Fox Valley Wellness Center/Midwest Hyperbarics Testimonials
It is with deep gratitude that I share this testimonial about the fine work Dr. Steven Meress and his staff performed for me. I started with Dr. Meress in March of 2008 after 8 months of suffering from Lyme disease. I contracted Lyme's from a brown recluse spider bite in July of 2007. I was misdiagnosed for 8 months even though I had the clear bull's eye rash on my back. I had previously been mistreated for shingles and had 1 month of Doxycycline treatment. It had even been suggested that I had "psychological problems" by one infectious disease specialist. My symptoms included severe joint pain, brain fog, mood swings, deep fatigue, depression, memory issues, anxiety attacks, very low libido, disorientation, restlessness, Lyme rages and sleep issues. Life was unbearable!
After waiting 6 months to see Dr. Meress, I knew immediately that I was in the right place! He had a tremendous pool of experience with Lyme disease. I was also touched by his heartfelt, clear and holistic approach. He told me it would take about 2 years to see real results, but that I would see improvement in many of my symptoms. My first CD57 results was 69 (with 120 considered normal). During 6 months of triple antibiotic therapy, I was monitored closely by Dr. Meress. Even though this therapy made me feel even sicker, my CD57 climbed to 96. This was followed by 2 years of detoxing, natural protocols and other healing modalities which deteriorated my symptoms considerably. In June of 2011, my CD57 had risen to 129 and all my blood tests were normal. I was healed from my Lyme disease! I still am working on some symptoms, most likely caused by a co-infection, but I have my life back! All these debilitating symptoms are mostly gone now.
During this 2-1/4 years of treatment, I felt a close rapport with Dr. Meress. I knew he was my partner in healing and trusted his approach. I am grateful beyond measure to have my life back and for being guided through this darkest time in my life by a loving and accomplished Lyme specialist.
The past four years have been a very long journey for myself, my husband, my family and my friends. I have been a very active and energetic person my entire life. The hobbies I enjoyed were jogging, swimming, yoga and walking our yellow labrador, Bailey. My most passionate hobby is equestrian jumping. On June 6th, 2007 the life that I enjoyed so much came to an abrupt halt. That morning I woke up and was barely able to move. It literally felt like someone had beaten me with a baseball bat. I thought I had a good case of the flu. As the weeks went on, my symptoms became more severe. The tops of my thighs burned terribly and it felt like something was eating my thighs. The pain in my wrist and ankles was so debilitating, that I had all I could do to just shuffle around the house. In addition, I had severe chest pains, headaches, stiff neck and extreme fatigue. Any activity would make these symptoms worse. It was so difficult to perform daily activities. Getting out of bed, showering, doing hair and makeup, walking, typing and cooking were nearly impossible. My body would just give out and all I wanted to do was sleep. Falling asleep was almost impossible due to the pain. What was going on with me, what had I gotten in to? Off to the doctor I went.
What an agonizing nightmare that turned out to be. Two years and seven doctors later, we were still searching for answers to find out what was going on with my body and how I could get my life back. I was misdiagnosed with MS, Lupus, Parkinsons, Fibromyalgia, breast and/or bone cancer, displaced disc in my neck and underlining mental issues! (If they didn't fix me, yes, I was going to have mental issues!) We were spending thousands of dollars on unnecessary , painful and invasive tests. Not to mention numerous medications, many of which were accompanied by severe side effects to the point where I was almost completely disabled physically and mentally.
At that time I was seeing a chiropractor trying to ease some of the symptoms I was having. After working with this doctor for several months and not gaining too much headway, he sat down with my husband and I to inform us that the problem I was experiencing was not skeletal. This was good and bad, we finally found a doctor that was honest with us, did not want to push pills or continue with unnecessary treatments. But was this another dead end? Thank the Lord, this was not the case. The chiropractor was aware of a doctor that was located only minutes from our home in Fond du Lac, WI (This was odd, as we were all over the state trying to find help). He suggested that I see Dr. Steven Meress. At that time I had no idea that this referral would be my life saver. Thank God, finally the first doctor that admitted they couldn't fix me and believed he knew where I could get better.
From the moment Dr. Meress walked into the room and spoke with his caring voice, I knew I had found my doctor. Dr. Meress sat down and spoke to me like a person and not a chart full of numbers. After answering all of his questions and listening to my symptoms, he had a strong suspicion that it was Lyme disease. He ordered several blood tests, one of which was the Western Blot. The Western Blot confirmed that I indeed have Lyme disease. After working together as a team, I'm happy to say I'm in the healing process and full of life. Also, I'm looking forward to getting back in the saddle. Yahoo!!
The complete staff at Fox Valley Wellness center, including Lily - Doc's fuzzy little sidekick - is so incredible. I find it hard to put into words just how special they are. Some may say that it is their job to find out what is ailing you and get you back to your normal life. The compassion and professionalism that they have all shown to my family and I, packaged with the immense amount of knowledge and resources, is just not something I thought I would find in one facility. I now know that this is not the case. Dr. Steven Meress has found a way to funnel all of these traits into all of his employees and it makes for such a special experience.
Dr. Meress, I would just like to tell you that you saved my life, and I consider myself so lucky that our paths have crossed. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I began seeing Dr. Meress in 2008 for aches in my joints and muscles that have been evident since 1984. I have seen many doctors over the course of these years (24). My mom told me when I was young and this pain started, that I was too young to feel so bad. I agreed and kept seeking treatment. My local physicians ran blood tests for various causes, all tests coming back normal or negative for any disease. I made an appointment with Dr. Meress. Before I arrived, I was sent a complete packet of information and forms to complete. Amazingly, he had read all the detail I had written. When he walked in the room, he was informed, which came as a surprise to me. The level of his care has continued for over two years. When you talk, he LISTENS! I can see his mind thinking as I am talking...processing what I am saying and finding a solution. His vast knowledge of both fields of medicine (Internal Medicine and Holistic) allows him to diagnose and treat all of you...as though you are a real person! He has addressed each and every symptom with many specific tests and then evaluates the best course of action. This for me has included supplements and medicine for Lyme disease. Today I am far better than I was when I first met him. I cannot count the number of doctors I have seen in the twenty-four years previous to meeting Dr. Meress. But I can tell you, if you seek the best medical attention you can get, you will find it in him. I am healthy and happy today because of his intelligence, persistence, patience, understanding, and compassion.
The Change that Changed Me Forever!
Have you ever felt betrayed, it did not matter what you told people, you felt they never listened? I know I have. My name is Amber, I have felt this way my entire life, I am suffering from Chronic Lyme Disease. The people my family and I trust with my life ended up almost killing me. Sad but true those people were my doctors. I cannot speak for you but I ask that you listen to my story and remember your life lies in your own hands.
As a child I went through some hard times. At the young age of eleven I started to get migraines. My condition got worse and I ended up in a wheelchair. I thank my mother because if it wasn’t for her determination we would have never found the man who gave me a second chance at life. Dr. Meress is a Lyme literate doctor (LLMD). He took my broken body and made it whole. But he also went one step beyond; he treated my family and me with love and respect and gave me a new positive out look at life.
Here is my story; my migraines would put me down in bed for days. It seemed I was always at the doctors or in the ER looking for answers. The doctors seemed confused, the first couple of test they did to me consisted of multiple CT scans, but nothing was ever found. The solution they came up with were braces for my teeth. It looked hopeful the migraines subsided but never really ended. The Doctors reasoning for the braces was he believed my jaw out of alignment? But this was only a temporary fix a few years later I started developing pain on my lower left side of my abdomen the pain never subsided. Just imagine having someone taking a knife and cutting your insides twenty-four-seven. Well, that’s exactly what I felt for about seven years. My mom and I traveled doctor to doctor throughout Green Bay, Froedtert the Medical College of Wisconsin and Marshfield. To our dismay we would get a different diagnose every time. My family spent thousands of dollars on doctor bills, prescription medications and misdiagnosis. Nothing seemed to help. Many doctors told me I was making it up or I was going through a rough time in my life. They blamed my problems on growing pains, hormones, stress, learning disability, vertigo, constipation, chronic vomiting syndrome (CVS); they even sent me to see a speech therapist. I tried to live my life as normal as I could but missing school because of high fevers, vomiting and going from Dr. to Dr were obstruction in my path.
Then the real problems began. On my seventeenth birthday I got into a car accident and everything went downhill. I was rushed to the hospital with a broken nose, whiplash and a few bruises. Two weeks out of the hospital I ended up having a very severe pain on my lower left side. It had gotten so bad I was vomiting because of the pain. My parents rushed me into the emergency room I was bent over screaming from the excruciating pain. The Doctor claimed the new pain was because of my appendix, so they removed it. To someone with Lyme disease this only makes things worse. Usually after the appendix is removed it’s a one to two day hospital stay. I was in the hospital for ten days with piercing pain. They ran more tests and every test came back normal then doctors advised me talk to a counselor, diagnosing my issue as stress related. I was released from the hospital with the staff telling me there was nothing more they could do for me.
By now even the simplest tasks where getting difficult for me. I attempted to keep my life as active as I could. I was involved in soccer, track, and wrestling. I was the first girl wrestler to make varsity at my school. I would have been the first girl to go all four years but my debilitating disease would not allow me to achieve my goals. Yes, like every average high school girl I had goals and Lyme disease had robbed me of them in so many ways.
During my senior year my attendance had fallen I was absent more than I attended. Missing so much school gave me no recourse but to drop out of all my activities. My life revolved around sleep, pain, sadness and more doctor appointments. My friends did not understand why I could not do the things or how anyone could always be so sick. I soon felt alone and abandoned by people I thought would understand what I was going through.
During winter of my senior year the pain became so severe again back to the hospital I went.
I went through a series of test, one was for my gallbladder. The doctors said “the test showed that my gallbladder was abnormal and needed to come out right away.” So again, I went under the knife. Following the surgery the pain was awful. I was fed through an IV in my arm. It was another week spent in the hospital with no answers or no direction. Just a little FYI my pain was on my left side of my body the gallbladder and appendix are on the right.
Graduation came and went although I wasn’t up to par I was excited to begin my new life. Beginning college is a life changing experience for a young adult. All my friends where worried about what color they were going to decorated their dorm rooms. As for me I was worried about what’s going to come next. What happened to me wasn’t what every normal college student expects.
By the start of college I started losing feeling from my knee down. My legs were weak so I was walking with a cane to get around. The numbness felt like my leg had just fallen asleep but wouldn’t wake up.Because of my seizures and migraines I would end up in emergency because I would fall and hurt my head, arm or other body parts. More test and still no results how sad for us with Lyme Disease I think you know this… every time I went to the emergency room they would look at my mom and me then roll their eyes or laugh.“Like here she comes again.” My family was so concerned. I had to go through two Spinal Taps and MRI’s. The MRI’s showed spots on the brain but my Green Bay Neurologist said “some people get them and they don’t know why, but it’s nothing to worry about.”
Thank God for my family who helped me get through everything I was facing. My mother formed a group that included my aunts and me so we could search for answers. Through talking to other people my aunts beautician told her to check for Chronic Lyme, (we had done regular Lyme tests through spinal taps that read negative by a neurologist). She also said the difference is that we needed to find a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor (LLMD).Within a few days another aunt called and said she knew someone whose son had Chronic Lyme Disease. My mother had made the phone call and contacted a woman named Marge, a wonderful woman who pointed us in a hopeful direction. We called the clinic that she suggested. That was our first introduction to Fox Valley Wellness Center. To get in to see the doctor it was going to be a six month waiting list. My mother and I put our names on the list but we were not going to stop there. Marge told us that we needed to get blood work sent to an Igenex Lab. We took the test to our normal family doctor but they wouldn’t do it. So we called around to see if there was anyone in Wisconsin that would draw blood and send it in to the Igenex lab in California.
That’s when we were introduced to a Chiropractor, Dr. Thomas Donohue DC in Ladysmith WI. We made a call on that Thursday and we were on the road Monday morning. My mother was driving and I was wrapped in a blanket asleep next to her. This doctor and some of his family members all have Chronic Lyme. Our appointment with him was valuable because we shared a lot of concerns, tears and information. Here my blood was drawn and sent out to the Igenex Lab. Dr. Donohue was certain it was Lyme disease; I was not the first patient that he had encountered with this devastating disease. He assisted us with finding a LLMD in Springfield Missouri. He told him that we were on a waiting list to see a LLMD in Wisconsin. He also told him of the symptoms I was having. The doctor said, “Send them my way.”
So off we went. We flew to Missouri to see this new doctor. The test results from Igenex were shipped to Missouri. It did not come out CDC positive. The doctor did know from his experience with many patients, that my condition was the results of Lyme so he treated me. More test, more medication.Following seven weeks of the doctor’s regime, I was walking without a cane. I was so happy. It was perfect timing because I was able to walk down the aisle for my brother’s wedding. For once things where looking up.
Within a few weeks I had become so weak I slept all the time. It was challenging for me to get up. It was problematical to make it to class for a few hours. I woke up one morning with a strange feeling. I tried screaming out to my mom, I knew something was wrong. I couldn’t feel my legs at all I was paralyzed from the waist down. I couldn’t get a hold of my mother, so I called her best friend Ginny. She rushed over right away. By the time my mother got home she couldn’t believe what was happening. Mom called the doctor in Missouri and she explained what was going on. He told us to discontinue the medication and come to Missouri. He stated that I needed a pic-line (which is an IV; that is placed in a vein which infuses medication). The circumstances in our lives would not allow a major move in our lives. Our search was on to try and find a doctor in Wisconsin that could help us out, by following the protocol from the out of state Doctor so we didn’t have to move.
At this time I was sitting in a wheelchair paralyzed from the waist down. I lost all use of my bladder and was wearing pull-ups. Again the doctors we saw would not help. The more days that went by the more the numbness kept creeping up. We went all over asking for someone to help us. But all of them looked at me and said, “Nope sorry” or “I think you need to see a counselor.” At this point I wasn’t stressed just more angry that the fact no one would help me.
My bedroom was in the basement it wasn’t the best thing for this type of situations. For weeks my parents would lift me on their backs and carry me up the stairs to the car. We figured the best thing for us to do was to move me upstairs. Well, the only door the wheelchair would fit through was the living room. So, for about three months I was living in our living room upstairs. I went to school in a wheelchair I was so tired it was even difficult to push myself through the hallways. Most of my classes usually lasted for an hour and a half. Every day when I got home I would go right to bed. From the drive and sitting in class my body would just give out. I needed to relax and sleep.
Things started to get even worse as time went on. There were times that I would be listening to my mother and she would ask me a question. I was physically not able to answer her. My mother knew something was going on when tears would roll down my cheeks. A couple of other times I would start breathing heavily then I couldn’t catch my breath, sometimes I would stop breathing. I would have severe chest pain. My mother wondered some nights if her daughter was even going to make it through the night.
Appointment after appointment seemed like a waste of money. When the doctor comes in and keeps looking at the clock you know it’s going to be a waste of time. It seems like you are just another number on their list. I had a Neurologist poke me with needles and I never flinched.Get this, at the end of the appointment his diagnoses was that I had a high pain tolerance and nothing physically was wrong with me. We figured that was his way of saying he didn’t want to deal with us. That made us more aggravated.
Six months had gone by and we finally had our appointment at Fox Valley Wellness Center. My aunts came along with us for moral support. The first time I met Dr. Meress I knew he was my angel. The moment he walked in I had a feeling he was different. With a smile on his face he walked right over to me, gave me a hug then said, “Hello my name is Dr. Meress I’m telling you that this is not in your head and I’m going to help you.” My mother and I broke down in tears. He walked around and gave everyone a welcomed hug. Right then and there I felt like I was finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. He did more blood work and tests than we ever saw any other doctor do. We felt confident that this was a doctor we could trust. About a week later, I received the best phone call I have ever had. They told me that my test results came back CDC Positive for Lyme disease. We were thankful that we finally got a positive diagnosis for my disease, which everyone would now understand. He started me on treatment right away. I was diagnosed with heavy metals in my body along with Lyme disease and co-infections. I was put on a healthy diet to bring my immune system up. I also had to do shots of vitamin B with many pro-bio-tics and antibiotics.
Two weeks went by and things just where not getting better. It seemed like it was getting worse. It became harder to breath and now my left arm was starting to go numb. We called Dr. Meress and he sent us to the emergency room to make sure nothing else was going on. When we arrived at the emergency room we told them I was CDC positive for Lyme. I had the same neurologist that I had seen previously. He called to verify that I was CDC positive. He came back and said “you must have just gotten Lyme.” “Unbelievable “all the test and doctoring we had been doing with her with these same symptoms … that was his response. Our next question was what can you do for her? The two Doctors in the room showed me there little black book they said “28 days of doxycycline or amoxicillin that's all I am allowed to do.”
We Left and we got another appointment right away with Dr. Meress. We listened to him explain that I may get worse before I get better. It’s like taking three steps forward and two steps back. We listened to Dr. Meress and he listened to us he explained how I needed to get on the pic-line.My Lyme was moving fast and we needed to get it under control. It was nice having a doctor sit there listen and explain to us never looking at the clock or sending me away. We saw him every few weeks then after three months being on the pic-line I was to be re-examined.I was on the pic-line for nine months. We were able to call with our concerns if any at any time. He had me on a regime of antibiotics and many pro-bio-tics to get my system back to normal. After six days on my pic line the feeling in my legs had returned. But as the doctor said take three steps forward and two steps back. I sure did. Every day for a week I would wake up thinking it was a Sunday. My family had me write a journal so I could remember what happen the day before.
I am now twenty-one years old and still see my LLMD Dr. Steven G. Meress MD, FACPand Dr. Borden, (ND) Naturopathic Doctor,four times a year. Sometimes I do have issues but nothing as serious as it used to be. I can finally finish college and live my life the way life was intended. It feels great to have no pain and not be confined to a wheelchair. I still have to watch my diet and immune system.
Looking back at all the things the doctors did to me actually hurt me in the long run. Surgery lower’s your immune system. Also every visit I made to the hospital I was put on an IV (sugar water) which Lyme feeds off of. The alternative to making me better or finding the correct diagnosis was leading me to a path of destruction and possibly my death bed.
If it was not for the help of Doctor Meress, Dr. Borden and Staff at Fox Valley Wellness, I wouldn’t be here today!
God Bless you, thank you for your love and kindness.You are my Guardian Angels! Because of you I have a second chance at life.
I Love You
I'm healthy. What a novel concept! At eighteen, I decided 'not bedridden' was all that I could reasonably hope for from life.
I was infected with Lyme when I was thirteen, back in the summer of 2000, during camp in north-western Wisconsin. I never saw a rash; never saw a tick. I thought I had the flu, or mono. I couldn't get out of bed in the morning and couldn't sleep at night. My shoulders were in constant pain, and everything else ached. I swore I had a fever when the thermometer said my temperature was only 97.6. I had a headache that lasted two years.
Those were just the symptoms I remember. The first five years of my Lyme Disease area a blur. I'm really glad I can't recall most of it. Doctors said horrible, horrible things about me and my mother. I was disbelieved, earmarked as a pain-pill addict, and written off as crazy.
All of these supposedly super intelligent people with doctorates were telling me that there was something wrong in my head; that my pain was merely 'psychosomatic'; that I was depressed. I believed them. After all, who can we trust if not our doctors?
The medical system beat me down and drugged me up and made me a brittle, too-sensitive shell of the person I was supposed to be. Misdiagnosis followed misdiagnosis. I shudder to think where I would be now if not for my mother and Dr. Meress. They never gave up on me, even when I had already given up on myself.
Around 2003-2004 I accepted I had Lyme Disease, though it took some serious convincing and positive blood tests to sway me...I was a skeptic through and through. I did a couple of PICC lines with a LLMD on the east coast, to no great long-term results. The antibiotics took a huge toll on my body, and I vowed to wait until medical science advanced before I tried again.
Somehow my mom found Dr. Meress in 2005 or 2006. Now, not to excuse my behavior, but I was eighteen, more than a little stubborn, and couldn't let go of the thought that pharmaceuticals were the ONLY option. In short, I was a close-minded and teenager-ish.
I've always liked Dr. Meress personally, but I couldn't shake the thought that herbal treatments and homeopathy was some sort of voodoo. I sorta/kinda took the things he suggested for me, but my heart wasn't in it, and if I could avoid doing something, you better believe I did.
I can laugh now at my ignorance and immaturity, but it's a little bittersweet. If I had followed Dr. Meress' directions from the very beginning, I could have saved myself years of pain. At the end of 2009 (!) I had a conversation with myself and FINALLY grew up: "Leah, you know Dr. Meress is really smart. Why are you fighting him? Maybe you should just give this whole thing an honest shot. What do you have to lose? You're not healthy, your not happy. Things aren't going to fix themselves."
So I did it. No excuses, no 'forgetting' to take my supplements. And guess what? I started feeling better! It didn't happen overnight. It was gradual and it took A LOT of self-affirmations. But when I stuck to the individualized treatment plan that Dr. Meress provided for me, I made real, tangible progress. It wasn't easy, and it wasn't always fun, but it worked. After eleven years of Lyme Disease ruling my life, I was finally in charge of my own body.
I can't forget Dr. Brian Borden's part in all of this! I really feel like Dr. Meress was able to make more informed decisions after I started seeing Dr. Borden. Together they shortened the time it took for me to heal. The CBRS is truly an invaluable resource. Dr. Borden is obviously well-schooled and extremely knowledgeable. It's fascinating to see what's going on in your body so minutely.
Kim Wildner's hypnosis has also been hugely helpful, calming my mind and helping me curb my addition to cigarettes. She taught me how to control my breathing, and I feel so peaceful after an appointment with her. My only regret is not living close enough to see her more often.
I recently started seeing Dr. Abfall as well, and while I've only been a patient of hers for a short time, I have learned so much. My time with her taught me all about nutrition (REAL nutrition, not the food pyramid stuff), detoxing and general good lifestyle habits to develop. Sometimes she says things I don't want to hear (Sugar is...bad for me?), but that I NEED to hear. Dr. Abfall's advice is always spot on and coming from a place of deep understanding of the human body.
A big huge thank you to all of the staff throughout the years at Fox Valley Wellness! You all have made me feel comfortable and heard. After being ignored and belittled for so long, it was a breath of fresh air working with you lovely ladies.
Thank you Dr. Meress, for not divorcing me as a patient like you should have. Thank you for listening to me without making assumptions and providing me with the correct tools to achieve my optimum level of health.
Thank you for understanding that there is no easy fix, for not being afraid to switch things up if they aren't working as desired, and being willing to develop a long-term relationship with me. Thank you for keeping up with the cutting edge in Lyme Disease research, for applying that knowledge liberally, and sharing what you've learned with me.
Thank you for making an appointment as long as it needs to be so everything gets addressed. (Note to anybody considering Fox Valley Wellness: Dr. Meress DOES run late sometimes, but understand it is because he wants to help everybody in his care to the best of his ability. It's seriously a good thing.)
Most of all, Dr. Meress, thank you for being you. You have a difficult job and I don't think many could pull it off with the grace, energy, and wisdom that you do. I couldn't have made it this far without you and I will always credit you as being the catalyst and brains behind my now wonderful health. A million thank you's can't describe what you've managed to help me accomplish in my life. You guided a sickly, suicidal girl on the path to health. You didn't simply give me a fish; you taught me how to fish.
I just want to thank allof you for the past 5 weeks. I fell like the Wellness Center was my second home during our course of [hyperbaric oxygen] treatment with [3-year old] Sylvia. All of you made it easy to get up and come there. Knowing I had a long day ahead of me with Sylvia. The extra help you gave me with her made it less stressful for me, and your every day smiles with her always reassured me that I made the right decision to try this way.
You have a beautiful, comfortabe, and very professionally run center. As a mom, it helped me in being gone away from my family for so many days. All of your staff was wonderful.
First and foremost I must say There isn’t a Thank You or any other word that can describe how much Dr.Meress, Dr. Borden, Dr. Abfall, and the Fox Valley Wellness staff has helped me through to become a fully healthy person. My story/reality: I was misdiagnosed for 5 years. I started out having a lot of pain for no reason. Shoulders, feet, ankles, hands, knees, hips. I was absolutely miserable. I had a very active lifestyle and just thought it was always my own error of pushing too hard, I didn’t know any better. I was a healthy person, I didn’t even have a family doctor. I finally got a referral from my chiropractor to a rheumatologist after seeing a few podiatrists. After the second visit I was told the news of ”you have rheumatoid arthritis.” All I could think was what does that mean, why me? Can a 24 year old even get rheumatoid arthritis? It was a complete shock. I completely engulfed myself in this, night and day, worked out harder, stretched more, did as much research as possible, and took joint supplements. My husband joined my appointments and we were stern there was no way I was taking prescription drugs. It simply wasn’t going to happen; I read all the side effects and knew the road I was going down. I couldn’t take just one Dr’s word for it, so I saw specialist in the big cities, hoping anyone would say I have anything different but RA. All my tests came back negative for RA, but they all said looking at my symptoms, that it appeared to be rheumatoid arthritis. After locally going thru 3 rheumatologists. I was passed onto many various specialists. Against our better judgment I started taking the prescriptions the Dr’s were recommending, one prescription became two and two became four. Soon I found myself with a list of sixteen prescriptions. Steroids, Immune suppressants, pain killers, some of them helped take the edge off but nothing was fixing me or making me feel better. Many made me feel worse I additionally got GERD from some of these prescriptions, and was put on a few more medications for that. Every time I went in with a “flare” of symptoms or regular appointment they started me on a new prescription or a stronger one because they were lost on what to do with me. I could fill so many grocery bags full of prescriptions barely used. Wasted money, time, and my life. I can’t even count how many times I did physical therapy and there was very little temporary relief. If that was not enough I was told I also had fibromyalgia. I lost all my faith in my Dr’s. I started getting severe stomach pains. There was no luck there, just more expensive long tests with no results. I kept up eating healthy and continue exercising. That helped a lot! I stayed positive even through rough times. I was in denial of how sick I actually was for a long time. I didn’t realize how bad I got because I just took one day at a time. Anything I could do to get through that day.
When I started to get better with the Fox Valley Wellness Clinic, it hit on how sick I really was. I was missing out in life more than I knew. It was a rough road getting better but I knew in the end on how thankful I would be. There was much worse I had to go through being sick with lymes and its co-infections that I knew I could get through any treatment. I was so excited about feeling better; I had to wait 2 months to see Dr. Meress, well worth it! (2.5 hour drive one way) I purchased the dvd “Under Our Skin” and felt like I could be on the video. I knew I was in the right place at FVW. They treated me, with great compassion. Finally someone was listening to me rather than telling me to take more medications. Sure, there were a few medications I still had to take but they were short term, the previous medications I was on I was told would be for the rest of my life. My symptoms slowly got better and better, I could get out of bed without being exhausted. There sure were days I felt I couldn’t work. That’s part of recovery, I had both good and bad days. But I pushed through because I had to. My new goal is to start a new life but pain free and no obstacles. I don’t have RA, fibromyalgia, GERD, lymes and such co-infections! I get to make a new name for me, maybe Amber the athlete. I am no longer the girl who looks just fine but was always sick. That’s a great feeling! I am very thankful for what Dr. Meress’ office does. It is an amazing place to be a little apart of. They save people’s lives in so many, many ways.
In Great Health, Amber 2012 J