|My mom, who CAN and DOES exercise first thing every single morning without fail. In her 70's on a 3-week marathon through Europe. *I* couldn't keep up with her!|
Exercise doesn't work for everyone, and certainly never worked for me. In fact, exercise made me much worse and made me feel like a failure. What was I doing wrong? Was I not trying hard enough? These questions haunted me because I am extremely driven and have always been motivated to get better.
1996-97 was a really rough year. I was dying. All avenues had been exhausted. I was desperate. I knew that something had to give. My life could not go on like this any longer. I got over the very worst effects of the exercise propaganda. Then I sought out other treatments (a further post on this turn of events to come!) which were far more successful and which allowed me to do things I never thought I'd be able to do again. These treatments relied heavily on my resting and allowing various healthcare practitioners to treat me and strengthen me so that my body had assistance healing itself and thus I could be more active. Heck, I was so far gone at this point that we were grasping at any straw that we came across.
The treatments I received were aimed at what had been labeled as "adrenal fatigue" in the 1940's. The clinic's director and founder, a doctor whose experience of over 50 years in the clinic alone, had long ago come to the realization that forcing extremely sick people to exercise is NOT a good idea. This goes for fibro and CFIDS especially. This clinic was a place where I would estimate that approximately 80% of the patients were fibro's and those with CFIDS. Furthermore, this was no fancy clinic with marble foyers and state of the art chairs, exam tables, luxurious waiting rooms. No, it would not be much of an exaggeration to say that it was almost a mom-and-pop operation. It got results and that's why people came from all over. In this clinic the medical director employed therapists and doctors who specialized in everything from chelation (for heavy metal toxicity) to applied kinesiology, rolfing, nutritional IV's, acupressure, acupuncture, homeopathy, reflexology, colonics, diet, counseling (mostly spiritual) and more...you get the idea, I hope!
I had an epiphany of sorts just recently. It was a WOW! moment. At NO time was I - nor any patient - encouraged to exercise! I - as well as many others - was too sick. In fact six months into treatments, the Vietnamese-born acupressurist, a man of few words who had spent six years in a North Vietnamese POW prison, suddenly said to me in a quiet voice, "First time I meet you. I never see someone who dead but still alive." Oh, he was GOOD. Sooo very good at what he did.
It urks me: how can the medical establishment possibly push exercise on their sickest patients? I bring up the "holistic" clinic because it was successful with MANY patients, including me. It took a year of hard work (to be described in future postings) but I went from "dead" to being healthy enough to fly to Europe to visit my daughter. We now know that many patients with fibro and CFIDS have co-morbidities like growth hormone deficiency, DHEA deficiency, electrolyte abnormalities, myoclonus, insomnia, autonomic nervous system dysfunction leading to orthostatic hypotention and a host of other problems. Are the advocates of exercise crazy? Unless you take into account the uniqueness of each patient, a blanket recommendation for exercise leads to disaster.
My health improved (understatement of my life, perhaps) and my other doctors who were trained in and practiced western medicine were amazed at my progress. Shocked, in fact. To paraphrase my GP on one monthly visit, for example, he said, "I don't care if they tell you to wear cow manure on your head. It's working! Keep it up!"
This post is an just an introduction to further discussions on treatments for fibro and CFIDS and what to avoid.
And because I know that many are wondering why in the world am I still bedridden? The clinic fell apart once the elderly (read "ancient") head of the place was finally forced to retire due to old age. I mourn that loss. His clinic saved my life. I could use that now, especially when I often feel like a failure because I can't exercise nor do a tenth of the things that are "promoted" at this point in time by the current fibro/CFIDS "fads." Like the weather in Seattle, in my heart I know that if I wait a little while, what is pushed now will become obsolete, only to return, go away, return, over and over again ad nauseum.
As always, I hope all are doing their best, only better. Ciao and paka!
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