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In 1997, Kara Hash, was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. A few years later she moved to Florida and it was there she was also diagnosed with bi-polar disorder.

A couple of years ago Hash’s father passed away in mid-winter. She braved the freezing northern winter to attend her father’s funeral. The combination of the stress of losing her father and being in the freezing northern climate was the onset of a three month fibromyalgia flare-up of pain. When the pain became too much she finally agreed with her husband to see her doctor for pain medication.

Hash’s physician told her that the pain was in her head, but agreed to give her pain medication if she agreed to be treated by a psychiatrist. Reluctantly she agreed and at the same time made a promise to herself—to get a new physician once the flare-up had passed.

True to her word when she felt better later that spring she started interviewing physicians and finally found one who accepted fibromyalgia as ‘real’ and agreed that with the loss of her father and the freezing northern winter she undoubtedly would experience a fibro flare-up. Although the doctor discourages the use of opiates as a pain treatment she agreed it was the best treatment under those conditions.