The worldwide success of a University of Dundee comic raising awareness of a common but poorly understood medical condition has led to a Spanish version of the publication being launched.
‘Fibromyalgia and Us: Living with Fibromyalgia’, created by writers, artists and health professionals from the University and NHS Tayside, in conjunction with those living with the condition, has been downloaded around 13,000 times since it was published in December 2017. Two thousand paper copies are also in circulation.
The comic explores the long-term condition which can often cause intense pain and/or fatigue all over the body and the impact it can have on individual patients and their families.
The Spanish version, ‘La Fibromialgia y nosotros: Vivir con Fibromialgia’, was created in order to increase the impact that the comic has around the globe, according to Divya Jindal-Snape, Professor of Education, Inclusion and Life Transitions at the University.
She said, “Since the comic was first published, we have had a lot of interest from around the world and people were asking whether it would be available in another language. When we received funding to produce a new version I conducted a poll on Twitter to see which language would be most popular and Spanish was the clear winner.
“The comic was designed with the purpose of raising awareness of fibromyalgia amongst professionals, families, and communities. Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world so hopefully this will help people living with Fibromyalgia across the globe.
“As someone with fibromyalgia myself, I am aware of the lack of understanding of this condition. This comic has been vital in giving a voice to others like myself through the visualisation of the condition and its impact on people and families. We have had excellent feedback from the fibromyalgia community and healthcare professionals about the usefulness of this comic.
“It illustrates the ongoing life transitions of those who have fibromyalgia as well as its impact on significant others. A strong support network is so crucial to enable people to adapt to the multiple transitions triggered by fibromyalgia and flourish despite its substantial challenging consequences.”
Fibromyalgia and Us / La Fibromialgia y nosotros is part of a series of public education comics created by writers and artists at the University to raise awareness of a range of conditions and issues including heart disease, coeliac disease, grief and organ donation.
The new version was translated from the original by Mayra Crowe, a Lecturer in Spanish at the University, and re-lettered by Dundee Comics Creative Space Coordinator Damon Herd. The original version was created in partnership with Chris Murray, Professor of Comic Studies at Dundee.
Fibromyalgia and Us was praised in an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons on 4 March 2019, and has also been placed in all GP surgeries across Tayside.