About seven years ago, my upper left arm and shoulder began hurting. I had been gardening that day, like most days, so I thought I had hurt my arm doing that. I tried ice, heat, and many kids of pain medicines, but nothing worked. I went to my doctor, but he had no answer for me. The pain continued to control my life for about a year, but one day it suddenly stopped, leaving several knots, about the size of marbles, in my upper arm. This prolonged period of pain began a long series of x-rays, MRIs, and other tests.
After about six months the pain returned in my right arm, hand, shoulder, and neck. It was so intense that I couldn’t even turn on a faucet. This pain lasted about a year. Because of my diabetes, I was sent by my family doctor to a testing center to have two tests done. While there, the doctor doing the tests asked me, “you know that you have fibromyalgia?” I had never heard of fibromyalgia, and when I tried to discuss the diagnosis with my family doctor, he said that there was no evidence that fibromyalgia existed. This began a search for a new doctor who believed that fibromyalgia was real.
Over a period of 8 months, I fell 6 times. When I finally broke my arm, the orthopedic surgeon treating my arm told me that my fibromyalgia would begin to bother me. It did. My family doctor continued to believe that my pain was something else, but he didn’t know what.
During these years, I was sent to physical therapy five different times. None of the therapy helped the pain. The pain traveled around my body like an unwanted burglar and controlled all of my activities.
I finally wound up in a chiropractor’s office. The pain in my left shoulder had become so bad that I sat on the bed to dress to avoid passing out from the intense pain. On one particular visit, the doctor had to call my son to come get me and take me to the hospital, where I stayed for three days on morphine. I still left with pain.
While on vacation in April, 2010, I began suffering from a bad back pain. I went to a doctor in Venice, Florida. He gave me pain pills, and I was able to make it back to Jacksonville. The pain persisted for 27 months. It became apparent that pain medicine was not helping, but was only running my blood sugar and blood pressure up to dangerously high levels (as high as the 300’s and 400’s). I couldn’t sleep for more than 2 hours at a time for the entire 27 months. Lying down and sitting were very painful. I walked back and forth through the house during the long days and nights to try and get comfortable. I was so exhausted that I couldn’t even think straight.
I changed my family doctor, and I have seen four orthopedic surgeons and two neurologists who gave me pain medicines and injections which didn’t help. I have been to one pain management doctor which did not help. I have been to one chiropractor and three physical therapy centers. I began to think that I was losing my mind. All of these years, my cardiologist, endocrinologist, gastroenterologist, and gynecologist told me at each visit that I needed to get help, but they had no ideas about how I should do that.
In a doctor’s office one day, I read an article about Dr. Howard Groshell treating fibromyalgia using acupuncture and foot reflexology. I contacted his office. On my first visit, my feet were treated with acupuncture, adjusted, and bound. I arrived back home about noon and was too tired to eat. I lay down on the couch for a minute and awoke 5 hours later, ate dinner, and went to bed for ten hours. The pain in my back diffused and was easier to tolerate.
The important thing that happened with this visit was that the following morning my blood sugar was 83. I had to get control of my blood sugar and blood pressure to have cataract surgery. Now I saw that as possible!
After my sixth visit, the pain in my right back, leg, and foot ceased. When I initially discussed this with my endocrinologist, she said that acupuncture had nothing to do with blood sugar; however, during our discussion, she changed her mind. She and I are amazed at the connection. The pain hurt badly, but the stress of living with the pain was wrecking my life.
I am so pleased to have control over this pain now. How wonderful!