Monday, September 6, 2010

"Your Such A Pretty Girl, It's A Shame You Are So Unhappy"

I stared back at my doctor slack-jawed, open-mouthed, shocked. This woman had seen me through the worst of my Fibromyalgia and CFS. And here we were 2 years later and she still thinks I am just depressed! Oh I wanted to scream, but that would only make me look crazier! Plus I did not have the energy. What's worse is she was one of the few that had actually helped me. Oh my...

As we sat there battling back and forth, fighting over pain meds, how I was going to be able to work, what the next step was in managing it and what to do about the fact that I could not stand up without feeling like I was crushing myself, she looked me square in the eye and said, "I am not going to give you anything stronger. Once you get on the pain patch you don't ever come off. Go get a massage, acupuncture, you need to figure out how to make yourself better!" And with that she got up with a flourish and flounced out of the room. Holy shit! Did that really just happen? I thought to myself. That was rich. My doctor telling me I need to figure out how to make myself better. Well there goes the God complex, you infallible twit! Strangely enough desperation is what always precipitated every turning point in my recovery, and this encounter left me with TONS of desperation. So I did what she said, set out on a quest to turn over every rock and look under every stone in an attempt to gain some quality of life back and figure out how to live again.

I researched, I spent thousands of $$$, I beat the proverbial crap out of myself daily because my level of functioning was so low. I cried, I threw hourly pity parties, I hated everyone and everything around me because I simply HURT so freakin' bad! I was still working, San Francisco not being a 1 income city, but it was taking me down quickly. After working a 6 hour shift in retail I honestly felt that if I did not have my legs it would have been better, they hurt so bad! I was confused, bewildered, shocked that this had become my life. But I was able to find a little kernel of fight way deep down inside and start pouring this tremendous amount of tumultuous emotion I was feeling into it. I started taking responsibility for my part in this. Not causing it, but in repairing it. At this point in the game it was now startlingly obvious modern medicine had no knowledge of this condition and was not going to fix me. There were no drugs or treatments for this at that time. Fibromyalgia was mildly legitimized when Lyrica became FDA approved, but that had yet to happen. Its existence was even more doubted than it is now.

My quest and research opened my eyes to major truths between man and nature. It led me to view my entire body as a life cycle. I started taking into account every bit of food I put in my mouth, the stress I existed in, exercise, medications and more to the point, attitude. I became aware of the lie the modern American lifestyle was precipitating and how that was causing a multitude of serious illnesses. I knew my hormones were totally out of whack, having been on the Pill for years and years and felt this was really contributing to a huge imbalance. When I would feel even remotely capable I would flutter into a flurry of activity, desperate to catch up with my life that was racing fast ahead of me. Yet after every push there was a crash, but how do you not push? Oh this combat was mentally, physically, emotionally and psychologically exhaustive! And there was no way to get away from it, no relief that was not in the form of a drug-dazed Percocet haze which in some ways was worse than the pain.

I went to The Fibromyalgia & Fatigue Center in Las Vegas. They were wonderful, but quite expensive. They enlightened me to so much about my body. My immune system was null. I was host to a multitude of viruses and infections. My candida was out of control, my thyroid whacked, my testosterone non-existent, my HGH that of a 86 year old. And all of this was precipitated by a severe sleep disorder. I had not had a dream in years and was never getting stage 4 sleep, where growth hormone is produced and the body heals and repairs itself. Oh the list goes on and on. Basically I was a walking breakdown of illness and sickness waiting to collapse. So I started building up my system with supplements, nutrients my blood tests showed I was so deficient in. I started doing gentle yoga and forcing myself to shuffle around the block with my puppy. I stopped eating packaged and prepared, processed, fried and refined foods. I started accepting that I was sick and was going to get better, not giving myself any option. But oh it was so hard and so much work. Each step forward was met with a hard shove back. But I pushed harder. I refused to live life so sick I could not function and did anything and everything I could to improve my situation.

I found an AMAZING acupuncturist and entered an entirely new realm of healing with her. She un-blocked my chakras and restored my flow, released deeply bound bands of stress, tension and pain inside me and did other amazing and incredible things. I went on heavy-duty anti-virals to rid myself of the primary cause of the CFS, endless bouts of anti-biotics, anti-fungals, anti-everything, all the while trying to restore the good that was so out of whack in my body through nutrition and supplements. I did the Lyrica & Cymbalta dance and fell prey to their side-effects, absorbing up a better part of a year of my life. I ballooned up to well over 230 lbs. and existed in a half-conscious state, so medicated I did not feel pain but I also did not feel anything.  Name it, I have tried it. Some of it worked, some of it did not and some of it made me worse.

But before I moved to Arizona I made one last appointment with that doctor. I walked in, healthier than I had been in years. I told her what I had done, shared my resources with her and watched her in amazement as she said, "Wow, you really were in pain, weren't you!". Will they ever get it?

Thanks for joining,


  1. Hi Leah,

    Great post! I can say "Been there, done that!" to all except the horribly unenlightened doctor. I've had remarkably good luck with docs.


  2. Leah~ Do you have any idea how much you enlighten and entertain all of us?? I get so excited when your new blogs appear!!...Making my hubby pause the TV as I read parts of your blog to him...the parts that I totally relate too..It's a lonely life sometimes living with Fibro...OUr families just dont understand and it is awesome to be able to talk to my Facebook Fibro-friends...Thank you for sharing your life with us...You need to write a book girl-seriously!!

  3. I agree with Alyson — you definitely need to write a book! Going backwards through your blog (but now I'm going to start from the beginning), this is the best post so far. I can't remember ever reading such an inspirational story from a fellow fibro-mite. Thank you so much!

  4. I agree with everyone. Write that book and you've got all of us clamoring to read it. :)