You have seen your father work hard. He spent his days teaching, tinkering and building. As you’ve grown and he’s aged, you may have noticed that your dad has some pain. It’s possible he tried to keep it from you. Maybe he downplayed what was happening. He has these aches that just don’t seem to go away. As people age, it may be normal to experience some pain and discomfort, but this is different. After some encouragement, your father saw a professional and was diagnosed.
What is fibromyalgia?
You may have heard the term on television commercials. It seems in the last few years that this term has become more common. Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder. This disorder presents itself as overwhelming pain that manifests in various symptoms. Nerves are stimulated in ways that causes pain in the tissues of our bodies. People suffering from fibromyalgia used to be misdiagnosed as having rheumatism. It wasn’t until 1976 that the disorder was given its own name.
What are the symptoms?
There are a variety of symptoms that correspond with fibromyalgia. The symptoms will differ from person to person. Some common symptoms include:
- Memory issues
- Problems sleeping
- Sensitivity to noises and temperature
- Anxiety and depression
How can you help your father cope?
There is currently no cure for fibromyalgia. You don’t want to see your dad suffering. His doctor may prescribe some medication to help him deal with his symptoms. You can help your dad by encouraging him to participate in certain activities. Regular exercise may be beneficial. He may want to speak to a physical therapist regarding his condition and create an exercise plan tailored to his needs. You can encourage him to consume a healthier diet with limited caffeine. You may also want to see what you can do to help your father reduce or eliminate stress.
What if your father can’t work because of this disorder?
It may be possible for your father to qualify for disability benefits due to fibromyalgia. He has already been diagnosed, which is the first step. He will need to show that the pain prevents him from doing the tasks needed to work. He may also need to show that the condition has impacted him for a period of time. If your father is unable to work because of this disorder, he will need to officially apply for disability. He must be prepared to disclose his entire work history and explain how the disorder is affecting him.