“I just feel healthy!”
I wasn’t aware that I had fibromyalgia until my daughter told me about the
book by Dr. St. Amand. When I read the symptoms that was the revealing
thing. I have a history of depression the past 30 years, off and on, with
two major, major episodes of depression that were about ten years apart.
Since being on guaifenesin for 14 months, a whole myriad of symptoms have
improved for me and my whole general health is better. It’s very exciting!
Now I understand what fibromyalgia is and that I basically had it in my
childhood, not knowing. From about the age of four, I had very severe
growing pains in my knees and legs. I would wake up at night and I remember
my mother heating little wash cloths in hot water—we didn’t even have
electric heating—and that would calm what were terrible pains in my legs.
After I got out of college, I started having back pains and started having a
couple cases of mild depression. There is a genetic history in my family of
three generations with very severe depression. (It could have all been
fibromyalgia. It is very likely.) I was aware that that was a family history
and I thought, for whatever reason, there is a tendency. Each episode I had
became increasingly severe.
Twenty years ago I had a six-month leave of absence from my teaching
position because of depression and then returned to work. I was fine for
another ten years, though my symptoms got worse over time.
In 1993, it was a double whammy--a really big whammy—of severe depression. I
took a two-year medical leave of absence and ended up having to retire
because I physically could not do my job. I had worked as a school teacher
for 22 years. My symptoms were so severe, I had no concentration, I couldn’t
sleep, I couldn’t eat. I was pretty dysfunctional. Depression was the core
of it, just out of nowhere, though there didn’t seem to be anything that
really triggered it.
I was under a number of doctors’ cares and for a 2½ year period I went
through seven different anti-depressants. Unfortunately they can’t do a
blood test on you to see which anti-depressant works on you and so it’s by
trial and error. Finally, the last one I tried was Wellbutrin and that
helped me to pull out of it though I had already had to retire. I stayed on
the Wellbutrin under the care of a psychiatrist for seven years, to monitor
my dose of 300 mg. daily.
A couple of years ago I suggested to him “I think I’m out of the woods and
have been for a long time. I think I’d like to go off the medication.”
He didn’t fight me on this. He said, “Just don’t forget how far you’ve
come.” (Because I had been in a bad way.)
The psychiatrist gave me a plan of how I would reduce my medication. He
recommended I drop one 75 mg pill for a month and then the next month one
more until I had decreased all four. I tried that and after about the second
month I could see the symptoms returning.
He said, “You’ve got to listen to your body and there’s really nothing wrong
with your taking this if it’s going to help you function.” So I stayed on
the Wellbutrin another couple years.
In the meantime, since January of 2001, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia
and began taking the guaifenesin, not realizing that depression was a part
of the fibromyalgia. I could see that my symptoms were better with the
guaifenesin and I began to have no symptoms of depression at all.
In July, I made the decision to try going off the anti-depressant again. I
went through the regime that the psychiatrist had suggested, dropping one
tablet at a time over a period of four months. I have been off the
medication, which was 300-mg. of Wellbutrin daily, and there have been
absolutely no side effects and no recurrence of any of the symptoms of
depression since being on the guaifenesin (for 9 months). I’m completely off
the anti-depressant since September 2001.
The guaifenesin treated all of my symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.
Prior to guaifenesin, I had no idea how to get better except to treat each
difficulty symptomatically. The depression was a real serious one because I
had to retire early and also, just to function!
To me, my improvement from so many symptoms is a real testimonial for the
guaifenesin. I had had a lot of other fibromyalgia symptoms such as
irritable bowel syndrome. My sleeping habits were terrible, just awful. I’d
wake up in the middle of the night for hours, unable to go back to sleep. My
fingernails were very brittle. I had gnawing, chronic back pain throughout
my life. I had restless legs, occipital headaches.
All of those things have gotten better! The restless legs are better. My
headaches are much better. My memory and concentration is much better. That
was a major part of the depression; I simply could not concentrate.
I’ve been on the guaifenesin for a year and several months and all of these
things are 80-90% better. It is really amazing.
I’m sleeping well. My energy level is higher. I just feel healthy!
Adrienne Polley Reeves