Men Who Live With a Fibromyalgia Patient
I recently received an interesting letter from a gentleman named Maurice Clarke in Rugby, England. He has started a new initiative in the UK - a support group for men who live with a woman who has fibromyalgia. He calls it FibroLads.
There is a tremendous need to educate and support the partners of fibromyalgia patients. As anyone who lives with an FM patient knows, the illness has a significant impact on the whole family. In fact, here’s an astounding statistic you may not be aware of: The divorce rate for chronically ill persons is over 75 percent So the importance of a group like this cannot be overstated.
Maurice and his wife, Mary (who has FM), began running a local fibromyalgia support group in 2008. Then, seeing a need for more targeted support for the partners of FM patients, Maurice launched FibroLads in August, 2009. Since there are far more women than men with FM, he decided to focus on their male partners.
In addition to the local support group, he has set up a FibroLads Web site and a ** for-men-only forum** where FM partners anywhere in the world can share experiences, problems and opinions. Maurice also invites anyone who is interested in starting a similar group to contact him through the Web site.
I hope men around the world who have partners with FM will follow his lead.
Karen is the co-founder of the National Fibromyalgia Association. She wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Pain Management.