fyi- bit of a support backlog due to health issues..

Discussion in 'APUG System Announcements' started by Sean, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,914
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi All,

    I have kept this to myself for over a month but it has affected my job performance a great deal so members have a right to know what's been going on. Many know I have a bad back over the years that has put me out of commission at times, in the past it would be 2 weeks here, 2 weeks there every year or so. I would have an episode and eventually it would mend and I would be fine for a while. Around a month and a half ago I started waking up around 4am with horrible back pain in my thoracic spine, I relied on pain killers for a couple weeks and saw no improvement. In desperation I tried a new bed well known for back support and still no difference. It was much different to any previous back pain I've experienced so I began the long process of doctors, specialists and tests. Several days ago a thorough bone scan of my thoracic area has clearly shown "severe" osteoarthritis of the spine. I have an MRI in two weeks and follow up with the specialist on may3rd but their outlook is the MRI will not change the diagnosis only highlight specific disc issues and such that could be adding to the mix. I saw my GP yesterday for an hour long chat about the bone scan report and visuals and he stated it's bad and the long term prognosis is bad -not exactly what I wanted to hear. It's not all doom and gloom but life as I know it has now changed dramatically. I went from excited to take tests which were going to help me fix the pain, to being told it's not going anywhere and could become far worse. So, it's a lot to come to terms with to say the least since I'm only 36yrs old. I'm researching as much as possible and have started taking various supplements known to reduce symptoms as well as inversion therapy several times a day, gentle swimming at a local lap pool etc. I've been taken off addictive drugs as my GP says it's time to think long term. It's been difficult to sit at the computer for long periods the last few weeks, the drugs and pain has affected my concentration and motivation, things have slipped. I will start getting back into things very soon and wanted to apologize to those having delays in support or feeling a sense that I am absent.

    I would also like to hear from any members suffering from this disease so have started a social group where we can meet: http://www.apug.org/forums/groups/arthritis.html

    Trying to keep my chin up. As always thanks for your support,
    Sean
     
  2. photomem

    photomem Member

    Messages:
    625
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Sean,

    I am in the beginning stages of spinal arthritis. It is because of a genetic problem that I inherited from my mother where the cartilage pads in my joints damage easily and do not repair themselves very quickly. So, I completely understand what is going on. Just take care of yourself.
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    17,922
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Wow. Sorry to hear this, Sean. As far as the forum goes, we'll do what we can to try to lighten the load a bit.
     
  4. johnnywalker

    johnnywalker Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,257
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2002
    Location:
    British Colu
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm very sorry to hear this Sean. What a kick in the rear. I wish I had something positive to offer besides to state the fact you have a lot of friends, most of whom you've never met, who I'm sure will do what they can.
     
  5. samcomet

    samcomet Subscriber

    Messages:
    210
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney, Aust
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Sean - Firstly let me express my best wishes to you in hopes that at some point a profound or radical new way of approaching osteo suddenly rears it head and to also express my deepest sympathies to you for what will most likely be a difficult period for you.

    I would like to point you in a direction that I heard about from an iTunes Podcast sub that I have. This think tank called TED (http://www.ted.com/talks/browse) had the guy from a mob called PatientsLikeMe (http://www.patientslikeme.com/) give a talk about responses to his brother's ALS when first diagnosed. As there was no real collective analysis of treatments commonly available, the brother started PatientLikeMe to try a "clearing house" way of looking at various treatments for various maladies and their efficacies. According to the talk he gave he has been successful in showing how some treatments WILL work and some won't for some problems based on statistics from patients themselves. It cannot hurt to have a look see at his talk (http://www.ted.com/speakers/jamie_heywood.html). I noticed that there was NOT a network for osteo but I noticed that one can "start" a group if one so desires.......

    I sincerely hope that you might find something there that may give you pause for hope with perhaps a light at the end of the proverbial. In the mean time good luck and thanks for all the good work at APUG!!!!
    cheers,
    sam
     
  6. Laurent

    Laurent Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,254
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Location:
    France
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sorry to hear about this , Sean ! I don't have much to offer apart sympathy, but my thoughts are with you.

    Several people in my family suffer from similar affections, and I think I understand how tough it can be.

    Good luck for the future
    All the best
    Laurent
     
  7. Mats_A

    Mats_A Member

    Messages:
    571
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Location:
    Finland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Bummer!
    Not much one can say.
    My sympathy goes out to you.

    r

    Mats
     
  8. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

    Messages:
    2,951
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2004
    Location:
    South Bend,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sean, you will be in a lot of people's prayers.
     
  9. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,120
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My sincere sympathy s and best wishes to you and your family Sean, there's more than forty thousand APUGGers out here rooting for you from all over the World.
     
  10. RH Designs

    RH Designs Advertiser

    Messages:
    657
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Yorkshire Da
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I second that. Best wishes Sean.
     
  11. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

    Messages:
    1,565
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Location:
    Thunder Bay,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I third that. We'll all be thinkin about ya. Best of luck.
     
  12. Síle

    Síle Member

    Messages:
    1,080
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2006
    Location:
    Wicklow, Ire
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm so sorry to hear that Sean. I know from a friend how difficult it can be.
    You do have a lot of friends out here who are willing to help at the drop of a hat.. So look after yourself..
     
  13. coigach

    coigach Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,544
    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Inverness-sh
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hope things work out Sean, best wishes.

    Cheers,
    Gavin
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. eddym

    eddym Member

    Messages:
    1,927
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Dang Sean, that totally sucks (I have cleaned up the expletives for the forum). You are way too young to have to suffer from this. My downhill slide started when I was 50, and now almost 10 years later, I have osteo in my neck, back, and knees. Mine is manageable, but the side effects from the anti-inflammatories have already caused me to cut back to just Tylenol, which is not nearly as effective. My wife is 58 and has degenerative osteo in her hands.
    I hope your doctors can provide you with enough relief to make it bearable. Is surgery an option?
    Anyway, best wishes to you, and many thanks for providing us with this great forum. Take care of yourself.
     
  16. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

    Messages:
    1,890
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Location:
    Blue Ridge,
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Sean: my thoughts are with you.
    Dan
     
  17. munz6869

    munz6869 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,156
    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Location:
    Hawthorn, Vi
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Yeah - absolute best wishes Sean!!

    Marc
     
  18. arigram

    arigram Member

    Messages:
    5,474
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Location:
    Crete, Greec
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I'll wait until the second day of April to better analyze the situation.
    I sure hope its today's joke.
     
  19. dlin

    dlin Member

    Messages:
    2,627
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2003
    Location:
    Indiana
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sean, I'm very sorry to hear of your health problems. Nothing should take precedence over regaining your health and caring for your family. You have a world wide community cheering for your recovery and eager to help out in any way possible.

    Best wishes,
    Daniel
     
  20. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,329
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    Location:
    Calgary AB,
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Geez buddy!! My heart and prayers go out to you and your family as I am sure they are suffering right along with you.
     
  21. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,311
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    hi sean

    i am so sorry to hear of your situation.
    my thoughts and prayers are with you for a speedy recovery!

    john
     
  22. hspluta

    hspluta Member

    Messages:
    73
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago Area
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Sean,

    I have been dealing with Osteo for many years in my knees and now my hands. All I can tell you is there will be good days and days that suck. I hope that the good days far outnumber the others.

    Best regards,
    harry
     
  23. wfe

    wfe Member

    Messages:
    1,284
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Location:
    Coatesville,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sorry to haer this Sean, hopefully you'll find some way to handle it all with little quality of life decline. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.
     
  24. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,914
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks everyone, all the comments mean a lot to me. Getting this at 36 is terrible but at least I am young and living in an era of rapid medical breakthroughs and discoveries. I'm hopeful better treatments and breakthrough technologies will emerge over the next 10yrs. I will try to focus on that and treat this as a temporary glitch in my lifetime. There is a wealth of info out there regarding supplements and their benefits, several which have independent evidence based studies or double blind trials behind them for example Pycnogenol which is a bark extract.. those taking 100mg a day for three months showed improvement in symptoms of 56%. Some studies show benefits of glucosamine, chondritin and MSM, omega oils, colostrum, hyaluronic acid, selenium, boron, etc. I have been taking a lot of these and doing the inversion table therapy 3 times daily plus a heat pack seems to help too. Of course there is no shortage of snake oil salesmen out there so I rarely touch anything with only anecdotal evidence behind it.
     
  25. wfe

    wfe Member

    Messages:
    1,284
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Location:
    Coatesville,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sean,
    I've been struggling with a persistent condition of chronic pain for about three months now. A few doctors have abandoned me and I'm now in the care of a homeopathic physician. I've made numerous dietary changes and about to dive into the "Eat for your Type" diet which is all about eating based on your blood type. http://www.dadamo.com/ I've heard wonderful stories of recovery with people who have done this. Don't know if it might help you but probably can't hurt.
     
  26. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

    Messages:
    2,410
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My sympathies Sean. Must have been a shock to discover. However there are real, positive stories about living with this condition. Another friend of mine has managed his severe osteoarthritis in back and legs for nearly 20yrs I known him. He opened a new restaurant a few years ago and had two young children. Doing very well. So for him it could be managed.
    Will ring you over next cpl days.