While the healthcare profession struggles with much that we do not understand about Fibromyalgia, we do all agree on this: Fibro is complex. It involves many systems of the mind-body, including brain chemistry, nervous system, muscles, tendons, joints, digestion, sleep cycle, and the list goes on. It also involves financial issues, relationship stress and a host of comorbid symptoms, medication side effects, and the list goes on.
By this point in both my career and in history, I know many people with Fibro. There is one thing they all have in common, and that is the lack of a centralized place to hold and analyze all of their information. Some information is in medical records, but not financial issues or therapeutic records. Some information is available to some practitioners, but not all. This results in a situation in which the person with Fibro is guessing a great deal of the time, as are the doctors, therapists, and other practitioners involved.
Combine this with the common Fibro symptom known as Fibro Fog – a collection of cognitive impairments including memory loss – and the result is total chaos.
So, now that we understand why Fibro needs a manager, let’s look at what the manager can do:
– Organize all treatment. The manager follows each treatment to determine if it is working. This can include traditional pain meds and/or functional medicine.
– Track mood and overall functioning. This can help detect a change in mood or depression early on, making intervention easier.
– Keep abreast of relationship and family issues, offering support for caregivers when needed.
– Keep tabs on financial issues, supporting the process of applying for disability or other assistance.
– Support and encourage lifestyle changes, including diet, meditation and exercise.
– Implement the behavior of tracking, so no practitioner needs to rely on the patient’s memory.
In many cases, a person with Fibro will come home from a doctor’s visit and say, “she told me to try acupuncture.” This is a great start, but no one is there to follow up with this “try.” How many times did you go? How did you feel before the treatment? How did you feel after the treatment? The next day? Etc. A manager helps to contain and follow all interventions, which is what is required to treat such a complex condition.