"Some women are lost in the fire. Some women are built from it."
—Michelle K.
The Fire Within Blog
Let’s Be Our Own Healthcare Advocates

A friend’s new symptoms were dubbed “unexplainable” by her docs; thank goodness she figured it out, and saved herself…

Last night, I phoned a woman in pain I adore. Blair is a firecracker of a person and a big For Grace supporter. In her early 80s, Blair’s still sharp as a tack and the matriarch of a big, beautiful family.

She has a heck of a background as she was married to one of the most powerful showbiz figures in Hollywood – a man she’s “dating” again. I love hearing Blair giggle like a schoolgirl with her romantic escapades.

Blair also has a host of auto-immune diseases, including progressive MS, leaving her in constant, severe pain. But she’s no complainer. I adore sharing long, deep phone conversations and visiting Blair at her just built – exercise pool and all – Malibu casa. Pure heaven…

Recently, I’ve been worried about Blair because last time we talked, she’d developed some serious symptoms. She was extremely fatigued (she sounded completely different on the phone) and dizzy. Also, her generally normal blood pressure had shot sky high. Her doctors were clueless as to the cause, and I was fearful her MS had finally gotten the upper hand.

When Blair picked up the phone, I knew all was well from the spunk in her voice. Turned out the doctor’s gave her a battery of tests with everything coming out normal. At that point, they decided to put her on medications for the fatigue and blood pressure.

Instead of taking that fistful of prescriptions, Blair jumped on the Internet. She suspected Myrbetriq, a medication they’d put her on a couple of months ago for incontinence, might be the culprit – even though her doctors insisted it had no side effects.

Lo and behold, Blair learned that 2% of Myrbetriq users have these symptoms. But when she went back to her doctors with this information, they poo-poohed it. My sparkplug-of-a-friend didn’t back down and went off the Myrbetriq on her own the next day – and her symptoms went away.

Blair sweetly gave me the credit, saying she’d learned to be a strong advocate from conversations we’ve had over the years. Of course, I deflected that loving notion, telling her I wasn’t in the room. She was the one who chose to follow her gut rather than her doctor’s orders. I’m really proud of and happy for my friend. And I could hear her smile over the phone.

I couldn’t help but ask Blair how her incontinence was. She spilled, “Well, Cynthia, at my age, you win some and your lose some!” I hung up laughing. Funnier still, ten minutes later during my Hallmark movie’s commercial break, the first ad was for – you guessed it – MYRBETRIQ! And the woman’s reassuring voiceover made no mention of Blair’s symptoms.

Ladies, we’re on our own here. It seems that more than ever doctors are prescribing meds for meds for meds – when they don’t know the side effects or interactions.

We have to remember, healthcare is a business. One thing that’s being pushed hard are drugs. Some might be doing the job well, but my suspicion is that most meds are making us sicker.

Let’s be our own healthcare advocates. Let’s practice non-surgical, non-pharmacological, non-invasive self-care. The reward is better wellness… without the side effects ((*_*))

XO Cynthia