This week we are getting to know Sue Hadden. I’ve been talking with Sue for the last year or so. She was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2011, yet continues to lead a very busy life as a mother and paralegal.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m 54 years of age and I work for Brian Barr Solicitors, a firm that assists personal injury and insurance claimants, throughout England and Wales, specialising in cases involving chronic pain conditions such as Fibromyalgia, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, and Chronic Fatigue. I also have two children, Jade 24, and Jake 18. My third child, Tara, was born with Miller Dieker Syndrome, a very rare condition with limited life expectancy, and died in 1997 five days after her second birthday. I also have an adorable Chihuahua called ‘Maxi’.
What led up to your diagnosis?
It was the intense physical and emotional pressure, stemming from fighting a losing battle for two years trying to keep my daughter alive. After Tara died my immune system just collapsed, I developed pneumonia twice and was constantly ill. Life was one long virus after another. I had widespread pain, my muscles ached, my body hurt and I was tired all the time. I sought help but everyone just associated my symptoms with the trauma. I felt that doctors didn’t believe my pain was real, and instead thought it was all psychological; my GP wanted me to take anti-depressants but I refused. It took 14 years to get a diagnosis. I was diverted from pillar to post in the medical network and initially diagnosed with ME and then Fibromyalgia in 2011.
How did your family initially handle your illness?
My mum was supportive but didn’t fully understand what was happening and tied my symptoms to my overwhelming grief. My father died suddenly 18 months after my daughter, and then my husband and I split up three years later, leaving me to care for two young children aged 8 and 21/2 years. I knew I needed to be strong, so I pushed myself through the pain barrier, and became very good at it.
What do you feel is the most challenging aspect of Fibro?
Communicating my condition to people who don’t understand it, since they can’t see something physically wrong with me, like a broken leg. They don’t realise how much of a daily struggle I face to get up, shower, put my make-up on, do my hair, go out to work and lead a normal life.
Equally, I struggle with the flare-ups; getting out of bed in the morning, for example, when you need to go to work and haven’t slept well or at all the night prior is tough. I work 4 days a week and I am involved in communal activities, which proves extremely challenging when I’m going through a rough patch. I am wired to be a very motivated person and naturally live life at a fast pace, so it’s been hard for me to accept that I need to rest and be kind to myself when my condition flares up. Winters tend to be the worst but I choose to swim rather than sink and strive to use my knowledge to help others like myself.
Do you have any other co-existing conditions?
Yes, I have temporomandibular jaw problems, morning stiffness, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic migraines, chronic fatigue, sciatica, sleep disturbance, memory problems, inflammation, restless leg syndrome, temperature sensitivity, hair loss, plus I’m sensitive to loud noises or bright lights with a frequent need to run to the toilet.
What have you found/ done that has improved your symptoms?
I have eliminated gluten from my diet and detoxed from caffeine, which has really helped. I’ve also cut down on sugar, due to it being bad for Fibromyalgia, but I do find this quite difficult as I love chocolate; as a result, I’ve recently switched to 85% pure cocoa dark chocolate because it’s better for me.
In addition, I’ve had trigger point injections to help with pain in my neck, back and shoulders. My pain threshold was not very high so I’ve taken many opioids to cope in the past. I’ve tried Pregablin but just couldn’t function on it and have problems with my liver due to overuse.
I find heat helps the pain and use plenty of hot baths/heat pads as well as indulging in a monthly massage. I also think it’s important to stay hydrated and I drink plenty of water to flush out all the toxins. Low impact exercise, such as yoga, helps as well.
I am always researching new methods of treatment to try and manage my pain. I was introduced to the blog, Pathogenics’, by Fibromyalgia sufferer Alyssa Reid, whose husband developed the Fibromapp App. I became well-versed in Pathogenics as an alternative and natural, clinical homeopathy therapy to treat long-term, low-level chronic illness. It is proven that many conditions and illnesses are caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungus and various other pathogens. Pathogenics identifies and kills the specific pathogens that are making you ill, so you can get better.
A Clinical Homeopath/Pathogenisict has a different approach to a traditional doctor or Homeopath; they do not want to manage or suppress symptoms and do not use a one-size-fits-all approach to illness but identify the exact cause of individual irritation and aim to remove it. The library of Pathogens and the BEFD (Bio-Electric Functions Diagnosis) machine that is used, helps to identify the specific causal strain and strength of the pathogen driving your illness. The remedies used, are exact opposites of the pathogens that are making you ill, and so it cancels the pathogens out, eliminating or killing them. You are only treated with a remedy derived from the actual pathogen strain that is causing your condition, at the exact strength indicated by the BEFD testing machine.
Can you share some details about your personal pathogenic journey?
I’m always happy to talk about the various treatment methods I’ve explored. My pathogenic experience began with an initial 3-4 hour consultation that consisted of me answering many questions; we discussed my varied symptoms, hereditary health conditions and my medical, travel and work history, among other relevant information.
A small machine, called a Bio-Electric Functions Diagnosis (or BEFD for short), was then used on me to measure the energy flow in my body. This process is used to identify a specific viral strain that could rebalance my condition; this was done through a trial and error approach, using a full box of vials fuelled with various strains of bacteria, virus, fungal, parasite etc. This technique works by prompting a reaction; based on how each strain behaves in my body, helps the doctor to determine the cause of one or several of my symptoms.
As a result of this process, I discovered that I carry live infections. The contents of the vial are the negative version of these infections, like an anti-phase or anti-venom. When the exact pathogen strain was found and matched, they cancelled each other out; during the re-test, the BEFD machine therefore showed a reading more in line with a healthy system. This process was repeated, until the pathogens causing my biggest problems were identified.
I’ve now had my second consultation and the results are positive, showing that I’ve made a giant leap forward in certain areas; my own immune system has kicked in, so I’m hoping to have eliminated 4 pathogens by my next visit. The bad news is, we have identified more pathogens, so I will need to start the elimination process again, as soon as I have completely eliminated the ones that were initially identified.
I must admit, when I was taking the remedies, I felt a bit strange, and one day in particular I felt very weepy, but I was taking 15 drops a day of each remedy. It was concluded that it might have been too much for my system to handle and will reduce my dose, to only 5 drops and ten drops of each flusher, moving forwards.
- At the moment, I am taking four remedies and three flushers. It is very important to use twice as much flusher as the remedy. So, if you take 15 drops of each remedy in a litre of water, you need 30 drops of each flusher. The flusher ‘flushes’ out the dead bacteria, virus, parasites that the remedies have eliminated.
- It can be, but is often not, a quick process. If you have been poorly for a long time and your health issues are complex, it is very likely that you have multiple issues and your immune system is compromised. However, some pathogens are quick and easy to remove especially if recently ‘caught’, others like fungals or inherited pathogens or pathogens that you may have had most of your life, can be much more resilient.
- This solution consistently and repeatedly works and is becoming more widely recognised for providing a complete recovery. This treatment works for people in different ways; for instance, someone who suffers purely from headaches or constipation could be fully recovered in a few months, whereas a more complicated illness is likely to take much longer.
How open are you with friends & family about your illness & symptoms?
For a long time, I wouldn’t talk about my condition but now I’m very open and hope to educate, build awareness and inspire people to openly talk about Fibromyalgia.
What is the best advice you’ve received about Fibromyalgia?
Listen to your body and pace yourself.
What is it that inspires you to keep going, despite your illness?
My kids, and the fact that life is for living. One thing I have learnt with Fibromyalgia is that no one size fits all, so if you think something works for you, just do it and listen to your body. Likewise, if you fill it with junk food, then expect it to be in pain.
What is one thing you’ve learned about yourself since your diagnosis?
I am stronger than I think. Even in my darkest days, I have not lost my sense of humour.
Is there anything else you’d like the readers to know?
It is easy to make excuses and curl under your duvet and never get out of bed. We didn’t choose this illness, but is it not better to try and be in control of it, than let it control you? I would advise anyone to read up on what is good for your body and what isn’t. Don’t lose the person you are because of this illness. Live life and love life!