Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fibromyalgia - Negative Press

Hello Everyone,

I received an email this afternoon from my friend Bob Hall over at http://www.menwithfibro.com/ and I'm going to share it with you so that you know about this article and you can decide whether you'd like to speak out about it, or let it go.

Either way, you have a right to know.

Here's what Bob wrote:

"This is an article I found, and it comes off very offensive to the fibro community. Please feel free to respond to the reporter who created this masterpiece. Spread the word to other groups you may belong, and we must take a stand and be heard about such babble.

I realize we will always this type of negative press, but we don't have to take it in silence.
Thanks BOB
Dothan EagleP.O. Box 1968, Dothan, AL 36302
Mr. Jim Cook, a reporter on staff in charge of writing EDUCATION related articles authored this little jewel. Take a little time, read it, and feel free to comment on the website about what you think of his masterpiece.
I am enclosing email addresses of other members of the Dothan Eagle Staff so you can forward copies to them also.

I realize we will always face this type of negative press, but I also realize we do not have to take it without presenting our opinion of such mindless babble. Again, if you find it offensive, please join us in commenting on the article. At the very least, we can stand up and be counted.

Bob Hall
Men With Fibro

Publisher: Jim Whitten jwhittum@dothaneagle.com
Managing Editor: Ken Tuck ktuck@dothaneagle.com
City Editor: Kendall Clinton kclinton@dothaneagle.com
Editorial Page:William Perkins wperkins@dothaneagle.com
News Editor: Christi Kulavich ekulavich@dothaneagle.com
Reporter - Education: Jim Cook jcook@dothaneagle.com "

Sherri's Thoughts:

Clearly Mr. Cook has written comments that are offensive to many people in the fibro community. Personally, I was also shocked at some of the negative and rude comments that were made by others who had read his comments and posted replies to the article saying extremely negative things about PWF's.

The struggle for us to be taken seriously is ongoing, frustrating, exhausting, and uphill. Rather than give this article any more attention than it deserves, (which in my opinion is NONE), I'm going to continue to focus on those in the fibro community and medical community who are interested in legitimizing our situation and who are working on finding answers such as the work being done for the past few decades by Dr. Brice Vickery. (See his link on the right side of my blog)

I'm sorry you guys.... I'm sorry that we have to see this kind of thing (STILL) and that there are those out there who STILL believe we are faking, lazy, mooches and pill poppers. How ignorant. But the reality is... it's out there and we have to deal with it, just like any other people who suffer jokes and being made fun of for a variety of issues and difficulties.

There are people out there without a moral center of integrity or personal conviction and they thrive on cutting others down in order to feed their cynicism and load up on feeling superior and oppositional. They believe it's a "mark of intelligence", or somehow shows that they are "cool" because they're being "politically incorrect".

They are self deceived.
That's a sad state to be in.

So Jim Cook, I will be adding you to my prayers and asking for you to be blessed with a sense of conviction and humility so that you will turn around and recant your comments. I will pray that you learn from your mistake and become a voice FOR us, rather than AGAINST us.

And more than this.... I forgive you Jim Cook for the severe hurt, embarrassment, humiliation, and offense your words caused me for a few moments today. (as I watch another clump of hair fall out of my head from the toxic chemicals in my medication that only takes the edge off of the pain I feel 24 hours a day 7 days a week.)

I honestly forgive you.

Please be more careful with your writing in the future Mr. Cook, because IT MATTERS.


Debi said...

Hi, Sherri...

Glad to have found your blog and that I now have the opportunity to be blessed by its content. I emailed Mr.Cook (with copies to his associates) - more for what writing it did for me, than for anything my note might actually accomplish. It was difficult to remain respectful, but I managed... now I'll try to work him into my prayers :-)

Mr.Cook's comments bothered me so very much because they echoed what I often hear from my extended family - but thankfully, I have a husband who is kind, loving and understanding.

Often, it helps to remember 1 Corinthians 10:13: "And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."



P.S. Thanks to Bob, as well :-)

Sherri said...

Welcome Debi! ((HUG)) It's great to meet you!

Thank you for your comments. I can imagine how difficult it was to maintain your composure and respectfulness while writing your letter. I still find myself getting "revved up" when I think about it too. I must quickly remind myself that taking in those negative feelings is like accepting poison into my mind, body, and spirit. The bitterness weed is a fast growing monster if left unchecked and decisively cut off! Also, because I've chosen to forgive, I can't go back on it.

It's soooo very difficult and frustrating when things like this rise up. Hearing it from the media, family, friends, etc... gets old REAL fast.

One of the worst parts of this disease is that it doesn't show and can't been seen. Another is that unfortunately, there are those out there who DO fake it and give those of us who are actually legitimately living with the disease a stereotype we don't deserve. I think THAT is my worst pet peeve about the illness.

Mr. Cook's comments regarding the "government check" ticked me off highly when I read it. That's social security income that I PAID into for all the years I worked, (including my military service when, amongst other things, I was defending the right to free speech! Ironically the same freedom that allows Mr. Cook to freely publish these comments.)

I deserve every penny of my social security,(I earned every penny that has been paid into it)and YET the "powers that be" say I CAN'T have it for lack of proof that I'm actually ill! There's no "definitive" test that proves I have Fibromyalgia. Yada, yada, yada... many of us have been there before.

Those of us in the Fibro community that have actually been granted disability income are so lucky to have gotten that money to help themselves. Usually it's not without a massive fight to obtain it either. That money is by no means a free handout for crying out loud.UGH!!! I better stop before I get on my soapbox eh? Hahahaha... whew...

Debi, I'm so encouraged by the verse you wrote here. Thank you for posting it for us. I've seen The Lord prove that very verse time and time again in my personal life and can attest that it's TRUE SO TRUE! Amen!

Bless you and thank you again for stopping by! Please come back again anytime. :-)