|Okay, so the legal
disclaimer first: I'm not a doctor and haven't even played one on
TV. I'm not qualified to make a diagnosis or to recommend
treatment. I can, however, tell you what I've tried and give you
places where you can research and decide for yourself.
fibromyalgia syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome. There's some
debate whether these two diseases are actually the same, the diagnosis
depending on which symptoms manifest the hardest. For details on
Fibromyalgia, check out this WebMD site. Basically, when you have fibromyalgia, you feel very, very, very
tired, have joint pain and stiffness, have frequent insomnia,
depression and tender spots that feel a lot like bruises. There
are other weird symptoms that many people get--certain patterns make me
dizzy, as does being around a lot of glass (like at a china store).
Chronic fatigue syndrome (WebMD has a site
for that too), has some similar symptoms, such as extreme fatigue,
muscle aches, cognitive function problems, sore throat, tender or
swollen lymph nodes, non-arthritic joint pain, headaches, depression
and unrefreshing sleep.
The causes of these two illnesses is
still a subject of debate. One doctor I saw theorized that it was
a combination of stresses to my immune system as I grew up and that
eventually, I had the one stress too many that broke the camel's back,
so to speak. I am the poster child for this theory. Stresses
include: massive doses of antibiotics (I had pneumonia when I was two,
then chronic ear infections as a child), mercury toxicity (which
theoretically came from silver-mercury amalgams in my teeth),
mononucleosis (which I had in college), allergies (which I had since
childhood), and life stresses.
I've tried lots of doctors and treatments for these conditions--vitamin IVs, snake oil (I'm not sure what was in that IV), antidepressants (the most common treatment right now) and acupuncture.
have trouble taking antidepressants. Most of them cause my heart
to beat rapidly and irregularly after about a week's use. The
rest have no effect. Lyrica worked great. I tried it about
two years ago and hadn't felt that good in fifteen years. Sadly,
it can cause weight gain, and that's exactly what it did to me. I
can't afford to get any heavier, so I had to stop treatment.
The thing that has helped me the most is acupuncture. My acupuncturist, Iva Lim Peck,
has helped give me a good quality of life. She uses several
techniques--traditional acupuncture to balance the body systems and
relieve pain, NAET (Nambudripad's allergy elimination technique), NET (Neuro Emotional Technique),
and herbs. I haven't found a way to describe how NAET and NET
work without it sounding like BS, but you can check out their websites
Basically, NAET eliminates allergies. Yep.
After the treatment for a specific allergy, it was gone. I
used to be allergic to food. Pretty much all food. And the
air, or at least all the stuff in it. I had so many allergies, we
didn't realize that allergies were my problem because I had no obvious
triggers. There are no shots for food allergies. Doctors
will tell you to avoid the food. That was pretty much impossible
for me. I just avoided the worst ones (raw fruits and veggies and
corn). I lived on allergy medication and still had frequent sinus
infections (for which I took more antibiotics and further weakened my
immune system). After several years of weekly NAET treatments, I
have almost no allergies. My husband was skeptical at first, and
was taking shots for his airborne allergies (ragweed and pet dander).
Eventually, he saw that my allergies were going away and his
weren't. He finally broke down and went to Iva. Before
NAET, he couldn't be in the same room with a cat or dog without an
immediate sneezing attack. We now have two cats and no problems.
is even farther "out there," but I've had good success with it.
Several times I've had chronic pain (knee, ankle, back) that
nothing else worked on. After an NET clearing the pain was gone
within a short time (from immediately to three weeks). The theory
is that emotional baggage associated with past events is "stored" in
our bodies and can cause pain or unexplained emotional reactions.
Over time, I learned that if I have unreasonable anger or
resentment toward someone, I probably need an NET clearing. The
results are amazing. It feels like a burden has been lifted that
I didn't even realize I was carrying. Usually , the anger or
resentment is a misplaced feeling about some other event that may have
little or nothing to do with the person.
The other thing that
has helped me is belly dancing. It promotes strength, flexibility
and cardiovascular health. I also gained some control over a body
that frequently leaves me feeling helpless and frustrated. And belly dance
comes with a cool outfit. You can't say that about most exercise.
Many recreational centers and YMCAs offer belly dance classes.
Local dance studios might also offer classes that won't break
your budget. You might just make some new friends too.
recent addition to my arsenal is tumeric. I take capsules because
the spice is very bitter. I take four in the morning and four at
night and it has all but eliminated the tendonitis I started
experiencing a few years back. Good news is it's a cheap
supplement that you can buy at Walmart.
mid-July, my pain management doctor put me on a liquid medicine that
was HCG (yes, from that fad diet) and colloidal silver. Several
studies had shown that it greatly reduced pain in chronic sufferers, as
well as increasing energy and focus. As of September, I have not,
sadly, experienced any reduction in pain (though more than half the
people in the study did, so it might be worth trying if you have
chronic pain). But I most definitely have more energy and focus,
which is valuable all on its own.