The Baltimore Sun

Reality of fibromyalgia merits more respect

The Baltimore Sun's article "Drugmakers fuel buzz on fibromyalgia" (Feb. 9) did a disservice to the millions of Americans suffering needlessly with pain from fibromyalgia and reinforces the skepticism about that condition shown by a minority of the medical community.

Instead of focusing on the pharmaceutical companies' sales figures, the reporter should have interviewed patients who are leading productive, quality lives because of effective treatment options approved by the Food and Drug Administration for fibromyalgia.

While fibromyalgia continues to be misunderstood, it is real and it is recognized as a legitimate medical condition by a number of reputable professional groups, including the National Institutes of Health, the American Medical Association and the American College of Rheumatology.

Although there are currently no cures for diseases such as asthma and Alzheimer's, patients are prescribed medications to control the symptoms of those diseases and their signs of progression.

People living with fibromyalgia deserve the same level of care and legitimacy for their discomfort.

Let's stop arguing about the name of the condition and whether it is a disorder or disease, and educate people with fibromyalgia symptoms and the medical community on available treatment options.

Will Rowe, Baltimore

The writer is chief executive officer of the American Pain Foundation.

Will Keswick follow university's lead?

On behalf of those in other area neighborhoods, I would like to offer my thanks to Towson University for its cooperation with and respect for Rodgers Forge in settling on a new location for its $45 million athletic center ("Towson U., its neighbors sign arena agreement," Feb. 13).

Its actions will not only help keep the neighborhood intact but also foster goodwill for the university.

If only the same were true for the behavior of the Baltimore Country Club and the Keswick Multi-Care Center toward the Roland Park community in the dispute over their proposed land development.

Not only has BCC refused to sell the 17-acre tract of country club land in question to representatives of the community but Keswick has never been cooperative in considering alternative sites for its senior assisted-living complex.

We in Roland Park deserve better.

Michelle Pasternack, Baltimore

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