Earlier this month [Oct. 2009] an on air radio personality, Dave Ryan, Twittered a comment that "People With Fibromyalgia Should be Shot". I would like to stress that he has since apologized; however, I have developed an unexpected resolve to bringing awareness to FMS and other invisible illnesses. I hope to help educate the healthy world how these diseases can impact a person’s life. So, in this blog I have included a copy of my email response to him, as well as two links, one is to Jen Reynolds' video response to Dave Ryan and Clear Channel Communications, as well as a link to my video, which exposes my story to the world.
Let's just hope that more people are compassionate and understanding and I don't find myself shot the next time I leave a plane! My last flight was horrific and I had to be helped down the skyway.
On a side note - Dave, thank you for the apology. I should also thank you for bringing attention to a disease that is so commonly misunderstood. Perhaps now people will think twice when they hear the word Fibromyalgia, and instead of scoffing, they will stop and be thankful for their blessings of good health.
In that regard, here are the links to the videos:
(my video response)
Finally, this is my personal email to Dave Ryan.
I would like to share a little about myself with you. I've heard a lot about you and thought maybe you should learn a little about me.
I'm presently a member of an all ladies drill team. Well, to be more specific, I'm a small part of a 2 time/back to back National Championship Drill team. My son is a member of their Advanced Youth team, which also won the Youth National Championship this last June in Tyler, TX.
Since I cannot ride hard on back-to-back days because of my health, in fairness to the team I have chosen to provide ground support at large competitions and I ride with the team in parades to help raise money for the trips to competitions. I'm always there in the background, providing support to all the ladies who have accomplished what no other drill team has EVER done.
Three weeks ago, my son and I rode a 16 mile trail ride fundraiser called "Hooves for the Cure" to raise funds for breast cancer research. There would be two different groups, a two hour ride and a five hour ride. We took the long ride. We were told to go 16 miles in 5 hours we would have to "trot" a little. Well, that was an understatement. We had to flat out lope and gallop a large portion of the ride. We started out with 38, many dropped out in the middle, but not me, not my son. We stayed and rode the whole 16 miles, walk, trot or gallop. I was going to finish it for the memory of a former drill team member, in fact the horse I ride once belonged to her before she died from cancer the year I joined. Also, we rode for a former co-worker who survived breast cancer twice and now is 10 years down the road and still cancer free. We rode fast and hard, the greatest way to ride! I loved every moment of it and let myself feel the freedom of riding across the countryside with the wind in my hair. At the moment I felt truly alive, free, and perhaps pure joy.
All the while on this trail ride, I was thinking wouldn't it be nice if something like this was done for research of FMS/CFS/Lupus? All the invisible illnesses that we still don't know how to cure?
You need to know even more about me. I am a survivor as well. Not of breast cancer, but I have survived a serious car accident that took everything away from me in 2002. I had a severe neck injury and now I have a plate fused in my neck. I thought once I was done with that surgery I could get back to living, but that wasn’t the case. There was this disease that I had no knowledge of. Two years later, I developed FMS as a result of that devastating auto wreck. I lost almost everything, my career, my health, my friendships at that time.
I rebuilt a new life in it's place. That's when I first met the Rangerettes and began to pursue my passion for horses. If you see me on a plane, you won't know I have FMS. But if you want to say 'hi" or exchange a smile or kind word, you can recognize me by my western boots and the Championship belt buckle I may be wearing. The buckle was given to me by my teammates out of appreciation for my hard work and support at the competition. Even they did not know I have FMS until this year.
I'm not going to slam you for your comments. I just wanted to put a face on the disorder. We all say things in the heat of the moment without thinking.
Were you thinking? Will you think now? Please, please help us turn this into something positive for the millions of FMS survivors who are NOT as fortunate as me. Who did not get the care they need or are lost and don't know where to turn. We need to raise awareness in a positive way. Can you help us with that?
Would you care to?
Please think of me often. I'll be the one riding the big black horse, knowing that tomorrow I'll pay for it, but living life in that moment.
To all my readers, I hope that this finds you well and looking forward to a blessed holiday season. If you take anything away from this blog, please let it be empathy and compassion for others. We can't know someone's circumstances unless we are walking in their shoes.
Blessings to you all!
Bobbie© Robynn “Bobbie” Dinse / Bobbie’s World Blogs