Sharon Beats Fibromyalgia

  Here is an excerpt from my Tuesday Night Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia Teleconference:

I have had fibromyalgia for decades. I didn’t even want to admit that I had it myself, because of the stigma … you were psycho or nuts or whatever.  Eventually when it did come to the forefront, as you said the traditional medical doctors do not have a clue what they’re doing. I was just racked with pain, brain fog and little to no sleep. I was functioning on 3-4 hours every single night. I got more depressed …”

 

Hi good evening this is Dr Rodger Murphree, TheFibroDoctor.com, author of Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Thank you for joining me tonight for my Tuesday night Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia teleconference. I look forward to your questions this evening. I’m a board certified nutritional specialist and board-certified chiropractic physician. I’ve been in private practice since 1990. For a number of years, I owned a very large integrative medical practice on the campus of Brooklyn hospital here in Birmingham, Alabama where I had a group of medical doctors and support staff who worked under me and with me, to treat a variety of illnesses using an integrated approach – combining a very judicious use of prescription medications along with natural remedies. In 2003, I sold that medical practice and I’ve been out practicing solo ever since. For the last 6 or 7 years, my practice has evolved so that I mostly do phone consults and I work with patients at this point all over the world. My book, Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, in its fifth edition is available in most bookstores including Barnes & Noble, Barnes&Noble.com and Amazon.com

Woman at night suffering from insomniaOne of the common myths about fibromyalgia is that once you get the diagnosis, you’re doomed for life. It’s almost like you get the diagnosis and people treat it like terminal cancer. I think it’s unfortunate because fibromyalgia which is really a syndrome, it’s not a disease, it’s syndrome made up of a group of different symptoms that come together that make up this thing called fibromyalgia. Once you get that diagnosis, what happens is they tend to sweep all of your symptoms underneath the fibromyalgia rug. They just start to treat the different symptoms with different medications. The problem with that is there are so many different symptoms that can be involved with fibromyalgia, that before you know it you’re going to be on half a dozen to a dozen drugs. As many of you know, unfortunately those medications provide little if any long-term relief. In the medical world today, once you get the diagnosis of fibromyalgia, most doctors pretty much give up on you. They’ll give you medication but that’s it. What they’ll tell you is you’re going to have to learn to live with it.

You can come back and get your medications, you need to exercise more, get more sleep, get more rest, lose some weight is what they tell you … of course, you should realize if you have a doctor telling you that, that he or she doesn’t know what they’re talking about. You would love to get more sleep but that’s part of the problem. That’s probably one of your biggest problems, you can’t sleep at night. Many of you have to take sleeping medications that actually can cause more problems. They actually can give you the very symptoms of fibromyalgia. If you look at the side effects or potential side effects of Ambien, they’re really the mirror image of what you would see with fibromyalgia – fibro fog, diffuse achy muscle pain, flu like achy pain, poor memory, in-coordination, problems with balance, anxiety, depression. All those things can occur if you take an Ambien.

We’ve got a whole generation of people that are going to get diagnosed with fibromyalgia and they’re going to think it’s like a cancer that they can never reverse, and that’s just not true. I have patients come on my call and share their story. I have patients who’ve shared their story, they’re in the book. I have patients who send me emails, some people I’ve never even met who have done well using my protocols across the globe. I share that in my writings and I share that in my lectures. I have people that actually will have the nerve to come on the fan page on my Facebook page, and they’ll say that these people faked.

They must not have had fibromyalgia, they’re just faking it … the hair on the back of my neck stand up, that infuriates me because I know those patients have worked so darn hard to get where they are. They had the diagnosis of fibromyalgia long before they came to see me.  When people post on my site that these people must be misdiagnosed, they never had fibromyalgia, I must be lying or I must have paid these people, that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. It’s an insult to them.

What I encourage you to do is to find a functional medicine doctor, a doctor who practices like I do AND who specializes in fibromyalgia. That’s really what they do day in and day out, like I do. If you’ll find that doctor, you’ll find somebody who’s going to be able to help you. Until you do that, don’t say that you can’t beat fibromyalgia. I guess I’m ranting tonight because I had all these posts and emails earlier tonight that were shared with my staff, and we had all these people that came on. I just find it so sad that we have these people out there who have accepted the fact that because they’ve got this rubber stamp on their forehead that says they have fibromyalgia, that’s it, they’re never going to feel good again. Because they have accepted that, they expect everyone they come in contact with to believe that paradigm.

We’re going to have a couple of patients come on here in just a second, and they’re going to share their story. They don’t get compensated.

They do this because they have worked so hard, and they deserve the opportunity to be able to share their story about how much better they are. It’s not that they got on a magical bunch of pills. It’s not about a bunch of pills, it’s about getting healthy, and that’s the only way you can beat fibromyalgia. There’s no magic drug or combination of drugs. There’s no magic combination of supplements, it just doesn’t work that way. The only thing that works and I’ve been doing this 20 years, is you’ve got to get healthy.

Part of that is you’ve got to find out where you’re broken down, so you’ve got to have thorough testing. Most doctors are doing the basic testing and they expect with that data that they have, that they’ll be able to help you and they’re not going to be able to help you. You can’t be helped in a 5 to 7 minute office visit; you can’t, you’re too complicated. You’ve got to find a doctor who’s willing to do the detective work, do the testing, find out where you’re broken down and then get you on the appropriate protocols and lifestyle changes including diet changes as needed, so that not only do you feel better – I always want my patients to feel better, but I want them to get healthy. Part of that is making sure that I get them off any medications that they don’t need to be on, that actually can be causing problems instead them with their quest to feel good again. Before I take your questions, what I’d like to do is to get Sharon to come on the call. Sharon if you’re on the call, if you could hit star 6 that’ll bring you on the line.

sharon chiang before copy

Sharon:

Hi.

Dr. M:

Hi Sharon. How are you, calling all the way from North Dakota. How are you?

Sharon:

I am doing wonderful. We’re letting winter set in but other than that …

Dr. M:

Yeah, better you guys than us. Here in Birmingham Alabama, it’s 60 degrees here today, it’s beautiful. Sharon, share with us a little bit about … if anybody has worked hard and you’re still working hard. We’ve still got some things we’ve got to do together, we’ve been working together for 6 months but you’ve made tremendous strides. I guess you heard my rant before you came on –

Sharon:

I did.

Dr. M:

It infuriates me to read that the people I work with are somehow faking that they’re better. How could you fake it, I don’t know. It’s beyond me. Share with us if you will, where you were before we started working together and what were the challenges that you had.

Sharon:

I could rant right along with you.

Dr. M:

You earned it, go right ahead.

Sharon:

I have had fibromyalgia for decades. I didn’t even want to admit that I had it myself, because of the stigma … you were psycho or nuts or whatever.  Eventually when it did come to the forefront, as you said the traditional medical doctors do not have a clue what they’re doing. I have been on 2 different medications that were prescribed by them. The first one didn’t do anything, am I allowed to mention the names of those?

Dr. M:

Yeah it’s my program, you can do anything you want to.

Sharon:

The first one was Lyrica. I understand some people did have help with that, but it didn’t do a thing for me. The second one was Cymbalta. Cymbalta helped a little bit for the first year, two maybe, it also helped empty my pockets but eventually it did less and less. I was just racked with pain, brain fog and little to no sleep. I was functioning on 3-4 hours every single night. I got more depressed … I’m jumping ahead of myself a little bit here, but I went to my family doctor or primary physician and talked to her about getting off Cymbalta. She didn’t want me to. I started doing research on it and saw how terrible it was, and I knew I was living what it did to my body.  I decided I’m going to go off whether you help me or not, so she did help. She gave me a regimen to follow. We went from 60mg to 30mg to 15mg and then off it. This was in 2 week intervals. When I went off it, I went into 4-5 weeks pf physical drug withdrawal. It was like you see on TV when somebody is on hard drugs, it was that bad. I did research afterward and discovered that the proper protocols is to go down to the 15 which is the smallest level of strength, and then take the capsules apart and count the beads for crying out loud, a month at a time.

Dr. M:

Yeah, slow.

Sharon:

I had been off Cymbalta for I think about 2 years, when I learned about you and I’m going to say it like it is. The lord directed me to you because I had been doctoring in 4 different states, with I don’t know how many different doctors and nothing was helping. I had been following all these fibromyalgia sites, Facebook and all that and nothing I tried helped. It was confusing because there were all these people that had the answer, and nothing. I had been reading your blog through your Facebook post, I ordered your book and oh my gosh, a light bulb went on. You get it, you understand. I can’t believe you don’t have it because you understand it so completely. I will backtrack a little bit. In January, I had extensive shoulder surgery and you addressed this in your book … that just exacerbated this fibromyalgia to the point where I wanted to die. I’m not exaggerating. I had lost my life, I was in bed. I got your book, I read it, I got your questionnaire, we called and you said you could help me. That was in, I think late March. You sent me the laboratory vials to get blood work done. We talked several times on the phone and I started the elimination diet. I say elimination diet – for those who don’t know, I discovered through the blood work that I had dozens of food allergies. As soon as I went off of those plus the regimen you had me on, you gave me some supplements that helped restore my sleep and I started sleeping. Within 3 weeks, all of a sudden I realized that I didn’t have any more fibro pain.

Dr. M:

Yeah, it was quite the turnaround. When we first met, you had a pretty long symptom list and you were pretty beat down. I was going to share some of that with you. When we first met, you had the fibromyalgia, problems with your thyroid, the osteoarthritis, and your pain was the number 1 thing. Your pain was everywhere. Some of that certainly was coming from fibro but the other had to do with some of the surgeries that you had; the spinal surgery and the headaches. There wasn’t a place that you didn’t hurt. Then you had at low moods and anxiety issues from getting so run down, this thing really beat you down.

Sharon:                Yes, it really did. After the surgery, it was just unbelievable. I really thought this thing is going to kill me. If nothing else, it stole my life form me. I used to ride motorcycles and I hadn’t been on a motorcycle for over 2 years. I used to play golf, I wasn’t able to play golf. I used to do my own house work and my husband has been an angel helping and doing things that need to be done, that I couldn’t do any longer. I can honestly say I’m back.

Dr. M:

What are you able to do now that you couldn’t do 7-8 months ago?

Sharon:

I’m still limited a little bit because I’m still working on my shoulder repair. I’m going to have to have a second surgery on my back. I’m looking into having a spinal cord stimulator. Other than that, I have more energy, I’m sleeping at night. I wake up and I have energy. I’m not running a marathon mind you, I’m old.

Dr. M:

You’re not old, you’re 68 years young.

Sharon:

Yeah. I think I felt a lot older than I am because of all this. I’m awake, I’m alert during the day. I don’t have to fall asleep every time I sit down because I didn’t get enough sleep. I’m able to go do things. I’m able to shop, plan and think and be involved in things. There wasn’t a part of my life that it didn’t have an effect on, prior to this.

Dr. M:

You’ve still got the issue with this spinal pain and the shoulder. I know we’ve been talking about it and hopefully you’re going to get some results with the stimulator, I’m really excited. You shared with me that really your fibro pain is not an issue .. that was everywhere.

Sharon:

It’s gone, I don’t have any fibro pain at all anymore. I don’t have the brain fog.

Dr. M:

Talking about your sleep, I hope you don’t mind my reading a little bit of this because this is when we first met. It wasn’t easy, you worked hard. We had a lot of ups and downs, that’s part of it. If it was simple, then it would be a cookie cutter thing and it’s not, but we had to work getting the right mix. You wrote me this in an email right when we started: my sleep or lack thereof seems to be getting into a pattern of the following. I try to go to bed every night at 10, and very few nights can I just lay down and go to sleep within half an hour. The nights I can, are usually following the night of getting only 1-2 hours sleep the night before, and forcing myself not to take a nap the next day. Most of the time, it’s only 2 or more hours that I sleep. I sleep 1 to 1 1/2 hours and I wake up. Sometimes there’s pain, sometimes not. I’m usually awake from 1 to 4 hours each night, which keeps me from falling asleep. My body feels jittery, not just with restless Legs Syndrome but my entire body. You go on in more detail that you were getting maybe 4 hours of sleep a night … knock on wood.

Sharon:

An hour or two here and an hour or two there, it wasn’t 4 hours solid.

Dr. M: 

Who wouldn’t be miserable after that? When doctors tell you lose weight, get more sleep and get some exercise, they just don’t have a clue. Tell me about your sleep because that’s been magical for you, being able to sleep again.

Sharon:

It took a while. My body had to adjust tot supplements. We were trying different amounts of what to take and when, but now I can go to sleep … it usually takes me about an hour after I go to bed to go to sleep, but then I sleep most of the time 5-6 hour before I wake up. Then I can go back to bed and sleep another hour or two; sometimes it’s three. I don’t care because I feel like I’m making up for lost time.

Dr. M:

That’s good, you need to do that. The other thing was all these weird things you mentioned about the food sensitivities that you would have. You wrote me another email where you said you would actually be eating foods, and next thing you know you have a reaction to it. You would actually get nauseated, sometimes even throw up. You mentioned we did the food allergy test which I don’t do on everybody, but again the program’s tailored to the program. I think that was really helpful to do that.

Sharon:

Absolutely, I was not aware you didn’t do that with everyone. The list was extensive and like I said, all the nightshades … I used to have an egg every morning or most mornings for breakfast, with a glass of orange juice. That was one of my allergies and that was number 3.

Dr. M:

Yeah, one of the higher ones.

Sharon:

I thought I was going to have to eliminate all these things out of my diet for the rest of my life. I had no clue. You talk in your book about resetting our metabolism. Even though I didn’t lose as much weight as we thought I would, I have lost inches, I have lost almost 3 sizes. I did lose some weight but I didn’t lose as much as we thought I would. I’ve leveled off now, but the amazing thing is after getting all of this food … I will admit, that was hard. Getting sugar out of my diet wasn’t as big a deal because I had already done that as much as I could. There were things that I needed to do more after I met you, but getting all the nightshade vegetables I was allergic to, wheat, gluten … I can’t list them all here, it would take all night. I said, what am I going to eat?

Dr. M:

Let me ask you, was it worth it?

Sharon:

It was worth it. Every day I think, especially on really rainy, dark, gloomy days, I don’t feel depressed. I don’t feel tired, I don’t ache, I don’t hurt. Waking up in the morning, the first thing I noticed when I opened my eyes was how much pain I was in; I don’t do that anymore. The only pain I have now is an occasional headache or the back and the shoulder. I don’t have the body aches that were so debilitating anymore.

Dr. M:

Fantastic. Sharon, what would you share with others that are trying to make a decision about what they want to do with their fibromyalgia? What would you want to share with them?

Sharon:

First with all, I cannot thank the lord enough that he brought you into my life, and he has gifted you with the ability to put fibromyalgia in remission or whatever you call it. I think you say there’s no cure but you can put it in remission. Is that correct?

Dr. M:

Absolutely.

Sharon:

For me personally anyways and I think everybody else should follow it, don’t broadcast you’re looking for answers. Get Dr Murphree’s book and read it before you go to any more sites, and try to follow somebody else’s recommendation of what to do or what not to do. One of the biggest things that makes me almost want to slide up to Alabama to hug him was the exercise … doctors always say you need to exercise, but you talk about the stressors that keep fibromyalgia patients from getting better because they’re exercising, trying to beat this and you can’t. It’s just more stress to your body mentally, physically. All those are depleting the things inside you that need to be fixed. Get his book, read it. I lent it to a lady here last week, because I hate to see people suffering when I know there is an answer. You say there’s more than one doctor; I think in your spare time you should make a list of all the ones you know … it’s so worth it, it is so worth it.

Dr. M:

Sharon, thank you so much for coming on the call and sharing your story. You’re a special person and I’m so glad you’re part of our family. The staff thinks so much of you and they know how hard you’ve worked. We’re really better off knowing you. I know there are still some other things we need to do, and I think you’re just going to get better and better.

Sharon:

Amen, I agree. Like I said, I thank God that he has gifted you with the knowledge to help people that haven’t been able to find help anywhere else.

Dr. M:

Thanks again. I look forward to talking to you soon.

Sharon:

Thank you Dr Murphree.

Dr. M:

You’re welcome. I really appreciate Sharon coming on the call. Sharon is from North Dakota. It’s incredibly rewarding to hear the patients that I feel honored to get to work with, because the patients I work with come from all over North America and all over the world – people in Australia, South Africa, United Kingdom and all over. They’re all different, they have different backgrounds, different sizes and different stories, but they all have this common denominator which is somewhere along the line they broke down, and they’ve not been able to fix that part of them that broke down. They’ve realized at some point somehow, whether that’s through my book or saw my blog or got referred, that there’s a glimmer of hope. What I’m so thankful for and I feel really honored for is that they would trust me to help them in their quest to actually feel good again. Many of these patients I’ve never met, they met my by phone but they’ve never met me in person … I feel really blessed.

Sharon made the point which I’m trying to say is, just because you get the diagnosis of fibromyalgia doesn’t mean that you have to buy into the fact that you have to learn to live with it. She went into some of the things about what she did. What we didn’t talk about is how she struggled with her sleep. For some patients, it comes easier with the protocols I get them on based on their testing. For some patients, it’s much more difficult and with Sharon, we had to change things around, try a bunch of different things. The first month or two, it was touch and go and then like with a lot of my patients, eventually it all comes together. The reason why it works is because it’s based on getting the person healthy. You can never go wrong getting healthier, you just can’t. Drugs can help you and sometimes they’re definitely needed and sometimes they’re lifesaving, you have no choice. But drugs don’t make you healthier. That’s not what they’re designed to do. They’re designed to reduce a symptom, but what we need to realize is a symptom is a warning sign. For heaven’s sake, don’t give up. If you’ve not read the book, I encourage you to get the book. It’s available on Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com. Read the book or at least go through the book and see if it makes sense to you.

If it makes sense to you, try some of the protocols. If you feel like you can’t try the protocols because it seems too complicated or you’ve tried so many things and you’re not getting anywhere, you’re not making any progress, then that’s the time you need to set up a consult and see if I can help you, give you the options that you have. If I think I can help you, I’ll let you know that. If you and I work together, then I’m going to do testing to see exactly where you’re broken down.

Once I know that, I know exactly what protocols to put you on that are going to make a difference. What happens a lot of times is people try to do it themselves and they don’t get very far, because they’re taking a whole Santa Claus bagful of supplements, drugs and who knows what else, and they don’t know if it’s helping or not. With fibromyalgia, you have a good day and you have a bad day. That’s the advantage of doing the testing. The testing takes all the guess-work out of it.

You can spend years and years taking different combinations of supplements which you’ve heard should be helpful for fibromyalgia – magnesium, CoQ10, noni juice and Fruit Plus, all the stuff that’s out there and all of it can be helpful. But you need someone to bring it all together, to make it so that it’s right for you. Everybody is different in what they need and how they need to do it. If you’re just using a shotgun approach, you’re not going to get very far with fibromyalgia. That’s just the nature of the disease.

What I’d like to do is encourage you to go to TreatingandBeating.com which is the title of the book, Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  You can listen to the past teleconferences like this one. Some of those where I go into the details about adrenal fatigue, low thyroid, how to fix problems with your sleep, what to do for pain, those are all on there and they’re free for you to listen to and hopefully get some information to help you in your quest to feel good again. There’s also blogs on there, free articles and free protocols in the health concerns section. There’s a tremendous amount of free material and in the next couple of months, I’m going to be putting more free material, webinars and all sorts of things which you can take advantage of. I want you to take advantage of that.  You don’t have to just accept the fact because you have the diagnosis of fibromyalgia, that you’re always going to have miserable life because that’s just not true.

 

 


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2 replies
  1. Terri Balentine
    Terri Balentine says:

    Hi Dr. Murphree , My name is Terri, I an 57 years old, born and raised in Birmingham, Al. I moved to Robertsdale, in South Al in 2005. I still own a house in B’ham, and I visit some. I would like to visit more, but my fibro gives me panic attacks ! ( Is that even possible ?) I was diagnosed with fibro by a Birmingham Dr. (female) in 2002 or 2003, can’t remember. She is a well known rheumatologist. I have a list of symptoms that may take all night to list. I will just start with the worse ones. The all over pain, especially the lower back, neck, and shoulders. The fibro fog…it’s constant. I can be right in the middle of a sentence and completely forget what I was saying. I can’t even recall simple things , and feel like I am in a cloudy haze sometimes. Sleep ? What’s that ? I haven’t had any REM sleep in years. I have bloating problems when I eat, protein leakage in my kidneys, Rheumatoid arthritis in my blood draws, severe sleep apnea, degenerative disk disease, gout, incontinence….etc. As you can tell, I am “broken “. I do not have much of a life anymore. I can’t do much for myself. I am on disability, and I hire my neighbor to do the things like sweep and mop, take out trash, and cut grass. I can’t do any of those things, I just don’t have the energy. If I go somewhere, like Walmart, I am down for the rest of the day…maybe two days ! I am interested in getting some help, but I am in the middle of changing Insurance. Do you take ins. ? In the near future, I may see if you can help me. I can get to B’ham in 4 hours, if I can muster up the nerve. I am getting hopeful though, I thought the rest of my life was going to be of poor quality. Maybe I have a chance. Also, what role does smoking have with Fibro ? For the record, I was first diagnosed with Lupus. God Bless, and I am happy that a Fibro Dr. is practicing in Birmingham !

    Reply

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