When people ask me to explain fibromyalgia, I tell them that it causes your electric system to go haywire. The result is severe pain in all of your nerve endings, making your whole body tender. It’s very hard to diagnose – it took three years of testing before doctors confirmed it in my case. And interestingly, 80 percent of people diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women. This disease is frustrating for me because exercising, eating right, and taking vitamins have always been an integral part of my lifestyle; it is not a result of poor healthcare.
When I was diagnosed, I tried a battery of drugs – including Cymbalta – designed for people who suffer from fibromyalgia. Nothing worked. In fact, I experienced the worst side effects listed on each drug (chest pain, tingling fingers, blurred vision, numbness, nausea, etc.) which to me, were worse than the fibromyalgia itself.
Chronic fatigue is another symptom of this disease. My body just shuts down and I fall asleep. In fact, it’s not unusual for me to sleep fourteen hours a day, which also results in what I call “brain fog” – there are times when I just can’t think or talk clearly. But it was extreme pain in my right arm, extending from my shoulders to my fingers, which brought me to Acupuncture Associates. I had suffered the excruciating, debilitating pain for nearly six months and I couldn’t take it any longer!
Having used acupuncture years before for a back injury, I searched for help online and came across the website for Acupuncture Associates. I liked what I read about Dr. Robert’s history and education, and I scheduled an appointment with him.
When I began acupuncture treatments with Dr. Robert, the pain in my arm (on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most severe) was at an 8. Six months later, my pain is down to a 3. He has been so effective in helping me manage my condition that I referred my sister to him too. And, now that the pain in my arm is under control, Robert is helping me work on issues with my stomach and digestive tract due to gluten sensitivities. I encourage everyone to be open to alternative medicine – it can help!—A.R.