There are three neuromuscular disorders and diseases that are very closely related. In fact, these three disorders are so similar that they share a lot more than symptoms. Here is what fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis (MS), and muscular dystrophy (MD) all have in common, and why it should matter to you.
Pain is the number one thing all three of these disorders/diseases have in common. The pain affects the entire body for people who have "fibro," MS and MD. Usually, prescribed medications are supposed to help with pain management, but they are not always effective because of how differently patients feel pain. Nevertheless, if you are diagnosed with any of these disorders/diseases, you undoubtedly feel pain most days and seek professional medical help to treat it.
Muscular dystrophy is the unexplainable loss of muscle control due to a nervous system issue. Multiple sclerosis is an immune system disorder where the brain's cells are replaced with myelin, causing the patient to lose control of his/her muscles, and spasticity may settle in. Fibromyalgia is the result of overactive nerves, which misfire and misperceive what is happening with the body's limbs. The result in all of these diseases/disorders is that patients cannot move or control muscles the way that they used to, and long-term chronic care is needed.
A Need for Chronic Care Management
All of these diseases/disorders will eventually require some form of chronic care management, depending on how severe the symptoms are for each patient. When you are the patient, you should begin to look at what your long-term, chronic care options are and formulate a plan on how to get your needs met in worst-case scenarios. Some people can have any one or more of these three related diseases/disorders, but not have symptoms that are so severe that they require long-term care. This may be you, but you should not take that chance. You should have a "just in case" plan so that your family knows exactly what you want to do and where you want to go if and when that time comes.
If you are not the patient but a medical professional, consider advocating for these patients. More and more people are diagnosed with fibro every day, and there still is no cure for MS or MD. As these patients age and survive a little bit longer with the medications they are prescribed, they will need more care and more assistance. Your clinic or hospital could provide that, if you are ready. Contact a chronic care management center for more info.