Living With Chronic Pain: How I Got My Life Back

During one of the most stressful years of my life, while I was battling Type II Diabetes, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.

Before I had visited the Rheumatologist, I thought it was just joint ailments and a touch of arthritis, since I was entering my 40’s and thought it was to be expected. However, when the pain of violent electric shocks began to affect every part of my body, I sought the help of a professional. It was becoming a debilitating condition that was affecting my personal and professional life.

For several years after I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I had been prescribed the following:

  1. Gabapentin
  2. Cmybalta
  3. Piroxicam
  4. Lyrica
  5. Tramadol
  6. Baclofen
  7. Steroid shots in the neck and shoulder area

And at one point, I was on 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 at the same time.

The pain was still present and the side affects of the medications made my brain so foggy, I could hardly concentrate at work, affecting my livelihood and income.

I was on all of these pills and still in excruciating pain. Why? What was the point? For a while, I had my daughter to help with the chores and help me dress, but after my daughter moved out, I hired a nurse to help me dress and bathe and a professional cleaning service to help with the chores.

Shortly after the last steroid shot, I made a bold decision to stop ALL of the medications. Nothing was working and my quality of life was horrible. My Rheumatologist was not happy to say the least.

I slowly weened myself off of the medicines and sought the help of a Holistic doctor I had heard so much about. Here is where I learned how to use spices to heal my body and how to live a chemical-free life on an organic diet.

I thought I was eating healthy, but I was not. I thought that having instant oatmeal for breakfast was good for me, and a lean cuisine or healthy choice frozen entrée for lunch was healthy for the body. Dinner was usually a Zaxby’s salad drenched in fattening dressings. I was also using saccharin sweeteners in my oatmeal, coffee and non-sugar cereals. She cringed when I told her that last one. Ha!

I learned a lot from her about chemicals in processed and frozen foods, and began only eating foods that I made from scratch with fresh ingredients, using the spice blends that were healing for high sugars and inflammation. Some of the spices are:

  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Ground Clove
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Curry powder
  • Oregano

I also no longer eat red meat and limit starches altogether, unless it is ‘cheat day’ only one item allowed – then I can’t wait to have a sandwich with bread. Yummm! J

She also instructed me to cook everything in a wok using organic coconut oil. Most of my lunches are either beans or a delicious salad with Annies organic dressing. For dinner, I am usually cooking up Asian cuisines with boneless and skinless chicken, shrimp, or scallops, veggie blends, Thai jasmine rice or Asian rice noodles, and yummy sauces.

I also learned foods that make you ‘feel’ full, such as beans, any kind, black, kidney, etc. and cook those with the spice blend as well. I find that sautéed kale (with coconut oil and spice blend) also fills me up!

I also found comfort in CBD oil, which helped with some of the chronic pain, and allowed me to restart my exercise routine, which I sorely missed for over four years. Having a home gym makes it easy to jump on anytime and my Fitbit motivates me by logging my steps and workouts, and cheering me on when I complete personal goals.

In addition, I have found comfort in essential oil blends that decrease my anxiety, appetite and relieve pain. I have a whole shelf of authentic oils to treat almost everything!

Today, I am still prescription drug-free and have lost over 30 lbs. I still have pain, but it is much less severe and does not cripple me in my personal and professional life. And although managing all of these methods is a full-time job in itself, it’s worth it for me.

My hope is that this article will help inspire someone to explore other options when treating chronic disorders. You just never know what may help.