Fibromyalgia is a familiar word today. Television and magazine advertisements flood our airwaves and glossy pages, heightening public awareness. Some promise cures, while others just proclaim aid in alleviating certain symptoms. Well, fourteen years ago, this was certainly not the case. The internet was in its infancy stage (as far as public use) and the barrage of pertinent information that the average person now has at his fingertips just didn’t exist then. I know…because fourteen years ago, I was suffering…and looking for answers.
My plight back then mimicked those of many others – severe fatigue, muscle and joint pain, slight sore throat and a general steadiness of feeling lousy. I remember telling my family and friends, “I wish you could live in my body for just one day…..you wouldn’t believe that I’ve lived this way for so long!” At the time, I had a two year old and a five year old who expected me to exude the vigor and energy they saw from other stay-at-home mothers. I saw general doctors, specialists, acupuncturists, massage therapists and a myriad of others who gave me even a glimmer of hope to recapture my life. Any literature out there at the time was nothing but depressing…the most optimistic headline would read “How I’ve Learned to Cope with Fibromyalgia and Try to Lead a Normal Life for the Last Twenty Years”. Gathering the current information at the time simply put me in hopeless, negative state. But, by some miracle, my luck and mood would change.
Through some remote channel of friends, I learned about a Holistic practice in a neighboring state and made an appointment. My particular doctor (yes, a real medical doctor) was well versed in both Eastern and Western medicine and was originally from Russia…and our first appointment was an entire hour long dialogue. The tests administered there were none like the hundreds I had previously had…saliva test and hair analysis, in addition to blood, urine and stool and sent to a highly specialized lab somewhere in the middle of the country. While waiting for the test results, my body was still ailing, but my spirit, for the first time, was beginning to heal.
The test results came back…and the catch-all category of ‘fibromyalgia’ may have actually been incorrect. The condition I had was adrenal exhaustion and systematic Candida, an overgrowth of yeast in the body which can wreak havoc on every major system in the body. Again, back then, nobody ever heard of this, let alone diagnose it. Today, the web alone, has millions of pages dedicated to it. To combat and cure this, I met with the nutritionist in this holistic practice and was put on a very strict diet excluding sugar, breads, starches and many, many other things. Basically, the only thing I could eat was protein, vegetables and the occasional treat of popcorn and rice cakes. I was given quite a few supplements to boost my immune system and normalize my adrenal function. Lastly, my doctor (again, quite some years ahead of the curve) told me to get pure Matcha Green Tea Powder because of the antioxidants and numerous healing capabilities and have the tea twice a day.
Today, fourteen years later, I play competitive tennis three times per week and am in the gym six times per week since getting certified as a personal trainer. My energy level is high, my stress levels are low and my outlook on most things is always optimistic. I still grimace when I hear the term “fibromyalgia” and wonder if that’s really what these inflicted people have. I am no longer on a rigid diet (still need my fix of licorice often) and now take only two supplements per day. The only routine I have never stopped is drinking my matcha green tea twice per day – especially since the health benefits go well beyond what I thought years ago.