Nearly 2 million people in the UK suffer from Fibromyalgia, a chronic illness which cannot be seen and is difficult to understand.

Dan Mehmet, 45 a former bank manager from Peterborough, is one of many who will live with this condition forever. In August 2009 his health declined when he developed an ongoing cold on holiday. Concerned that there might be something seriously wrong he booked an appointment with his doctors the following month. They tested him for everything including STDs but he was later diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) a chronic fatigue syndrome.

“At the time they just called it ME which was a blanket then it became Fibromyalgia”

The additional symptoms are pain points all over the body, sleeping issues, food intolerance, mood swings, stiffness and extreme tiredness. Over the next year, Dan progressively got worse and ended up in hospital 7 times on a drip. He was consulted by a doctor who was studying the illness to start taking it seriously. By changing his diet and lifestyle he eventually learnt to accept it and move forward.

He was prescribed with different medications, such as an anti-depressant called Fluoxetine, a dosage of Amitriptyline and Morphine which he eventually stopped taking because the side effects were making him very moody. “at one point I was taking 18/19 pills a day, I’m on everything and nothing is touching the pain”.

Whilst getting used to his illness and raising a family Dan’s life suddenly changed again in September 2015 when he took a heavy fall. “I got up one day to turn the telly off and as I turned around my leg went from under me as if someone had chopped off my leg”. This caused nerve damage to the left side of his body where he now has 20% less feeling. Having daily physiotherapy helped him to learn how to walk again, but regularly he has to use a stick.

Research by the NHS and Fibromyalgia UK shows that there is no cure so far. They believe the condition is often caused by a traumatic experience, for example, the loss of a loved one or accident. The only incident Dan could track it back to is a stabbing in 2004, but he will never know if this is true. 


People have referred to Dan as lazy because they can’t see his illness. He could be anywhere and be struck down with the feeling of fatigue. He says “if I was missing a limb, had a scar people would be instantly sympathetic but people aren’t because they can’t see it they are quite judgemental”. American singer, songwriter Lady Gaga also lives with the condition and spoke out about people often referring to her as lazy because they don’t understand.

Although it has affected Dan’s marriage and friendship because he isn’t always up for fun activities, he remains positive and enjoys life.

Three pieces of advice he would give to someone who is suffering from Fibromyalgia.
 1. Acceptance

“start to accept that you’ve got it and get that into your head”

2. Management

“you are not suffering from it but managing an illness”

3. Stay away from drama

surround yourself with things and people that are positive, my circle has gone from a hula hoop to a 10 pence piece over the last 5 years”

By bringing awareness to Fibromyalgia Dan’s hopes to motivate and encourage others who are managing an invisible condition. If you are interested in connecting with Dan feel free to contact him on Facebook, Insta and Youtube. You can listen to our full conversation here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed