'Fibromyalgia is unfair, inhumane and it ruins lives' says sufferer Jackie Mustoe
National Fibromyalgia Awareness Week took place last week, with support groups and individuals organising events across the county to raise awareness of the condition. SNJ reporter Hayley Mortimer spoke to sufferer Jackie Mustoe about how it has affected her life.
MOTHER-OF-ONE Jackie Mustoe was a positive, independent and hardworking woman before she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia eight years ago.
The condition has forced her to leave her job as a beauty therapist, give up driving and it has taken its toll on her family and social life.
Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition which causes pain all over the body and extreme tiredness.
There is currently no cure and no known causes but the condition affects around one in 20 people worldwide.
Jackie, 45, from Tetbury, first noticed symptoms after she had a hysterectomy 10 years ago.
"It is unbearable, unfair, inhumane and it ruins lives," said Jackie, who lives with husband Jerry and their son Daniel, 22.
"I’ve gone from being a very positive, independent and hardworking woman to an often moody, unmotivated and unsociable person."
Jackie struggles with daily activities that most people take for granted, such as dressing her self, cooking, socialising and walking.
"I feel useless and a burden on my husband," she said.
"The impact on our marriage is huge."I try but I don’t feel that I look after my family properly and I feel so guilty about that.
"But after years of feeling isolated and suffering on my own the most important part of coping has been finding the strength to be open and honest with friends and family about how bad it really is."
Jackie regularly meets with a local support group called Fibrobabes.
"My regular counselling sessions have helped and so has finding the local support group Fibrobabes," she said.
"Even though nothing helps to reduce the pain, just knowing I am in a room full of people that are all suffering the same as I am and understand how it feels has been just amazing."
Jackie is organising a charity cupcake bake off event at Dolphin's Hall, Tetbury from 2pm on Saturday, November 16.
Entry is £5 - for more information see the Tetbury Cupcake Bake Off page on Facebook.
Anyone wishing to donate to Fibrobabes should contact email@example.com or visit www.fibrobabes.co.uk
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