Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Western Medically Speaking....

Here goes more of my fibromyalgia journies..... This post will be about the medical journies I have been on. In October 2006 I finally decided to seek medical help. I had an appointment at the base with a family doctor. She examined me and said she couldn't make a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia a rheumatologist would have to do that. So I got a referral to one on the base. She asked me why I wanted to have Fibromyalgia? I said, " I didn't want to have it, I did have it!" All she could do for me was give me the anit-depressant Elavil, generic name of amytriptyline. Elavil would help me sleep and could help with my pain. I thought about that for about three seconds and said "thank you, but no thank you", I do not want to take drugs. The doctor got kind of huffy and said "that was all she could do for me then." She wanted me to come back in a month to go over my bloodwork and see how I was doing. I felt very let down, frustrated, not sure what to do. But I did know I was not going to take an anti-depressant. I went online and googled Fibromyalgia and found this website by Miryam Williamson, which I attribute to the beginning of my recovery: http://mwilliamson.com/regimen.htm. Miryam has also writen some good books on Fibro that I recommend. Because of Miryam I took melatonin and Tylenol PM and I HAD A FULL NIGHTS SLEEP!!! my first in weeks. After a few nights of blessed sleep I started to feel like I could function. I could handle the pain during the day, but not at night. From there I googled more websites, got more books out of the library. If I heard about a supplement I tried it. I will share my slew of supplements with you later. When I went back to the doctor I proudly told her my solution to my lack of sleep and she said that I really couldn't take Tylenol forever because of liver damage. I personally felt that it was much less toxic than Elavil would be for my body. Now 2 1/2 years later I rarely take anything to help me sleep unless I have had a very active day doing physical stuff using my arms, like raking, gardening. My next journy was to the base rheumatologist. Before I went to the rheumatolgist I made a list of my symptoms and why I thought I had Fibromyalgia and presented it to him. Here is the list. I looked at the list the other night and was overjoyed to see how many ARE GONE NOW!!!

Why I think I Have Fibromyalgia - the blue symptoms I still have sometimes.
1. skin is red, blotchy, rashes, Rosacea
2. thin hair
3. neck pain
4. shoulder pain-only sometimes
5. arm pain
6. finger pain
7. elbow pain-painful sometimes to pressure
8. skin sensitive to touch
9. sternum pain
10. back pain-upper and lower-only sometimes
11. hip pain-only sometimes
12. knee pain-my right knee only and it is from osteoarthritis from knee surgery where my meniscus was totally removed in 1978.
13. leg pain
14. ankle pain
15. IBS like symptoms-cramps, bloating, diarrhea
16. insomnia
17. fatigue
18. irritable
19. lose train of thought, forget words-only sometimes, I call these brain farts
20. forgetful
21. clumsiness
22. urinary urgency
23. stiff in morning or when sitting a long time- some days this is totally gone, other days I am still stiff
24. edema
25. Heredity

My appointment with the rheumatologist at the base wasn't much better. He felt that I had Somatoform Pain. Do you know what this is? I didn't. What it is is you have chronic pain because of psychological factors in your life , like stress or unconscious conflicts. Ha! I really didn't agree. He said it was better to have the Somatoform label than the Fibromyalgia label because Somatoform Pain Disorder can be better treated. He also poo pooed my symptom list and said none of those symptoms were in his books on Fibromyalgia. At this time Fibromyalgia is not thought to be hereditary. I do not agree because of the history of Fibro that I have witnessed in my own family. My birth mother had it, my half sister has it, my niece has it and my second daughter Jaclyn has it. I'm pretty sure that Jaclyn has had Fibro since she was a child. She would cry and not be able to sit and do her homework because her back hurt so much, plus she had growing pains in her legs.
I wasn't happy with the appointment with the base rheumatologist, so I got a referral to a civilian rheumatologist. All my labs always came back normal both at the base and at the civilian rheumatologist's. So the civilain rheumatolgist was willing to give me a "working diagnosis of Fibromyalgia". Before I even went to him I had decided that I was going o have to figure this out myself. I had only wanted to have a diagnosis of Fibro at first because that way I knew what I was up against and maybe have some ideas on how to treat it. It became obvious that the medical profession did not have a clue!
Oh, yes, there is also good news for all you Fibromyalgia sufferers....I was told by my first doctor that no one ever died of Fibromyalgia. What good news(a touch of sarcasm here)... hmmmmmmm, we may not die from Fibro but we sure may feel like dying so we don't have to feel the pain anymore! I DO HAVE GOOD NEWS for you. I have found my way through a maze of different supplements and different ways of healing and I will share what I have discovered. It may work for you it may not. There is no guarantee, our bodies are all different and react differently to things. I'll be sharing this info in future posts.
I just want to end my medical doctor saga on a good note. In October of 2008 I was taking a nursing con ed course and Dr. Patrick Jonas was the presenter. He had a Remo Buffalo hand drum on stage, some Tibetan Singing Bowls and he spoke of drumming over his patients and the nurses. He said that every patient of his in the hospital has an order for a back rub at bedtime, because he feel human touch is so healing. He spoke of the importance of yoga, massage, supplements. FINALLY I HAD FOUND SOMEONE WHO SPOKE MY LANGUAGE! He called himself a holistic MD. After the class I asked if he was taking new patients. He said since I had asked him today, yes he would. The very next day my husband and I switched doctors. At my last visit in February 2009 he said that I had done a good job creating my own holistic path, if I had followed the western medical path I would be addicted to pain meds and on anti-depressants. I felt very proud of myself.
Next time I'll share what I have done to heal myself, holistically.

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