should I see this physiatrist who is holistic?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by daylilyfan, Oct 20, 2005.

  1. daylilyfan

    daylilyfan New Member

    (by the way, I just did a search for holistic, and read everything for the last 2 years with that in the title. Very interesting!)

    ortho dr. I saw for my shoulder injury said he thought a physiatrist could help me if I really had fibro - he thought I probably did not "because I didn't seem depressed" Well, I've been telling the docs I am not! I know the anti-depressants are given because of seratonin, but they do not make me feel well, and they have not helped my pain. I recently took myself off of Cymbalta.

    I have been thinking of giving up on meds - get off them and use the $$ on the massage therapist who is the only thing that's actually helped me in the 30 years I have had this FM.

    I know she thought highly of this guy in Mt. Vernon OH - so I called and asked if he treated FM. Receptionist says she will have Dr. call back. I thought - yeah, right.

    Hour later - Dr. called back. Not a nurse - the DR! He says "I am a very busy guy. I screen by phone. If you are not willing to help yourself - I don't want to waste my time or yours. I treat with a holistic approach. If you are looking for pain killers and don't want to do the work to really get better - I am not the Dr. for you"

    We talked a few minutes. I told him I've been taking myself off the meds cause they don't help. I told him I've been adding suppliments like magnesium, vitamens - but I really don't know if they are the right kinds. He asked if I am willing to try easy yoga stretches - I told him I bought some yoga and tai chi tapes just before I injured my shoulder. Told him I have looked at recumbant exercise bikes. Told him I've been off caffeine and have been really working on diet. He says then perhaps he can help me.

    THEN - he says..... think about it for at least a week. He says it all boils down to two words.... personal responsibility. He said if I am not willing to make the lifestyle changes to make myself better then I had better stick with meds and the rheumy. If I am ready to really put in an effort, give him a call.

    Here's the thing though... he says he usually spends the first session at one hour. Then, two more sessions --- and that's it. He says he can lay out the plan in that time. You can come back if you have new issues, or for a progress check, but basically, he lays it out, and either you follow it or you don't.

    He is an MD... a physiatrist with 30 years of experience..... and he believes FM is a real thing.... but believes meditation, even self hypnosis can help as much as pain meds. Knew we can't do strenuous exercise... but recommended gentle stretching stuff. Stress reduction. Actually used the words "slowing down and smelling the roses and learning to enjoy life"

    What do you think ---- sound like he's nuts or not?
  2. daylilyfan

    daylilyfan New Member

    quite the opposite.

    He said it won't be cured. That's why you have to learn to deal with it in other ways.

    He said he can give me the protocol in 3 sessions. Like the diet, the supplements, the right exercises.

    But, if I am not willing to do the work - then it won't help and may as well not bother.

    I must say I am curious since he so highly thought of. One of the people works with physically and mentally handicapped people who he has helped a lot. My very basic understanding of a physiatrist is that they "get people moving again" who have been disabled, or injured.
  3. acesk

    acesk New Member

    I think this would definitely help if you decide to do it. I had a doctor like that - my problem is I cannot force myself to do what it takes! Gentle stretching helps a lot. Diet helps a lot. You just need to "make yourself do it". That is what I struggle with! But the times I do it - it helps!

    Sue in Florida
  4. rockyjs

    rockyjs Member

    I have had two excellent physiatrists, both using a holistic approach. I can't tolerate medications anyway so that wasn't even an option for me.

    I actually like his personal responsibility requirement. Having worked as a post-rehab therapist and personal trainer, motivation is a huge issue in getting better or getting stronger. If you want someone to do it for you, forget it :)

    Since he is successful and only needs three visits to get you on the protocol, I would go for it. He's not stopping you from getting other help later if you need it, and if it does work, then you've spent a lot less time and money than going to PT 2 or 3 times a week.

    It also sounds like he's being realistic by not promising a cure. That would send me running the other way. This will most likely be a lifelong adaptation for you and if you can learn to deal with it by accepting and integrating the necessary self-help treatments into your life, you're all the better for it.

    Most chronic illnesses wax and wane as far as symptoms. I try to think of it like the tide coming in and out. It's wonderful when the pain levels are down and you have more mobility, but then when something causes it to change again it's nice to have the tools to adapt and not let it throw you totally off balance every time.

    Jan[This Message was Edited on 10/21/2005]
  5. daylilyfan

    daylilyfan New Member

    I have contacted the massage therapist I went to that did help me. Have been meaning to call her to start going again anyway. Waiting to hear from her. I think she used to have Friday off and she worked Saturday, so perhaps I will hear tomorrow.

    I'll ask her about him.

    Anyone else have any luck with a physiatrist? I did read in the searches that some require lots of blood work, and payment up front. We didn't talk about that - perhaps that's mentioned when you make the appointment. He is on my insurance plan (YEAH!)

  6. rockyjs

    rockyjs Member

    I've never had blood work ordered by a physiatrist. I have had an MRI ordered and one of them did an EMG and nerve conduction study, but that's all. But then I never took medications, so maybe the bloodwork is to get a baseline for meds and supplements to check progress.

    Jan