Send Toby to Heal in India
I first experienced the debilitating symptoms of autoimmune disfunction when I was studying abroad in Turks and Caicos in 2009. An eager 20 year old at the time, I started noticing that I couldn't hold things without experiencing pain in my wrists. The pain spread, and within weeks I was unable to walk, swim, or chew without considerable discomfort.
The local island doctor told me I was swimming too much -- the first of many frustrating and incorrect diagnoses. My symptoms worsened after I returned to the US, but I couldn't find a doctor who would take me seriously. For months, I traveled from physician to physician with no answers. All of my tests came back normal. I looked healthy. But I was suffering. Some doctors accused me of faking my symptoms in order to acquire prescription pain killers.
Finally, the pain got so bad that I collapsed and ended up in the Cottage Hospital emergency room. By some miracle, a doctor working in another part of the hospital heard about my strange symptoms and suspected that I might be experiencing some kind of autoimmune disfunction. After more tests, his suspicions were confirmed.
And yet, the doctors never gave me an official diagnosis. My symptoms didn't quite match up with any known disease like Rheumetoid Arthritis or Graves Disease. The most definitive answer I ever received was that I had some non-specific autoimmune disease similar to Lupus.
Despite the lack of clarity, I began working with the rhuematologist Dr. Wonuk Lee in Santa Barbara, CA. Through a holistic approach includung acunpuncture, diet, excercise, and pharmacueticals, my symptoms lessened.
Where I am Today
Although I'm much healthier today than I was in 2009, the nagging pain has never fully gone away. I experience painful inflammation on a daily basis. Some days my discomfort prevents me from getting out of bed in the morning.
The most challenging aspect of my condition is that I don't look sick. My friends and family see me as an active person: always hiking, surfing, and taking active jobs. The truth is, everything hurts. I'm constantly exhausted. But when I stop moving, the pain gets worse.
Experiencing autoimmune symptoms while looking normal from the outside has taken a toll on my psyche. I don't know how to talk about my pain, not even to the people closest to me. I'm a firm believer in positivity, and I don't want to be a bummer. Sometimes I allow myself to sink into anger and frustration. But I don't want to let that happen anymore. I want to fight.
Opportunity for Change
My environmental education job follows the public school calendar, so I'm off work from mid-June to mid-August. I've decided to stop ignoring my health problems do something a little more bold. I'm going to study yoga and Ayurvedic healing in Kerala, India.
I hope that through my search for healing I will raise awareness about autoimmune disorders generally. I meet people on a regular basis who have gone through experiences similar to my own. I want to share any solutions I find with outhers when I return.
I would be infinitely grateful for any financial assistance on my path to healing.
Dear Toby Harbison, I apologize that I posted links that do not seem to work. Please note that everything you describe sounds like the illness that I and thousands have that is not properly diagnosed or treated - called Fibromyalgia. I am not selling anything. But thousands of us are getting well on Dr. St. Amand's Guaifenesin treatment. PLEASE spend $10 and purchase the book on Amazon called - What Doctors May not Tell you about Fibromyalgia - the Revolutionary Treatment that can reverse the disease - By Dr. Paul St. Amand. Or check out his website - Fibromyalgia Treatment Center - http://www.fibromyalgiatreatment.com/ If you are near UCLA you can see Dr. St. Amand 310-577-7510. Please email me on Facebook with questions. Sincerely, Enid Kurzweil Sterling
I have all the sympoms you mention. It sounds to me that you have Fibromyalgia like me. There is a treatment that you gets you well. Please check out the Guaifenisen treatment by Dr. ST. Amand. Get the book, check out the website. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1455502715/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_1?pf_rd_p=1944687602&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B001Q3M66G&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=ZJDEPGVYMKRVPY5Z7QEF http://www.fibromyalgiatreatment.com/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oxhRFPeCcw FIBROMYALGIA TREATMENT CENTER Welcome If you have fibromyalgia you are ill. You are NOT crazy. "You may have been told that whatever you have is untreatable or that your symptoms are all in your head. People think you're a hypochondriac and doctors may not want to handle your case. Or you may have been overmedicated by well-intentioned health care providers who wanted desperately to help you. You may be having trouble getting refills for medications that make your life tolerable. You may be in danger of losing your job and your relationships. You may have fallen victim to those who are making billions of dollars a year off those desperately searching for something, anything, that will help..." When we first put up this website many doctors didn't believe in fibromyalgia. As a result, patients faced a daunting journey at odds with their physicians, families, employers and insurance companies. But now that big pharmaceutical companies have discovered how lucrative chronic illnesses are, things have changed. Now everyone knows fibromyalgia is real because it's advertised on television and in magazines. Lyrica, Cymbalta, and Savella sound great until you read the small print or try one and it doesn't agree with you. Then you realize these "new"* potent drugs relieve some of your symptoms while altering the chemistry of your brain. Not to mention side effects such as weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, headaches and thinning of your bones... If you live in Europe these drugs may not even be available because their performance didn't outweigh their risks in studies. *("new" is in quotes because none of these drugs are members of a new class, rather they are cousins of existing compounds which by an odd coincidence have recently gone generic) What's lost in all this commotion is that none of these expensive compounds will actually treat fibromyalgia. They, and earlier medications like them, simply change the way your brain perceives your symptoms. Usually their side effects require other medications to counteract them. So here we are in 2016, and the accepted regimen for fibromyalgia is still a balancing act of polypharmacy while your illness continues to get worse and eventually requires stronger medications. To make a bad situation more dismal, many patients are disabled and simply cannot afford expensive medications, but the truth is that even in the best designed clinical trials their success rate was modest when compared,--not to other drugs--but to sugar pills. Results are what count. There is hope. We use a simple medication with no side effects that can actually reverse your fibromyalgia. As time goes by, you'll need fewer drugs, not more. We have walked in your shoes. We have fibromyalgia too. Dr. St. Amand is in practice in Los Angeles, California, and is still accepting new patients. We are not the latest miracle cure. Treatment of fibromyalgia has become a multi-billion dollar industry and we have no objection to profit. We are often asked why the Fibromyalgia Treatment Center does not manufacture, distribute, or promote any particular brand of guaifenesin for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Simply, our mission is to educate -- based on fifty years of diligent, honest research. We will not risk compromising the integrity of our work with the perception of ulterior motivation. In 2008 we published a paper showing that some abnormal findings in fibromyalgia were changed by patients taking guaifenesin. The link to that paper can be found here. Two more papers are currently being prepared. If, after thorough investigation you determine that implementing the guaifenesin protocol is appropriate for you, it is critically important that it be adhered to precisely. We are here to help. Now for the legalese: This information is not designed as or intended to be used as medical diagnosis or advice. Patients should consult their physicians about diagnosis and treatment. The only "official" videotapes, books and DVDs are those available here, and are sold exclusively for the benefit of the nonprofit Fibromyalgia Treatment Center research fund. All the money raised by the sale of these items is 100% donated. R. Paul St. Amand, M.D. does not "approve, endorse or recommend" any products, services or reinterpretations of his published works. Only those products and services that have been researched by his staff are included