Well, friends, treatment has begun. I took my third pill this morning. Two a day - 300mg each. For one week.
The trick is... if I feel worse at the end of the week, that's a good sign. So we'll see how I feel on saturday. If not significantly worse than usual, I'll double the dose. Four a day.
Here's the scoop (as I understand it, and in normal-people terms):
People with fibromyalgia have weird tubules in their kidneys. Thus, the smooth phosphate molucules do not fit through, and build up in our bodies. Coincidentally, phosphate and calcium work together to create ATP - which is the "energy factor" in your cells. It makes them go! Sooo, because there is an abundance of phosphate, there are no empty parking spaces for calcium to park and rest. In other words, the calcium in my body always has an available phosphate to bond with and make my cells produce energy. So, my cells are always working. This exhausts them, and creates an abundance of wide-spread symptoms that involve much more than fatigue and muscle pain. I've had stomach problems my whole life. Itchy spots pop up on my skin. Some people have numbness and tingling. Others have problems with their hair. The variety of problems just goes on and on.
Dr. St. Amand in his book What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Fibromyalgia explains that fibromyalgia is not a syndrome as many have called it. Syndromes have no known cause or cure. Through his studies, he has come to call it a disease, and one that can lead (and often does lead) to rheumatoid arthritis.
However, Dr. St. Amand has also discovered that the use of an over-the-counter medication, guaifenesin, can reverse the progression of the disease. This medication allows your body to process phosphate as it should; and further, it flushes all the excess phosphate out of fibromyalgics. This is the reversal process, and it can be very painful. My understanding is that as your body is flushed of excess phosphate, your symptoms all rise back to the surface, and are exagerrated as a result.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous. Or scared. Or hesitant. I don't know what I will feel like on a given day. Or how bad I'll feel. Or how long I'll feel bad. Apparently the reversal cycles get shorter and less difficult, eventually leading to an essentially fibromyalgia free lifestyle. And I think that's the part I'm scared about. I've lived this way for as long as I can remember. And as much as it would be wonderful to wake up without any pain, I just don't know if I really want to. I know that probably doesn't make any sense. The best thing I can compare it to is postpartum depression - when a woman gets really depressed after she gives birth. Or like if you were blind for your whole life and suddenly gained your sight. Would you really want to see?
Anyway, that's where I'm at. I'll try to keep this updated regarding the treatment. I might start another blog devoted to that - haven't decided yet. If so, I'll post the link. Thanks for all your support!