Overcoming FibromyalgiaIt took my doctor several years to finally diagnose me with fibromyalgia, but that's not all that uncommon. I'll spare the details of my suffering, if you know what fibromyalgia is, you already have some idea. What I do want to write about is how I got over it (mostly).
First, I was fortunate to be sensitive to the low level anti-depressants the doctor had me try -- otherwise I might still be following my doctor's orders and still not be over my fibromyalgia.
Second, I didn't accept my doctor's statement, "The sooner you accept that this how the rest of your life will be, the better off you'll be."
Thirdly, while I cannot recommend that YOU do so -- all that legal stuff you know -- so I'll say here now, check with your doctor, always follow what he or she says, blah, blah, blah -- I'm sure you can read between the lines -- What I did was to ignore my doctor regarding supplements and instead I did my own research and experimented on myself one supplement at a time.
I do want to take a moment and give my doctor credit for recommending exercising by the minute rather than by the distance. Every visit she'd tell me how important exercise was for a person with fibromyalgia -- she didn't seem to get that it was too painful and on top of that, exercising one day meant being unable to move for the next two or three. Finally she heard me and suggested that I do what I could do without sending myself backwards -- if that was only a three minute walk at a slow speed, so be it. I was to continue to exercise at that level each day for a month and then add only one minute. I added one minute each month for several months and finally was able to add two minutes at a time. When I had worked up walking thirty minutes at a time for a month, I added five minutes each subsequent month, until I was able to walk for forty-five minutes at a time without spending days in bed to make up for it.
About the same time, I found a book written by Dr. Jacobs of Oregon Health Sciences University that touted the benefits of high doses of MSM (methylsulfonyl-methane). It was the one supplement my doctor had specifically told me to stay away from. I had already tried it in small doses and thought it was worthless, but after reading Dr. Jacobs' book, I decided to try it in mega doses. I will offer a caution here. You will need to discover what dosage is right for you, it is not a one size fits all supplement. For me, the right dose was 24 grams a day -- yes, that's GRAMS. I started taking it in late November and by December was able to have a small Christmas gathering at my house. I stayed awake for five straight hours that day, which for me was a miracle. In January I returned to work.
I still had some pain and I had to reduce my hours to part time after a few months, but the things that other people take for granted, like being able to sit down for longer than five or ten minutes at a time, being able to go to the grocery store and actually buy everything on my grocery list before I was too tired to drive home, being able to stay awake long enough to complete a six hour work shift, these are amazing things that I can now do.
As time went on, I added other supplements and eventually my pain diminished to where often, I don't even notice it. My sleep is iffy, as you might discern from my EP moniker, Insomniac Seven, but one of these days I'm going to find the answer for that, too!
I cannot guarantee that what has worked for me, will work for you, but my hope is that at the very least, my story will encourage someone out there.