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Freedom from Rheumatoid Arthritis

My name is Shari Friedrichs.  I came to Abundance Acupuncture in March 2004   because I was suffering from constant, unremitting pain everywhere in my body.  The pain was in my muscles, but the worst pain was in my joints: hips, feet, hands, wrists, and elbows. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and then I was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia, tennis elbow, bursitis in my hip, and carpal tunnel in both wrists.    I had this problem for fifteen years and during those years it changed everything in my life.  It was painful and difficult for me to do ordinary activities like cleaning my house, cooking (which I love), and going down stair to do the laundry.  Even shopping was an ordeal because of the pain from walking in from the parking lot.

 I was a city letter carrier and I loved my job, but I was in constant pain, every step of every hour of every day.  My doctor ordered me to stop walking and my boss wanted me to take a “fitness for duty” physical so she could fire me.  Luckily, my supervisor intervened, and I was transferred to desk job at 1/3 less pay.  My social life was determined by how I felt each day and I often wondered why anyone would want to talk to me when I was so miserable.  I was angry, irritable, and depressed so my family tiptoed around me and cared for me at the same time.

I would wake up in the middle of the night after the pain medications wore down and lie there unable to get back to sleep because I was worrying about the future of my health. I became depressed and I was so fatigued that I needed to sleep all the time.  I’d nap over my two hour lunch break, go home and go right back to bed, get up for a dinner that my husband would make, and then go back to bed again.  There was even a time when the pain was so bad I was forced to rely on a wheel chair.

I tried physical therapy, chiropractic, and even had carpal tunnel surgery.  I tried stronger and stronger pain medications including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications that gave me migraines, narcotics including morphine that caused constipation, and antidepressants that left me with a “flat affect”, feeling like I didn’t care about anything.  All of these only gave me short term pain reduction.  The pain was never completely gone and the drugs made me feel groggy and sluggish.  Even worse, the disease was continuing to progress and my joints were deteriorating. 

So, my doctor put me on a biologic agent called Remicade. It’s similar to chemotherapy and is administered intravenously every eight weeks. I was also prescribed Methotrexate, a cancer drug that suppresses the immune system.  Both drugs required frequent testing of liver functions to detect collateral organ damage which showed up on several tests.  Even with these drugs I still had constant pain.

With my first treatment David concentrated on the bursitis in my hip. With the insertion of just one needle I was able to bring my knee to my chest without pain! With the insertion of the second needle I could rotate my hip left and right without pain!  I was elated, ecstatic and in total awe. I thought: What was this? How does it work?  If two needles got rid of my hip pain, I could only imagine what lay in store for the rest of my woes.

Within two months I was off my sleeping pills. At four months I no longer needed to take pain pills on a daily basis. Between the fourth and seventh months of treatments I only needed pain medication twice and that was because I had overdone my physical activities. A year after I began treatments I was able to pass my Black Belt test  in Tae Kwon-do!   At this point in time my condition feels 1,000% better. I now feel like I never had any of these problems.  I have been able to change my career, go back to school, and graduate with a master’s degree in Oriental Medicine.

I would recommend acupuncture to anyone because it gave me back my life.  If you have a chronic health problem that requires continuous medication for “treatment” or offers no hope for lasting healing you owe it to yourself and your family to see what Abundance Acupuncture can do.  

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