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RT @invisiblymeblog: @fmauk Absolutely, and this can have a huge knock-on effect to our social lives, relationships, confidence & mental he…

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Walking the London Loop

london-loop-publicityx200Pam Stewart, chair of Fibromyalgia Association UK (FMA UK), has recently moved back to Whitton and on one of her Sunday walks noticed the London Loop symbol in Crane Park.  She found the details on the website and gave herself the challenge of walking the whole of this interconnection of 150 miles of pathways on consecutive days to raise awareness of fibromyalgia.

Pam’s husband had fibromyalgia for many years and found first of all that it took years to get a diagnosis and then treatment was not very effective.  Information and support were not readily available and many professionals did not even believe it existed.

Over the years the fibromyalgia community has grown, with over 150 support groups around the country.  Awareness amongst professionals is much improved although understanding is still patchy.  Effective treatment is still difficult to obtain.

At present there are only 2 support groups in the Greater London area and it is hoped that by raising awareness with the London Loop Walk people can be put into contact with others in their area for support and understanding.

The London Loop Walk will start on 28th August and be completed on 11th September to coincide with the end of the UK Fibromyalgia Awareness week.  Pam will be walking each day with lunchtime venues for awareness sessions, where information about fibromyalgia will be available and people will be able to meet up with others who have fibromyalgia.   Often people believe they are the only ones with this condition and feel isolated and struggle to cope.  Meeting others that understand completely what they are going through can help.

Anyone who wants to join for any of the walk is welcome.  Volunteers for arranging venues for the awareness raising would also be greatly appreciated.  Details of the route to be walked on each day and lunchtime venues will be available on our website www.fmauk.org/londonloop2010

Pam is planning to use her Freedom Pass to get to the starting points each day and for returning to “base” each evening.  This means no travel expenses will be incurred and any sponsorship monies raised will go directly to FMA UK.  This enables FMA UK to continue to produce information booklets and attend medical conferences so that both people with fibromyalgia and those treating them are better informed.

Pam says, “I know I am likely to feel increasingly stiff, aching and exhausted as I complete this walk, but at least I know it will pass.  People with fibromyalgia feel like this without exerting themselves and get no respite.  If by doing this I make people more aware of the condition and it means better treatment so that they do not have to suffer for years the way my husband had to it’s worth it.”

If you can help in any way please contact Pam.

To sponsor Pam go to www.justgiving.com/pam-stewart

For more information on fibromyalgia see the FMA UK website www.fmauk.org

Itinerary

You can download a copy of the itinerary from here.

About Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition of widespread pain and profound fatigue.  The pain tends to be felt as diffuse aching or burning, often described as head to toe.  It may be worse at some times than others.  It may also change location, usually becoming more severe in parts of the body that are used most.

The fatigues ranges from feeling tired, to the exhaustion of a flu-like illness.  It may come and go and people can suddenly feel drained of all energy – as if someone just “pulled the plug”.

Besides pain and fatigue, fibromyalgia symptoms often include –

Unrefreshing sleep – waking up tired and stiff

Headaches – ranging from ordinary types to migraine

Irritable bowel – alternating diarrhoea and constipation, sometimes accompanied by gas in the abdomen or nausea

Cognitive disturbances including lack of concentration, temporary memory impairment and word mix up

Clumsiness and dizziness

Sensitivity to changes in the weather, noise, bright lights smoke and other environmental factors

Allergies

Once other medical conditions have been ruled out through tests the patient’s history, diagnosis depends on two main symptoms:

pain in all four quadrants of the body for at least three months together with

pain in at least 11 out of 18 tender point sites when they are pressed.

Fibromyalgia often develops after some sort of trauma that seems to act as a trigger, such as a fall or car accident, a viral infection, childbirth, an operation or an emotional event.

Fibromyalgia Association UK is a registered charity that is dedicated to raising awareness about fibromyalgia in the general public, people with fibromyalgia, the medical profession and decision makers.

We have information booklets for people with fibromyalgia, young people with fibromyalgia and medical professionals available free of charge.

 

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