Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue. Patients with the condition also have issues with sleep, memory, and mood. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia augments painful sensations by affecting the way the brain processes pain signals.
As a nurse and professional patient, I completely disagree with this diagnosis and the stigma it brings. As a professional patient, that was constantly at specialist after specialist, I know that doctors use this diagnosis when they have no other explanation for the symptoms. It simply is a cover all. So, you have chronic pain, chronic fatigue and memory issues, well then, of course, it’s Fibromyalgia. Why is there such a disconnect between Western Medicine and finding the root cause of the problem? Why does Medicine solve the issue by pilling on prescriptions? Every doctor I went to, a new prescription was given. They ranged from steroids, muscle relaxants and nerve medications. What about something to actually fight the inflammation naturally? Anybody… Nope, that was never the option. What about answering why this was happening to me? Why were my symptoms always getting worse as the years passed? Many of these prescription medications caused me to develop huge side effects and symptoms, yet I continued to take them. There was one particular medication, I can’t recall the name. But one day, I lost the ability to void, yep, I could not pee. Hello, that is huge, a 30+ female, suddenly losing the ability to void. I ended up needing a full spine MRI. That took several hours to complete. The doctors could not find any explanation for my symptoms based on my results. There was no physical or laboratory explanation of my symptoms.
Guess what the cause was. The pain medication, I had started it a few days before and it was one of the possible side effects.
My pain was so severe, I went to several pain specialists, looking for relief. These pain clinics are factories. Factories of patients waiting for injections to deal with their pain. The wait was always long, and results were temporary. Injections are done under fluoroscopy to locate the injection site. This means each time you have an injection you are exposing your body to radiation. What does radiation do? It is a toxin for your body. My body was already filled with toxins and here I was making it worse. After multiple injections, I decided to go to a different pain doctor. It was no surprise he did not practice these injections, he actually rarely used this technique and thought it created more damage and little benefit. So, he prescribed Lyrica for the nerve pain and numbness I had on the right side of my body. Guess what happened? Side effects of course. Even though I took Lyrica at night, it caused drowsiness. Remember, I already had chronic fatigue, do you think drowsiness helped that issue, absolutely not.
After my frustration with prescriptions began to grow, my use of medications decreased. I just wanted to stop them all and find a natural alternative. The journey was not easy. I spent years getting regular Chiropractic treatments, acupuncture, physical therapy, and massage with only temporary results. I continued to search for the cause of my symptoms. I refused to accept this vague diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and continued to advocate for myself. If I disagreed with a treatment, medication or doctors opinion, I looked for another one. I was undoubtedly a professional patient, in search of the right answer, which never came, Western Medicine didn’t have my answer and it was obvious.
I sought out ergonomics assistance to create a more comfortable environment and relieve some of the repetitious movements that increased my pain. My desk was modified to include a left-handed specialty mouse, to relieve the stress on my right arm. My desk modified and a special chair provided support for my lower back, neck and thorax. These all helped keep the symptoms stable but didn’t take away my pain.
I then incorporate exercise, deciding that moving the muscles would help me remove toxins and increase circulation. It did help but it was still not the answer. I still had pain every day. Jump to 2017, I learned about oxidative stress and free radical damage. I did my research, after all I had tried so much, I was skeptical. Was it really possible to reduce this stress in my body? Could this really reduce my pain? Well, guess what the research showed. More than 200 diseases are linked to oxidative stress and free radical damage. By this time, I already knew I had a genetic condition called Ehler Danlos Syndrome III, which finally linked all my medical history and symptoms.
I had an explanation for every symptoms and surgery in my encyclopedia of a medical record. I’m serious my medical record at my Primary and my Gynecologist were huge and I wasn’t even 40 yet. I decided to take a leap and try the little yellow pill, there was nothing to lose except fatigue and pain. Why? Mitochondrial dysfunction explained my chronic fatigue and I was ready to fix it. Oxidative stress explained the inflammation and tightness I had in my muscles where my pain was located. I was ready for a change and the little yellow pill gave me hope. I can’t claim that this is a cure, treat, mitigate or prevent disease but I can tell you the root cause of disease is oxidative stress. I can tell you that treating oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction is the only way to get to the root cause of disease and illness.
I finally had the hope that my medical history and symptoms were going to change. I wasn’t going to continue to suffer my entire life. And guess what, it did in a few weeks my memory and energy improved, in 3 months my pain was better, in 4 months my numbness was better and in 6 months I felt fabulous. I learned that Holistic medicine was the only way to actually target the root cause of the problem.
Holistic medicine actually treats the cause of conditions instead of covering up the symptoms. Let me ask you, what do you have to lose?