Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic musculoskeletal pain condition. Although studies have reported that some patients can become healthy again, little is known about what they tell about their lives after having FMS. In this study, we interviewed eight Norwegian women who had all recovered from FMS about their experiences when ill and subsequently being healthy. Inspired by narrative methods, we then conducted a thematic narrative analysis. The findings indicate that although women reported that life was better than before, they also reported investing considerable effort in remaining healthy. When ill, they struggled to maintain the routines of everyday life. Being healthy again, they put great effort into avoiding illness through diet, exercise, and relaxation. In conclusion, remaining healthy requires ongoing hard work to maintain the body, as well as profound changes in everyday life. At the same time, the narratives show continuity in the informants' self-presentation as hard-working women.
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© The Author(s) 2014.
Source: Grape HE, Solbrække KN, Kirkevold M, Mengshoel AM. Staying healthy from fibromyalgia is ongoing hard work. Qual Health Res. 2015 May; 25(5):679-88. doi: 10.1177/1049732314557333. Epub 2014 Nov 11.
Editor's Note: We'd love to hear about your experience getting and staying healthy with fibromyalgia. What is the most important thing you do for yourself on a regular basis?