I 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?
Well, 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.
Saving 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.