Deborah Beats Fibromyalgia

Here is the excerpt and audio recording of Deborah’s interview with me from my Tuesday Night Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia Teleconference:

“I’ve been an RN for 43 years and I’m very scientific. I had been through just about everything trying to find help, and pretty much just learned to push the pain down and move on … became the great repressor. One of my main goals and what attracted me to you was that not only would you help me get into a better nutritional status, but the potential to lose some really bad fat that I had picked up around my middle. I was still in the range of ideal body weight, yet I was classified as obese because of the weight around my waist. To my way of thinking, I didn’t want to be the crazy nurse that let herself succumb to poor health without a fight. You seemed like a real warrior and promised teamwork to help get me better, and you’ve come through…”

 

Listen to the full interview and/or read the full interview below:


 

deb ireland

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 Treating and Beating Tuesday night call. I appreciate the opportunity to share information with you that I hope you will find helpful in your quest to feel good again. A little bit about me: I’m a board certified chiropractic physician and board certified nutritional specialist. I’ve been in practice for 23 years. For the last 17 years, I’ve specialized in fibromyalgia. 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 for me at that clinic.   We specialized in combining traditional medicine, although a very judicious use of traditional medicine, and a large amount of complementary medicine. A number of years ago, I sold that practice and I’ve been out solo ever since. I do have a clinic here in Birmingham, Alabama and I do see patients who come to see me from all over North America, but primarily these days anyway my practice is phone consults. I get to work with patients all over the world, I’m able to order blood work and have tests set up so the patient can do the testing in their hometown. Through modern technology and Skype and telephone, I’m able to work with patients throughout North America and in fact the world. Tonight I’ve got a special treat for you, because I’ve got one of my favorite patients who will be joining me here in just a few minutes. I’m asking her to share her story and tell a little bit about her journey with her fibromyalgia, some of the things that she’s learned, possibly looking at things a little differently than she did previously.

I think the real challenge for those with fibromyalgia is that it’s oftentimes a really long and lonely journey. I think for many people, they start out in the traditional medical model with hopes that their doctor that they’re seeing is going to be able to find and fix them. Unfortunately in traditional medicine, it really is not that simple with fibromyalgia. Traditional medicine is very good at diagnosing the problem and they’re very good at making people comfortable. They’re very good at lifesaving procedures, and thank goodness we have traditional conventional medicine. But the chronic illness is where traditional medicine really has a disconnect with what health is all about. Unfortunately in our country, we have really come to the conclusion- – a false conclusion that every symptom needs to be sedated or masked or covered up with a drug, and there is a drug for every problem. Because of that, we have doctors that are happy to dispense the drugs that are being made by pharmaceutical companies throughout the United States; in fact the world. The challenge with that model is that if we’re only covering up symptoms with medications and not finding the causes, the patient is doomed to stay on prescription drugs the rest of their life. In some cases, that’s the only option for some diseases. In fibromyalgia, there are so many symptoms that if you’re not careful, before you know it you’re on 6, 12 or more medications. You’re on a drug to wake you up, a drug to put you to sleep, a drug to calm you down, a drug to speed you up, a drug to reduce your pain … the list goes on and on, and every drug has a potential side effect. With fibromyalgia, what I have learned over the last 17 years is that the only way to really get somebody well is to get them healthy. I know for first time callers, that sounds pretty simple but really that’s what’s it all about. It’s about finding and fixing causes, and not just treating symptoms. With the questions that you’ll have for me this evening, that’s what I want you to keep in mind – if you’ve got a symptom, the question should be why? If you’ve got poor sleep, why do you have poor sleep? It’s not just that you have fibromyalgia. A lot of times, you get the diagnosis of fibromyalgia and then they sweep all your symptoms underneath the fibromyalgia rug. They tell you everything has to do with the fact that you’ve got fibromyalgia. You’re tired because you’ve got fibro, you have pain because you have fibro, you can’t sleep because you have fibro, you have low moods because you have fibro; never asking what really is the reason for poor sleep. What is the reason for the fatigue issue? We’re going to get into some of that tonight. Deborah, if you are on the call if you can hit star 6 and join me I would appreciate it.

Deborah:             I’m here Dr Murphree.

Dr. M:

Hi Deborah, thank you so much for joining me tonight. I so appreciate you taking time to join me and to share a little bit about your story. Just a little bit of background, if you don’t mind me sharing … a few things. Number 1 what I’ve found interesting is that you’re a Registered Nurse. By the way, I’ve got a lot of nurses and doctors that I work with. I find it very interesting because people in the medical profession, they can get anything they want. They can get any drug they want, they can get any test they want and yet oftentimes, even they are frustrated by the system. First of all let me ask you, someone with your medical background, what led you to me? I’m just curious.

Deborah:

I found you on the internet really through Facebook, I was curious enough to check you out. I was very skeptical quite frankly, so I did check you out thoroughly. I’ve been an RN for 43 years and I’m very scientific. I had been through just about everything trying to find help, and pretty much just learned to push the pain down and move on … became the great repressor. One of my main goals and what attracted me to you was that not only would you help me get into a better nutritional status, but the potential to lose some really bad fat that I had picked up around my middle. I was still in the range of ideal body weight, yet I was classified as obese because of the weight around my waist. To my way of thinking, I didn’t want to be the crazy nurse that let herself succumb to poor health without a fight. You seemed like a real warrior and promised teamwork to help get me better, and you’ve come through.

Dr. M:

You’ve worked hard. We’ve been working together for about 3 months. You’re talking about the weight loss. One of the things you wanted to do and I think we’ve been pretty successful is getting you to reduce the extra weight you’re carrying. When I’m discussing that with somebody, it’s not so much for the way you look, although I realize that’s important too. The thing about the extra weight is that’s where you store inflammatory chemicals and toxins. If you’re carrying around extra weight especially belly fat, visceral fat, you’re carrying around all these inflammatory chemicals. If you’re carrying around 20, 30, in some of my patients 80-100 extra pounds, that’s like strapping on a backpack and trying to get around every day. It’s exhausting. Tell me about your weight loss. You’ve lost a good bit of weight and you’re reaping the benefits.

Deborah:

Exactly. Your original goal for me was to help me with my pain, first and foremost. My original goal for me was to lose that weight … nothing to do with how I look, I look okay quite frankly. It’s just my blood pressure was high, my blood sugar was high, my cholesterol was off the chart, my waist measurement was borderline for heart attack and stroke and I have a heart family history. Those kinds of things really worried me. I’ve been able to, through the weight loss by the way, to take care of each and every one of those things. I’ve also been able to get off of 3 prescription drugs over this 3 month period with your help. Specifically I’ve lost 16 pounds in 8 weeks, and that wasn’t exactly half a pound a day but it worked out to half a pound a day. I’ve maintained it through Thanksgiving. I have about 5 more pounds to go. I don’t have a doubt in the world that I’ll lose it, even though I have struggled for over 2 years on every diet that anybody’s ever heard of, healthy or not, to lose weight and never lost more than the water weight. This really works and I’m just happy and amazed at the same time. I do feel better. My pain has improved by more than half. I think it is probably due to less inflammation, and that was a learning curve for me. I didn’t know that that carried inflammation in it and so forth. I’ve learned that through this program.

Dr. M:

One of the things I wanted to do is I wanted to get you off the Neurontin, because I’m not a big fan … in your case, if nothing else get you down to the lowest dose. When we first started, you were taking 1600 mg a day. Is that right?

Deborah:

1600; sometimes I still take 400 at bedtime but I’m three-quarters of the way off completely. I’ve got my Ibuprofen which was way excessive, I’ve gotten that down to a more normal dose. I’m completely off Cymbalta and completely off my reflux medicine.

Dr. M:

Your Ibuprofen dose per day was outrageous. What were you taking per day?

Deborah:

3200 mg; 800 four times a day which is the maximum prescription dose.

Dr. M:

As you know, that’s just so hard on your stomach and your intestinal tract.

Deborah:

I was beginning to be very aware. I didn’t want kidney problems for sure, or liver issues.

Dr. M:

One thing is we put you on some over the counter thyroid, and part of that was just trying to get your metabolism up which obviously we’ve been able to do. You’ve worked hard and your energy is so much better. Mentally and physically, your energy is so much better.

Deborah:

Oh my goodness, yes. The thing that has worked for me besides obviously the multivitamin, minerals and amino acids, has been the SAM-e. I couldn’t take the 5-HTP that we started out on at first, because it just wired me so I couldn’t sleep and of course, we were trying to get to optimal sleep. When you changed me to the SAM-e, it really worked and I can only take it first thing in the morning. That’s just something specific to my nature; a lot of things that sedate some people or relax them make me wired. I just have to be aware of that, but that plus the thyroid has really done the trick besides of course losing the weight. All of it together – better rest, better nutritional status, weight loss and those two particular supplements have really helped me. Everybody that’s remotely close in my inner circle or sees me very often has commented that I’m a different person than I was a year ago, and that’s without me mentioning anything at all.

Dr. M:

Yeah isn’t that wonderful, that’s great.

Deborah:

Yeah, not only do I want to make dinner but I want to make a cake … tonight I cooked a meal for another family besides this. I just wasn’t able to do that the last 2 years.

Dr. M:

I know when we originally talked, you shared with me that your energy physically was a 2, with 5 being the best … pretty low. Mentally and physically, it was at a 2. You shared with me basically that every day you woke up, didn’t feel rested and in fact felt pretty exhausted and achy all over.  I’m so pleased that by the changes we’ve made and the hard work that you have put in, that now you’re able to wake up every day and you actually look forward to getting up, whereas before it was really a feat just to get through the day.

Deborah:

Oh my goodness, I still am not a morning person. I don’t guess we can change that Dr Murphree, but at least I can get out of the bed and I’m happy to. I don’t just drag around. It is still true that my best energy is this time of day, but that was the way I was made before all this started. I don’t have to rely on caffeine or something to keep me mentally up or ready to go.

Dr. M:

Yeah, obviously we’ve got some more work to do and got some inflammatory markers we’re trying to reduce; your cholesterol and we’ll be rechecking those. I’m so proud of you for sticking to it. It’s just a case in point being, number 1 I think you’ve got to get to the point where you’re ready to try something different. Obviously you knew you had to do something different besides just what you were doing, and the drug therapy was not going to work. Number 2, you’ve got to be proactive and make a decision to work with somebody and you did that. Then once you do that, you’ve got to stick to your guns and do what you’ve done, which is to work with me and follow the advice of the diet. It’s worked great and it will continue to work. Your hard work has paid off. Unfortunately there are a lot of people, and I think you would agree with this that they want to be better but they’re not willing to be proactive to take the steps to get better.

Deborah:

That’s very true. It’s probably true of all of us at different times, but this is just a case of having to put all your eggs in one basket and not look to the left or the right. Just be really disciplined and set your goals and get there. I can even say now , I didn’t know it before but some of the foods I was eating and I thought they were healthy. We weren’t doing processed food in our house or anything like that, but some of them were literally making me sick because over Thanksgiving I realized it, and my pain started coming back. From here on out, I want to be very vigilant that I keep my diet where it needs to be so that not only do I not regain the weight, but I also don’t have the pain coming back.

Dr. M:

Absolutely. You’re a youngster still, you’re 60 and you’ve got a lot of life left in you.

Deborah:  64.

Dr. M:                  

Yeah, that’s young today if you’re healthy. If you’re not healthy, it’s old … that’s the way it is. Now that you’re healthy, what are you looking forward to in the next year, 2, 5 years? What are you looking forward to doing?

Deborah:

I home school a 16 year old and I help take care of our 8 grandkids any time they want me to. I’m looking forward to maybe catering with a girlfriend, and just exercising again and getting back more active.

Dr. M:

A year ago, could you imagine you would be where you’re at now?

Deborah:

No, the last 2 years or so I’ve just been so depressed which was so unlike me. I’ve had fibromyalgia maybe 20+ years, but I also have osteoarthritis and I had a lot of chronic orthopedic injuries; 2 major surgeries in 15 months and 4 major losses in the family. A lot of things, trauma after trauma piling on and I became depressed because I didn’t see any way around it. I just thought okay, this is what being 62 is.  I guess I was just shocked because I arrived at that point overnight, and I didn’t see it coming. But it’s not true at all, I feel young, vibrant and energetic again and 64 doesn’t seem old at all. Now that I’ve done this and reduced the weight and gotten my nutritional status back up and the rest of course, I just feel like the sky is the limit. I don’t feel old at all.

Dr. M:

Good, I don’t consider you old. I have the advantage that I’ve been speaking with you every week for the last 3 months, so it would be a shocker to me to ever think of you as being a real depressed person. People who are hearing you for the first time, they don’t have the advantage that I do knowing you like I do, but I couldn’t imagine your personality being really low all the time. It just wouldn’t be right.

Deborah:

I don’t think any of us are meant to be that way. Like you said, I have my health completely back. The only thing that was holding me back were all these issues that we’re addressing. I don’t have any other health issues. I’m not about to change tomorrow and I know I’m very fortunate that it’s just where I am right now.

Dr. M:

Is there anything you’d like to share with the listeners before you leave us?

Deborah:

I’d just like to encourage anyone that’s on the brink to just jump in with both feet, because it is so worth it. I do understand how you can feel very defeatist and skeptical too, because year after year of doctors telling me don’t go there, don’t bring that up, I was amazed to find somebody that actually wanted to hear about my issues and help me. It’s a whole new way of thinking. I’m just glad you’re out there, Dr Murphree.

Dr. M:

Deborah, thank you so much for taking time to come on the call and sharing your story. I know it’s going to be helpful, because it is true when you get real beat down – and it’s easy to get down with this illness, you lose hope. When you get to that point, you become even more skeptical. I find it’s really good that people can hear that there are others who have reversed their fibromyalgia, and they’ve gotten their life back. It can be done, it’s not impossible. It definitely can be done. Deborah, thank you so much. I look forward to talking to you and get some more good news next week.

Deborah: Okay, thank you so much.

Dr. M: You’re welcome.

 


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2 Commentsto Deborah Beats Fibromyalgia

  1. lisa peters says:

    I just started taking the JumpStart program how long does it take to start working? I took 3 5 HTP last night and still couldn’t sleep???

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