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Hi, I find this site very valuable and am thankful. I'm a 43 female and was diagnosed with FM in 1989 by a nuerologist after an auto accident. My ex-husband had taken pictures of our totaled out car. The driver's side of the windshield had a 18" spider webbed shaped crack. I hit a truck head on. The doctor not only did two complete days of many physical tests. I didn't pay any attention to the FM diagnosis until very recently. I am now looking back at the five years of hell. I could not sleep I averaged 60 days off per year from work. In the interim I was prescribed every antidepressant available with no results. Thank you God for research, my doctor prescribed an antidepressant that was initially taken off the shelf because of FDA approval issues and then put back on the market June of 1999. It still didn't help, BUT my internist believed that a lack of serotonin was part of the FM treatment. 6 months after June, he prescribed in timed-release capsules, 75 mg's of Effexor. I had tried Effexor tabs before and it didn't help. He told me to take them together. No immediate results, but after 2 months, I was able to finally sleep, however in October '99 the Arthritis pain had started and was intense. The doctor prescribed 25mg of VIOXX. It helped tremendously, however, it didn't take care of the thigh/hip, knee and ankle pain enough to get up and walk without a painful look. I switched to Celabrex, and the pain lessened a bit. In the end I found the best relief taking a 25mg and a 12.5mg total VIOXX in the early morning. I had pneumonia/bronchitis six times since '95 and it was due to the codiene pain meds taken at high doses depressing my lungs. Research has taught me that VIOXX & CELABREX are considered the state-of-the-art COX2 pain killers without the lung depression side effect. The medications were not available in the past. It's taught me to never give up. The other day I found a co-worker that was suffering from the same diagnosis at the same time period. She told me that she's been totally pain free after a 3 month, 5mg of Prednisone/day. I decided to try it, but 2 out of 3 doctors would not prescribe prednisone for 3 months. I've been taking it for 10 days now along with a 25mg tab of VIOXX. THE PAIN IS GONE. I FEEL GREAT! Lately, I've seen 3 features in the last 8 weeks, 2 on 20-20 about Fibromyalgia. The 2nd 20-20 was featured shortly after the first because there was a "break-through. They reported that two doctors have been doing traditional nuero surgery. They have linked FM to narrowing in the spinal cord canal. They need to see an MRI to determine if surgery will help. My doctor arranged an MRI after I showed him the auto accident pictures, but warned me to expect the MRI ressults to be normal. The day after the MRI he called me to say there was narrowing in the canal and called it osteophite growth. It was rated moderate between the C1-C7 and T1 areas. With 3 being the worst, the damage was rated 2. He reffered me to Dr. Heffase in Chicago that was mentioned on 20-20. He has met the doctor and said he's not scalpal happy. He said the jury is still out and they showed the interviews of the FM patients that had the surgery on 20-20 and, in my mind, they didn't seem to be very satisfied with the results. I'm not in a rush for surgery now that the sleep and pain are in control. I hope that sharing my experince helps a poor sufferer. Feel free to email me if you wish, and thank many of you for sharing your experiences, too.


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