Don’t Let Your Health Insurance Keep You from Being Healthy

file1801281015946I recently saw a patient an old fibro patient, who I’d last seen a few years ago. She had been doing quite well managing her fibromyalgia over the years by following my advice and taking the appropriate supplements I had recommended. In her return visit she shared with me how her fibromyalgia symptoms of fatigue, achy muscle pain, fibro fog, and low moods had been a growing problem over the last several months. A year ago, she was doing fine.

Being a good detective, my first question was “what have you been doing differently?” She said she had been under more stress but it was better now. She couldn’t think of anything else. I proceeded to quiz her about her health. My next question was “how is your sleep”? She responded “fine, no problem. I take 10mg of Ambien and I’m out of it for the night.”

“Are you taking 5HTP”? I asked. She said “No, I’m taking Ambien because it only costs me $10 with my co-pay and the 5HTP was costing me $30 a month. “Was the 5HTP working, was it helping you fall asleep and stay asleep?’ I asked. “Yes it was, but since I was taking Ambien, I didn’t think I needed it and I wanted to save money.”

I about fell out of my chair, but I quickly regained my composure. “A year ago, you stopped taking 5HTP which was working and switched to Ambien to save $20 a month?” “Yes.” She replied.

Here was a smart, educated woman who was well versed in my writings and protocol, a past patient who by following my advice had kept her fibromyalgia in check for a number of years. Who was now having fibro flares due to her narrow minded thinking.  Her symptoms had returned from a combination of stress, stopping 5HTP, and switching to Ambien.  The side effects of Ambien include next day fatigue, achy muscle pain, “brain fog”, low moods, and loss of memory.  Do these side effects look familiar? They should, they are the same symptoms experienced by everyone with fibromyalgia.

5-hydroxytryptophan (5HTP) plus the B-vitamins, magnesium and other nutrients, in the CFS/Fibro formula makes the brain chemical serotonin. Serotonin increases mental clarity moods (the happy hormone), your natural sleep hormone, melatonin, and your pain threshold. The higher your pain threshold is, the less pain you have.  The obvious solution for my patients’ recent fibro flares was to wean off of the Ambien and immediately start back on the 5HTP.

I recognize the importance of trying to save a few bucks, especially in today’s economy. But, saving money at the expense of your health isn’t worth it.  My patient thought she was saving $20 a month, $240 a year. But, was she really saving money?

money_pillsWell, let’s see. Let’s do the quick math – Due to her recent flare up, she’d visited two different doctors, and had missed a total of eight days of work. Her co-pays plus her visit to me were almost $200. Elizabeth works on an hourly basis. So she was out eight days or 64 hours worth of pay. It’s easy to see she wasn’t saving money at all. In fact if she had continued down the ill fated path, she would have become sicker, required more doctor visits, more drugs, and lost additional days at work.

Drugs don’t treat causes. Treating symptoms leads to future problems.

I often have people tell me they can’t come see me because I don’t accept their insurance. They would rather stay trapped in with the medical go around with stupid doctors who continue to push the same old drugs. Yes the drugs and the doctor visits are covered by insurance but for most folks with fibromyalgia they don’t help, only make matters worse.

Please realize your insurance company doesn’t care if you get well or not – you’re a number, only a statistic to them. If you can find a doctor who knows what they’re doing and they can accept your insurance, then great. As long as you’re doing better, getting well, then stick with them. However, if you continue to follow advice from stupid doctors, ones who don’t offer any real, lasting help- find someone who will help even if it means you will pay out of pocket. Don’t let the insurance company or the narrow minded thinking keep you from feeling great again.

FN00303-IMG03Saving money by seeing doctors who only take your insurance or taking drugs because they are covered and supplements are not, is a recipe for failure. If you think long term and factor in continued poor health, additional office visits, drugs, declining health from these drugs, missed work or opportunities, there is no savings at all.

Your health is your number one commodity. Without it, you’re destined to have mounting life robbing symptoms, doctor/drug bills, and misery.

Don’t let your insurance dictate your health, be proactive and find a doctor who will help you get well weather they accept your insurance or not.

If you are ready to feel good again and are looking for real change then call my clinic 205-879-2383 to schedule a phone or in clinic consult to see if I’ll accept your case. Life is too short to feel bad more days than good.

I can and do order blood tests and lab tests that you can have done in your home town…there isn’t a need to travel to Birmingham to see me in person.

19 replies
  1. Jo Vaughan
    Jo Vaughan says:

    I am taking the B complex, and eating organically-fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meat, no gluten products. I recently spent a few hours in ER due to hemiplegic migraine. Would the 5HTP help me to prevent the migraines along with finally getting some sleep? I also take gabapentin, tramadol

    Reply
  2. Jan
    Jan says:

    I agree with what you are saying and have experienced it myself. A couple years ago I was in terrible shape, taking a handful of drugs and still feeling like I’d been hit by a truck. Then I read your book and started using your protocols but buying the supplements you recommended separately instead of buying your forumla. I’m now only taking pain medication and have gotten off pharmaceutical sleep aids, depression, and fibro medications and I’m taking samE, 5-HTP, COQ10, melatonin, etc. instead. BUT it costs me three times as much for the supplements as it did for the copay on the drugs. It’s easy for you, a person with money, to say it’s stupid to take drugs only due to the money. I am on SSD and my husband is retired so we are very limited on income and this is a big deal for us and a difficult decision. It upset me that you are deriding this person that I totally identify with. Sometimes it IS all about the money…

    Reply
    • Dr. Rodger Murphree & Team
      Dr. Rodger Murphree & Team says:

      I’m sorry you are offended. However, to beat fibro you must get healthy, drugs don’t make you healthy and almost ALWAYS lead to more problems. Understand the pain of making financial choices, I lived on Ramen noodles for 8 years while I put myself through college. A bottle of melatonin costs less than $10, 5HTp $30. most products could be had for less than what it costs for copays and ongoing doctor visits.

      Reply
  3. Pamela
    Pamela says:

    Dr. Murphree,
    I would love to try your products but it’s sometimes not being narrow minded it’s being poor! I have suffered from FMS for 7 yrs. I have been on disability for 6 yrs. I absolutely don’t have the money. When I had more than Medicare I tried everything. Now I am forced to take ambien & ultram because the two are under $20.00 together. No shipping! This only slightly helps but I get some sleep & the ultram sometimes takes the edge off. There are so many out there that are taking advantage of people with chronic pain & when there’s no money, your forced to just live with it!

    Reply
  4. Valerie Norman
    Valerie Norman says:

    I did the fibro pack for around 8 months, I think. i did extra melatonin and 5htp. I never slept, and I kept my restless leg syndrome. my iron went off the charts and my dr. then said i had hemochromotosis.
    I believe in what you are saying, but was discouraged because i think i tried every supplement you had to offer for the syptoms I had. I never got to talk with you, but I would love to use your supplements and sleep and get better.

    Reply
  5. Lea Plumier
    Lea Plumier says:

    I am not sure what supplements I should take to help relieve the Fibromyalgia. I take vitamins and extra vitamin D and Calcium but the exhaustion never goes away. I am 74 and have battled this before they had a name for it. I am so tired. I would like to spend the time I have left here feeling good.

    Reply
  6. sharon smith
    sharon smith says:

    I have never heard a doctor speak as you do, Dr Murphree! I am definitely intrigued by hearing what you have to say. I am considering calling you to seek your advice on how to improve my health. How much do you charge for phone consultations? I have no insurance except for Medicare, but am willing to pay out of pocket if necessary. I have been paying out of pocket for a while now, because I have had no other options, and like you said I am tired of listening to stupid doctors who just want to drug me and don’t really care if I get well or not! I do believe in taking natural supplements and have been taking the 5HTP because a friend suggested it. I have noticed a great benefit from taking it. I am curious about what else I can do to improve the quality of my health, and thus my life overall!

    Reply
  7. Mathilda
    Mathilda says:

    I have suffered from relentless flare-ups in the past 5 months, to the point where I am so exhausted and in so much pain, I can almost not function anymore. I am not on any medication for fibromyalgia currently, firstly because I was on Lyrica, but had such horrendous side effects that I stopped taking it after 6 months. Secondly, my husband is unemployed, and we have no health insurance, and very little money, so I honestly don’t HAVE the money to spend on medication or additional doctors’ visits. But I am miserable. I really don’t know which way to go next. I am 52, but if this is the rest of my life, it’s not worth living.

    Reply
  8. Karen
    Karen says:

    I make $21, 000 a year. I barely make ends meet on that. I know I should take better care of myself but with my $850 deductible and just trying to keep a roof over my head. I can’t go to the doctor or always keep up on my supplements. Any ideas for poor fibromyalgia suffers?

    Reply
  9. Elaine Milburn
    Elaine Milburn says:

    I was your patient 2 years ago, and then my time ran out -I still read your articles, but this one particularly interested me – I also was on ambiem for years. You got me off it, and I am so glad. You suggested Trazadone for me, which I still do – but so much better without the ambiem.

    Reply
  10. Linda
    Linda says:

    Can I buy 5 HTP without a prescription? I live in MI and have been diagnosed for years with fibro and three types of arthritis. I have no insurance but would love to be able to sleep and feel rested.

    Reply

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