I know hate is a really strong word and I don’t use it casually. I dislike lots of things but I don’t hate very many. This commercial, I hate.
It’s not that I object to a company trying to sell their product. In fact, I’m happy to have someone out there educating people on the reality of fibromyalgia and how it feels. I could have used that often over the past 40+ years, when people thought it was “in my head.” There are two reasons I can’t stand that commercial.
First of all, now all the people who know I have fibromyalgia think there’s a cure for it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “Don’t they have a drug for that now?” Then I have to launch into explaining that it’s a drug for another condition that’s been approved for use in fibromyalgia. It doesn’t cure it. It only helps some people control the pain. I stress that “some people” is important. I remind them that the drug has potential side effects like weight gain (not the obvious choice for someone contemplating lap-band surgery!) and sleepiness (again, not a good choice for someone who has to take medication to stay awake). Then I have to deal with their disappointment. They thought they had found something that would be a miracle for me. They were wrong and there isn’t anything that will take it all away. I didn’t have that disappointment myself. Over the years I’ve heard of so many “miracle cure-alls” and seen so many doctors, I have developed a healthy scepticism. I take the time to research and think about things before I let them get me excited. Sorry – no cure yet.
The second, and most important, reason is that the woman (actress?) comes off like a whining baby!! Sure, everyone with fibromyalgia has days like that – but we don’t generally advertise them! “Oh, poor little me.” If I were a betting woman, I’d put money on the fact the majority of us who have fibromyalgia fight against it every day. Many of us have jobs, families, hobbies. When we can’t do something anymore due to the fibro, it really ticks us off. We don’t usually sit around feeling sorry for ourselves.
Okay, I can only speak for myself. I suppose there are some whiners among us. But I’m not one and it really annoys me to see fibro sufferers portrayed in that light. I’m a fighter. I do what I can and push myself to do more at times. I remember when I was a single mother, working 60 hours a weeks for about two and a half years because I wasn’t getting any child support. I still had pain. I never left home without ibuprofen. I had headaches that lasted for 10 days – there when I woke up in the morning, there in varying degrees all day, there when I went to bed. It’s exhausting and that’s just what fibro patients need – another reason to be tired.
But you would never find me whining for the world to see. There has to be a happy medium in this advertising. Educate, explain, whatever. But don’t make us seem like we’re hopeless and hapless without this “miracle drug.”
Okay – thanks for letting me vent.