Here is the excerpt and audio recording of Pam’s interview with me from my Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia Teleconference
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Pam from Midland, Texas –
“I was trying to take care of my parents who were aging, and I was seriously thinking I was going to have to give up working and stay home. I work a desk job, but I would still come home and immediately lay down … by the weekend, Saturday and Sunday I was exhausted, I would just stay in bed and sleep all weekend. It gets really depressing.
Oh my goodness, I almost feel normal…… I would say like I’m 80 to 90% (better) now, I feel really good.”
Listen to the full interview and/or read the full interview below:
Dr. M: 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 weekly 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 practice on the campus of Brooklyn hospital here in Birmingham, Alabama where I had a very large support staff and 5 medical doctors who worked with me. We used a very judicious use of prescription medication and a lot of natural protocols to treat patients with all sorts of chronic illnesses, but primarily the focus has been – for me anyway, it’s been fibromyalgia for the last almost 20 years.
95% of my practice is by phone, and I work with patients throughout North America as well as overseas. You don’t have to travel to Birmingham Alabama. It can ALL be done by phone, no matter where you live. www.fibroconsults.com
I think it’s a really big challenge for those with fibromyalgia in today’s environment, because traditional medicine really has given up on fibromyalgia. The drug companies are certainly going to continue to put out more and more drugs, because they see a very big void of medications out there for those with fibromyalgia and they see an opportunity. But the traditional medicine doctor, your average doctor, they’ve been led to believe that fibromyalgia is a diagnosis that when you give it, that’s it and you just have to learn to live with it. That’s really unfortunate because I don’t think that’s true. I’ve got patients who have certainly benefited from my protocols that I’ve developed over the last 20 years; numerous patients who have been able to reverse their fibromyalgia and been able to get their life back.
It’s not terminal, it’s not something that just because they give you that name, you have to live with it. You do have some options. Unfortunately one of those options, traditional medicine alone, I think it’s a dead end. In traditional medicine the goal is typically to manage the symptoms, and you manage the symptoms with different prescription medications. With fibromyalgia, there’s just too many symptoms so before you know it, you’re on half a dozen to a dozen drugs and you don’t know whether they’re helping or hurting because one day it’s a good day, the next day it’s a bad day. You just never know.
Fortunately, there’s more and more doctors who are practicing functional medicine, the kind of medicine that I’ve been practicing for almost 24 years. And fortunately many of those doctors are now starting to specialize in fibromyalgia, as I have for almost 2 decades.
Tonight before I take your questions, I’d like to have a couple of my patients come on air and share their story. Pam, you’ll need to hit star 6 to come on the line … Pamela Stacey from Midland, Texas is going to be joining us and I’m going to get her to share her story with fibromyalgia. Pam if you’re on the call, just let me know.
Pam: Yeah, I’m here.
Dr. M: Hi Pam, thanks for joining me.
Pam: Sure, no problem.
Dr. M: tell us a little bit about your story with fibromyalgia, because when we first started to work together you were pretty low, pretty down.
Pam: Yes, most definitely. I probably started about 12 years ago with migraines and a diagnosis of peri-menopause, a hysterectomy and then all the pain started coming. I had pain in my hands. I would go to the doctor and they would do X-rays and say it was nothing. Anyway, it went on like this until finally about 2010 I believe is when they finally diagnosed me with fibromyalgia. The Lyrica did not work for me, I had horrible side effects and my family encouraged me to try to figure out what was really wrong. My sister is a massage therapist so she really helped me. We were just hunting and trying to diagnose myself or trying to find a doctor that could help, but everybody wanted to give me medications that I didn’t want to take or I didn’t like the side effects. At one point, I finally thought if I could lose some weight maybe I’d feel better. I tried a homeopathic hCG diet and I noticed that when I was on those drops, I felt really good but then when I got off, it all came back and then some. A friend of mine told me about a fibromyalgia help group. I did some internet research on it and contacted them, but basically this was a group just to help you file disability … I wasn’t ready to give up, but by January of this year I was just at the point where I was ready to give up. Because I had visited that other site, Dr Murphree came up on my Facebook and I started checking into that, and it was just an answer to prayer.
Dr. M: One of the things that I know was really a challenge for you was the migraines. How often were you having migraines?
Pam: I was having several migraines a month usually. It would be the type where they’d last 3 days. I had to medicate 3 days in a row to get rid of it.
Dr. M: Migraines are the worst. Tell me about your migraines now. Do you have any migraines now?
Pam: I really haven’t. I’ve had 1 or 2 but I’ve really learned a lot from my food allergies; things that I had already discovered trigger migraines, but there are some I had no idea … whenever I tried to add something back, I got one and I was like “Oh.” After doing an anti-inflammatory diet, when you start adding things back you can really tell what hit you wrong and what your problem areas were, that I had no idea before.
Dr. M: With your migraines, what had your doctors told you was the cause of the migraines? What had they recommended you do for the migraines?
Pam: Originally they thought it was hormone problems and that’s why with my peri-menopause, I was having problems. We couldn’t stop my menstrual period, so they tried all kinds of birth control pills. Nothing worked and after about 3-4 years of trying that, we just couldn’t get it under control so I had a hysterectomy … we were hoping it would take care of the migraines but it did not. Basically just medication and all they ever said was try to figure out what your triggers are, and avoid them.
Dr. M: No one ever really mentioned to you about getting a food sensitivity or food allergy test done.
Pam: No, I had never heard of that until I met you.
Dr. M: A few things we found with you that were pointing us in the right direction, number 1 what I find with migraine headaches is food allergies. It’s one of the prime triggers for migraine headaches. Number 2, your thyroid … even though you were on thyroid medication, it wasn’t optimized and wasn’t working like it’s supposed to. You had Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, where your body is attacking your thyroid tissue. Of course you’ve worked so hard with the food allergies and the diet, but when you made those changes and got on over the counter thyroid … the other thing I think that was real helpful was Petadolex for your migraine as well, I guess you’re still taking that.
Pam: Yes, that is so worth it just to take that every day.
Dr. M: That’s just a natural supplement that they use in Europe. That’s the number one thing they recommend for migraines there which is prescription, but here you can buy it over the counter because all it is, is butterbur so it’s an herbal. You went from having these migraines on a monthly basis, 2-3 a month and now it’s a rarity. That alone is amazing. Just being an old migraine patient, I can identify with you how terrible those things are so I’m so glad you’re not having those. Your energy was so low. Tell me before we started working together about your energy, because it was really low.
Pam: It was low. I was trying to take care of my parents who were aging, and I was seriously thinking I was going to have to give up working and stay home. I work a desk job, but I would still come home and immediately lay down … by the weekend, Saturday and Sunday I was exhausted, I would just stay in bed and sleep all weekend. It gets really depressing.
Dr. M: Yeah from what you shared with me, you had a tremendous amount of stress. You would just push, do what you had to at work but then as you just mentioned, on the weekend you were pretty much done. You really couldn’t do anything, I guess.
Pam: No, that’s correct. I’m very thankful for a wonderful husband that helped me through all that. Now my energy levels is, oh my goodness … my energy level is up. I was retaining a lot of fluid from the food allergies and that went away. People immediately started noticing a difference in me … back to doing house work, taking care of our business, my parents’ business. I did change jobs and found a job that I really like, I think that helped too.
Dr. M: Absolutely. 0 to 10, I always ask everybody this … 0 is where we started and 10 would be the best. Where would you say you are overall? You wrote where we started, that’s the worst you could be and 10 is the best. What would you say you are overall right now, 6 months later?
Pam: Oh my goodness, I would say about a 9. I need to get my body stronger but my energy level, I can do it now. As you know, in the middle of the protocol I broke my ankle too so that made things a little tougher.
Dr. M: I know, you did. Your pain was all over, you’ve already shared with us your pain is greatly reduced. Your pain now, where would you put that on 0 to 10 where 0 is the worst and 10 is the best?
Pam: Oh my goodness, I almost feel normal. If I’m eating right like I’ve learned that I should, then I can go through the day with no pain … as long as I don’t overdo it, just muscle soreness. I would say like an 8 to 9 now, I feel really good. I did a bad thing, my a-ha moment for me was Halloween. I did a little candy binge and sugar is so bad. I hurt for several days after that, so taught myself a lesson.
Dr. M: Yeah, for some people sugar is their nemesis. Other people, it doesn’t seem to give them a problem but definitely once you go through the program, you realize that there are certain foods that you’re eating that are actually contributing to how bad you feel; then you just don’t want those foods even more. Tell me about the anti-inflammatory diet, you’ve lost a good bit of weight on that diet.
Pam: I did, I lost 40 pounds with that. I’m still waiting on the 5 pounds but it’s the holidays …
Dr. M: You did that in a 6 month period, is that right?
Pam: Yeah, I started in May and finished up in October.
Dr. M: Originally when we first started working together, you had this high cholesterol. I think it was 264, they had you on Crestor which is something I don’t recommend that people take because it has so many potential side effects, including side effects that can mirror what you have with fibro, the fatigue and pain. Now you’ve been off Crestor for 6 months, actually a little more than that I think … Last time we checked, your cholesterol was down to 163. Your C-Reactive Protein – for those people who don’t know what that is, that’s an inflammatory marker. When it’s elevated, it increases your risk of heart attack and stroke, and I was real concerned because yours was at 4.5, and we really want to see that below 2. Last time we checked in October, it had dropped from 4.5 down to 0.85 which is about as low as it can go. I was really proud of you, to see that.
Pam: Thank you, me too.
Dr. M: You’ve worked so, so hard and I think people have a misconception … maybe they come on my fan page, my Facebook page or they see a blog or a post or maybe they even hear one of these stories, and they think you can take a handful of supplements and it’s going to change everything. It’s not about the supplements. It’s not even about the diet, it’s really about finding and fixing the underlying causes and then you’ve got to work to get healthy; you certainly have. What would you share with those folks listening this evening about what you’ve been through the last 6 months, this process?
Pam: I think first just finding your webpage and reading about it … I just want everybody to know that you know what you’re doing, and that you’re the first person I ever talked to that had taken the time to unravel all the mysteries and everything that’s going wrong, and to help figure it out. You and your staff are just amazing support. I cried on the first conference call because I finally talked to somebody that cared, and that understood and could help me. I know everybody is different and different things, but the way you go at it, the way you take it apart, it just seems doable. You get to the point where you have doctors just shrug you off or try to give you all the medications that you don’t want … just to find that kind of support and help and understanding, it’s a huge blessing, it’s wonderful. I would advise people to give you a chance, to talk to you and start figuring it out because there is hope and you can get better.
Dr. M: I so appreciate you saying that. What I’m seeing here now unfortunately, a lot of people think they get this diagnosis and they have to live with it. I even have people that will come on the blogs and they’ll say that these people that have shared their story, must not have had fibromyalgia because there’s no way they can reverse their fibromyalgia. What would you say to that? Obviously you got diagnosed with fibromyalgia, correct?
Pam: Yes, 5 years ago I did. I try to explain to people it’s not like a disease, it’s an umbrella thing that they put up when they can’t figure exactly what’s wrong, or it’s too complicated … but you have it. I know that if I go back to my old habits and don’t take care of myself, that I will probably end up right back where I was … but I’ve learned so much and I’ve learned that I can feel better. It’s a lifestyle change. Like you’ve explained to me, your body breaks down and you have to build it back up. We only get one body, we’ve got to take care of it and do what’s right and then you can feel better.
Dr. M: Absolutely. Pam, thank you so much for coming on the call tonight. I’m so proud of you and I’m so happy. It makes me so happy to hear how well you’re doing. You’ve worked so hard and I’m just delighted to get the opportunity to work with you and get to know you. I think you’re a wonderful person … I’ve got a big smile on my face just hearing you talk about how well you’re doing, it’s great.
Pam: Thanks to you and your staff. I’ve had a very supportive family too that’s really helped me through all this, they’ve been very encouraging. They really think a lot of you too, they want to say thank you as well.
Dr. M: Thank you so much. I know we’ll be talking soon, but I just want to say Merry Christmas and we’ll be talking soon.
Pam: All right, thank you.
Dr. M: Thanks. I really want to thank Pam for coming on the line. She’s a wonderful person and I feel really privileged just to be able to help her in her goal … she mentioned her family, I think that’s it. It’s not just the patient that has the fibro, it’s everyone that is in their life. It affects everything, it affects your marriage, your job, your social life. Before you know it, it just can ruin everything so I’m so happy that she’s doing so well.
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