Recognition of Fibromyalgia as a Disability — [Mr Adrian Bailey in the Chair]

Part of Backbench Business – in Westminster Hall at 10:09 am on 15th January 2019.

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Photo of Justin Madders Justin Madders Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Labour), Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care) 10:09 am, 15th January 2019

That is exactly the experience that we have had and so many other hon. Members’ constituents have had. Speaking about how she felt before she got her diagnosis, my wife said:

“Sometimes, just having a bath would wear me out. I spent most weekends in bed or on the sofa…I just had no energy to move. I couldn’t do stuff with my children or even cook dinner. And I couldn’t understand why I felt like this. I knew other people got tired, but they still managed to live their lives. And so I thought I must just be lazy or completely lacking in any self-control…So when I was finally given my diagnosis, I was pleased that it wasn’t just me making it all up. It was not all in my head or character flaws leading to laziness and ill-discipline. I was and am actually ill. This is something beyond my control. And although it might be unfortunate, at least I now knew what it was.”

I was relieved as well. I knew that something was wrong, but I did not know what. On reflection, I think we both realised that she probably had the condition for years and all the time it was getting worse. We knew something was wrong, but we felt that nobody was listening.