through Madness Comes Progress

In my ever increasing efforts to balance the family budget I cancelled Direct TV and signed up for Netflix. This is a big deal, considering we watch a lot of TV. Before I did it I had to verify I could watch General Hospital on my computer, for that is extremely important. I can. Then I had to sell my husband on the idea which I did by reminding him of all the cable TV shows we could rent the DVD's for and catch up on. I was thrilled when I discovered a bunch of yoga videos I could get streaming and went ahead and cancelled the gym membership I feel really guilty about never using, too. Cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching! That's the sound of me saving money.

We decided to start Mad Men, a TV show on AMC you can't turn your head around without hearing about. The first two episodes were stunning. Introduced to a world I did not live in, I watched the social mores of the 1960's unfold with my mouth agape. I guess it had been a while since I last saw The Graduate or Bewitched. I forgot how simply different things were before the counter-cultural revolution swept America up in a frenzy of civil rights and equal rights and the voice of the disenfranchised. Women didn't talk back to men (what do you do with them then?) and as the rule, not the exception, didn't work outside the home after they got married. Children were still seen but not heard, big tobacco was fighting the Surgeon General over the preposterous notion cigarettes caused cancer and everything was okay as long as it looked okay. Appearances were very important, and extremely deceiving. 

My first thought was where do sick people fit into this society? As I watched further I realized they didn't. In the world of a thriving middle class that built itself around the infallibility of affluence, social standing and the American Dream, sick was more inconvenient that it is today. For the umpteenth time in my life I thanked God I was born in the time and place of now. But I couldn't help conclude having Fibromyalgia today must be a lot like having, well, anything back then. Nobody wants to hear about it. A person who insists on the reality of their pain or their right to be sick is difficult. Or worse, crazy. While we are not shuffled off to the funny farm to receive shock treatments and lobotomies, we are still not given proper respect because modern medicine remains ignorant to the cause and cure of what ails us. I also realized all that crap changed, freedoms were gained, awareness was raised and options granted because of a big fat fight. Believe it or not I walked away from this show pleased. I know deep in my heart we will get there. We will keep championing for our rights, and hopefully those that love us will too. One day the AMA and SSA will not only believe us, but support us. If public awareness got loud enough to knock big tobacco off their rocker what on earth is going to come for the second most common chronic widespread pain disorder currently diagnosed in the USA? In fact maybe we are already 1/3 of the way there and didn't realize it. I mean hey, the FDA already believes us!

Thanks for joining,


  1. This is so true. People don't want to know about illness, as a fellow fibromyalgia sufferer I can understand your frustration.

  2. Leave it to you, Leah, to make a positive out of something so negative. That's why I like your site. You bring a glimmer of hope to those who sometimes feel that there isn't any. ;^)