Fibromyalgia: “I am 41 years old and I live in the body of an elderly person”

He is always tired and it hurts all the time. Patrick Schutz de Neuchâtel suffers from fibromyalgia, an invisible disease that is not recognized by disability insurance.

Pain, pain, nothing but pain: Patrick Schuts (41) of Neuchâtel always feels that he has the flu, without fever, but with great fatigue due to lead. He would like to stay in bed all day and spend time there. “Every part of my body hurts, fortunately not all at once,” he told the magazine “L’illustré.”

Patrick Schutz and his partner have a three-year-old daughter, Naya.

Even if you only play with him for 20 minutes, the energy is eliminated throughout the day. “When I fell asleep, then I woke up, I’m as tired as I’ve never slept.” He lost many friends who believe he is pretending. At night, we cannot go out with them as before, go to bed at 7pm to relax.

The diagnosis of his suffering a year ago revealed: fibromyalgia. An estimated 400,000 people are affected in Switzerland. The problem:

Fibromyalgia is not recognized by disability insurance (IV). There is no scientific evidence: no evidence has been found in blood and X-rays. Hundreds of symptoms characterize fibromyalgia. It is determined by the exclusion of other diseases and by a test: soft spots are generally used.

If eleven or more of the 18 (soft spots) have an increase in pain, there is a suspicion of fibromyalgia. These diagnostic points are close to the tendon-motor approach. The cause of the disease is unclear and can only be limited by medical measures.

Patrick’s protection has to take many medications: pain relievers, antidepressants, vitamins, medications to protect the stomach and drops for sensitive and dry eyes. “It’s an invisible pain,” says Schutz. He wants as many people as possible to know him, he has created a Facebook site for fibromyalgia to reach the population’s awareness.

Patrick has been unemployed for two years and lives on welfare. If the IV recognized at least partially the suffering, it would have already been helped. He expects financial support due to his depression and chronic fatigue. His greatest hope is a popular initiative that has just been launched and requires the recognition of fibromyalgia as a disease.

He plays with his daughter Naya, but after 20 minutes his energy runs out. 
Patrick is lying on a carpet to relieve pain.

Patrick’s relationship with Sylvie’s partner has also become difficult. There are no common television songs because he sleeps early. Naya is surprised that Dad goes to bed at the same time. Patrick Schutz doesn’t know how long his condition can last: “I’m only 41 years old and I live in the body of an old man!”

Patrick suspects that even traumatic experiences could be triggered in the past. At the age of 17, he was present when his father hit a man with a stone in front of his eyes. 
Patrick has no contact with him. The birth of his daughter was also bad: almost the mother and the child were dead. Patrick: “These events have shaken me deeply.” 
He would like to do something with his wife and daughter, but his suffering and the little money he receives do not make this desire real.

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