A post office worker with an ‘invisible illness’ has set up a support group to help others with the same condition.
Julie Moore, 40, pictured, has felt pain and stiffness in her muscles every day since being diagnosed with fibromyalgia (FM) after a fall in 2011.
She slipped, dislocated her elbow and broke her wrist but when the pain remained months later, Julie was told she had the disabling condition.
The unpredictable pains forced her to quit her job as a hairdresser after 14 years and she now works part-time at Brackley Post Office.
Julie, who lives in Hawkins Close, Brackley, said: “It affects the whole body from nerves to muscles.
“I have very bad pain and stiffness and you get irritable bowel problems too. They call it the invisible illness.
“Some people can no longer work at all and some people end up in a wheelchair or on a mobility scooter.
“But I have researched and researched and researched for information and it is very hard to find the help.”
Julie was first told by a rheumatologist that she had arthritis but a ‘tender point test’ found she felt pain on 17 of the body’s 18 points around the body – one way of diagnosing the condition.
Julie, who lives with her sister Sandra, 42, set up the support group on Facebook at the weekend and she has already been contacted by eight sufferers from the town.
She is hoping to grow the Brackley Fibro Buddies group and then meet regularly to discuss how best to live with the rare condition.
Julie said: “I told my GP I had set up the group and she was very pleased. There’s no group like it in the area.
“A lot of people don’t understand why that person feels so poorly.
“Doctors don’t know exactly how to treat it because they don’t know how people get it.
“It can be from a trauma, it can be from a virus. Some people can have it for years without being diagnosed.”
If you are interested in joining the support group, search for Brackley Fibro Buddies on Facebook.