FROM THE DESK OF Professor Ellen Hope Kearns
Dear Dr. Woo: August 10, 2000
The purpose of this letter is twofold. First, I want to commend for your outstanding health care services. Secondly, I ask that you share my success story with your colleagues and patients who may be suffering from fibromyalgia syndrome.
Throughout the past five years, I have suffered excruciating episodes of pain. I made periodic visits to my primary care physician who ordered numerous blood tests, x-rays, and mega doses of prescription medications (e.g. Motrin) for my aches and pains. Unfortunately, my condition continued to deteriorate over the years. Although I manifested the classic signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), my doctor never made diagnosed me. Then, last semester in one of my classes, a student gave an oral presentation on fibromyalgia. I listened intently as she presented her case study. Much to my surprise, she described all of my common complaints such as neck and shoulder spasms, numerous tender spots (sensitive to pressure in certain areas of the body), joint, muscle and bone pain, difficulty sleeping and the like. It was then that I decided to change doctors. I was referred to an osteopathic physician who examined me and definitively diagnosed the fibromyalgia. Obviously, I was taken aback to learn that I had FMS and that it was missed by my primary care physician. The osteopath explained to me that FMS is relatively new (reported in the 1990s), is difficult to diagnose, and is usually diagnosed by ruling out other possibilities such as lupus, arthritis, rheumatism, osteoarthritis and other painful medical conditions.
After being diagnosed with FMS, I went to Miyoko, a massage therapist who specializes in Shiatsu (acupressure). Her massages were excellent, but they only provided temporary relief from my pain. Recognizing the severity of my condition, she referred me to you. As you know, it only took a few months for your expert acupuncture treatment and herbal remedies to ameliorate my widespread aches and pains. I continue to take my herbs each day and I now see you twice a month, instead of twice a week. I feel stronger and happier knowing that my health is improving every day. Although there is no known cure for fibromyalgia, I believe that I am now in remission thanks to you. My quality of life has improved significantly. It is a great feeling to have control over my care and well-being. I look forward with confidence to starting, and returning from, my sabbatical in Baltimore without pain!
Best personal regards to you and Susan. May God bless you and your family.