I've just come on board here during the last couple of days and responded to posts about our illness, our difficulties with friends, with colleagues, with family. Yes, I have fibro and rheumatoid arthritis, pernicious anemia. etc., and see several doctors. My two major docs( GP and rheumatologist) are women which is a godsend to me in my rural area because most docs are male. Still this does not help me to cope with all of the other issues. Pain, joint problems, my full time teaching job, etc. I am older than many of you and I'm thankful that I did not develop the horrible consequences until my two children were gone off to their respective lives. I can only say that what I've read tells me that so many suffer so much and for no good reason. Young women with families find themselves rejected by their young husbands who lack understanding. Young men suffer because they have no idea how to handle all of the disorientation that comes along with this disease. I just wish that I could reach out and touch each one of you and let you know that I share in your pain. That I share in your sadness, your drawing away from family and friends when you have a flare, your shock when someone tells you that you "look just fine" and can't understand why you feel ill. If you are a fibro sufferer, I can tell you that the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota offers an intensive program for fibro...a couple of days. They also offer a chronic pain three week intensive. I did the fibro program...wonderful. May do the pain intensive this coming year. I have decided that I will do this, not during my summer months here in the short northern summer, but during my teaching year when there are weeks that I can hardly crawl out of bed in the morning to deal with my high school students. Love all of you and hope that I can become part of this wonderful support community. Thanks for listening.