Health Hero: Cheryl Trent

Cheryl is 55 years old and lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma where she works as an administrative assistant for Oklahoma State University. She has suffered from body aches and pains almost all her life. Here is her journey to discover what was causing her pain and how she could live a normal, happy life.

I have 3 daughters and I've been married to my second husband for over 7 years.  I suffered from back pain since I was about 10 or 11 years old.  I was in and out of the doctor's office with phantom pain and persistent vomiting. There were days when I just felt sluggish and hurt all over. No matter what pain medication I took, it didn't help. I walked with a limp because the pain in my back was constant and intense. Doctors couldn't figure out what caused my pain and they didn't know how to treat it.

When I went to college, I had a really bad episode and was nearly bedridden because of the persistent pain. I went through another round of doctor visits. This time, it included blood tests, an MRI, and a visit to the neurologist. They still couldn't find anything. Depressed and still in pain, I returned once again to my clinic, but this time, I saw a different doctor. She asked me several unique questions and also performed a pressure point test and asthma test. When she was finished, she handed me a prescription and said that she believed I had Fibromyalgia. She requested I try the medication for two weeks and then return for an update. The medication was not easy to adapt to because it was an antidepressant that caused drowsiness (luckily, I only took it at night). But after two weeks, I was able to move with only minor pains and my whole body felt renewed.  It took two years to fully adapt to the medicine, but the difference between being in pain 24/7 and being a little sleepy was well worth the sacrifice. I have taken tricyclic antidepressants at low doses for over 16 years and my life has been better ever since.

Fibromyalgia has affected my body in various ways including tendon and nerve problems. But in my 30s, I began working to discover and eliminate allergies from my life (an abnormal amount of allergies is common with Fibromyalgia sufferers). The results have been very successful. Each time I eliminate an allergy or intolerance, my well-being improves and it becomes easier to control my Fibromyalgia flare-ups. I also use probiotics to help maintain a strong immune system.

Within the past year, my 12-year old daughter was has also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Together we are working to make her life better, so she does not have to suffer as much as I did. Perhaps the greatest struggle for people with Fibromyalgia is understanding how it affects the whole body. Controlling stress levels and eating better can reduce flare-ups and the overall daily pain. I believe that both my daughter and I are on the right path to a healthy life.

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