Report by Granada Reports journalist Anna Youssef
Video at this website address: Mother living with chronic illness Fibromyalgia says it leaves her ‘not wanting to be here anymore’ | Granada | ITV News
A mother who says her chronic illness leaves her ‘not wanting to exist anymore’ is raising awareness of her condition to give others a better understanding of what life is like.
Clair Jones has Fibromyalgia, an incurable condition which causes chronic pain and triggers fatigue, muscle stiffness and memory loss.
Its exact cause is unknown – Clair’s symptoms began as a teenager, but took decades to diagnose.
It’s like a burning pain. Like someone sticking hot pokers into you. The pain is to the point where… you don’t want to exist – you really don’t want to be here anymore.
Fibromyalgia is a pain crippling condition often misdiagnosed and widely misunderstood.
Around one in 20 people are thought to suffer from it.
It is commonly considered an “invisible” illness but has a devastating impact on people’s lives.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition that causes widespread pain. Other symptoms include fatigue; muscle stiffness; problems with mental processes (known as “fibro-fog”); irritable bowel and headaches.
Its causes are unknown but are believed to be linked to chemical changes in the brain and wider nervous system, sometimes triggered by a stressful event. Some sufferers complain of slow or skeptical reactions from health professionals, employers and benefits officials.
Fibromyalgia pain can be felt as aching or burning, often described as head to toe.
It can be worse at some times than others and can change location, usually felt more severely in parts of the body used most.
The fatigue ranges from feeling tired to the exhaustion of a flu-like illness and can come and go with people describing suddenly feeling drained of all energy.
People with a mild to moderate case can usually live a normal life, given the appropriate treatment
But if symptoms are severe people may not be able to hold down a paying job or enjoy much of a social life.