Fibromyalgia, MCTD

Lisa J. 2002 USA

I was always a healthy kid growing up. It seemed no matter what I did, I never got hurt bad. Not even a broken bone. When I was 16 I came down with Mono. I was sick for three weeks and thought I was going to die. I got over it and I seemed to be back to normal except I was tired all of the time. A few months later I came down with Laryngitis, Pharyngitis, Bronchitis, and Sinusitis. I was sick for a couple of weeks and then got over it. A year later I came down with all those things again. When I was 18 I decided to join the Navy and off I went. When I arrived at my duty station after boot camp, I was put out on the flight line. I handled airplanes and support equipment. I was really tough and very strong. One chain (used to tie down aircraft) weighed 15 lbs and I would carry 6-8 at a time. Not to mention all the heavy equipment (air carts, power carts, etc.) I would have to push within the diamond of safety to the a/c. You were not allowed to drive your tractor within a specified distance shaped like a diamond around the aircraft. When I was 19, I noticed a lymph node in my neck that was unusually large and hard but didn’t hurt. I went to the Navy docs and they ran some tests. It appeared that the Mono was still active in my system but I wasn’t sick. So they dismissed the lymph node as just a fluke since it wasn’t cancerous in nature. At that time too I was diagnosed with having Rhinitis. (Rhinorhea?) Big deal, I just kept going along. It seemed when I was 20 I was suffering from a lot of colds. When I was 21 I noticed this muscle in my back that was constantly hard, spasming out and causing me alot of pain. I had mild scoliosis too but it seemed now that the degree of curvature was getting worse. The Navy docs just chalked it up to mechanical back pain from all the strenuous work I did on the flight line. They took me off the flight line and gave me a desk job. Well, the pain didn’t subside, it only got worse. They finally sent me to a Doc at the Mayo Clinic in Jax. He diagnosed me with Myofascial Pain Syndrome. It got to the point where I couldn’t even wash the dishes without the back muscle spasming out. It would lay me up in bed for days. They put me on anti-inflammatories but they didn’t help. They tried to find a trigger point but couldn’t. I finally got down to seeing a psychologist for Biofeedback and that helped. I also did massages, acupuncture, and aromatherapy, and I seemed to get it under control. At this time my mom (she suffered from RA and did the AP treatment) started to tell me about the rheumatic diseases and the AP treatment by Dr. Brown. Well, I thought she was just being paranoid and dismissed it. I only had the pain in the muscle in my back and no where else. So I basically ignored her and she stopped talking to me about it. I could no longer stay in military though due to the fact that I couldn’t meet the physical fitness tests. I couldn’t run the mile and a half, sit ups or push ups, it would send me into a painful spasm and I wouldn’t be able to move. So they were going to discharge me but then I found out I was pregnant. I was scared! I quit all the meds they had me on. I agreed to stay in until the birth of my son. I kept using the biofeedback and massages to cope. Amazingly, I did very well. I was even discharged honorably with a medical status in my 6 month of pregnancy. I gave birth to my son in April of 1997. Everything seemed to be back to normal. Once in awhile the pain would come back when I had a muscle spasm. Then a very strange thing happened. I had a seizure that July. They couldn’t find anyone medical pathology for the seizure so they dismissed it as a pseudo-seizure. The muscle spasms continued along with relentless pain. I lived 350 miles away from any family that could help me with the burden of being a new mom trying to take care of a newborn, a house, and my husband. I became severely depressed and was hospitalized in August of 1997. Well for the next 6 months I was in agonizing pain and severely depressed. I couldn’t take care of my son so my husbands parents offered to help. Our son stayed with them for a couple of months and we would drive 150 miles to go see him on the weekends. I had been hospitalized 3 different times in those 6 months for depression and pain. My psych doc got a hold of a couple of docs and they helped me to manage the pain through meds and acupuncture. I came out of it but the damage had already been done. My marriage came to and end and my husband and I shared joint custody with him having primary residential. I was 23. I decided to pick myself up and start over in life. I got a great job and started my career as a Network Engineer. I saw my son every two weeks and got out of the depression. My back was still bothering me but I was coping. I did very well. Then in the summer of 1999 I came down with laryngitis, pharyngitis, bronchitis, strep throat, and sinusitis again. I was sick for two weeks and thought I was going to die again. Well I got over it and bounced back. I was extremely tired all the time though. I met a wonderful man and we started a relationship and we eventually became engaged. In March of 2000, I woke up one saturday morning and it felt like I had pulled a muscle in my back on the left side. Well come Saturday night, I was in excruciating pain and running fever of 104. My fiance threw me in the car and took me to the ER. They diagnosed me with Pylo (kidney infection) and sent me home. Two days later, I went back to the doc for a follow up and was still extremely sick. It was found out through an ultrasound that I had a kidney stone. They immediately hospitalized me. I was there for four days. They got the infection under control and sent me home with Polycitrate K to dissolve the stone. Well a month passed and I was still sick. Running fevers, pain in the back, and the kidney infection returned. They decided to hospitalize me again and take out the stone surgically. So off to surgery I went and they took out the stone which turned out to be made of uric acid. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm………….Well that was April of 2000. After that, it was all down hill. I started having gynecological problems. Constant yeast infections and constant colds. I became pregnant again in July but suffered a miscarriage at 5 weeks. Well my fiance couldn’t handle anymore of it and we ended the relationship. I was still doing very well in my career though. September I noticed the pain in my back was getting worse again. I was constantly tired and just didn’t feel like doing anything. I also noticed that my hands and feet were swelling. My mom started to talk to me about all this rheumatic stuff and AP. I listened this time. I went to see a doc in Lakeland. I had an ANA of 1:320. I actually felt relief though. I would finally find out what had been making me sick for these years. The doc however refused to put me on the AP treatment. He just wanted me to change my diet. I ate healthfully, he just wanted me to stop eating dairy, yeast, wheat, and meat. He only wanted me to eat fruits and veggies. Well, I am 5*8 and weigh 120lbs. It was enough to fight and eat like a horse just not to lose weight. Now he wanted me to eat like a rabbitt and my weight went down down down. This made me sicker. Dejected, I returned to my doc who had treated me for the kidney problems. In November 2000 I came back with an abnormal pap. It turned out that I had the beginning stages of cervical cancer. Great something else to add to the list, right? Well, they treated it and I beat it. I believe it was because we caught it so early. I was still swelling, feeling lethargic, and just achy everywhere in my muscles. Then in January of 2001, I was involved in a serious car accident. I was driving down the street in a little Ford Escort when a guy in a BIG SUV hit me broadside doing 40mph. He ran his stop sign. Now when he hit me, my entire left side of my body hit the door frame on the drivers side. I had a contusion in my left ankle, left hip, left, shoulder, concussion and 3 broken ribs. OUCH! Well, then it reaaaaaaaaaaaaly got bad. I also got whiplash of course. Through all the x-rays, it was noticed that the spaces in my hip joints were narrowed. My poor doc became exasperated because I was getting worse and he didn’t know what to do. I brought him the book about AP and he read it. Now come the summer, I was really really bad. My ANA was off the charts, four different bacteria strains had been identified in my blood. They then diagnosed me with the Fibromyalgia and Raynauds. He put me on Minocin 100mg every day. I was getting worse. Now all my joints were achy and bothersome. The pain was unbearable. I was running fevers everyday. I was swelling a bunch. I was having these horrible headaches which they diagnosed a Post Concussion headaches. Well in August I called the wonderful doc in Iowa and made an appointment. He couldn’t see me though until November. I didn’t think I was going to make it. Amazingly though I was still working full time, traveling through out the SE, and I was the top producer in sales at my company. Not bad for a 26 year old female out of a sales team of 8 men. Well in September, I was just killing myself with work. I was getting to the point if I wasn’t at work, I was home in bed. My doc at Mayo suggested that I find another doc to help me since he could no longer do so and they dismissed me as a patient. Before he did that though, he put me on disability. When I went to work to discuss my situation with the President of the company, he fired me. Can you believe that? Me being his top producer but he didn’t want to be liable for any medical issues that I may suffer if I was still on his payroll. But you know what, I don’t care. Well at 27, I swallowed my pride and bit the bullet. I knew I was going to be very sick and I was just beginning the AP. I talked to my mom and after being away from home for almost ten years, I moved away from Jax and moved in with my parents. I finally got out to see the doc in Iowa in November. He diagnosed me with Multiple Connective Tissue Disease and confirmed the Raynauds and Fibro. Only trouble is I had to find a doc closer to me in Hollywood, FL that could work with my doc in Iowa in getting me better. Well, I found another great doc in West Palm Beach. This man is a man of honor. He will be starting my IV’s very soon. I am just way to sick to do it right now. These are the meds I now take, Minocin 200 mg m-w-f, Flexiril 10 mg for the muscle spasms, Oxycontin 40 mg as needed for pain, Diflucan 100 mg once a week (for yeast infections) and Zantac. What are my syptoms? HA! This is a long list: Muscle pain, Fatigue, Stiffness, Restricted Range of Motion for left hip, left shoulder, low muscle strength on left side of body, memory loss, poor apetite, losing clumps of hair, mood swings, ringing in the ears, ear pain, muscle spasms, cotton mouth, swallowing is difficult, throat closing up sensation, rash on face with acne, chest pains, horrible headaches, itching, naseau and vommitting, blurry vision, and bruising. Some days I don’t want to live anymore, I’d rather just go to sleep and not wake up. But I have a beautiful 4 year old son and I couldn’t bare him to think all his life why his mommy killed herself. Some days are better than others. I watched RA destroy my mom within one year and she became completely bedridden with one foot in the grave. I also saw her do the AP Treatment and go into remission and bounce back to be the healthiest she had been in years. So I have hope. I have strength. And it really pisses me off to think that I would let something like this beat me after I have already been through so much. I will begin the IV’s soon. It is suspected that I may have lupus as well. Now I will tell you what the strains of bacteria are: 1) coccobacilli 2)streptococcus agalactiae group b and 3)acinetobacter antitrutus. I will tell you that they tried to put me on all those crazy Rx’s like methotrexate, methotrazodone, plaquienil, etc. but I didn’t take any of them and thank god as I now know what those meds can do to you. Thank god for my mother! So I know I will get better. I haven’t come all this way to give up now. And I am very thankful. What?? you may be asking yourself. Thats right, thankful. Why? I am 27 and lucky that it hit me so early in life when I have a better chance to fight and recover than if it had hit me later in life. I have a wonderful mother who has been down this road and she made it back! She is very supportive. I am thankful that I have wonderful parents who have accepted me back into their home to help me cope with the financialy burdens I now face. I have a wonderful and beautiful son that I want to be healthy for so I can be a real mother to him again. I am thankful for having this website and all you wonderful people who listen and support me by giving advice, strength, courange, and hope. And if you are suffering too, just remember this, there is someone out there who has it worse than you, so be thankful for what you do have. Don’t concentrate on what you don’t have. Rejoice over the small victories that you will have in this battle. Pick yourself back up and keep going when you have set backs. Don’t wallow in self pity for this will only make your disease worse and allow depression to kick in. And you don’t want that to happen, trust me. Your going to go through this regardless, so you might as well keep you chin up and ask for help when you need it. And smile. Smile a lot as much as you can. Trust me, it does make you feel better. God Bless you all.

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