Posted by: Little Miss | February 5, 2008

Major Snark and Pessimism Ahead

I was told about a clinic near me (I won’t mention their name) that treats fibromyalgia patients and chronic fatigue patients. The woman who mentioned the clinic said something to me about treating the underlying “cause” of fibromyalgia. Wow, I didn’t know that the medical community had figured out yet what actually causes fibro. I obviously became defensive, but I always try to stay open minded, so I researched this clinic. Following is a quote from the clinic website, with some specific phrases bolded by me for emphasis:

It is through a holistic, integrated and comprehensive approach to the treatment of underlying physiological factors that differentiates our approach and ultimate patient success. Our treatment approach begins with testing for hormonal imbalances, immune deficiencies, thyroid and adrenal dysfunction, and underlying mitochondrial dysfunction. We treat the underlying causes of your condition rather than just masking your symptoms with medications.

Sheesh. I’m sorry, folks, but for those of us who have fibro, haven’t we all been through all these tests more than once? And wouldn’t we all love for the cause of our fibro to be a simple hormone imbalance? Do these folks think that the rheumatologists that diagnosed us haven’t already tested for all this?

I don’t buy it. Not one bit.

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  1. Wouldn’t it be just COOL if these doctors asked us questions about all of this? Who have you seen? What tests have you had?

    The absolute BEST advice I’ve gotten about fibro is to always get copies of your records before leaving the office. You can compile them, and hand them to each new doctor yourself.
    Because a lot of them write little notes to each other, they will leave their little personal notes out of your file, and your doctor won’t be prejudiced before he’s even started.

    I don’t know if they have a clue as to how insulting all this stuff can be. My worst one was a guy who prodded me for a few seconds, sat and talked to me about his family problems for about 45 minutes, told me to watch “What the Bleep Do We Know?” and gave me a copy of his fibro book– The MindBodySpirit Connection, which was a rehash of all the other stuff that tells us that we’re basically doing this to ourselves.


  2. I know! I know! I was dying to talk to you about this, MB, when it was mentioned to me today. Sheesh. It’s this kind of attitude that just perpetuates that thought that we are making this stuff up. The practitioner who mentioned the place spoke of a woman who had fibro, but up on further tests said she really had Lyme’s disease and Epstein-Barr, and once they figured that out, her fibro was “cured”. I kid you not. I believe I’ve read about that woman, and perhaps in her particular case, maybe her fibro was misdiagnosed. However, for the millions of us who do have it, all these diseases have already been ruled out.

    I mentioned the comment to my chiropractor and he told me to blow it off. Just tell the woman to do the Synergie treatment and move on. I had already told the practitioner that I’d done days and days of research on this, not to mention the years of doctors, and I really DO have fibromyalgia. Not in my head, and not caused by a virus.

    On the flip side, my daughter’s personal injury attorney here in Washington has a colleague who is hoping to find a case to use to help further our cause where an accident led to a fibro diagnosis. Mine won’t work because it’s a no-fault accident.

  3. If this a holistic clinic that specializes in alternative medicine, are they taking a metaphysical approach? Because I can see how people unfamiliar with metaphysics could easily misinterpret terms like “underlying physiological factors” as implying that fibro is psychosomatic, when what they really mean is that they work on the metaphysical cause of disease or “dis ease” as they say. I’m just wondering, because if that’s the case I don’t think they made that clear.

    I was raised in metaphysics and holistic medicine and I have no problem with it, but I know that sometimes practioners can be kind of sneaky about it in the hopes of proving their point. But I think that’s unfair to bring people in and raise their hopes if they don’t know exactly what they’re in for work-wise. I’m on your side and I can sense your disappointment. I’m wondering if this clinic is leveling with people up front about what they’re really into.

  4. I think my comment is longer than your post. Sorry.

  5. Your comment was fine. I like long comments.

    I think, by definition, physiological means underlying organism. I don’t think that this clinic is a holistic or metaphysical clinic. (I sent you the link, you can see for yourself.) The way it was explained to me by this woman was that they feel there are underlying viruses or other diseases that cause fibro-like symptoms – and that is what made me mad. It’s like once again saying that fibro is not real, it’s in your head. People with fibro have heard this for too many years and to call oneself a fibro clinic but have that attitude is the ultimate insult.

    But I always try to be open minded, and possibly I’ll do some investigative reporting and go talk to them.

  6. Elya again: Here’s the support group link:

    Sorry it’s so long. It was a pain to figure out how to sign up too, but then, I’m technologically challenged.

    They are very attentive at this support group. Very.

    As for this post of the holistic approach, don’t buy it. You’ll be buying and buying and buying. Not to say some of this won’t help, simply because healthy living helps. However, there is a physiological cause to the illness, and they haven’t figured it out yet.

    Please let me know if you get the book, get to the support group etc. Your posts are breaking my heart. I so identify with what you’re enduring, having people tell you it’s all in your head, you’re lazy etc.

  7. Gosh. I’m messing up here.

    I just looked at my comment. Dr. St. Amand has figured out the cause, or at least he believes he has the most plausible theory out there. The “they” who don’t sound to me like “they’ve” figured it out are these wholistic, metaphysical guys….

  8. ElyaKatz, thank you for your comments. They are helpful, and I’ve spent a lot of time researching your links. Definitely worth looking into, that’s for sure. Thank you so much.

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