Becky--sorry to take so long to reply to your posted e-mail. I have lots of sympathy for what you are experiencing, as I've been under siege from chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia symptoms for over 30 years. I don't tell you that to scare you, but to give you hope that life can be lived to a high degree of normalcy even with these difficult physical problems. In my case there is a great pile of circumstantial evidence and a small pile of supporting laboratory evidence leading to a high probability that I've been continually reacting to small amounts of mercury, silver, nickel or whatever leaching into my bloodstream from my dental fillings. Many doctors believe "this is all in your head," and will not take the situation seriously, even though it has produced gall-bladder disease, endometriosis, chronic staph infections, and so forth. It took me until 1993 to come up with specific data and then months later to come up with specific tests which have almost certainly proved that my problems are dentally-based. The point is, there was good reason to stay focused on getting better and not let the doctors tell me what kind of person I was (i.e., depressed, emotionally-weak, confused about this or that, etc.--everytime they didn't want to deal with what was happening to me physically, they tried to push the problem off on me emotionally. Pleae DON'T buy into the thesis that you are just an emotionally-troubled person whose psyche is causing you to think you are ill. In VERY rare cases, this certainly might be true, but I would suspect first a physical cause or causes that began your problem and more physical problems resulting from the initial ones. May I give you two suggestions??? Remember, these are coming from someone who is NOT a medical doctor, but you can at least think about things and make your own decisions. First, I'm very suspicious that steroids will do nothing but mess your system up further. I hope you are getting off those as quickly as possible. If you have the strength to exercise, please do so MILDLY every day, so that you can at least keep flexible and work on muscle tone. Trying to keep to a rigorous exercise schedule now will probably only make your muscles and joints tire rapidly and stiffen up, producing the very results you are trying to avoid, so be careful about how you exercise. For me, a very simple diet with as few artificial additives in it as possible helps my body stay somewhat sane. I assume you are not a smoker; if you are, please, PLEASE do whatever you have to do to quit NOW. NO momentary lift you get from a cigarette could possibly be worth the damage to your circulation (both blood and air) that smoking causes you--you might also think about whether you are being exposed right now to second-hand smoke from work or other family members. You need to get AWAY from systemic pollutants ASAP. If you haven't read the book yet, may I recommend the current best-seller "Protein Power by the Drs. Eades. They are not just the latest kooky fad writers: I've been trying to put my diet closer to what they suggest and believe there is real insight into how they organize their food choices. Please read it through and consider following their analysis and re-adjustment of diet. I think it might help you climb off the high level of bad symptoms you are going through. Second, please take time to calmly (I mean this: private time to think through things without interruption) think back over your medical history. Has there been any really big family crisis lately (a death in the family that really upset you; a major accident; somebody in the hospital for crisis/intervention care)? Have you had a personal injury or been exposed to anything at all in the workplace or around your home that might act as a toxin or long-term pollutant? (For instance, have there been pesticide treatments somewhere nearby? Is there an oil refinery or other industrial site upstream from you? There could be any of a hundred reasons why you have begun to manifest fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue symptoms. It's been my experience with those I've talked to over many years that there is almost always a traceable "trigger" that has to do with PHYSICAL damage, not EMOTIONAL problems. I'm sorry that we are dealing with something the doctors haven't caught up with yet, but that is no reason to let them shake your confidence in yourself. In my case, I traced the problem all the way back to age 5 when I had rheumatic fever which burned all the enamel off my permanent teeth as they were coming in and left me susceptible to oral infection and the leaching of dental filling metals directly into my bloodstream. This didn't come to a head until 1992 when my first gold crown set off a HUGE systemic allergic reaction that took months to figure out and then months to reverse, eventually leading to the removal of all my dental fillings over the next two years. Very yucky, but it saved my life and gave me more time to work on things I believe in. Finally, let me suggest one other thing: if you don't already have them, find one or more interests in your life that tickle your soul and start making them part of your daily life, whether you are sick or not. Put your mental energy and desire to be of use in the world into those interests and damn-all whoever says you are a sick person. You may have a sick body, but you never have to be a sick person. If this doctor is unwilling to help you because he/she thinks your suffering is in your head, say goodbye NOW and work on finding a doctor who has experience with these symptoms and doesn't believe in just medicating you into oblivion. I promise you the fight is worth it!!! I'm overweight, fat, single and poor and I struggle daily with a slow, tired, painful body, but my life is happy, rich and productive and I count myself as fortunate as a queen in her castle. Get off steroids; have your thyroid checked (tell them to give you an "anti-nuclear antibody" thyroid test; NOT just the TS3, TS4 and TSH tests!!!! Get on Synthroid if your thyroid is out of balance; get off pizza, other fast foods, sugar-loaded foods, soda pop and so on, and concentrate on lots of fresh salad servings and steamed veggies (broccoli, zucchini, brussell sprouts and cauliflower with some baby carrots thrown in now and then, sprinkled with vinegar and Butter Buds, is a delicious dish and very helpful to your system. I lean on chicken and fish, both "broiled" in the microwave; it keeps my food intake filling but easier to digest and helps my energy level. LOTS and LOTS of water will help, even if takes your system a bit of time to adjust to the increased liquid. I highly recommend 400 units of Vit. E daily and keeping a BIG bottle of chewable (not swallowable) tablets of Vit. C around. Instead of taking Vit C daily, I take a 6 to 8 tablet overdose of chewables the moment I feel like I'm coming down with a cold, or bronchitis or laryngitis, etc. (I'm prone to the latter). The Vit C. works for me better than any antibiotics can, and seem to help give my immune system a jump start when it gets low. But the most critical thing you can do to help yourself is NEVER give up believing you are a person of value and that you have the right to think of yourself as a healthy individual who just happens to be under some kind of physical attack. That gives you the maneuvering room you need to try to identify specifically what is happening to you and to work on finding medical help that will deal with what is REALLY going on and not with what they WISH was going on. I hope all this has been of some help. PLEASE give yourself permission to be happy! My grandfather always used to say that "An inconvenience is an adventure, rightly considered." That has given me loads of courage to tackle my own physical mess. I hope it will help you do the same. Good luck. I'll put you in my prayer. They HELP.