I started with my Fibromyalgia in 1985. It did not even have a name yet then, but by 1990 I knew from reading up on this condition, what I had. The medical field knew nothing about a cause, thus, no cure was available. I went to a major clinic where they offered me pain killers and muscle relaxers which I refused. I did not want to get hooked on these drugs and furthermore, why cover up the pain — why not get to the bottom of what was causing all this? Since the doctors were of no help to me and acted like I was just a complaining woman, I set out to help myself. I worked the last 6 years of my job in constant pain and at the age of 54, was offered a special retirement package on a point system, adding my age to my years of service + 3 bonus points. It was close enough for me. I grabbed the package and ran. Of course, being used to going to work full time and raising 5 children while caring for a large house and yard, I knew through all my pain, I would still be bored so, started to work part time. At least now I could just up and quit if I could not take the pain.

However, I hung in there as I had built up such a resistance to pain, it was actually dangerous. I almost did my- self in with the joint pain of a right hip which was destroyed from osteo-arthritis. This went on for 24 years and I now have had replacement surgery on that. I also, right before this occurrence , had an abscessed tooth that the dentist had overlooked and I almost died of sinus, bronchial and lung infection as a result of that. My resistance to pain was out of the ordinary because of all the suffering I had been through. To get back to my working on the Fibro, I took lots of calcium and it didn’t seem to do any good until I started to put magnesium with it. That helped me some. I was indoors all of the time so, I decided to get on vitamin D which also helped. But the magic bullet which I had sought for 24 years came to me by accident last October.

I started to drink tonic water over fresh lime and after 4 months, my Fibro pain was pretty much gone. I still had sleepless nights and other symptoms associated with Fibro but, I guess it is the quinine in the tonic water which has helped me tremendously. Quinine is used to treat malaria so what the connection is, this I do not know, all I can remember is how mercilessly I used to get bitten by mosquitoes and claw the skin off my arms and legs ending up with scabby decor for the rest of the summer. I have never tried to take quinine tablets but, I think quinine is the answer to relieving the soft tissue pain connected with Fibro. I still have joint pain from my osteoarthritis, but that is different to the sufferer, although, doctors may think it is all pain from one condition. I am living proof it is not, and, there is a difference. Fibro is more flu-like achiness, feeling lethargic and at times unable to function, unable to think straight, feelings of depression because you wonder why a doctor cannot help you. I went through a stage where I could barely stand my own clothes touching my body and I had a creepy feeling, almost as though bugs were crawling under my skin and sometimes sharp pricks as if someone were sticking me with a needle. The quinine got rid of all of this kind of feeling as well.

The difference with osteoarthritis is that this affects the joints and there is very sharp pain, plus some snapping and popping in the knees and lack of motion with the rotator cuffs of the shoulders. On x-rays, I show spurs on my bones. There are no tests for Fibro that I know of and I suffered for 15 years with a hip that should have been replaced but it was always thrown in with the Fibro condition, therefore no x-raying had been done and I suffered.

My advice is this, if you do not get any satisfaction from your main care physician, move on until you find someone who can and is willing to help you. And take it from me, there is no need to spend lots of money on fancy cures, take the cheapest vitamins, minerals from the health food store and put tonic water on your grocery list. I do not drink any certain amount and sometimes when I run out, I may not drink any for a couple of days. The norm is for me to drink anywhere from 12 to 24 oz. per day, it all depends.

Get healthy!!! My tired feeling now is mostly due to my hip replacement surgery as it is the first major surgery I have ever had and it will take time for my body to recoup. Then I will be able to tell whether I have gotten rid of some of the fatigue associated with Fibromyalgia. I feel this condition may run in certain bloodlines since, on my maternal side, there are a lot of “cripples” and on my paternal side, none. Osteo-arthritis is in the family for sure and through networking with other relatives, I think they may be suffering from the fibro as well.