I’ve been excited about this news: On October 1, 2015, fibromyalgia was finally officially recognized as an official diagnosis in the new ICD-10 list of codes being adopted across the U.S. This is the beginning of the medical community being forced to take a look at what Fibromyalgia sufferers have long known: that what we endure is a real medical condition and is biologically based deserving of its own unique, individual, singular diagnostic code.
We are now, in the new system, able to use the diagnostic code: “Fibromyalgia (M79.7).”
Until now the ICD-9 list of diagnostic codes has NOT listed a specific code for Fibromyalgia. Instead doctors have been using “Myalgia and myositis, unspecified (729.1),” which includes any disorder causing muscle pain or inflammation. As we sufferers have long known, muscle pain and inflammation are a big part of Fibromyalgia but are only part of it, and there is so much more to this disease. It deserves much more than a generic and unspecific terminology. It’s sort of like PDD and PDD-NOS (Pervasive Development Disorder/Not Otherwise Specified), getting to call itself Autism officially diagnostically.
Now the ICD-10 is out; freshened up with a new coat of paint with modern colors, track lighting, and levered door handles. That formerly dimly lit room now opens into a spacious room with plenty of windows, soothing shades of purple on the walls, providing more opportunities for funding and services from more sources.
There’s hope that we won’t be viewed as doctor shoppers, lazy do-nothings on welfare, and feckless drug addicts desperate for our next fix.
We can point to this code when we go to emergency rooms that haven’t caught on yet and look at us with knowing looks when they hear the word Fibromyalgia, even when we tell them that we want to find out why our appendix is hurting and if it’s infected and we’re not interested in pain meds. That in fact we stopped taking the pain meds in order to figure out where a particular new pain was coming from so that we could describe it and see if it was causing additional symptoms. That we would like a CT Scan, X-Ray, MRI, blood tests, urine tests, stool tests, anything at all to figure out if we’re going to have a burst appendix or gallbladder removal or if it really is, in fact, the ridiculousness that we live with daily thanks to Fibromyalgia.
There will be changes in the insurance industry with “Fibromyalgia M79.7” as a diagnostic reason for particular tests and medications to be ordered.
We can inform friends and family when they ask what Fibromyalgia is and they’re interested in looking it up.
You can’t see me smiling right now, but I am.
What’s ironic to me is that the Federal Government was ahead of the medical community on calling this one. Fibromyalgia has been considered a Federally accepted disability for Social Security Disability claims since 2012. Why did it take over three years for the health care industry to catch up?