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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Breakfast Club: Bones, S5E18, “The Predator in the Pool”

During the two years that I was studying for my masters degree, I would meet two of my closest friends every Sunday morning at a local coffee shop. We’d spend an hour chatting, venting, gossiping, and catching up on our lives (or lack thereof) over bagels and coffee, before the conversations would inevitably tangent off onto random topics. I miss those chats – and the insights into my friends I’d gain through them.  So I thought I’d try to restart something along those lines on my blog. A chance to hear more from my readers… at first, I was trying to decide if I wanted something consistent: quotes/sayings, song lyrics, random current or pop culture events…. But I think it will be more fun, more free to mix it up. Just whatever I’m dwelling on at the moment. Hope you all have as much fun with it as I do.

I usually enjoy Bones, but this episode had me all riled up. (Yes, I realize that it was a few episodes ago, but I don’t find much time to keep up with my shows…) The premise of this episode was that a woman killed a self-help guru who promised he could take away pain (and effectively cure her fibromyaligia) when his methods didn’t work. The worst part? She claims her pain [miraculously] disappeared now that she had killed him, thereby justifying her actions. The implication was that her fibromyalgia was cured after she had exacted her revenge/frustration.

Now, to be fair, Bones is not a show that’s known for being incredibly politically correct, they often pick cases based on people who do not live within the realm of society’s norms. Recent episodes included witches and hoarders. Still, this one (quite likely due to my own personal interest in the topic) was particularly offensive and, I thought, in bad taste. Living with an illness that people don’t understand is hard enough without major TV shows portraying it so ridiculously! 

While, as far as I know, a complete definition for fibromyalgia is still pending, I think enough is known about it to negate the premise of the show. There was an article about it in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) as long ago as 1987 – over 20 years ago! Yet fibromyalgia continues to be a misunderstood (or hardly understood) disease.  Sufferers of fibromyalgia, their friends, families, and the doctors who believe them are constantly fighting to convince people that they are truly fighting a painful, debilitating illness not a psychological problem. Now I know that asking for an apology is too much effort for very unlikely return. Still, I wish someone would inform Bones’ viewers of how out of line this ending was.

Nevertheless, my dear readers, here is the question that I put forth this week. What do you think would be an informative way for fibromyalgia to be portrayed by the entertainment industry? I mean, I’m not sure that anyone would make it all the way through a portrayal of the daily aches and pains without getting bored. (Let’s face it – it would be a pretty uneventful show, right? I sure get bored with the tedium of it all.)

Also, if any of you have seen noted other references to fibromyalgia in the entertainment media please let me know. (I’m asking about both accurate or inaccurate – I’m just curious.) 


  1. I think portraying the frustration that many (normally very active) people with fibromyalgia feel at not being able to "keep up" with their daily lives because of debilitating pain and fatigue would be helpful. I think there is a stigma about fibromyalgia that people who complain of the symptoms are "lazy", "bored", "depressed", "craving attention", "don't get enough exercise",etc. I hope that as new information and awareness develops, society will realize that the disease (or syndrome, or disorder, or whatever "they" are going to call it) is real and not imagined.

  2. I'm trying to think if I've seen many portrayals of Fibromyalgia in film/tv. Nothing is really coming to mind. There was a mention of CFS on the US of Tara the other day (referring only to excessive fatigue) which I found insulting - as there are a million facets to the illness.


    The problem is that these types of illnesses harm every single part of the body...and no one watching tv wants to know about it.

    Hope all is well darling!


I love to hear from my readers! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Please be polite and respectful, I've had some trouble with that already. Thanks!! :)