I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue in 2004, and, for the next decade, was nearly completely bedridden.
My worst symptoms were chronic headaches, migraines and bone crushing fatigue. I lost the ability to meaningfully interact with my family, my career, friends, the ability to be athletic, to focus, concentrate or speak clearly. I never knew what day it was no matter how many times I looked at a calendar. I had insomnia nightly, and the rare times I slept, I actually felt worse the next day.
I was also diagnosed with depression, anxiety, insomnia, and P.T.S.D. These are very normal diagnoses from general practitioners. I followed my doctor’s instructions because I thought he would cure me. I was wrong. Yes, he helped the symptoms with several medications. I was on heavy pain medications every 4-6 hrs for 11 years. After my diagnosis at age 38, I was taking 13 medications daily. Prior to the onset of Fibromyalgia, I only took a daily vitamin. I won’t go into detail regarding that decade of my life, except to say I never gave up.
After year two of symptoms, I decided that I had a choice to make - I chose to find a way to get my life back.
I began seeking alternative solutions... pain specialists, physical therapists, massage therapists, acupuncture, chiropractors, and even ablation therapy to stop my menstruation (I couldn’t tolerate PMS migraines.) They all helped some. I had spinal surgery, a C5/6 discectomy and fusion. It strengthened my neck so I didn’t need to always support my own head, but it did not help the headaches. I had trigger point injections in my head, neck, shoulders and back every two months for 5 years before they stopped working. In the end, nothing really worked.
Fast forward to 2015.
My second pain specialist, having unsuccessfully treated me for two years, sent me to a pain psychologist who concluded that my pain was real. Finally, validation! He suggested that they only way for me to get better was to seek a specialist in a larger metropolitan area. I searched “headache specialists in Northern CA” and found one immediately.
Her office was three hours away, but I didn’t let my inability to drive that long stop me. I knew I had to meet with her. She was delightful and, against my better judgement, I found myself feeling a bit hopeful, cautiously so. My specialist carefully explained the Guai Protocol to me, and mentioned that Dr. St. Amand (the Protocol's founder), as well as herself, suffer from Fibromyalgia.
That’s when I knew I had found what I’d been searching for since 2006 - real hope.
Today marks my 1 year Guaifenesin anniversary. I have followed the steps precisely as are described in the 7 Steps of the Protocol and I am getting better every day.
It wasn’t easy at first, and I have a ways to go. I still have flare ups that keep me in bed for 3-6 days at a time, but on good days (and there have been a lot of them recently), I can do several activities in one day! Before, just taking a shower was all I could do, and not even every day. I can now clean the house in two days instead of doing a little every day, and I walk for 15 minutes on my Tread Climber several times per week. I event take care of my 87 year old mother-in-law about five hours per week, and cook most dinners instead of buying pre-made.
Now, I help people when I can on support groups. I never dreamed I would have the energy or brain function to write or help people again.
The intention of fibromyalgiawellness.info is to provide easy-to-follow guidelines, and support, for those beginning the the Guaifenesin Protocol. I invite you to visit here often, as I will be contributing new information and blogs regularly. There are also links to other great bloggers and support groups. You can always contact me with any questions, needed support, or just to talk!
I am sorry that you have this diagnosis, but stay with this protocol and you will feel better, and you can have your life back.
Good luck on your journey. Remember, you are not alone.