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AHH 24-Hr. News

Vietnam Veterans to Lead Tours of Memorial and Museum
Tuesday, 29 July 2014
Holmdel, N.J.  – The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation is offering free tours of the Museum and Memorial led by... Read More...
Highlands Community Singers at Clamfest Saturday
Tuesday, 29 July 2014
HIGHLANDS, NJ - The Highlands Community Singers will kick off Saturday's entertainment at the annual Clam Festival with a performance at noon,... Read More...
Joint Presbyterian Service Sunday
Tuesday, 29 July 2014
ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ - The First Presbyterian Church of Atlantic Highlands and the Hope Presbyterian Church of Tinton Falls will conduct... Read More...
IMAGE Mayor Declares July 13 William Kennelly, Sr. Day
Monday, 28 July 2014
PHOTO: From left to right: Mayor Stephanie Murray,  Firefighter William Kennelly Sr., Fire Chief Peter Laimann, and 3rd Assistant Chief... Read More...
IMAGE 7 New Middletown Police Officers Take the Oath
Monday, 28 July 2014
PHOTO: Officer Erica Weeks is sworn in.  Her father, Timothy Weeks, is holding the Bible. MIDDLETOWN- The Middletown Township Police Department... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE Adoption Involving Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
by Daniel J. Vance
Saturday, 26 July 2014
Laura Bloch adored his picture. “My husband and I had just been approved through an adoption agency and the agency sent out a letter with a picture... Read More...
IMAGE Is It The Shadow?
by Woody Zimmerman
Friday, 25 July 2014
“Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of man? (Hoo-hoo-hoo-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!) The Shadow...” Starting in the 1930s, and extending well into... Read More...
IMAGE Spectator’s Observations
by George Hancock-Stefan
Thursday, 24 July 2014
During the World Cup, I watched as many games as possible. I watched them here at home, I watched a couple of games in Turkey where they were... Read More...
IMAGE What Does the Fox Say?
by Anne Mikolay
Thursday, 24 July 2014
As a long-time Middletown resident and a nature lover, I have seen my share of backyard critters. We have mice, voles, squirrels, raccoons, skunks,... Read More...
IMAGE Skewed View - July 24, 2014
by Tom Brennan
Thursday, 24 July 2014
I created a page called "Fact Jack".  If you want, like it on Facebook http://bit.ly/FactJackFb or follow on... Read More...

Upcoming Events

Tue Jul 29 @ 3:00PM - 04:30PM
Free Summer Mini-Camp
Wed Jul 30 @ 3:00PM - 04:30PM
Free Summer Mini-Camp
Mon Aug 04 @ 8:00PM -
Middletown Township Committee Workshop Meeting
Tue Aug 05 @ 3:00PM - 04:30PM
Free Summer Mini-Camp
Wed Aug 06 @ 3:00PM - 04:30PM
Free Summer Mini-Camp

danvance_120"People look at you sometimes like you're crazy," said 40-year-old Mara Mittelman of Carney's Point, New Jersey, in a telephone interview. "But I've always been honest about having fibromyalgia. I just want people to know that (people with it) aren't crazy and it's a real condition."

A National Institutes of Health website defines fibromyalgia as a "common and chronic disorder" involving widespread soft tissue pain and tenderness. It can also cause fatigue, cognitive and memory problems, headaches, and sensitivity to noise, lights, and temperature. People with fibromyalgia often are accused of making up symptoms or told their symptoms are in their head. But the condition is real and in some people meets the criteria for a disability. It affects five million Americans over 18, mostly women.

Said Mittelman, "In 1998, I was a medical assistant and my shoulders were killing me. I was constantly having to lie down at lunch to relax my back. I couldn't figure out why everything hurt all the time. I saw a neurosurgeon because of the pain, and he said four of my vertebrae were compressing, and two were dangerous. I ended up having a cervical fusion."

Months later, she was regressing in terms of pain, but this time of a different type. At age 25, she no longer had any energy and her entire body hurt. In August 1998, a doctor diagnosed fibromyalgia. Her symptoms would improve slightly over time to where in 2008 she was able to complete her associate's degree.

Even so, fibromyalgia still affects her. "For example, I worked in the garden the other day and am still in pain. When choosing an activity, I have to consider I might be in pain (for days). So I have to ask myself whether doing an activity is worth it."

Mittelman now works as a part-time apartment complex leasing agent. She can't return to her job as a medical assistant because the stress experienced there triggers severe fibromyalgia-related flareups even while taking medication. To cope with flareups, which can last a week, she prays, talks herself through tough stretches, reads, and crochets.

She said, "If somebody told me they had a cure for fibromyalgia, I would be first in line. By the same token, because of it I am the person I am today. It has made me stronger because I have had to fight through it."

Contact: danieljvance.com [Blue Valley Sod and Palmer Bus Service make this column possible.]