May is National Fibromyalgia Education and Awareness Month. Fibromyalgia is a chronic illness. My mother and grandmother have it, and possibly my sister. Several of my friends have it, also.
I copied the following definition from this site.
Fibromyalgia (FM) — Sometimes called fibrositis, Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that causes pain and stiffness throughout the tissues that support and move the bones and joints. Pain and localized tender points occur in the muscles, particularly those that support the neck, spine, shoulders and hips. Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia involves widespread pain lasting more than three months, tenderness in at least 11 of 18 tender point sites, fatigue and sleep disturbances.
Fibromyalgia is difficult for doctors to diagnose because the physical symptoms are not obvious, and there is no test that can be used to diagnose it either. One of my friends told me that her doctor tested her for everything he could think of with any similar symptoms before diagnosing her. Fibromyalgia is also difficult to diagnose because every person is affected to a different extent. Some people are treated and aren't bothered by it very much, while others have less success and try numerous treatments and medications before finding one that makes the pain tolerable.
Fibromyalgia Network News is an excellent resource and you can subscribe to a very informative newsletter.
*edited to add the following information from my Mom:
"Something your quote didn't mention are the sleep disturbances that fibromyalgia causes. For most people, pain is their biggest complaint, but, as you know, sleep is a big problem for me.
I still find it interesting that the term "fibrositis" is still being used by some, because "itis" means "inflammation", and there is no inflammation present in fibromyalgia."*