Will Somebody Please Believe Me??
57 year old Dina Crowning* of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, found that the terra firma of her relationship with her husband was crumbling to dust as he struggled to believe that she was really ill. “In those days, they didn’t even have a name for fibromyalgia. And nothing showed up on the blood tests or x-rays. I was just in pain, all the time and he thought I was faking.”
Rekindle the Trust
“He didn’t actually come right out and say it, but you could see his frustration growing as I lost my job, then started to slack off on the housework, too. He’d come home and the breakfast dishes hadn’t even been done. I was in bed, crying from the pain.
It came down to Kurt’s deciding that after so many years together, he might just have to dig down deep to rekindle his trust in me, despite the fact that the doctors couldn’t diagnose what I had.”
Dina had her ups and downs with the disease and managed to figure out that exercise helped. Once she self-created an exercise regimen, she found that she felt well enough to do some part-time work that helped to relieve the family financial difficulties incurred by the loss of her former job. “When Kurt saw how hard I was trying, and saw too, that I’d decided not to complain aloud, he just realized that I couldn’t possibly be faking my symptoms. But I can’t say the same of others.
I had friends that decided I was a real drag. I stopped getting invited to ‘dos’ and one friend was kind enough to tell me that the grapevine had it that I was a psycho and the whole thing was in my head. I could feel people’s eyes on me everywhere, like in the supermarket, for instance. Sometimes I felt like screaming, ‘Won’t somebody please believe me???'”
For Better or Worse
“I was so glad that they finally gave it a name and a formal designation in the mid 1970’s. Not that that really helped. Here we are, 30 years later, and lots of folk, including doctors who should know better, still don’t believe in us. Yet, here we are. Thank God for my loving husband. It took him awhile to get on board, but once he did, he stayed there with me, for better or for worse.”
*Not her real name