Date: April 1, 2005 From: John E. Redfearn III, CFP
Read John's letter here in PDF format.
Date: Thu, 22 May 2003
From: kim p
Subject: Fwd: My Story of Fibromyalia
MY STORY OF FIBROMYALGIA
Let me introduce myself and tell you about my life during the last 5 years. My name is Kim P. I am 32 years old. I am the mother of a 2 year old girl. My husband and I have been married almost 10 years. During those 10 years I have worked as a hairdresser at a local salon, working 8 to 10 hours a day, Tuesday through Friday. I would like to share with you how my life went from normal to a life of pain, depression and exhaustion. The names of the doctors have been changed, but all of the events are true.
On January 28, 1998, my husband and I were getting ready to have a Super Bowl Party. I cleaned and scrubbed the house until I started experiencing pain in my right arm. The pain ran down my arm and made my last two fingers go numb.
The next morning I went to County Quick Care to see if I had by chance seriously injured myself. Wouldn't that have been a great excuse to never clean house again? The doctor prescribed one round of prednisone because my arm was beginning to swell and the pain was constant. I was told to return if the pain did not subside.
After two weeks the swelling in my arm went down but the pain was still there. The pain was always worse after I had worked all day, to the point where I couldn't use my right arm to drive home. I returned to the doctor and he suggested I see an orthopedic specialist. In the meantime, I was prescribed another round of prednisone.
By the time I was able to see Dr. H., the orthopedic specialist, it was February 9 and the pain had continued to be bothersome. I only experienced numbness on occasion at this point.
Dr. H. examined me and determined the pain was actually coming from my neck and radiating down my arm. He thought it could also be a pinched nerve making my fingers go numb. He ordered x-rays done on my neck and upper back. The x-rays revealed a possible bulging or herniated disc in my neck. In order to determine if the diagnosis was correct an MRI was done on February 16, 1998.
The results of the MRI found there were three bulging discs in my neck and one herniated disc. Dr. H. felt I should also see a neurologist to determine if there was any nerve damage.
It was now March 2, 1998 and Dr. T., a neurologist, examined me and believed there was a possibility that damage had been done because of the numbness in my fingers. He ordered an EEG to determine the damage. The results found there was no damage. I was sent back to Dr. H.
At this point, I had increasing pain in my arm and right upper back and neck. The pain wouldn't ever go away no matter what type of pain killer or muscle relaxer I took. I was prescribed several different kinds. I woke up stiff and in pain but continued to work, never missing a day except for doctors appointments.
I had heard about the Pain Management Clinic through one of my clients. I asked Dr. H. if he thought that could help me. It seemed to me, at this point, Dr. H. didn't believe I could be in as much pain as I said I was. Reluctantly he referred me to the Pain Management Clinic and set up a time for me to go there. He also set up physical therapy for my neck and upper back. I started going to Pain Management on March 11.
While I was there, it was determined I had Fibromyalgia. Dr. G. of the Pain Management Clinic prescribed trigger-point injections to help the knotting in my muscles in my upper back and neck.
Physical therapy started about the same time as the Pain Clinic treatments did on March 12. I went to PT three times a week. I received moist-heat packs on my neck and back for 20 minutes then an ultra-sound massage on my right side of my shoulder and neck. I then did exercises to strengthen my neck. At this time the pain was hard to deal with. By the end of the work day I was completely exhausted. My right arm hurt so bad I couldn't do anything but go home and collapse. A customer of mine told me after all the pain I was experiencing, child birth would be a piece of cake, I later found that to be true.
PT didn't seem to be helping. The trigger-point injections seemed to help with the knotting of my muscles, but it kept coming back. Over the period of about 4 or 5 weeks, I had about 20 trigger-point injections.
Summer was beginning and the pain was not as bad, but whenever it rained or the weather changed the pain was greater. I was tired all the time and unable to do anything besides going to work, doctors appointments and PT. Household chores were very painful for me. Lifting scrubbing and even bending over to pick up things were so painful. I felt like I had the aches and pains of the flu all the time. My day would start at 7:30 to go to PT or Pain Clinic and then straight to work until 7:00 or 7:30. I was exhausted every day.
My husband was very supportive through it all, although he didn't understand why none of the doctors couldn't seem to help me. He has told me since that time, he didn't truly understand the depth of the pain I was in until he caught me on the bathroom floor crying. I was overwhelmed with every thing that was happening. Doctors were telling me I would have to quit working, and I would never be able to have children because I wouldn't be able to take care of them.
One morning after my trigger-point injections, I told a co-worker I wasn't sure how much more pain I could stand. She asked me if I needed another pain killer and by 11:00am I had reached the maximum dose for a 24 hour period. I called Dr G. and the Pain Clinic and asked if there was anything else he could give me for my pain. They told me to take Aleve. I felt that was a slap in the face. As I got off the phone, my friend asked if she could pick up my prescription for me. All I could do was cry and tell her there was nothing to pick up. I left work early that day. It's still hard speaking of the pain I experienced that day. I want to block it out completely like I tried to do with the pain.
I gave up on the pain management and PT. Neither was helping. During the summer of 1998 the pain was a little better because of the heat. I continued to work as best I could.
On my birthday in September 1998, I treated myself to a massage. I went to a local salon. Hoping to have less pain at least for one day.
On September 28, I went back to Dr. H. to get my muscle relaxer refilled. At that visit I told him of my concern that I had to take muscle relaxers every night as well as pain killers every day even though they only took the edge off the pain. In fact the medicines I was taking only helped me to mentally deal with the pain. I also told him Dr. G had diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia. Dr. H. in turn told me to never tell another doctor I had Fibromyalgia because there was no such proof that it existed. If anything it was a mental disorder more than a physical one.
On October 6, I decided to go back to the Pain Clinic and Dr. G. He was at least sympathetic and didn't believe I was crazy. Dr. G. suggested epidural therapy to help block the pain. It could take up to three epidural to block the pain completely. I received the first on October 13, 1998. I took 2 days off work to recover, but after 2 days the pain was back.
On November 3, I went to receive the second epidural because I didn't get any relief from the pain. Dr. G. felt I could possibly have some infection in my bone, so a bone scan was ordered before another epidural was done. The results were normal and the second epidural was done the next day. Unfortunately, I still couldn't see any improvement in the pain.
On November 19 I went to receive the final epidural. Dr. G. decided since I wasn't improving, we should go back to the trigger-point injections. I did receive some relief from them but only a short period of time. Through November and December I got more trigger-point injections and also went to PT. It was as if I was only postponing my fate.
On December 14, I went for my annual physical. I told the doctor what I had been going through the past year. At that time, I had 44 trigger-point injections, 2 epidural, not to mention the x-rays, MRI, EEG, bone scan and medications. She suggested I go to the M.Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. While examining me, she thought I had tendonitis in my right shoulder. She gave me a cortisone shot, and got me an appointment at Mayo in February, 1999. I felt like someone was finally going to do something about this.
At the M. Clinic, I saw Dr. C., a rheumatologist. He confirmed I had Fibromyalgia. He also believed most of my pain was coming from my shoulder. He said it could be a torn tendon in my rotator cuff. He wanted another MRI (this one of my shoulder) and more x-rays. He also wanted me to see Dr. M. an orthopedic doctor at the M. Clinic.
My husband and I went back to M. Clinic at the end of February. At this time I got the results of the x-rays and MRI. The tests confirmed Dr. C.ís diagnosis of the rotator cuff. Dr. M. agreed with Dr. C.'s diagnosis of the rotator cuff and Fibromyalgia. I finally felt I was on the right track and not just spinning my wheels.
Dr. M. ordered PT for my torn tendon on my rotator cuff as well as stretching techniques for the Fibromyalgia. He also said if the PT didn't help my rotator cuff, I would be looking at surgery.
After a month of PT, at a new physical therapist, I could tell my strength was returning. The pain was still fairly great, but because it had been over a year since I had been healthy, my body had become extremely weak. I remember the first time I opened a jar, I was so proud of myself.
In April 1999, I had a friend getting married and she asked me to fix everyone's hair for the wedding. I was honored she asked me, so I agreed. My mother-in -law came to help me that day. She knew it was going to take a lot out of me. The weekend before I fixed 6 girls for Prom and worked a full schedule all week. By Saturday, I was already in pain. It took everything out of me to do the hair for her wedding. In the end, I was not able to attend the wedding. The pain was so great, I went straight home and took two muscle relaxers and went to bed. It hurt me as much physically as it did emotionally. I wanted to be there, but I couldn't and that was devastating. I also was looking at a full schedule of clients and another Prom the next weekend. I considered getting a massage. I thought it would help me to get through the rest of the week.
I made an appointment at the same salon I had been to in September. Kathy Lescak was my therapist that day. Kathy and I sat down at the first session. I told her my story in a nutshell and what the many doctors had said. I was facing rotator cuff surgery, the possibility of having to quit the job I loved, not being able to have children. Not to mention dealing with a life time of pain with Fibromyalgia.
Kathy told me, she believed she could help me. I didn't know she would be able to help me change my way of life. The type of massage she practices is a combination of several techniques. She tailored the massage to my individual problems. Our first concern would be my shoulder and the torn tendon. Second, the issue of Fibromyalgia would take more time to deal with. She said we would try different techniques and see which one worked the best for me.
After the first session with Kathy, I couldn't believe the difference. It was the first time in 16 months I felt as though my life might have a chance to get back to some normalcy. I can't describe how much better I felt. It may sound strange, but it was the first time in months, I could work all day and feel well enough to cook supper.
Kathy used magnetic therapy behind my knees and on my arm to help my back and legs during the first session. Being a hairdresser and standing many hours a day, my back and legs will be another focus in my massage therapy. Kathy told me to get about 6 massages and if I didn't see any improvement then go ahead with surgery. I didn't have anything to lose.
I went back the next week for the second session. The magnetic therapy didn't seem to be working and I was still going to PT as well. Over the next few weeks I began to feel stronger. The pain was still there but life with it was becoming easier to deal with physically. My clients, friends and family were noticing the change in me. Every week, I was taking less and less medication for pain and muscle relaxers.
On June 2 1999, my husband and I returned to the Mayo Clinic to be reevaluated. Dr. M. said I would not need surgery, my rotator cuff had healed and now my total attention could focus on dealing with Fibromyalgia. He asked what I had been doing since my last visit. I told him about Kathy and the massage therapy. He was impressed with the difference in me in just a short period of time. He wanted me to see Dr. C. while I was at Mayo. Dr. M. wrote a prescription for aquatic therapy to help my muscles strengthen without stress on my joints. Dr. M. also encouraged me to continue my massage therapy. In fact, he wrote my insurance company on my behalf explaining the improvement in my health and the need for me to continue massage therapy. My insurance company declined the coverage. I hope one day they will realize the importance of massage therapy in helping to fight Fibromyalgia.
Through the years with Kathy, I have progressed to where I am virtually pain free. We have done several techniques as well as accupuncture. Gary, Kathy's husband, also does massage therapy, but with a lot more pressure. I have advanced enough to be able to take the pressure Gary gives out. It has been a tough road but one I could not have began to walk down without massage therapy. I have tried different types of massage but none can even come close to helping me the way Kathy and Gary's method does. I would not have been able to have a child or raise one for that matter if I had not begun massage therapy.
I suffered many months going back and forth from one doctor to another because they were not sure how to treat me and my pain. Thank goodness there are some who will find help for you, if they are not sure the best road to take. Ultimately I am the one who took charge of my own well being with the help of Kathy and Gary. They have told me countless number of times if I had not done what they said for me to do my progression to wellness would not have been successful. At the height of my pain this is a list of some of the medications that were prescribed for me:
It has been over 5 years since my new life began with Fibromyalgia. I will never forget the pain, tears and heartache it has caused. I continue to have problems now and again. I have been in 2 small car accidents and had a wonderful daughter. Through it all I had Kathy and Gary to help me deal with trials my body goes through. I have very few days of pain now. I have not taken a pain killer or muscle relaxer in years. I know I will always have to deal with Fibromyalgia, but my future is brighter and with their help, I am 98% pain free.
At the request of Kathy and Gary Lescak, I appreciate the opportunity to share my experience of pain and suffering with Fibromyalgia. I hope this will bring awareness and understanding of the disease.
Date: Mon, 5 May 2003
From: Kathe S.
To Gary and Kathy Lescak,
This month, May, I have been coming to you for three years and I thought it appropriate to send you an e-mail to let you know how much I appreciate all the help you two have given me.
If you can remember the first day I came to you I was dragging one leg, and pretty stooped over from the nerve damage I have and the deteriorating discs in my back. The Doctor who did the cervical fusion on me in 1993 had told my children that I had waited too long to have this surgery, and I would have permanent nerve damage, and I would be lucky if I could stay out of a wheelchair for the remainder of my life. I was not getting any better in the seven years since my surgery, and I had a few massages before seeing your ad in the paper, but I did not need a "feel good massage" so when I tried you out I knew that I had hit the jackpot. I must say, however, that the reality of your ability to help me have far exceeded my expectations of ever being in the shape that I am in today. I am medicine free, I walk at least a mile every day, I do the stretching exercises that you showed me to do for each specific part of my body. These exercises compliment the massages and give me the energy to have days full of doing all the things that everyone should be able to do.
I am a sixty year old grandmother and I amaze my children every day, and they remember that I am supposed to be in a wheelchair, especially when I am chasing my three and five year old grandchildren around.
You have helped me out a LOT, and do not think that I do not know that it was one of the luckiest days of my life when I drug myself up to see you for my first massage. It was most certainly not a "feel good massage", and it shouldn't be if it is to help. I thank you and I'll see you next week.
Iím Jackie C. My mother is Mildred S. and she is kindly known to her family and friends as Mim. Mim is 81 years old. She just turned 81 February the 17 of this year . About five and a half years ago, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had a very major surgery in New Orleans, Louisiana, which took her approximately from the end of July to the end of November to recuperate from. After that, the next month in December at Christmas, she came to visit us in Statesboro, Georgia, and has never left. She has been with us since then.
The first few years that she was with us, I became very aware and familiar with her illnesses. Several, you know, had already been diagnosed. One that was diagnosed after she moved here was a type of arthritis called polymyositis rheumatica. She also has a bulging disk at the end of her spine. She has scoliosis of the spine and she has osteoarthritis. Her polymyositis rheumatica was diagnosed by a doctor, Dr. S. in Savannah. His treatment for that illness was to give her heavy doses of prednizone for several months and then eventually when she got to a point were she was seeing relief from some of the symptomís he would gradually reduce the dosage. During this period of time when she was taking heavy doses of prednizone, she wound up with her hip just really being very, very painful. He, Dr. S., I speculated when he saw her last that she may have a mild fracture. But he was getting ready to go out of town, so he said even if it was a mild fracture it would probably not show up on an x-ray. We didnít see him again for several weeks for sure, possibly even months. In the mean time, she was experiencing a lot of pain from this whatever it was, which we didnít know at the time. In the process, we, in trying to get some relief from the pain in her hip, went to the pain management center at B. Memorial Hospital. She received over a period of possibly three months or so, a series of trigger point injections in the hip area, which helped to relieve the pain, but it didnít completely eliminate it. So, being very frustrated and still in pain, we kept searching for a diagnosis that was more accurate, that would help to relieve the pain. We were scheduled to go back to the pain management center. The doctor there told her that the trigger point injections were probably not addressing whatever was wrong, and he suggested that she go to an orthopedic surgeon, which we didÖ
We went to the orthopedic surgeon only to find out after being x-rayed that she did have a fractured hip, which she had been living with for a number of months. Anyway, he put her on crutches and within a period of a couple of months it had healed and she was walking fine and the pain in the hip and the leg area was eliminated. But the back pain was still there. We had heard about Kathy but had also heard about a new doctor, Dr. S., at B. Memorial in the pain management center. A friend of ours had heard him speak at a seminar and was very impressed with his presentation. So she suggested that we try him, which we did.
He decided to give my mother an injection in the spine, I think it was cortisone, which helped the pain for a few days, and very few, I want to say three, or four, maybe five at most. Then one morning, within the week, she woke up and her leg was numb from the knee down. Needless to say, we were in a panic. So I called him back and told him what the problem was. He brought my mother back in, looked at her and wrote her three prescriptions for, I guess two pain medications, and I donít know what the other one was, a muscle relaxer or whatever. These were the three prescriptions that he gave her; oxicodone, neuroton, and oxicoton. I think this was primarily designed to relieve whatever was there, the numbness, the pain in an interim period waiting for a further diagnosis. Within two or three days of begging to take these three prescriptions, my mother wound up, just completely zonked out. She was nauseated, just really almost listless. She went to bed and in a weekís period of time, she was basically in bed except to get up and go to the bathroom periodically. She was basically not functioning. She was not eating very much, extremely weak and overmedicated. I was in contact with her primary physician, Dr. S., and the pharmacist. She was just seemingly getting weaker and weaker. We stopped the medications immediately when this occurred, and they all told me that it would probably take a few days because of her age for the medicines to get out of her system. I tried to wait patiently, and finally on the weekend, I called a friend of mine who is a nurse, and told her the situation, and asked her advice on what to do. She knew I was not happy with her primary physician, so she suggested I change physicians and she told me that she would probably need to be admitted to the hospital so she could get detoxed. Her electrolytes were probably all off balance.
So thatís what I did, the next week I changed physicians, admitted her to the hospital, and tried to get her system back in balance. He sought the council and advice of several other physicians, the cardiologists. Actually, she had a past history of taking painkillers and mood altering drugs, so he called in at that period of time a psychiatrist, anyway this team of doctors to diagnose her situation and to try and get her back on her feet. We went through a week at the hospital, and she seemed like she was doing better, but still weak. So we went into the weekend, and on an early, very early, like in the middle of the night on Sunday morning, the hospital called me and told me to get over there, that the doctor on call thought she had had a heart attack, and he had done an electro cardiogram, or whatever itís called. He had diagnosed it and thought that, I mean he was just a general practitioner, but had thought that she had a heart attack. So, I needless to say, rushed over there to find out what was going on. She just seemed that she had taken a turn for the worse, and so I tried to get as much information as I could on a weekend from whoever was there, nurses and doctors on call. Dr. S., her cardiologist, was out of town and wouldnít be back in town until Monday, so I was unable to contact him. I finally got a hold of her new primary care physician that afternoon after going through several hours of seeing her in a very, very weakened condition and thinking that she was going to die. Also getting that reassurance from the doctor on call the she was probably not going to make it through the day. I happened to see another physician that was making his rounds at B.Memorial who is a friend of ours, and I asked him what he would do and the idea of putting her in ICU was mentioned. Friends started rallying around and trying to give me advice and support, and the general consensus was that I should put her in ICU and lets see what happens, she had too much strength left to give up. So thatís what we did, the orders were written and she was put in ICU that Sunday night. The attending physician, who was Dr. H. had called all the physicians concerned that had been seeing her and treating her the first week there, and the next day when Dr. S. got in, he gave her his evaluation also.
After Dr. H. had collected and gathered all the information that he could the team of doctors that had been seeing her, and from her past history and records, we finally were able to speak with him the next day, on Monday, and wanted to know what the diagnosis was. He said overmedication, so she was treated for the next four days in ICU for overmedication, and improved enough over the next four days to be able to be moved from ICU to a regular floor. She stayed in the hospital probably for three or four more days and then was discharged. I spoke with Dr. H. as well as her primary care physician who was Dr. S., but in speaking with Dr. H. I was just delighted to hear that one of his recommendations for her, because she was still on a lot of pain medications for various reasons, was trying to detox her just to get her functioning. He told me that her back pain would certainly increase as the pain medication wore off, but that taking into consideration how receptive she was to prescription medications that his recommendation was that she address the back pain in some alternative therapy, such as massage therapy, acupuncture, and alternative medicines. So, at that point in time I thought it was a wonderful idea. I had kind of dabbled a little bit, especially over the last three years of dealing with my motherís illnesses, and her tendency to be comfortable and use or abuse prescription medications, that I thought that that was certainly a very healthy suggestion and advice, but my next question was what do we do and where do we go. We had tried during this process an acupuncturist, a doctor that had just got his certification in acupuncture in Savannah and that was not very successful. So anyway, Kathyís name came up again from the friend that originally told us about her before we went to the pain management center, and I gave Kathy a call and told her my motherís situation and asked her if she would be willing to work with her, which she most graciously agreed to do. So, this was actually several months after she was discharged from the hospital, which I want to say she was discharged some time in November around Thanksgiving. During this period of time, we had home health care, she had physical therapists coming, she was really getting detoxed, I mean psychologically she was really out of it. She was very weak, having to walk with a walker. I think it was probably about February where I also had sitters off and on so I could do some of the things I needed to do.
About February we felt that she was getting stronger psychologically as well as physically to be able to seek some help, and of course thatís when I called Kathy and she agreed. I took her to Kathyís, and probably 25 pounds lighter than what she is right now, walking with a walker and still psychologically not her old self, but better. On the way to Kathyís, she wasnít talking very much at this time, she expressed some apprehension by saying that she had talked to some of the home health nurses and told them that she was going to be going to a massage therapist, and they must have been chit-chatting about it. She was apprehensive about the fact that massage therapists, she heard, lit candles. So she expressed her apprehension, and I just responded with the fact that we light candles at the house also, and letís go ahead and try to see where this leads us and if it doesnít work then weíll stop, but letís at least give it a try. Well I donít know if that relieved any of her apprehensions or fears, but we did keep the appointment. She at that time was hyperventilating frequently, and when Kathy put her on the table for her massage therapy, she was unable to keep her head in the little headrest that has a hole in it. She was very fearful about that experience, but did it. I donít remember what Kathyís recommendation was at first; I want to say for her to come once a week.
Kathy told me that what she was going to be doing was massaging the soft tissue and giving her basically massage therapy. I think it was not long after Mim had started going for the massage therapy that Kathy decided to try acupuncture on her. She had had acupuncture several years ago, in Louisiana for a year or two, which had been very effective for her back pain, but then she stopped. So anyway, she started going regularly only to find out that it was the massage therapy and the acupuncture that were helping. She got stronger physically, psychologically and eventually did away with the walker, and Kathy got her on a regemen and felt that the most effective thing for her situation was for her to come three days a week. Thatís what sheís been doing the last three years. We have talked, Kathy and I have talked, she certainly worked with my mom, and talks with her all the time about her situation and about things that she can do, recommendations for her to just keep mobile, keep the muscles and tissues more flexible and pliable. In the process of getting to this point, she had been to a couple of orthopedic surgeons who had evaluated her situation and looked at her MRIís, and looked at her and seen her walk into the office, and two doctors in particular, two orthopedic surgeons, commented that if they had only looked at her records and her MRIís and not seen her sitting there in front of them that they wouldíve thought she wouldíve been in a wheelchair. So, sheís got a very strong spirit of determination and was very physically active all her life, so has a lot of strength. But anyway, this massage therapy, acupuncture, and being on alternative medications has just truly changed her life and her attitude. She is not free of pain, Kathy as well as the orthopedic surgeon says that her bulging discs have deteriorated to the point where even surgery would not completely alleviate the pain. So, what Cathy is doing helps out in stretching and keeping the tissue pliable, soft. Itís just maintaining her situation and trying to help her in dealing with the pain and keep her moving and itís working. She now drives, sheís still driving, she drives herself to therapy. Three days a week sheíll drive around town, and has even gone out of town on occasion to Jacksonville to pick up our oldest daughter from the airport, or to Savannah to get a hair cut. So sheís still driving, and walks without a walker or cane, and leans to one side and canít go long distances, but she is still walking. The people that know her and donít see her often, whenever they do see her, the comments that I usually hear are that she looks wonderful and great, and she really does. Her mental attitude is so much better than it was when she arrived five and a half years ago. Sheís even gotten to the point where we went to the doctor for an upper respiratory infection several months ago, and Dr. B. gave her a prescription to address that. We got back home and she took it for a couple of days and she complained to me one day, she said I donít know if Iím taking this anymore and that it makes me feel light-headed, I donít like feeling woozy, and I think Iím going to ask Kathy if there is anything else I can take in place of this. So I just thought that this was tremendous from someone who would ask frequently for prescription medication, pain medications, whatever, Ö to saying now that if she could use something alternatively she would certainly do that or try that. Needless to say we are very pleased with the treatment. It has worked with her situation and hope it will continue to do so to keep her quality of life as it is now. Kathy and I have spoken, we do frequently, and she says that if she were not receiving this type of therapy that she would probably be in a wheel chair right now. We are very, very grateful and she is just really, really doing well considering her illnesses.
From: Sean Sills
Subject: My experience
In the summer of 1996, I was involved in an all terrain vehicle accident. I suffered a fracture at the T5 and T6 vertebrae, fractured left shoulder and right knee. The orthopedic surgeon placed me in a type of upper body brace to keep my vertebrae aligned and pressure off of the fractured ones. I spent approximately 8 weeks in this device. The surgeon decided that it was best not to perform surgery on my shoulder but my knee had to be repaired. Of course, during this time, I was on painkillers. I thought that those 8 weeks were rough but nothing could compare to what followed.
Following the recuperation period, I began to suffer many different symptoms. First was a loss of sensation in my legs. One morning I went to get out of bed to get ready for work and I collapsed. The only sensation that I could feel was severe numbness. They both felt as if they were heavy as if they were encased in concrete.
I developed an obvious tremor in both hands. When I would try to perform a task with my hands, I would begin to shake. It was very frustrating. I began to worry at this point. My back pain at the T5/T6 was extreme. I would literally cry myself to sleep from the pain. I was referred to a neurologist for the severe back pain, numbness in my legs and hand tremors. I was put through a very intensive series of tests to try and find the problem. The entire process of testing covered a span of 3 years.
I literally had a team of neurologists working on these problems. I cannot begin to remember how many MRIís and spinal taps that I went through not to mention the other tests. My team of neurologists was not all in the same practice. Each had a specialty therefore; they were located in different places. Each one would prescribe a different medication for the specific problem. I was taking high doses of Neurontin and Oxycontin just to name a few. Each time a drug did not work, a different one was prescribed. Imagine having a team of physicians and each one is prescribing something different.
All of the tests that were performed could not find a cause for the numbness in my legs or the tremors in both hands. We all knew why my back was hurting though but the doctors could not offer me any hope except to take more medicine, especially painkillers. It was almost impossible to even work while on so much medicine. The only definite diagnosis given was fibromyalgia.
Then I was introduced to a chiropractor. After several visits, I promised myself that I would never return. It literally scared me how they would ďsmashĒ my vertebrae into place. I would leave there hurting more than when I arrived.
I then developed a gastrointestinal bleed. I was referred to a GI physician and he began performing numerous scopes to track down the bleed. Part of the cause for the GI bleed was from so much medication that I was taking for my other problems. Then came the rest of the news. I was then told that the doctor believed that I was in the early stages of Crohnís disease. I was then sent to John Hopkins University in Maryland to see a Crohnís specialist. After going through his round of tests, he seemed to agree with the initial diagnosis but wanted more testing performed. Guess what? I was given even more medicine now to fight the Crohnís disease. By this time, I felt like a lab rat. I had been stuck so many times with needles that I finally reached a point of hopelessness. I really thought that I could not win.
All of the above took place over a 3-year time frame. I was being juggled from physician to physician. I spent many hours in a doctorís office. I was tired of being told that they could not find a reason and then given more prescriptions. The cost of the physicians and prescriptions was astronomical. At this point, I did not see relief in the future. I was practically unable to work for all the medicines. Near the end of the ordeal, I was on 40 plus pills per day. I was tired. I was scared. I was desperate.
My parents urged me to meet Gary and Kathy Lescak at Power of Touch. Even though I was skeptical about going to them, I was willing to do anything to stop the pain.
They started me on acupuncture and deep tissue massage immediately. Within 3 months, I was barely taking any medication for pain. Within 6 months, I was pill free. I have been a client of theirs for 3 years and have not had a single problem during that time. I am able to be on a once a month maintenance massage schedule. The acupuncture and deep tissue massage gave me my life back. It had been so long since I felt normal. I could not believe how Gary and Kathy accomplished what an entire team of physicians could not do and they did it medicine free.
I was so impressed with the results that I decided in January 2004 to make this my career. I am now a student under the tutelage of Gary and Kathy Lescak. I was able to witness first hand how they achieved what modern western medicine could not and then restore normalcy to my life. I am a believer.