Fatigue and Fibromyalgia in a 46-year-old woman

Three years ago I changed to a more physical job and immediately began to have hip pain. Physical therapy did not help and the pain continued to worsen. Within six months my back and joints ached everyday, I could barely walk a flight of stairs, and I was exhausted by midday. Four specialists and three courses of physical therapy later, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I began to understand the emotional stresses that contributed to the hip problem. I had been in a difficult marriage for years, moved out of state, lost my mother suddenly, and then experienced a divorce. That lead to parenting two boys on my own, financial concerns, moving two more times, and resuming a full time professional career. I continued to search for recovery. The medical management of the symptoms helped, but did not alleviate the persistent pain and exhaustion.

Dr. Schubiner's one night informative session on chronic pain caught my eye. At this session, he had some very convincing statistics about Tension Myositis Syndrome and theories about why pain may be so persistent. I signed up for his Mind Body Medicine program and at the initial individual consultative session, we investigated the widespread pattern of pain. He helped me understand how my thought patterns were helping to keep a chemical cycle of pain going. I began to experience a lessening of headaches and joint pain immediately. Following two more sessions focusing on meditative practices and journaling to express anger, I was feeling 'lighter' and less tired. I understand now how much I was contributing to the ongoing symptoms and what I can continue to do to feel physically 'normal' again. Dr. Schubiner's workshop was probably one of most important pieces of work that I did to regain my health and energy. Thank you Dr. Schubiner!!

Mary W.

*The personal stories are from actual course participants and are used with permission. The names and photos have been changed to protect confidentiality.