Monday, March 5, 2012

Lyrica Commercials

Another quick post.

Is it just me, or is the Lyrica commercial one of the most annoying things ever?

On one hand, I'm thankful for it because it at least familiarizes people with the term "fibromyalgia." In fact, I wouldn't have ever heard of Fibromyalgia without it. (Bit of a fallacy. I suppose it would be more proper to say I likely would not have heard of Fibromyalgia before the point of my diagnoses without it.)

On the other hand, it annoys me twofold:

First, I believe the only symptom mentioned is (muscle) pain, at least in the current commercial. I obviously do not expect them to take the time to list all of the symptoms, but because of this commercial, I have run into a good few people who are under the impression that Fibromyalgia is just "soreness" or "achiness" a la "the commercial on TV."

Commercials can only go over so much information at one time, though, right? Sure, but I still think there are things they could improve in order to be more accurate.

For instance, hypothetically speaking I would personally change the commercial to have the woman lying in bed looking as people with Fibromyalgia often feel - I want her to look similar to how people in flu commercials look, damn it! Not up and moving and then suddenly rubbing her shoulder blade with a squinched up face! Sheesh. She must have extremely mild Fibro.

I also wish there was more emphasis on the type of pain. You know, more descriptive words like radiating, debilitating, unrelenting. Perhaps a mention of how it includes other widespread and bizarre symptoms.

Secondly, the commercial leaves the impression that after taking Lyrica, Miss Fibro is all better to go out in the sun (with no sunglasses since her light sensitivity is now remedied), with her hair pulled back in a bun (since Lyrica is an antidote for the pain and headaches hair bands cause), and is fresh faced (since chronic fatigue has met it's maker!) and ready to tackle another day at work (presuming her fibro wasn't severe enough to put her job in jeopardy)! Ladies and gentlemen, it's a new superhero, FIBRO WOMAN.

Okay, okay, I'm not ignorant, I get it. They are trying to sell a product and it's their job to make it sound like it's a cure for fibro, cancer, and world hunger, and a downright gift from God himself. I get it. But it's just so misleading and inaccurate. I've yet to meet someone on Lyrica or any other single medication whose pain and other symptoms simply vanished. And if that were the case, I'd be hard pressed not to question if they were diagnosed correctly.

I'm currently on Lyrica, and it's helped. By helped, I mean it's taken my pain from a 9 or 8 to a 7, or a 6 on a good day. And that's in combination with tramadol, a sleeping pill, some medication generally used for Parkinson's, and who knows what other prescriptions (I try to take as few as possible). It's also in combination with the 23987429387 brazillion supplements I take, my physical therapy, my healthy(ish) diet, and my overall positive attitude. All of that money for my pain to drop by a point or two. Sigh.

I was once sitting in a room with my Resident Advisor who was aware of my fibromyalgia when the Lyrica commercial came on. "Have you tried that?" she asked, with a look of eagerness to help (after all, she had just discovered that Lyrica practically brings about world peace). I told her I was currently taking it.

"Does it help?"

I begrudgingly responded with my Likert pain scale.

"Well how long have you been taking it? It probably just hasn't had time to take full effect yet. I'm sure if you give it time you'll be back to normal in a few weeks!"


Whatever internet expression of frustration and disappointment you prefer.

No, Anne, Lyrica is not the source of rainbows and butterflies. It will not ensure every fluffy puppy goes to bed with shelter and food tonight, it is not the answer to the inevitable and impending zombie apocalypse, and it is not a cure for Fibrolmyalgia - primarily because, at present, there is no cure.

To be clear, I actually love my RA (not to be confused with my RA doctor!). She's the sweetest, most genuine person ever who is actually very bright. But she also happened to be involved in a big reason why I hate this commercial. :)

Like most things in life, I wish fibromyalgia was as easy as it is on TV. Where's my hardhat and blue prints? :(

Alright, roommate is back and we have our senior seminar presentation to put together. Positive thoughts to anyone going through a particularly rough time right now, and air hugs to all of those Fibrobots out there!



  1. Love this post! I have commented to my friends and family how Lyrica commercials completely so no justice whatsoever to our plight. Must share this with others. Great post. ;)