“Over ten years ago, I began suffering from extreme middle and lower back pain. I went to my physician who prescribed 800 mg. of Ibuprofen every six hours for pain and inflammation as needed. I also used ice or heat as needed. In addition, I began having pain in my hips and shoulders. X-rays indicated that I had degenerative arthritis in both shoulders and bursitis in both hips. I was prescribed 500 mg. of Naproxen and cortisone injections for my hips. After the third cortisone injection, it lost its effectiveness at easing the hip pain, so I was back to pain medications. I saw a physical therapist to treat the shoulder pain, which did have a positive affect. Then, six years ago, I began experiencing numbness in my hands and feet and terrible muscle spasms/cramps. I also had blurred vision, eye pain, extreme fatigue and heaviness in my legs, making it difficult to climb the stairs to my bedroom at night. I went to the doctor again, who stated that I may have Multiple Sclerosis. A painful electromyogram and nerve conduction study were performed, in addition to MRIs of my brain and spine. I also had an eye exam, visual field tests and a visual-evoked potential study. The neurologist stated that results indicated that I had two small lesions in the brain and possibly one on the optic nerve, due to a reduced visual field and an abnormally slow response time in the left eye. The neurologist also stated that I had calcium deposits on my cervical vertebrae, degenerative and discogenic changes at C4-5, C5-6 and C6-7 with mild to moderate to advanced stenosis. Since a person has to have a minimum of seven lesions in the brain, or separate lesions in three different areas to be diagnosed, I was told that I did not have MS. Although this was a great relief, it did not alleviate my discomfort, nor did it change my treatment. As the pain increased, so did the medications. When unable to sleep due to the pain, I was prescribed Acetaminophen with codeine. For inflammation, I was prescribed 150 mg. of Sulindac and 10 mg. of Cyclobenzaphrine for muscle spasms. When a combination of those drugs didn’t work, I returned to the doctor for more tests. After two separate tests, given six months apart, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I was told that this would explain the fatigue, constant back pain, muscle pain and weakness. Since there was apparently no cure or special treatment for Fibromyalgia, I was prescribed Desipramine, which is actually an antidepressant used for patients who have chronic pain, as it blocks the pain receptors to the brain. I was willing to try anything! After gradual increases in Desipramine, I began to feel relief. I took three pills a day in addition to the Sulidac, Cyclobenzaphrine and Acetaminophen with codeine. The problem was that I could not stay awake during the day.  I nodded off at work, sometimes in the middle of speaking! And I am ashamed to say that I would fall asleep behind the wheel, so I resorted to eating snacks while driving and slapping my face to stay awake. The pain persisted and gradually became so excruciating in my hips that I could no longer travel in a seated position for longer than twenty to thirty minutes. I didn’t go to the movies because I would be in agony, squirming in my seat and dealing with leg and foot cramps. I began seeing an acupuncturist covered by my HMO, who treated me for back and hip pain once a month for a year. Although I felt relief in the isolated areas he treated, it did not last more than a week. He encouraged me to exercise. However, when I did exercise, I experienced even more debilitating pain for several days afterwards. Even gardening was more than my back could bear and left me sleepless with pain, despite adding sleep aids to the mix. At night, I would take my drug cocktail before bed and pray for release from the pain. I slept on a heating pad every night, with extra pillows under my hips and lower legs. My husband and I even bought a Sleep Number bed, which was more comfortable but did not stop the pain. I cried myself to sleep when the drugs did not bring me any noticeable relief. I knew that I could not stand to live in this condition for the rest of my life and prayed some nights that God would end my pain through death if need be. I told my husband I did not want to live even another 10 years if this was what I had to endure for the rest of my life. But I knew I couldn’t leave him and our children. I didn’t know what to do. During these years of suffering, a friend and colleague from work suggested I see Dr. Ehlers. She said that she too had suffered a great deal before undergoing chiropractic treatment and was now relatively pain free with her monthly maintenance visits to Dr. Ehlers. Although I had been treated by a chiropractor in my youth, my father had had a poor experience after a treatment, which left a lasting negative impression about that field of medicine. In addition, my HMO did not cover the expense and I felt that I could not afford it. It wasn’t until I was scanning the Grapevine one day and came across his letter, “The Secret That My Wife Asked Me Not to Write” that I began to wonder, especially when I recognized Dr. Ehlers’ name. The offer for the free consultation, initial exam and x-rays was too good to pass up! I thought, “What do I have to lose?” So I called and spoke to Allison, who scheduled my appointment and one for my husband as well, since he suffered from chronic back pain. They even offered to supervise our two youngest children during our appointments! I was very impressed with Dr. Ehlers’ practice from the moment I walked in. His staff was friendly and professional and really made our family feel at home. After the initial consultations, exams and x-rays, my husband and I decided to make the investment in ourselves and began treatment. When I began treatment, I started weaning myself off of the antidepressants and other drugs. After three weeks, I was off of the antidepressant, muscle relaxant and anti-inflammatory medications. After two months, I was feeling nearly pain free, only taking Motrin or Tylenol occasionally, so I cancelled my future appointments with the acupuncturist. I told him about the success I had with chiropractic care and that I would no longer be in need of his services. Instead of being happy for me when I told him of my recovery from pain and my ability to stop most of my medications, he took a negative view of my chiropractic care. No matter! I had had the same reaction to my friend and now I was a believer!! My husband and I still go to Dr. Ehlers regularly and he also treats our children as part of a family maintenance plan that we started after our initial treatments were completed. I look forward to seeing him each and every visit! He always has a positive attitude and happy demeanor. And he’s not too hard on the eyes either! I still take over-the-counter pain medications, but very infrequently. I can drive for hours before my left hip starts to ache and I can watch an entire movie in the theater without having to get up. I work in my garden and my back and hips don’t kill me. I have even started exercising, doing “Zumba,” which I never thought I would be able to do again. I am no longer constantly tired or falling asleep, unless I don’t get enough rest of course! I feel like a new person and look forward to a long life with my family. My husband also has less pain and more energy. I recommend Dr. Ehlers to anyone suffering from pain. He can make a believer out of you too.”