I have fibromyalgia. I began going down hill a few years ago to the point that I had to use a wheelchair at times. In fact, I went to a Minneapolis hospital to try and find a diagnosis, and had to use a wheelchair to get around the hospital! I was in such intense pain that I ended up in the emergency room where they had to give me two shots of morphine before I got any relief. I even hated to wash my hair because it hurt so much. And should anyone even brush = against my legs or arms I would wince in extreme pain. This gives you an idea of what I endured everyday. I had 6 injections in my hips and spine. I was taking so many medications that my prescriptions cost almost $500 per month (and I had no medical insurance!). I was so drugged up and drowsy all the time, yet extremely exhausted because of the lack of quality sleep at night. After the injections didn't work, the Pain Clinic put me on strong pain pills and I was up to 6 per day. I was then told about Malic Acid (an amino acid) which helped me cut my pills to 4 per day. I started getting deep massage, which caused excruciating pain, yet gradually began to help me. But I was still taking 4 pain pills a day, antidepressants, and Ambien to sleep at night. Still quite a mess, you could say!
In January 2000 a friend of mine heard about Melaleuca and wanted me to try it. I was so sick of people telling me what I should try. I had tried so many things and it was disheartening to spend the money, get my hopes up, then feel so dejected when nothing happened. But my friend was SO persistent. So I started taking the Value Pak, and Provex, and within two weeks I felt more energy. Over the next couple of months, as money allowed, (I still was taking all my costly medication) I saturated on Provex, starting with 15 per day for 7 days, 10 per day for 7 days, then gradually reduced until I was at 4 per day. I was tired of being tired in the morning from the Ambien, so I tried taking the Acetaminophen PM instead. I couldn't believe it . . . it worked just as well, but didn't leave me so groggy in the morning. I was now down to 2 pain pills a day.
The next on my hit list was my antidepressant. I HATED taking it! But The doctor told me it was absolutely necessary for someone with fibromyalgia (FM). Well, I decided to do some research and what I found out was pretty interesting. The main reason they prescribe antidepressants for FM is to help raise the level of serotonin in the brain. People with FM are depleted of this for some reason. So, on to more research. Luminex, which has St. John's Wort, does the same thing without the adverse side affects. So I switched! The way I did it was not quite in line medically, but I was so determined to get off of them. I gradually cut down the antidepressant, then started taking the Luminex. How exciting! Same increased levels of serotonin without the shakes and drowsiness of the antidepressants. Awesome! This is what I now take to keep my FM under control:
VITALITY PAK - 1 each, twice a day
PROVEX PLUS - 6 per day (double on super, bad days!)
LUMINEX- 2 per day (I started with 3 per day, but now I take 2 per day)=20
CELLWISE - 2 per day
REPLENEX - 3 per day
ACETAMINOPHEN PM - 2 tablets 1-1/2 hours before bedtime (Two months ago I also started taking 2 REST EZ, and cut back to 1 ACET PM. So far so
good, but every once in a while, two are still needed for a good night sleep.)
MELALEUCA TEA - lots every day
ACCESS BARS - one every morning (mainly on work days) to absorb lactic acid, which is part of the pain of FM, plus 15 minutes before ANY exercise or massage therapy (helps cut the pain dramatically!)
MELALEUCA OIL - put on really sore muscles once or twice a day
PAIN-A-TRATE - put on all sore muscles once or twice a day, after MEL OIL (try after a bath - your pores are open and it penetrates deeper!)
MOISTURSIL OIL - I soak in a hot tub with some of this. It soothes the soreness! Or use as massage oil . if you have a willing masseuse
ACTIVATE - I can't afford to get the flu or a cold because it wrecks havoc on my muscles!! I always keep a good supply of Activate on hand and take at the first symptoms with lots of Melaleuca tea. I also put 2-3 drops of Melaleuca Oil, lemon juice, honey and some hot water in a cup and drink it! It sure isn't too tasty, but it has helped heal me almost overnight.
MASSAGE THERAPY - I go at least twice a month, or once a week when I'm not doing so well. It needs to be deep massage, which is really painful. I make sure to eat an Access bar 15 minutes before going. Then I'm only sore for a day rather than two weeks! KEEP ACTIVE! Under-use of muscles creates more pain, even though activity hurts. It will hurt more in the long run if you do nothing! Stretch and stretch some more! The spasms in the muscles will get worse and worse if they are not stretched. Plus, the nerve endings which sense pain get trapped in the spasms and alarms go off . . . INTENSE PAIN!!! Start off slowly, but don't quit!
EAT PLENTY OF FRUITS & VEGGIES - I get more burning sensations when I don't. (Or when I eat a bunch of goodies. Eating sugar feels like you are pouring drops of acid inside your muscles!)
One of the most important things I have found with chronic pain is that you must learn to control the pain rather than allowing the pain to control you. I REFUSE to be controlled by pain. Of course, it sometimes takes time on my knees to accomplish this!! And sometimes we are our own worst enemy. When I begin a downhill slide I can easily fall into self pity, then I realize that I'm not doing what I KNOW I must do to maintain a low level of pain . . . like getting plenty of rest, taking my vitamins, putting my Pain-A-Trate on twice a day, not working 55-60 hours a week as was my normal schedule, etc. etc. I have to make my health a number one priority! =20
When the pain is so intense, it is difficult to focus on anything else, but a positive attitude in the midst of trials is a weapon that can defeat even the worst attack. Days when I have a difficult time getting out of bed, or going up stairs again, I remember back when I was using a wheelchair for long distances (like airports!) I remember when I ended up in the emergency room because of the intense pain and needed two shots of morphine to keep my body from going into shock! Then I am grateful for today and it's blessings, and focus on doing what I know to be right to get back on track physically! Don't get me wrong, I don't always practice what I preach, but I try to do better each day and rely on the victories of the moment to keep me heading in the right direction. I thank Jesus every day for what He has given me in Melaleuca. Sometimes divine healing comes from obedience in what we do (and swallow!!).
But now I don't get the luxury of being catered to as much in the hospital any more. Darn that Melaleuca. :)
I hope that this is helpful.
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