Could I Post My Health Concerns Here?????

Braselton, GA(Zone 8a)

Would it be OK???? I just have a LOT wrong with me and the Drs. think I am a hypochondriac. I am really suffering but can't get any help!!!!

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

Of course you can post them here. You can also go to the health/wellness/diet and prayer request forums. I can almost guess that you have fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatiue Syndromes which some doctors still know little if anything about and don't accept as real disorders. You will need to go online and seek out help who does believe in these disorders. On the other hand, you may not have these at all but something totally different which will also require specialists to diagnose. Please feel free to speak up and out.

Braselton, GA(Zone 8a)

Leaflady, I have been reading on CFIDS for a couple of yrs. now but my GP just laughs at me or wants to try another da___ pill!!!!!! I am sick AND frustrated. Some of the stories and the symptoms [ in the CFIDS book I read] sounded EXACTLY like me!!!! I LITERALLY have ailments from head to toe and this is the only "Disease" that fits! IF folks are interested, I'll post my symptoms- but I warn you it will be long! I don't want to come in and "take over" this forum so you regulars tell me whether to share or not, OK??? God Bless and thanks! DEBBIE

Birmingham, AL(Zone 7b)

you may want to check out Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)

Lincoln City, OR(Zone 9a)

Don't be shy, you are not going to be "taking over our forum" feel free to tell all that you wish to tell. Some of us are going through the same thing and others of us have been diagnosed by caring doctors who believe in us. Doctors are learning more every day about CF and Fibro among other pain responses. We may be able to help you along the way to greater health or at least have someone listen to you. We care about others in our "extended DG family".

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

Please do find a rhumatologist. Ask before you even make the appointment if this doctor really accepts Fibro/CFS, etc. as real disorders that can be and will be treated or if they just blow it off as a garbage can diagnoses. No point in going to another doctor who isn't going to do anything but make you feel more abused.

Sometimes I think some of the folks on another forum I go to often think I must be a crybaby or hypochondriac(?). I have had Fibro since I was 5, just a diagnosis about 7 years ago. I'm 61. For years I was treated for all kinds of things but did have a compassionate doctor who kept me on strong muscle relaxers and pain meds. Even offered to send me to surgeons to see if they could help. Chiroprators helped some. Now I have chronic Sciatica so badly that I won't let anyone manipulate my lower spine or pelvic frame. I also have osteoarthritis and some early signs of RA but not too badly. I hardly know what it like to be without pain unless I'm medicated. Sometimes if I sit or lie perfectly still it doesn't hurt-until I move.

Here are some over the counter and herbal meds that have helped me thru the years. If they help you, wonderful. If they don't, you won't be hurt any either. Generic Excedrin(2)+an Extra Strenth generic tylenol. Every 4 hours if needed. Great for miagraines too if you catch it early enough. Kava Kava, St. John's Wort, Valarian Root, Melatonin for rest, Ibuprophen(I take up to 5 pills at a time tho only occasionally and ONLY WITH SOME FOOD as they can cause uclers quickly), Naproxen(generic Advil). MSM, Glucosomine, Chondrotin(I use at least 1000 mg. of each am & pm), Vit. E & C, Calcium are all recommended for Fibro and arthritis. I use lots of arthritis creams, Aspercreme, herbal muscle rub in an oil base, Salonpas patches(very reasonably prices and help me quite a lot), Thermocare patches, etc. all seem to help sore muscles and joints. Hot showers help to relax and wash the soreness out of muscles most of time. Some-a very short list of the ones I'm either on or have taken at some time- of the prescriptions use for fibro are steriods, percocet and others like it, Neurotin and other muscle relaxers, Ultram(Tramadol), and various sleeping medications. Vioxx and Celebrex are good for nearly all of the arthritises and not quite as hard on the stomach.

Tip on cheap hot water in the summer. Leave a long hose lying out in the sun. When you need a hot shower or just to wash up a bit, use it. The water will be well heated from the sun and didn't run up your utility bill. If the hose is long and big enough you can almost get a quick shower from it. You can't use that hot water on your plants anyway, so don't waste it.

May JESUS guide you to the right doctor and medications and make sure you get the help you need.

This message was edited Mar 24, 2004 10:01 AM

Coopersburg, PA(Zone 6b)

i drink noni juice as well as some of the above [plus vioxx, tramadol, tizanadine so i can sleep] - i was skeptical for a long time until i didn't drink it for a few days - when i don't drink it my whole body aches. when i do, only parts do and only after a busy day.

Braselton, GA(Zone 8a)

Thank you all for the very warm welcome, the tips and info. but most of all for your loving concern.
I want to preface by telling you guys a little background info. My mom smoked while she carried me and my sibs. Lived around smokers most of my life. I almost died from pneumonia several times as an infant and young girl. Have had lung problems all my life. But like an IDIOT, I did smoke for several yrs. but quit about 11 yrs. ago due to worsening asthma. Also had constant kidney infections as a kid. I have been steadily gaining weight since about age 23. Am now approx. 80-90 lbs. overweight. I know losing weight would greatly help me.
I warned you guys this will be long, so I am sorry, but I want to be as honest and open as possble with you all.
Here are some of my many and sundry symptoms :
1. Headaches- diff. types, freq. and severity.
2. Ear problems- very bad tinnitus; vertigo, dizziness, imbalance(sp?) infections, pain,pressure, hearing probs.
3.Jaw pain and clicking -TMJ?
4.Eyesight- glasses since 5th grade. Left eye very bad. See spots, floaters, "black smoke", bright flashes.
5.Back and neck: had rear-ended car accident in 1988. Been in constant pain and stiffness since then. Pinched nerves cause numbness, tingling and weakness of limbs. Hands numb a lot. Chiro. helps a little- can't afford them, though.
6. Irregular heartbeat/ Pvc's- comes and goes, sometimes constant for months, then goes away. Frequent Pvc's with indigestion!
7. Sinus and throat infections. Quinsys (abcesses on tonsils) since I was a kid. Dr. won't remove them- too big!
8.Pain in feet- had surgery several yrs. ago-didn't help much.
9.Knee pain- right knee messed up as a kid.
10.Pain in both wrists and elbows. No strenghth in arms.
11. Very bad acne, oliy hair and skin-gets worse as I age. Hair started to get very thin about 5 yrs. ago. Got lots of facial hair, too. {OB/GYN said I'm too young to have hormone probs. I say not and I think I'm in peri-menopause}.
12. Very heavy periods- unwise to leave my home first 2 days. Not trying to be gross or graphic here.
13.Digestion: diarrhea 3-6 days/wk. since '92. Seems almost normal to me now but greatly interferes with my life.
Gerd- pain, gas, pressure, bloating. Sensation of "smothering" sometimes when I eat. Get choked and strangled real easy, even on my saliva. Food either gets stuck going down or comes up really easily. Constant need to clear my throat. Drs. can't find anything. My granny and moms' hiatal hernias caused them same symptoms. Had gallbladder removed several yrs. ago- didn't help symptoms much.
14. Depression and panic attacks. I did not know there was a name for what I had til about 8 yrs. ago. I am so glad I found out I'm not crazy. Am on Paxil for several yrs. now.

Please know that I posted this to get some answers and feedback and I feel like you guys can understand me. My poor long-suffering DH tries to but he is as overwhelmed and as disgusted as I am. I have no friends b/c of my health. No one wants to be around folks who are constantly sick. I lose friends when they find out. I really have no one to talk to and that's why I wanted to post here. I hope none of you think I am crazy or a hypochondriac or am just lying about all this. I am a Christian, and although I am NOT perfect, I swear to the best of my knowledge all of this is true. If anything needs to be cleared up, or you have any questions, just ask. I might need to elaborate on some things, but this is already WAY TOO LONG as it is. I want to THANK you all for taking your precious, valuable time to read this. This means more to me than you can know. It feels so good to get it all out!! May God richly Bless you all!!!!! -DEBBIE

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

Even the best Christians are not perfect. They just do their best and go to JESUS for forgiveness and help. Most of us here are also Christians.

Hiatal hernas and GERD are miserable. Do you use something like Prevacid, Pepcid, Zantac, etc? The overcounter versions are only half of the prescription strength but just as effective if you take a prescription dosage of them. Do some web searching as you will find all kinds of hints on dealing with them. I find sleeping on an incline to be very helpful. What helps one person will not always help someone else. You need to try as many of the hints as you can and see which ones help you.

Losing weight is not nearly as easy or fun as gaining it. I'm very familiar wiht that problem. There a really great forum here on DG for dieters. What works as a diet for one person may not work at all for someone else so don't feel badly if a popular diet doesn't work for you. Mostly it is a matter of consuming fewer calories than you burn each day. Any exercise is better than nothing. Even if you just sit and kick your legs, swing your arms, etc. It burns calories and helps keep your joints free. Little cutbacks in food consumption can make a big difference. I've heard of people losing 10# a year just from giving up TicTacs. Measuring food helps you to know if you are eating one or muliple servings of foods. Most Americans eat one large plateful and think they have just had one serving of everything when they really had several servings. Go to the diabetes website and you can get a really good diet list with the correct sizes of each type of potion. Eat those raw veggies and fruits. Hard to go wrong there. Refined sugars and starches and stuff like oleo margarine are the worse things we can consume. The closer to natural a food is the better. Not saying all cooked foods are bad. A one small to medium piece of cake, candy, etc. occasionally won't undo everything for you. You just can't do it daily.

I have a lung disease too. It's called Interstitial Lung Disease. The tissues of the lungs swell and hold fluid. I take Prednisone for it among other things. If you quit smoking 11 years ago your lungs are long ago healed. Does your husband or anyone else in the household smoke now? We have a large NO SMOKING sign up by our front door and we strictly enforce that rule. If you are around second hand smoke you are harmed as much as if you smoke. You may need to use room size air filters. We have one in our bedroom and one in our living room. Do NOT let cats, dogs, etc. come into your bedroom. You need one room in your home that is a safe haven for your respiratory system. Keep it as clean as possible so house dust mites(EVERYONE has these little microscopic critters)don't set up housekeeping too well. It is virtually impossible to totally eliminate them, but you can sure cut back on the population. We had to get rid of all our carpets, upholstered furniture, drapes, etc. I'm telling you this because allergies can cause many of the symptoms you have. Only allergy tests will let you know if you have allergies and what they are.

Paxil can also cause many of your symptoms. See you can switch to something else if possible. Get a Pill Book($10 in any bookstore)or go online and look up the side effects of all meds you are on.

I went into menapause at 21 so I don't think you are too young. I was on HRT for several years. Had some of my children while on it. Had a hysterectomy at 28. Best thing that ever happened to me.

Have you been tested for diabetes? Lately I mean. Some of your symptoms are characteristic of that disease. Go to a county health clinic if you need to for an evaluation of your blood glucose. Or have a friend who has a blood glucose monitor test you several times at different times of the day. Fasting(first thing in the morning before you eat anything at all)is the best indicator test. Any reading over 120 is at least borderline diabetic.

I hope I haven't bored or frightened you with all this. I'm just trying to help. We have to take charge of our own health problems and do whatever we can to help ourselves while we look for the right doctor who will help us.

Braselton, GA(Zone 8a)

Leaflady, thanks for the reply and good wishes. First off, I have tried the acid- reducers, but most make my diarrhea worse. I do use a lot of OTC meds like Tums. As for smoking, no one smokes around me. I just have chronic bronchitis and occas. asthma-like symptoms- have an inhaler. As for the Paxil, I have had all or most of the problems for years before starting the Paxil. I stopped for 2 yrs. and it didn't help. I went thru a major depression right before SEPT. 11,2001. Been back on it ever since. It helps with the panic attacks.
As for diabetes, I have been tested often with neg. results. I do have episodes of weakness and shakiness that people [with low sugar] have told me they also have. Also, have near-fainting spells. My urine tests always show blood, but Drs. find no cause. I think I am a freak sometimes. Thanks again for taking the time to reply to me!! God Bless!

Tallahassee, FL(Zone 8b)

I understand your frustration. I have/have had many of the same symptoms. I finally fought my way through enough doctors to at least diagnose my major problems.

Many of the symptoms you have are associated with fibromyalgia--digestive/diarrhea problems, congestion and chronic bronchitis, OB/GYN problems, depression, panic attacks, skin, hair, and nail problems, chronic fatigue, mental "fibrofog." Then of course there is the pain and aches.

Your joint and foot problems sound like some form of arthritis.

How is your blood pressure? High or low BP can lead to headaches, dizziness, balance problems, tinnitis, and mental confusion, as well as stroke and heart problems.

I have had osteoarthritis for 20+ years, severe back problems with disc degeration in lower back progressing for 45 years, spinal stenosis, digestive problems, hysterectomy at age 34, fibromyalgia finally diagnosed several years ago, foot surgery, and HBP. Well, that's my gripe session!

I currently take vioxx for arthritis, Klonopin (at night to help me sleep--still up at 3AM) and Effexor for fibro (I did not see those mentioned, but they have helped me cope with fibro better. They also help with depression, probably due to being unable to do things I want to, pain, and general achy fatigue. I take Zantac and Axid, prescription dosage nightly, and Toprol and diuretic for HBP.

With the depression and panic attacks, Effexor might work for you. I can't prescribe, but Effexor does improve depression as well as help relieve fibro. Of course I take various vitamins as well. Excedrin PM helps at night. Vitamin B and magnesium tablets seem to give me a little more energy.

I don't know if any of this info helps anyone, but I wanted to share my own experiences.

Friday, I am scheduled for a bilateral laser zap to block the nerves in my lower back. I have already had 3 steroid epidurals which did help. Right now I spend most of my life in my recliner, as this is the only way I get relief from excruciating back pain. I can still get up and walk a few minutes at the time (1-5). Hope the laser zap will ease this pain. But it won't resolve the further damage I do to my back by overdoing. So if it relieves the pain, I won't have the pain to remind me I'm doing too much! I will have to continue to be pretty much physically inactive. But, I still have my wits about me, and continue to supervise my practice from my chair at home. My crew comes to me! I don't have to go out except for doctor appointments and such. And my DH is super!

I understand the pain and frustration all of you have from first hand experience. I am always amazed at how much people are able to do, despite their problems.

But I have come to be at peace with my problems. If God did not give us problems, we would not grow and learn patience, tolerance, and understanding of others. We don't learn anything from prosperity, only from coping with trials and tribulations. I thank God daily for the good and the bad. He gives us the strength to manage problems if we ask and follow his will and purpose in our lives.

Well, I'll get off my soapbox now. Sorry to ramble.

Love to you all,


Lincoln City, OR(Zone 9a)

I have had many of your problems also and have been diagnosed with chonic fatigue and fibromyalgia too. Also spinal stenosis and bulging disks here. I also have been diagnosed with Fibrosystic Ovarian disease because of some of your symptoms also. Since I found the rheumatologist that I am presently going to he has decided that I have probably had the fibro for most of my life as well as osteoarthritis and since my teen years I have had the ovarian disease as I had surgery to remove huge cysts from my ovaries when I was only 16 and have always had a problem with overweight. I am 51 and have had both knees replaced, need my right elbow replaced and am looking at my left hip needing a possible replacement.

I can't emphasize enough that you need to find a good rheumatologist that accepts fibromyalgia as a real problem and will work with you to find what is happening. It may not be fibro at all but it sure sounds like that is part of your problem. Look up Fibromyalgia symptoms on the internet and you will see yourself. I can remember crying when I first read the symptoms because that was ME and I had felt so helpless until that day.

This link will give you some of the rheumatologists who are available in your area.

PLEASE let us know what you find out whether or not it is what we suspect it is. I don't think being an armchair doctor is what any of us are trying to do either. We just care about you and your problems. Good luck and may you find your wonderful doctor.


edited because I can't spell some days due to pain or just brain fog

This message was edited Apr 19, 2004 1:37 PM

Coopersburg, PA(Zone 6b)

judithi - good luck on friday - please let me know how it goes. i'm trying to avoid a rhyzotomy which sounds like your scheduled procedure . will even try acupuncture before i do through zapping the nerves.

Springfield, MA(Zone 6a)

(((((((debbie))))))) oh how i empathize with your dilemma. i was suffering from R.s.d. and didn't know what it was. but i sure did feel crazy not knowing what was wrong with me. the docs knew there was something wrong, just not what it was, or what to do about it. my darling dh listened to the messages he was receiving from his higher power and bought me a computer. online i went and there i found "me" among others. i received a lot of information from many different sources. i finally diagnosed my disease. i was further helped by a fellow sufferer who welcomed me into her home, in long island, new york, while i went to her doctor. it took me 4 years to find this gentle caring man, who dedicated his life to pain sufferers and especially those with R.s.d.
a hyperlink to rsd info.
take care, debi z

Braselton, GA(Zone 8a)

Thanks so much for all of your advice and kind words. It's so nice to have someone to empathize instead of criticize. Your kindness and concern are precious to me. I have suffered in isolation for so long that it feels good to share with others who KNOW.
Someone asked about my BP and it has always been 120/70 or near there.
I think I am gonna pursue the CFIDS route first off. Deep in my gut I just have this feeling that this is my problem. After reading a book on it, I feel this "sounds like me" more than anything else. Now to find a CFIDS Dr. in my area. And I am pretty sure my DH ins. won't pay for this, but I will pray for God's guidance and provision as always.
Someone(sorry) had mentioned about how God uses our suffering to bring us closer to Him, etc.... I totally believe this and I know if it weren't for Him, I would be dead by now. I would either die from sickness or have killed myself. Only by His grace do we make it another day.
Judith, I pray God's peace and healing for you on Friday.
Thanks again for all the support shown me by you kind, dear folks!!!!!!!!! May God Bless You All!!!!

Tallahassee, FL(Zone 8b)

Friday's just another day of my life. I know God is guiding this procedure as just another part of my life.

I work with senior citizens now. Who could have predicted this???

But God has provided me with the life experiences to help them cope with pain and long-term problems, as well as multiple disability combinations. I can tell you, there are a lot of really brave and courageous people out there, but very few, if any, atheists among them. Guess it's like foxholes.

I'll post back how Friday works out. Thanks for listening and sharing! I know many of you have much worse problems than mine. May God alleviate your pain and suffering, and grant you peace and contentment in your lives. It's not "Why me?" but "Why not me" and "God I trust you have a purpose in all this."


Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

Berry_Girl, I just found out a few months ago that Pepcid, Zantac, Tagamet, Tums, Malxoxx, etc. ALL cause diarrhea!! This is after years of using them most days to control an over acid producing stomach and a hiatal hernia's problems. Now I take Prevocid and it doesn't cause the diarrhea. I might also suggest that you try a dairy digestant anytime you eat or think you might eat any type of dairy product within the next couple hours(like going out somewhere and maybe stopping to get a bite to eat). A lactose intolerance will cause diarrhea big time. Other than that, try taking the new product Benefiber or good old Metamucil. I like the orange flavored Metamucil in warm water. You have to drink it pretty fast, but it tastes much like orange jello. I'm sure someone beside WalMart(Equate brand)must make it. If not, go ahead and go to WalMart for it. It adds bulk to your stools. For the first week or so don't take large daily doses as it may cause a nasty embarrassing gas problem. By now I can take 3 doses at one time with no problem but I 've been at it for years now. Metamucil also helps me to lose weight because it fills my stomach with few calories.

I'm so glad you are finding encouragement and love here at DG. It is the best website I have ever found for this loving helping atmosphere and environment.

Tallahassee, FL(Zone 8b)

I've personally never tried Metamucil, but my DH swears by it. He's been taking it daily since before we married (20 yrs ago).

While it looks "nasty" to me, I would be willing to try anything that just might work, if it seems logical to my problems!

My digestive problems follow the Fibro Syndrome--constipation followed by diarrrhea, but mine is usually confined to a day or two. Sometimes I just get frustrated and order a pizza, which is guaranteed to "flush out the pipes" for me!

Give it a try ! Can't hurt. Maybe it will help. If it doesn't work for you, you can always stop taking it and try something else!


Braselton, GA(Zone 8a)

Dear leaflady, believe it or not, the diarrhea started years ago and I had never taken antacids before. I only started the antacids really heavy the last 3-5 yrs. b/c of the worsening GERD. I have been on Prevacid, Zantac, etc... but don't think it helped with the D---- . I hate writing or saying that word, so I'll just abbrev. it as D.
My DH takes the fiber supplement b/c he eats so much dairy that he has cronic const. Don't we just LOVE hearing all this stuff?????? How could a fiber product help with D?? Wouldn't that make the D worse? However I will try almost anything to get relief.

I hope no one who posts suggestions thinks I won't take their advice. It's just that I am on info. overload and have a lot of questions and want to learn everything.

I am almost ashamed to admit this fear but I am........ MEDICINE PHOBIC!!!!!! I have had bad reactions to RX'S before and am very fearful of meds. It took a very long time for the DR's to convince me to go on SSRI'S for my depression and GAD. But I am now glad I did. I still refuse to take meds after I read the precautions if I think they might hurt me. Drives my DH and my DR. crazy!!!! I just throw away the scripts and don't waste my money buying meds that I know I won't take. Anyone else afraid of medicine?????? Oh, please tell me I'm not alone in this!!!!!

I am so very grateful for everyone's advice and help and I am researching it all. Thanks so much you guys and I pray good health for all of us!!!!!!

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

Fiber bulks up the stools and makes them more like a 'normal' stool. It helps the 'D' as well as constipation type of intestinal tract problems. It also helps to sweep the fats out of the intestines and absorbs them at mealtime if you will take them at that time. There are also fiber laxative(that word refers to helping any consistancy stool not just 'D')tablets, capsules, pills, etc.

Now, as to meds that you refuse to take. My dear you may well be preventing yourself from being helped this way. No wonder your doctors don't take you seriously if you refuse to follow their orders. Not being harsh here, just practical. Why do you even go to a doctor if you won't follow his/her instructions and take the medications given to you to help with your symptoms? I'm not saying to continue to take something that makes you sick but sometimes these side effects will fade away after you have been on the meds for awhile. I sometimes only get 10 days of a long term medication at a time just to see how well my system will tolerate it. There are some medications that will always has some unpleasant side effects for as long as you are taking it but you must weigh the benefits against the side effects. For instance, Percocet makes some people sleepy, it makes me slightly hyper if anything but it kills most of the pain so I tolerate the hyper side effect. Caffine raises blood pressure but it kills pain if used in conjunction with aspirin and tylenol such as in Excedrin so that I can get up and get something done. Aspirin, motrin, nyproxen, etc. can cause stomach ulcers if taken in excess or on an empty stomach. But they kill pain, reduce inflammation and fever, and are a real help. So, I take as little as possible and always with foods like milk products, mashed potatoes and gravy, buttered bread products, etc. which helps to coat the stomach and neutralize the acid somewhat. Prednisone causes depression in some people, it makes me somewhat hyper also and sometimes I think I may be having some emotional instability for a period. But without it I have chronic nonpathogenic pneumonia all the time. So I take the lowest dosage possible to control the problem and tolerate the side effects. You are going to have to do the same thing sometimes.

That accident you had several years ago has likely damaged your spine permenently in some ways. There are some things doctors just cannot help no matter how much they sypmathize, want and try to help, etc. Just take their advice, take the meds they offer you, be thankful they are available, and go on as best you can.

MSM, chondrotin, and glucosomine ARE NOT DRUGS. They are natural components of foods that our bodies do not absorb as well as we age or the foods do not have as much of if they are grown in nutrient deficient soils. Same for Melatonin, Selenium, etc. Look up these items online and educate yourself.

Keep open to new facts and medical practices. Avail yourself of the latest and best to the best of your ability. READ, READ, READ, ASK, ASK, ASK, LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN. Then pray for guidance and wisdom from the the LORD and follow HIS leading. Do not let fear rule you. When Fear knocks at the door, send Faith to answer it. You cannot be pitiful and powerful at the same time(from Joyce Meyers).

We are here for you. Don't give up. The answers are out there somewhere.

Braselton, GA(Zone 8a)

Leaflady, some folks are afraid of snakes, some of bugs, etc... I feel I have a legit fear of medicine. Putting a powerful foreign substance in your body is serious business. How can I take a med for "something" when the Dr. doesn't even know what is wrong? I don't like to be a guinea pig for their guessing games. One wrong pill and you could be dead!!!! When I had really bad PVC'S a few years ago, a Dr. wanted me to try some RX for my heartbeat. He wasn't even sure what was wrong with my heart, yet he wanted to risk my health on this med. I read up on it and it was very powerful. It could cause your heart to stop beating if it wasn't prescribed for the EXACT condition and he didn't even know what I had. I'm sorry but I am not gonna take chances unless the DR'S know for sure what is wrong with me.
I do take my Paxil and some other things b/c I and the Dr. KNOW the condition they are being prescribed for. I have a headache, I take an aspirin. I have vertigo, I take an Antivert, etc... I'm sorry if you mis-understood what I meant.
I know you are just trying to help me and I greatly value your imput and concern!!!!!

Tallahassee, FL(Zone 8b)

We've all given you a lot of information and advice. It is hard to process it all so quickly. Don't try. Give it time to sink in and sort itself out.

Here I go with advice again, BUT........ how about this idea:

You have already listed most of your symptoms.
Take a blank sheet of paper and list the possible diagnoses we've suggested, leaving spaces between them. Then, from your list of symptoms, sort them by suggested diagnoses, match them up.

Then see what seems to fit, and what is only a small partial match, plus any symptoms you have left over.

I think this might help you sort all this info out. (You can tell I'm a visual learner/thinker. I have to have everything down on paper in front of me.)

Diagnoses are just man-made categories of symptoms that seem related to a specific syndrome, which is then labeled with a "diagnosis."

Few people have all the symptoms in any diagnostic category, or at least some are much more noticeable than others. So your symptoms of a disease won't match exactly those of other people. But you should notice some structure, some pattern, that seems logical.

When we have multiple categories of symptoms, often seemingly unrelated, it is very frustrating to try and figure out what disorder or disorders are responsible, until we find them grouped into a syndrome/diagnosis. This is just to give us (and doctors) guidelines to compare with our own symptoms.

Once you get this at least somewhat sorted out, then you can begin to look at treatment options--those we have suggested, those you research for yourself, and those recommended by your doctor. We usually have to just try various treatment combinations until we find a combination that works for us as individuals. Each of us is unique, in how we are affected by a disorder, how each medication affects us, and what are effective treatment options.

Get information, trust God to lead you to the right treatment plan for you individually. Once you do, and find one that works for you, you will still be constantly be bombarded with new options and suggestions. You just have to decide for yourself whether to try something else or stick with what is working best for you right now.

Hang in there! Work it out like a math problem, or however you have found is best for you to solve other kinds of problems, one step at a time. Life's problems build up on us and leave us feeling overwhelmed. But instant answers for complicated problems are seldom found. There is no one magic pill or potion, just a combination that works for you.

I have found it easier once I could label my symptoms, to be able to accept that it just is, and just go on, without worrying about it. Just being able to accept it and live day to day with it brings peace.

It's not about who you are, or what kind of personality you have. It's only about physical problems that you have. What's important is how we handle the problems in our thoughts and feelings. Learn to distance yourself from your physical problems so you can look at them more objectively, with less concern about what others, even those close to you, think about your limitations. They all have their own limitations, as well, just different ones than you.

We'll all be thinking of you and praying with you. Never feel alone anymore. You are among friends who understand, who've been through it, and whocan offer help and support.

(Rambled too much again, sorry.)


Lincoln City, OR(Zone 9a)

Debbie, I hope that you will read and reread the above suggestions as they are certainly valid ones. It has taken several times of trying out a drug or a treatment to see if it would work for ME and the one that works for me might not work for YOU. Even in a perfect medical practice, if there is one, you are an individual and your doctor might have to try a drug on you (as in a guinea pig). I know for myself that my doctors have been willing to work with me on solving my problems as long as I am willing to trust them and try things too. I looked around until I have now found a team of doctors who have helped me significantly and now I am having a life again.

Good luck in YOUR search. I will be praying for you.

Braselton, GA(Zone 8a)

Thanks to everyone for their concern and suggestions but most of all for your prayers. And yes, I am considering all options- that was the reason I posted so I could get lots of input. Thanks and God Bless you all!!!

Tallahassee, FL(Zone 8b)

Well, I got the pain nerves in one side of my lower back (L3 & 4, L4 & 5) "nuked" today. So far it feels great! A little sore where they used the needles (3), but lumbar pain on that side is gone so far. And everything else works fine, no problems. I have to go back to have the other side done. It's really amazing so far! But I haven't had a chance to really give it a real workout. Plan to supervise some teens in some gardening for me tomorrow if all stays well.

Will advise later results!

I'm not a risk-taker, but you get to a point where, if you trust God's guidance, and trust your doctor to know what she's (in this case) doing, you're willing to give most anything a tryl

Prayers and good thoughts with you all!


Braselton, GA(Zone 8a)

Judith, PTL that your procedure went well!!!! I am so glad and I trust the other side will be a success, too. Keep us posted! God bless ya!!!

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

Judith, that is wonderful news. I'm so glad you are getting some relief from what I understand to be chronic pain. That can be so exhausting.

Tallahassee, FL(Zone 8b)


Well, still good so far. I wish I could get the other side done tomorrow! Course, I may feel differently tomorrow after supervising my young men in the gardening!

But it will probably be about a month before they can schedule me for the right side. It is supposed to last ~9-11 months. Then I'll probably have to do it again. But pain relief for just that long will be worth it to me.

It's hard to explain the difference. You have to try and sort out which residual pain is from other causes (arthritis & fibro) and which is pain relieved from the back treatment! The back pain is the most severe and relentless. And the sciatic pain jabs and numbness is gone.

Thank you God for the relief and for the challenges. He's sure taught me patience and tolerance. I guess that's why he opened the door for me to work with seniors in my practice, because he gave me understanding for what they/we have to endure daily.

Berrygirl, how are you feeling today? Know that my prayers are with you.


Braselton, GA(Zone 8a)

Judith, I am sore and stiff from gardening with my dear DH today. But it is a good feeling, you know?? I could not garden w/o him and I thank God for my hard-working hubby!!
I am also thankful to you and all the other kind folks who have responded to my thread. I so appreciate you and that all you're going thru, you still take the time to post asking about me. This is very humbling to me!!! I hope I can learn to be as self- less as you are!!! With God's patient grace I know I can!!! God bless and I wish you a good nights rest!!!

Tallahassee, FL(Zone 8b)

Thanks Berrygirl,

I know what you mean about being sore and stiff from gardening being a good feeling! It gives a sense of accomplishment that's hard to beat. And we know why we're sore and stiff. Most times, we are, and we don't know why!

God has taught me long and hard to look toward others, rather than myself. I guess after there wasn't much left of me to worry about, I had to reach out to others! Believe me when I say that I have been to the very depths and by God's good grace managed to claw my way back up, and way above what I had ever imagined was possible. There is mercy and reward for our suffering, and peace and contentment await you.

God's blessings be with you as you seek to follow his will and purpose for your life. I truly believe that this is the only way to love and accept ourselves, and heal our bodies. When God made us, and we allow Him to mold us each day, how could He create someone unlovable, but rather one who must reach out to others with His love? He will also lead you to the right diagnosis and treatment for your trials and ease your pain.


Braselton, GA(Zone 8a)

Judith, {{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}

Santa Ana, CA(Zone 9b)


Many of your complaints/symptoms are known results of insulin resistance. IR directly causes migraine headaches and polycystic ovarian syndrome (P-COS); P-COS causes irregularities in female hormones which can cause either copious or scanty/missed periods, acne, and facial/body hairy-ness. IR is a contributing factor in hardening of the arteries and other cardiovascular conditions (i.e. heart disease and strokes). IR is being investigated for co-incidence (if not actual cause of) arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
... In IR, too much insulin is circulating in the body (b/c cells 'resist' taking it in). Insulin is a growth hormone AND stimulates the appetite! So you gain weight *and* IR makes it VERY hard to lose weight. IR sometimes precedes development of type-2 diabetes (pancreas wears out from over-producing insulin until it cannot produce enough!). Glucophage (metformin) and Avandia/Actos are two pharmaceutical approaches to improving sensitivity to insulin.

Seritonin deficiency not only causes depression but is heavily implicated in lower GI (i.e. intestinal) disorders. There are more seritonin receptors in the gut than in the brain. There are also lots of seritonin (and other neurochemical) receptors in various muscles, hence the response of fibromylasia to Effexor above.

The two conditions are endocrine disorders and are probably NOT unrelated. Note the statistics that 50% of type-2 diabetics have seritonin-deficient depression! While type-1 diabetics are only about as likely to be clinically depressed as non-diabetics. Unfortunately, this doesn't [necessarily] mean that controlling insulin levels means a person won't need an SSRI too!

Finally, although glucosamine, melatonin, selenium ETC are not drugs in that they are not regulated by the FDA, they are indeed chemicals, and you should definitely inform your physician(s) of all supplements and herbal remedies you are using.
-- Xtal

Santa Ana, CA(Zone 9b)

I found a very interesting and WELL-DOCUMENTED, largely MEDICALLY-SUPPORTED website
By a woman who has an almost unreal number of your same symptoms! (See, I said they were prob'ly related!)
-- Xtal

Tallahassee, FL(Zone 8b)

How would you find out if you had IR? I mean, what kind of test?
I regularly have them check for diabetes when they do blood tests on me, because my mother had it. Would the IR require a different test?

Thanks for the info.

Santa Ana, CA(Zone 9b)

"Insulin clamp" where they infuse glucose at a set level and see how much insulin is thereby produced by your body is the definitive test, but it is quite complicated to administer and so is generally only considered necessary in a research setting. I think is aka "Glucose challenge".

It is (much) easier to measure blood sugar than insulin levels. My DH (a Family Practitioner very keen on endocrine disorders) says Fasting Blood Sugar > 100 means IR.

FBS 120 or above is the new definition of diabetes... so if anyone here has numbers in the 120's and your physician has said "you are borderline-diabetic" (or not said anything) -- time to find a new physician. "Borderline diabetes" is like "a little bit pregnant"!

So Judith, when they "check for diabetes", ask what the number is... although the standards are for FASTING blood sugar, i.e. before breakfast in the morning, my husband is very alert to NON-fasting numbers, too -- he says, "my patients do not spend most of the time fasting!"

-- Xtal

Santa Ana, CA(Zone 9b)

NON-BLOOD TEST signs of Insulin Resistance

If you have P-COS, migraines (vascular headaches, NOT just "BAD" headaches or MSG headaches or red-wine/chocolate/etc headaches), hypoglycemia, frozen shoulder, polyps, or skin tags -- suspect IR as underlying cause... if you have more than one of the above I would say IR can be presumed unless PROVEN OTHERWISE! Thick knuckles and/or a darkened area at the back-base of the neck are also markers, but neither conclusive nor always present.

A pretty good indicator is a waistline 36" or more (40" or more for a man, and that's AT the waist, not just the belt size pants he wears). The reason is that tissues around the waist, between the organs, are particularly insulin resistant.

If you also have high cholesterol, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, etc, then you qualify as having metabolic syndrome (aka "Syndrome X" in the lay press). Some endocrinologists figure if you have IR w/o the others you still have metabolic syndrome, just the others haven't materialized YET... I and other family members (including ones old enough that if ever gonna show up it would have) have polyps, P-COS, migraines, etc and perfect cholesterol and BP, so I figure they are independent factors *sometimes* linked -- just as IR doesn't *always* become diabetes...
-- X.

Tallahassee, FL(Zone 8b)

Thanks again for the info!

I don't have headaches, well very infrequently, not really a concern. I'm well-past the menstral problems, as I had a hysterectomy, just the uterus removed at age 34 (27 years ago), so ovaries are still intact. But I did have a lot of problems before the surgery, which is why I had it (fibroids, endometritis).

I don't know what my test numbers are for blood sugar level, but will sure ask next time! I was aware of the 120 level for diabetes, and have never apparently reached 120.

But I do have severe back problems (from injury at age 14), osteoarthritis, since age 40 diagnosed, and fibromyalgia, with it's associated symptoms.

I don't suppose that any treatment is available that reverses or alleviates the conditions, even if you do have this problem. Is there any treatment that would arrest further development, which would definitely be an improvement in my case?

Thanks again,


Santa Ana, CA(Zone 9b)

Hi Judith,
Sorry I didn't get back to you faster, have been busy with last projects before Blooms (my mom) heads back to Utah, and I wanted to bounce the question off my husband, see if he had any breaking news on the topics of your message...

As you know (have figured out), OA often follows injury or is worse in the area previously injured.

Anti-inflammatories are the standard approach to OA but the makers of Tylenol have some pretty good data on acetymenophen (sp) for relief of discomfort and ability to function -- without stomach irritation... and you can combine Tylenol with one of the non-steroidal anti-inflamatory drugs, too -- aspirin, Advil, Nuprin, etc. Possibly reducing the dosage of both, i.e. synergy.

And my cat, who has arthritis in the hips (visible on x-rays!), was helped by glucosamine/chondritin -- noticable in 2 or 3 days, BION! My vet says the chondritin is only necessary to provide sulfate (nec. for glucosamine HCl to work), so I found some glucosamine SULFATE for about 1/10 the price... haven't had him on it long enough to vouch for it, but I know I will try it next time my hands flare up.
-- Xtal

Santa Ana, CA(Zone 9b)

Judith (part 2)

Here's something to think about... not only are there more seritonin receptors in the gut than the brain, but when people who have IBS are subjected to an amount of stimulus (air or liquid forced into a "balloon" in the intestine) which people without IBS tolerate or don't even notice, the IBS patients find it excruciating. Huh!

I suspect there would be similar findings, if there were a place to insert the balloon, in FMS! I think I'm saying, it's not *what* you feel, it's *how* you feel it... Substance P is mentioned as important (Substance P is tied to seritonin but not in an A=B simple way).

My husband says the "older" antidepressants (someone mentioned Elavil above) seem to work better for fibro than the SSRIs... the first S in SSRI is for 'selective', so maybe it is because the later drugs are TOO selective (!), maybe there are sub-classes of neuro-chemicals that are more important in depression vs. other seritonin disorders... so the broader brush covers them better... I see you mention Effexor; it is an atypical anti-depressant, not a straight SSRI so it may also 'hit' more receptors...

I am the one speculating here, not my physician husband -- but I have been watching the progression of medical understanding of various conditions over at least fifteen years, and that is the trend -- to discover ever MORE complicated details in the human body!

Anyway, I am getting out of my league, but one thing I need to add -- if you go searching on the Web for "seritonin" and "Substance P" you will quickly stumble across one or more references to 5-HTP as a NATURAL substitute for anti-depressants ETC ETC. There is nothing particularly natural about taking a chemical intermediate between an amino acid and seritonin found in a berry in Africa (on the other side of the planet from most of us) concentrated (in a laboratory) and packaged in dosages not determined by randomized-control tests. The nutritional doctor touting his book about this says START at 50mg three times a day... a M.D. (also an author promoting his books) says anything over 50mg PER day is high and should only be taken for a short time, etc. Who ya gonna believe?

It should NEVER be taken with any drug (or supplement) that might be affecting seritonin levels too, without the prescribing dr. being aware of it.

5HTP does NOT have a benign side-effect profile! It could easily be LESS well-tolerated in any particular person than a precription anti-depressant. Additionally, the FDA has found impurities in 5HTP supplements including the one implicated in the deaths of at least 38 people in the 1989 incident which resulted in the amino acid tryptophan being taken off the market.

Just don't let anyone sell you that "natural" is "safe" or without risk. -- Xtal

Tallahassee, FL(Zone 8b)

Crystal, thanks much for the info. Being a researcher myself, I'm naturally skeptical about "new, improved, miracle" cures. It seems like there is a new one every day, very confusing.

Standard "rule of thumb" for me is at least three truly professional experienced researchers who can provide credible, non-confounded results, using several large numbers of randomly chosen subjects, followed by studies of the effects of the substance over the long term.

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