Sean, I can't give any medical advice, but hang in there and learn how to deal with this unwelcome new aspect to your life. At least you know what's wrong and how to get along with making life easier in the long run.
In your work here on APUG, I have come to respect your work ethic and hard work quite a bit. I'm sure you will find a way to cope with this difficulty also.
Good luck! You're in my thoughts.
"Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank
"Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh
Thanks again guys. I have data back from the MRI but have to wait till the 3rd for the specialist appt. Since it was on a CD I had a look and do see a couple disc problems (as far as I can decipher nothing drastic), looks like I can see the facet joints having issues as described in the bone scan, it is likely the arthritis degeneration and them rubbing together causing most of the pain. I am focusing on regeneration of my discs via supplementation, inversion therapy and moderate exercise. Fatter discs = more space between my facet joints = less rubbing of them. I have seen a lot of people/doctors state that discs cannot be repaired or regenerated but having done more research I see things like this which give me a lot of hope:
The above is an active 50yr old who was studied for 2yrs on a supplementation of glucosamine, chondroiton & manganese + exercise. Unfortunately the sample of 1 individual cannot 'prove' this supplementation helped, but the scans are imo staggering for the mere fact he essentially was able to regenerate his disc health. His first scan seems similar to mine and to see that massive improvement 2yrs later is encouraging.
This is definitely a tricky thing to manage. 4 days ago I had 2 fairly pain free days and was over the moon about it, but then 2 very bad days following that. I think I know what I did wrong and today am feeling a little better again. It is disappointing that the majority of my life seems to have become managing this, but hopefully it is because it is still early days and I am learning. I sure did take my health for granted before this, never truly understanding what some folks go through every day (Ed, Curt and some others here are heroes in a sense for fighting multiple issues that make my problems look like a walk in the park). I used to think people with arthritis were just stiff and only sore when they moved, no idea that it is often a constant unsettling and relentless pain. I'm out of the depressing stage of this and now determined to make my MRI resemble the one above over the next 2yrs..
My sister has sever Rhumatoid Arthritis and they just found something that is working for her now. I will see if I can get the name from her and forward that to you. It took them a while to figure out whatever it is that they came up with, but she can get up out of a chair now and isn't in constant pain any more. She has her not so bad days and her bad days but everything is a lot better for her than it was. Keep a good attitude as she says that helps a lot - difficult to do sometimes, but it makes a difference. She is just a couple years older than you at 40 and has been dealing with this since about the same age as you are. I hope you don't have to go 4 years before they find out how to help you. Don't hesitate to look into alternative medicine as well as modern chiropractics; sis says they have both helped a lot too. Good luck.
Hi All, just an update. I have the general osteoarthritis issues and disc issues T4-T11 mainly more wear and tear than should be there.. loss of disc height and hydration but no surgery needed. When it comes to these things I am now a firm believer that doctors don't have all the answers. I was in horrible pain for 2 months and told I would have to learn to live with it. Luckily I refused to accept this and did my own research. After a great deal of effort I am now a lot better, I would say 65-70% improvement. I still have to take it easy (not lift things and get over worked) but the chronic pain is mostly gone and I'll take it easy in exchange for that any day! For those curious, this is exactly what has worked for me and I feel has given me my life back (in no particular order):
-dietary changes, less fats, less gluten, more fruits and veges, LOTS of water
supplementation routine (beware of snake oil.. do the research)
--omega 3 oil 3x a day, I can literally start to get sore if I miss one dose
--3 gms daily Genacol type2 collagen, this is truly truly incredible stuff. It took about 5 weeks to fully kick in and just like the arthritis studies of collagen supplementation have shown big success for others, I have had tremendous success with this supplement. It is up there with miracle cure in my opinion. Several of my facet joints are no longer aching, grinding and what felt like arthritis starting in my hips and knees has vanished as well. Lisa says my skin has completely transformed, like It's 10yrs younger.. so amazed she started taking the supplement herself. If anyone here has arthritis I urge you to try it for a couple months. 1.5gms in the morning 30mins before breakfast, and 1.5gms before bed (ensure empty stomach for 3hrs prior).
--Calcium + vitD
--Glucosamine/Chondroiton but does not seem near as affective as the collagen
--I was on about 7 other supplements but slowly stopped taking them and it made no difference. If any of my regimen above is missed however I feel issues starting to come back.
-swimming, I have given up running, cycling, rowing, weightlifting and any load bearing exercise. I now swim at a nearby lap pool every other day for about 1hr a session. I enjoy it and feel great afterward. It took me a while to build up to an hour at a time. A big fan of swimming now, what a workout and there is no gravity impact on joints.
-inversion therapy 15-30mins 2x a day, an inversion table is a contraption that allows me to hang upside down. It decompresses the spine, re-aligns the spine and helps hydrate the discs. It has literally cured my upper back woes after 4 weeks of use. It has helped my mid back too but nothing like my upper back.. maybe my mid back will take more time or is as good as it can get.
-days between swimming a short walk is about all I can muster
-very hot soaks for 20mins or so between swim days as well seem to help
So, that's all for now.. fingers crossed I can either maintain the current state of things or even improve it. Doctors have their uses but don't let them have the final say on YOUR life. There are also some new treatments in clinical trials and recent breakthroughs in osteoarthritis. In much better spirits
Glad to hear things are looking up, Sean!
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Sean- wow- that's amazing news. Really great!
Great news, Sean.
Great news Sean, and thanks for the info on what's helped you get well -- I may be looking into a few of those supplements as well.
My favorite thing is to go where I've never been. D. Arbus
Originally Posted by Sean
Sorry to hear about your news - I know from not a not too distant 2 year long experience of the New Zealand health system how the result of a scan can flip your expectations on their head in no time at all ...
Upon reflection though I think the day I got my bad news (stage 3 cancer at 30years) was one and the same as the same day that I started to get better, in my head at least - admittedly it didn't seem that way at the time.
Your line that I quote above takes me back to a time I recall where everybody along with well wishes would bring along a pamphlet, link, phone number or bottle of pills - some I retained just for the keepsake, the most memorable being a trifold A4 photocopy titled 'delicious blended foods' (the assumption which almost came true was that I wouldn't be able to keep any solids down with the chemo).
I don't know anything about osteoarthritis but I wouldn't be surprised if there were just as much info re. treatment/'alt' treatment as cancer (there is a large large grey area between 'alt' and traditional such as to use inverted commas). Anyways, the ol' chestnut of 'to be forewarned is to be forearmed' is a double-edged sword in that there is simply too much info out there, some of it contradictory... Long way round of saying trust your instincts, you're the one in your body and you are your own best diagnostic tool - not always but sometimes Dr's and your friends need to be reminded of that
I think starting a group as you have is probably the best thing you could have done, be a voice ! I recall noting some getting sucked into fitting into the stereotype of a victim - the stereotypical scarf around the head, puking, pale and skinny 'hero' staring out at the ocean on the front of a black and white photo essay book filled with even more contradictory/sententious tripe... Heh heh - ouch ! where did that come from ? :o I think my post here is talking to me much more than you now, so I'll leave it at that.
But take care Sean - ya might recall I'm in the hood (just down the Rd in Milford at the mo') and currently unemployed every other day so if there is anything I can do, especially photo wise feel free to get in touch. I'm working on the Opera, possible I have a couple of spare tickets, ha ha, sounds like you're a real charity case - far from it, I'm sure... But honestly those Aotea centre seats (and most Opera) give ME a pain in the back - offer is there however.
Edit: Oh hey! I didn't see this thread went onto another page and your update there - ha ha, sounds like you're way onto it - good one
Cleared the bowel problem, working on the consonants...
Thanks for the comments guys. Nick, thanks for sharing that story and offering any help. How are you these days? Feel free to PM me.