My new rheumy wrote a book on fibromyalgia - good read!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by acesk, Sep 30, 2005.

  1. acesk

    acesk New Member

    Hi,

    I found a good book on Fibro when I was on a business trip and then I saw the rheumatologist that wrote it was in my area - Tampa, FL. Great book and good doctor. Saw him for the first time this week.

    Dr. Harris McIlwain, M.D. is the author/doctor and the book is "The Fibromyalgia Handbook, a 7 step program to halt and even reverse fibromyalgia".

    Dr. McIlwain is very kind and understanding. He believes in hot water twice a day - hot shower, hot tub, hot towels. He says between 5-10 minutes usually work, but do it twice a day. He says that really starts to help your muscles relax. Then do stretching exercises after the hot shower for 10 minutes.

    Now, I told him the last thing I want to do is shower 2x a day and then EXERCISE for 10 minutes - I feel lousy!!! He said he swears it will help and offered to let me contact patients that this has helped already. It's the beginning of his 7 step program.

    Here are the 7 steps:

    1) Start with Medical treatment - right drugs and right doctor - pain meds, sleep meds, antidepressants,etc.
    2) Exercise daily for mobility and energy (explained above)
    3) De-stress your life
    4) Try a complementary approach to relief (massage, acupuncture, etc.)
    5) End sleepless nights
    6) Follow the nutritional plan for healing
    7) Seek support - like this board!

    Check out the book!
    Sue in Florida
  2. daylilyfan

    daylilyfan New Member

    what did he recommend

    for the "right" pain meds, sleep meds, etc?

    boy, if all of us could just do that #1 step!!!!!

  3. acesk

    acesk New Member

    The "right drugs" take experimentation, he says. He tries you on one each visit - I was already taking Ultracet successfully and Effexor for my mood, but not sleeping well. So he tried Lunesta - gave me a bad headache - and now I'm trying Sonata. So he is willing to keep trying till you are sleeping well and controlling the pain.

    The showers and exercise he swears helps the most. I just don't FEEL like doing it, but my therapist says don't wait till you are motivated, just do it. So I'm going to do it today.

    Sue in Florida
  4. elsa

    elsa New Member

    Thanks for posting this. I can see where the hot showers/bath/tub and hot towels can help the muscles relax a lot.

    It's kind of a "lazy weight trainer's" way of warming up prior to their workout.

    Lazy meaning ... 10 minutes in the hot tub .... ten minutes to stretch out and then you're good to go for your work out.

    It's lazier then the "correct" way. LOL

    I always feel so much better after I soak in the tub. I use to soak before bedtime, but it made me feel so much better that I found myself wanting to do other things besides sleep. (Not intended to be x-rated here. Meant things like laundry,etc. Hee Hee!)

    I agree with his ideas. I am so glad you found a positive partner to help you combat fibro. I sometimes think the proper match of health professional/treatment and patient is half the battle in gaining remission.

    Good luck to you,

    Elsa
  5. elsa

    elsa New Member

    Hi Nink,

    That is unfortunately a very common sleep disorder for people with CFS/FM. I don't know if you have tried any rx meds for treatment, but there are some good ones out there.

    Abbylee has several posts about this ... the latest I think being why sleep study so important for people with FM.

    Xyrem was pretty much made for alpha intrusion. Look up her posts and you can learn all about it.

    My disorder is Zero REM, so I don't take this med. Wish I could tell you more about it.

    Good luck with your sleep,

    Elsa
  6. deliarose

    deliarose New Member

    I take clonazepam and trazodone for alpha wave intrusion. I've found the combo really works...
    Delia
  7. razorqueen

    razorqueen Member

    how exactly does one go about "de-stressing" your life? THATS what I'd like to know!
    Raz
  8. Pinky

    Pinky New Member

    I, too live in Florida and have gone to see an associate of Dr. Mcillwains. I was not at all impressed. The doctor spent little time with me and left me waiting endlessly that I finally said that I wasn't waiting any longer and i left the office. I do have his book and yes it was very informative(this was when I was diagnosed with FM/CFS about 5 years ago) I have now found a wonderful doctor that also is in Tampa on Dale Mabry, Dr. Elizabeth Zable. She is the BEST! My first visit with her was about 2 hours-face to face contact. Testing and talking. Since then I have tried numerous meds. as well as vitamins,massage therapy, YOGA(the best)She LISTENS and is not afraid to take your sugestions as well as recommend her expert opinions. She is sympathetic, understanding and willing to have you involved and have a say in your treatment.She is honest- I still have along way to go- but I am doing better. Presently I am taking(for FM/CFS Lexapro,Tramadol,Trazadone and Klonopin. ZMA,Malic Acid, MSM,Cod liver oil/Flaxseed, Vitamin B Complex, a multivitamin, Vitamin C&E,Calcium and Magnesium.Itake a Yoga class once a week, warm baths or showers, walks, drink Sleepytime or Calm tea with chamomille.I use a lotion P-K-5. I also have a seizure disorder in which I take Keppra and have chronic pacreatitis from a gallbladder surgery I had a few years ago and am on a low fat diet even though I am only about 5'3" tall and weigh all about 104 lbs. I suffer from dry mouth, fatigue, pain and stiffness,osteoarthrtis of the fingers and neck, and constipation. She listens to all of this and tries to help in any way she can. Sorry this was so long but I truly believe in Dr. Zable and I am so happy I found a doctor that believs me and supports me and treats me.
    HUGS
    PINKY
    P.S. Dr. McIllwain was involved in clinical trials for both Vioxx and Celebrex which were pulled off the market by the FDA-He prescribed both for me, luckily I only took them a short while. [This Message was Edited on 10/02/2005]
  9. JPach007

    JPach007 New Member

    Hi all,
    Wanted to comment on the hot baths...Before I even started talking/reading about Fibro, I always have and do, take a hot bath in the morning and at night until I start to sweat. I dont stretch afterwards, but I feel my muscles looser. I do try to stretch a little while I'm in the tub.
    As for sleep...I had a sleep study done many years ago and was told I have RLS...basically I never get into stage 4 to restore my muscles. I've tried many combinations of medications..So far Mirapex and Ambien are working the best for me.
    Hugs,
    JPach
  10. acesk

    acesk New Member

    Thanks, Pinky, for letting me know about your doctor! I really appreciate it. I may set up an appointment with her. Like I said, this was my 1st appt with McIlwaine.

    What specialty is she or just general practice???

    Thanks again.
    Sue