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I’m a married 31 year-old who has been diagnosed with fibromylagia for 12 years. I am on a quest to raise awareness and help others by sharing information and staying positive. Read more
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Interview with Lynne Matallana – Part III

This post is a continuation of my interview with Lynne Matallana.

Next I asked what new and exciting things can we expect to see from the National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA) in the upcoming years. “Oh my goodness, we have so many things that we are excited about! We are working on an Exercises Medicine Program. Your doctor can give you a key that would have the prescription of what you should do, you plug it into the exercise machine, work out, then what you did goes back to the doctor’s office for compliance. [The machines] have TVs so they can have somebody encouraging you, talking to you or doing bio-feedback. You can also listen to certain types of music which may help you exercise more effectively.

We’re working on turning our Leaders Against Pain into a coalition. That way we’ll have individuals that know about advocacy and media all around the country. So eventually, we’ll have the chapters, just like normal non-profits! We’ve been raising awareness with the Science Behind Fibromyalgia public service announcements (PSA). These PSAs show a patient shaking hands, so you can see the problem is a physiological problem. We are continuing educating doctors and finding more health care providers who are willing and good at treating patients. Then, having those doctors names available so people can find them.

We’re hoping to create a patient registry to continue helping with research.” The registry would include everything from patient x-rays and blood, to information from the patient, from doctors, and from researchers. “With that data we’ll be able to have information to give to pharmaceutical companies, clinicians and patients. [We will] learn more and be able to come up with answers.

One of the things I really want to do is I want to try to create a group of teenagers and young adults with fibromyalgia to be able to talk about their different issues.” She explained that teenagers and young adults often wonder if they’ll be able to finish college, get married or have kids whereas seniors worry about if it gets worse and they can’t take care of themselves or if nobody believes them and they’re all alone. Men often don’t want to tell people they have fibromyalgia, but need to know how to get support or how to explain to their friend or employer why there are certain things they cannot do. “So I think we need to have more opportunities for people who have fibromyalgia to be able to talk and share. Those are just a few of the thousand things that we’re working on that we really do believe will make a difference.

Matallana travels often, so I asked her if she got to take her dog, Bruiser, with her for company. She clarified that she actually has three dogs; Bruiser, Charlie and Sophia. “I wish I could bring my babies with me, I miss them so much! Sophia, my little girl, was actually part of my healing. I’m not kidding, no matter where I was in the house, if I wasn’t feeling good, she would come and be right there with me. I believe pets can be so motivational! I would watch her and if she would stretch, I would stretch, if she would sigh, I would sigh. If she would wag her tail, I would think, “life is good.” She really was, and still is, a big part, of my health. I think that it is always good to look to other things – nature, beauty, music, etc… Those things can really revive you. And that is part of that pleasure part, part of keeping you full with the 3 Ps.” Learn more about Matallana’s relationship with Sophia, as well as Sophia’s recent cancer surgery in this recent NFA Fibro Blog post.

Do you have a pet?

Matallana and Sophia

Matallana and Sophia*

*Photo Credit: Image from www.fibroblog.org



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