Hi Jen - I've been having a rough time the last couple of years. Still in AI dx limbo. My rheumie wanted to start me on Plaquenil the first time I saw her - but I wasn't ready - been dodging all kinds of meds for years. My fibro and unexplained liver problems make it hard for me to take meds - so I keep searching for natural approaches to the problems/symptoms.
I saw a homeopath for about a year -without much help. I get the most benefit with muscle/pain symptoms from massage therapy (3yrs)- but it's very temporary and expensive. I'm currently trying acupuncture. My rheumie encouraged trying it. I've had 4 treatments, with the traditional chinese herbs/teas. Generally, I've felt no better - and even a little bit worse for a few days after treatment. Was getting really discouraged - and then after the last one - I suddenly started feeling better. More energy, less fog, less pain. Still not "all the way home" (which I'm not sure I remember what that feels like) but definite improvement. I had been told by a couple people and from research that it takes at least 5-6 treatments to begin to feel appreciable benefits. I'm hoping that's the case, and I'm on my way.
That said - during the 4 mos. I've been rec'ing the acupuncture, I've had two pretty bad flares - relatively short-lived in the acute stages - but difficult nonetheless, and seemingly more directly associative to Lupus. So either the "thing" has just generally been ramping up for the last couple years.....or ......?
I also use meditation time with my ipod for relaxation and it seems to help. I try to stay away from dairy, sugar (very hard!) too many raw foods, alcohol and caffiene. The acupuncturist advised that my Ph was overly acidic, so I stay away from acid producing foods also.....which seems to help my GERD. I walk for exercise - anything else is too much, it seems, even though 4 years ago I was doing 60 min. of aerobic exercise with weights 3 x wk AND walking 4-5 x wk. I had a back injury (herniated disc w/ nerve involvement) in 04 and it seems nothing has been the same since. The back problems hampers the other problems and vice versa.
I take a multivitamin, calcium, malic acid (just started that based on recommendations here) and a garlic supplement. Also fish oil (Omega 3). I see my rheumie in Nov. ( I cancelled an appt in Sept. because I was feeling better) and will see what she says about Plaquenil then. I have another acupuncture tx this month. Hoping things will improve even more - but if they don't I'm ready to give the Plaq a try. Winter always increases symptoms and is tough to get through. Wishing I was feeling a little sturdier going in.
Now that I've rambled on and on and on....what do you to/take to manage your symptoms naturally?
Thanks for the encouragement, Jen - it's good to hear! I'm sorry Lyme and Lupus have gotten hold of you, and the traditional treatment protocals didn't work for you. Your strong spirit comes through, though - very positively - and I agree with what you say about our emotional issues affecting our wellbeing. Actually, I think any kind of stress (it all gets processed emotionally in the end) affects our vulnerability and response to illness. I also think that many times our symptoms do get masked in the early stages by a variety of meds - which really doesn't help the process of discovering the root problem.
I do, of course, acknowledge that traditional meds are oftentimes a Godsend and can be lifesaving, and/or life-changing. And I will admit that at times, I wish my body responded better to medication. Like you - the medications I have tried (for everything) made me worse - and that list includes Celebrex, Statins for high cholesterol, Neurontin, Flexeril, Niacin, and on and on. I can't take a large number of antibiotics or any kind of decongestant/antihistamine, and my dentist doesn't use epinephrine in the novacaine when she works on me. Through the years I was forced to listen to my body and recognize that drugs were not going to be the answer for me.
Congratulations on your decision to become a healer!.... the world needs all kinds of approaches and perspectives. That's why I love this forum...all kinds of folks with a variety of experience and wisdom to share. We have so much to learn from one another!
I hope you'll let me know how things proceed with you, and I'll do the same. Good luck with your studies!
Hugs and blessings,
In His Grip
AlwaysRosie "We can't control the waves, but we can learn how to surf!!"
Co-Moderator - Lupus Forum
UCTD, Inflammatory Arthritis, Diverticulosis, (recent dx - Sjogrens, Crohn’s 4/08)
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