|Pictured are Diane O'Hern and her husband, Kevin, of rural Pequot Lakes. Diane suffered from severe fibromyalgia before discovering a treatment that worked for her.|
A chance connection with a childhood friend introduced area resident Diane O'Hern to a medical treatment that would give her relief from severe fibromyalgia.
O'Hern had been suffering from fibromyalgia for at least three years along with a bewildering array of symptoms including painful body aches, extreme dizziness, shooting pains, pain in her lower back, neck and shoulder, visual disturbances like "floaties" and flashing lights, heightened sensitivity to touch and more.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), people affected with fibromyalgia suffer from long-term widespread pain in joints, muscles, tendons and tissues.
While the exact cause of the disease is unknown, triggers for fibromyalgia may include traumatic injury or stress.
O'Hern had a number of injuries including falling off a horse, a serious fall on the ice and a broken shoulder.
She'd had chronic headaches, dizziness and body aches before, but an experience in Texas prompted her to seek medical help.
At the end of February 2007 her symptoms reached an intensity that she could not ignore.
|Jax (lying) and Echo are the O'Hern's Siberian Huskies. Now that she's feeling healthy, Diane can better enjoy time with them.|
Diane and her husband, Kevin, took a trip to Texas. During that trip she had several episodes of severe vertigo. "I felt so dizzy I thought I was going to die," she recalls. Back in Minnesota she made many ensuing visits in the next three years to a medical doctor, neurologist and sleep doctor trying to find what was wrong with her.
She had blood tests, a MRI, CAT scans and was tested for a variety of diseases.
Doctors thought she might have a brain tumor or Multiple Sclerosis at one point.
"It was a very scary process, but it was a process of elimination," she said. "Not knowing is the worse thing."
O'Hern said she was dead tired all day long and didn't have energy other than dragging herself to work in the morning and struggling to get through the day.
She was fortunate to work for her father, Jerry Atwater, at Universal Templates in Pine River, because he understood and was supportive as she struggled with her health, Diane recalls.
She tried prescription Lyrica and Gabapentin but suffered from side effects and didn't want pain medicine to interfere with her work.
She felt overwhelmed by pills - muscle relaxants, pain and sleep medicines - as well as frustrated at second-guessing herself, feeling depressed, wondering if she was going crazy and trying to deal with an array of bizarre symptoms.
O'Hern had a Facebook contact and childhood friend, who she had not talked to for 25 years, since they attended high school together in Buena Park, California.
O'Hern recalls that she had seen former classmate Faith Leuschen on Facebook and knew she was a chiropractor, because of her posts.
Diane had been doing considerable Internet research trying to find a way to lessen her fibromyalgia and on a whim decided to email Leuschen for advice.
Leuschen returned O'Hern's questions with a phone call and offered Diane free treatment in her clinic Total Body Balance, in Manhattan Beach, California.
It turns out Leuschen had suffered from fibromyalgia herself and found relief through a Neurological Relief Center Technique™ (NRCT).
Leuschen incorporated NRCT into her own chiropractic practice and become a master trainer in the procedure.
After some convincing, Diane decided to give it a try. In May of 2010, she and Kevin drove out to California, and he took a return flight back to Minnesota.
|The O'Herns share a home with Diane's parents Jerry and Gloria "Sam" Atwater. The Atwaters provided support as Diane struggled with more than three years of fibromyalgia pain and symptoms.|
Diane ended up spending 10 and a half weeks staying with Leuschen in her home and being treated at her clinic.
While some of her extended family was skeptical and Diane herself had doubts, after treatment she began to feel relief right away and felt better and better as time progressed.
NRCT is designed to relieve pressure in the meninges - a sheath surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
The Neurological Relief Center website includes disclaimers that the treatment may not work for everybody and that the testimonies on their website - including Diane's - are atypical.
Diane agrees that no treatment will work for everybody, but advocates that sufferers of neurological diseases at least try the free NRCT testing and find a local chiropractor to provide it.
Initially she had treatments three times a day, five days a week and eventually tapered off to treatment once a week.
O'Hern describes the technique as "working with what God gave you and putting it back into place."
After having a headache for more than three years O'Hern was crying over the relief she felt.
"It was amazing when I didn't have a headache; I was literally in tears when I didn't have a headache," she recalls.
After returning home to her husband, Siberian Husky Jax, and her parents, Jerry and Gloria "Sam" Atwater, rural Pequot Lakes, Diane felt like a new person.
"I feel amazing," she said of the improvement in her pain level and other diminishing symptoms. While she still has fibromyalgia, her pain is minimal compared to what it was. She no longer needs muscle relaxants, pain medicine or sleep aids.
Now her mission is to find a chiropractor locally who will learn the technique. Currently she drives to visit (a doctor) Dr. Paul Shogren, Med Plus Health Care, in Moorhead, some 100 miles away.
O'Hern said she'd be thrilled to find a practitioner locally and wants others suffering from neurological conditions to be tested to see if NRCT would work for them.
"I want people to feel better," she said. "People are too incredible not to live life, not to get their life back," she said. "It's the best thing I've ever done, and I want people to know there's hope there."
Aside from providing a brief testimonial on the Neurological Relief Center website, Diane was filmed for a spot on a segment to promote NRCT that is slated to appear on TV.