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Old 03-15-2003, 10:08 PM   #1
KaitlinCostello
 
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Working through pain

This is a hard thread to begin, but it is my hope that somehow I will be able to convey my message and possibly be able to find and give answers to those who may share a similar experience to mine. For the last two years my flexibility and mobility have slowly been getting worse, the last six months being filled with pain and incredible stiffness in my joints. Aikido has helped me to regain some of my flexibility and tolerance, however I must look to additional outlets as I wait for answers , if there are any, from the medical world. I have been put onto Lortab (read vicodin) since about last October, and am looking for a different way to alleviate my pain during aikido (the stuff makes me miserable and sleepy.. a dangerous combination on the mat).

This isn't the easy of questions, I realize, but it is one I have to ask.

Are there any members who have had experience with debilitating pain and such? Any exercises that might help. I am open to just about anything right now... it has even been suggested to me to learn tolerance breathing techniques, but I have yet to find any information on that.

I wish to extend my thanks in advance should there be a reply to this thread.

Kate

~~No smile is as beautiful as the one that struggles through tears.~~
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Old 03-16-2003, 06:12 AM   #2
Anat Amitay
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i'm not sure this will help, but i'm trying

dear Kaitlin,

I am sorry to hear about the way you feel and understand how frustrating it is.

I am studying Phisyotherapy now and it seems like you are suffering from something.

You didn't mention, but have you been diagnosed? I am not in any way a doctor, but since my field works a lot with people with pains of all sorts (amongst other things) I hear of many different diseases that can cause what you mentioned.

I really don't want to make you feel bad or panic but if you really have something, there might be a known treatment for it.

There are many things like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteo-Arthritis Fibro-Myalgia etc, all causeing pains in the joints and things you mentioned.

Please don't let these things I wrote bring you down, but if you have a diagnosis maybe there is some treatment you can get. In any case, I believe phisyotherapy or hydrotherapy can help you, but I don't know your history etc.

I hope you feel better and find answers to your questions.

Anat
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Old 03-16-2003, 10:32 AM   #3
KaitlinCostello
 
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Re: Working through pain

Thank you for your reply Anat,

Medical testing has provided no answers or diagnosis. I came up clear when tested for arthritis and a few others. However I am keeping in mind that not 100 percent of arthritis sufferers have the markers for it when tested for it. I went through another round of testing yesterday and will know the outcome of those tests in a week or two. My Doctors are stumped. They tell me, yes there is something wrong, but we don't know what. I don't know what is the catalyst for this pain, I only know it is not getting better.

Kate

~~No smile is as beautiful as the one that struggles through tears.~~
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Old 03-17-2003, 02:55 PM   #4
John Boswell
 
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Kate,

Often times when it comes to pain, the cause can be psychosamatic. My sister is in her final training for massage therapy and I would HIGHLY recommend you find the very best and most experienced therapist you can and see them on a regular basis for at least a couple weeks to a month to see how it works for you.

Stress can build up over the course of your life and things you take for granted (sore muscles, stiff joints) can build up to the point that... well, to be "technical", everything is outta WHACK! Seriously though, massage therapy, accupressure and accupuncture are bone fide treatments and I'd bet real money that what doctors aren't seeing in their tests is something mental/spiritual and not nessecarily physical.

I wish you luck in your alleviation of pain. Keep an open mind but also seek out practicioners with creditials and good word-of-mouth.


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Old 03-17-2003, 03:22 PM   #5
Qatana
 
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Hi Kaitlin

another thing that may help is Meditation. sometimes, if the pain is a psycho/spiritual manifestation, by truly experiencing and accepting that it is what it is,it can simply disappear.

then there is chiropractic.a good chiropractor can make pretty accurate diagnoses by just touching your arm and certain accu-points.some practice a technique called Neuro-emotional technique, which can pinpoint causes of many, many physical /emotional/ spiritual distress and again, can sometimes make them just vanish. I know, i've done it...

i know a lot of people will be throwing a lot of information and suggestions your way.if any of them "feel" right, explore them. if they feel "wrong". leave em.

and generally pain, whatever it's cause, is a signal to Slow Down.

take care of your body & your Self.Take your time- life, like Aikido, is a life-long process.

Q
http://www.aikidopetaluma.com/
www.knot-working.com

"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 03-17-2003, 05:06 PM   #6
siwilson
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Have you changed your diet? Cutting down on fat intake I mean. This can cause joint stiffness and pains.

I am sure you r have been advised about eating (or taking in supliments) garlic and cod liver oil, but also look to omega 3 fatty acids (also good for weight loss), found in deep sea fish (and also linseed oil, but it tastes aweful).

Also, and this may surprise you, but do you drink a lot of diet drinks? I mean Diet Coke and such. Aspartame has a lot of side effects and it could be worth you researching.

I hope you feel better soon.

Osu!
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Old 03-17-2003, 08:35 PM   #7
JW
 
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Quote:
Si Wilson (siwilson) wrote:
Also, and this may surprise you, but do you drink a lot of diet drinks? I mean Diet Coke and such. Aspartame has a lot of side effects and it could be worth you researching.
Oh yeah I read about this one time--it was actually in an aikido dojo newsletter in LA! The claim of the article is that in some people aspartame is a terrible terrible toxin that leads to a (highly reversible upon stopping intake) syndrome that looks like multiple sclerosis. It was even supposedly misdiagnosed as MS in some people. Anyway this syndrome is supposedly very directly related to aspartame intake in some people but is not gaining official medical recognition yet. Maybe the soft drink companies are covering it up.

I hope you find a cure soon..

--JW
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Old 03-17-2003, 10:14 PM   #8
Bronson
 
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I was having chronic knee pain. For unconnected reasons I quit drinking carbonated beverages. Suddenly my knee pain went away. My doctor has no idea why but the pain has yet to return.

Bronson

p.s. I second the opinion to seek out alternative treatments in conjunction with western medicine. I know it's helped me (and several others I know) in the past.

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 03-18-2003, 11:26 AM   #9
Ron Tisdale
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Hi Katelin,

Make sure they test for Lupus and Lyme disease as well. Hope you get to feel better soon...

RT

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 03-18-2003, 11:47 AM   #10
kung fu hamster
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Sounds an awful lot like fibromyalgia, hard to diagnose...but no matter what the cause may be, try cutting out red meat and pork and artificial sweeteners (I do believe they are detrimental to the health), also (if possible), cut out candy, pastries and soft drinks. Eat lots of grapefruit and grape juice, fruit, veggies and salads with olive oil, soy products. If you are able to keep a diet like this for at least three months, maybe the pains will abate, and then it would give you a pointer as to some of the possible causes of the ‘rust' in your joints. Good body therapy and/or detox regimens along with this should help tremendously. If they don't help, well then, you've at least eliminated that as a suspect. Good luck...

Last edited by kung fu hamster : 03-18-2003 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 03-18-2003, 11:57 AM   #11
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p.s. here is a link to a site that discusses aspartame...

http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/

(Sightings.com does have some stuff on there that's out of this world, though...! are we still in the Age of Aquarius?)
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Old 03-18-2003, 03:05 PM   #12
siwilson
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Taken from the above linked website:

Selection of adverse effects from short-term and/or long-Term use

seizures and convulsions

dizziness

tremors

migraines and severe headaches (Trigger or Cause From Chronic Intake)

memory loss (common toxicity effects)

slurring of speech

confusion

numbness or tingling of extremities

chronic fatigue

depression

insomnia

irritability

panic attacks (common aspartame toxicity reaction)

marked personality changes

phobias

rapid heart beat, tachycardia (another frequent reaction)

asthma

chest pains

hypertension (high blood pressure)

nausea or vomitting

diarrhea

abdominal pain

swallowing pain

itching

hives / urticaria

other allergic reactions

blood sugar control problems (e.g., hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia)

menstrual cramps and other menstraul problems or changes

impotency and sexual problems

food cravings

weight gain

hair loss / baldness or thinning of hair

burning urination & other urination problems

excessive thirst or excessive hunger

bloating, edema (fluid retention)

infection susceptibility

joint pain ********

brain cancer (Pre-approval studies in animals)

Death

Aspartame Disease Mimmicks Symptoms or Worsens the Following Diseases

fibromyalgia

arthritis

multiple sclerosis (MS)

parkinson's disease

lupus

multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS)

diabetes and diabetic Complications

epilepsy

alzheimer's disease

birth defects

chronic fatigue syndrome

lymphoma

lyme disease

attention deficit disorder (ADD and ADHD)

panic disorder

depression and other psychological disorders

Osu!
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Old 03-22-2003, 10:43 AM   #13
KaitlinCostello
 
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Thank you to all who have replied!
Quote:
Stress can build up over the course of your life and things you take for granted (sore muscles, stiff joints) can build up to the point that... well, to be "technical", everything is outta WHACK! Seriously though, massage therapy, accupressure and accupuncture are bone fide treatments and I'd bet real money that what doctors aren't seeing in their tests is something mental/spiritual and not nessecarily physical.
I have seen a chiropractor ( as I've had my back reset twice in the last six years, most recently about three months ago) and have found that having my joints manually manipulated has little or no effect on my pain. Temporary, maybe three weeks, relief at best. I'm going to take a look into Accupressure and possibly accupunctute (I'm terrified of needles) while I'm home during the summer. There are very few specialists out in the boonies.
Quote:
another thing that may help is Meditation. sometimes, if the pain is a psycho/spiritual manifestation, by truly experiencing and accepting that it is what it is,it can simply disappear.
I do meditate on a daily basis. My daily routine starts out with yoga and meditation. If I don't do a few minutes of yoga at the very least, my mobility isn't that great. My meditations are mainly geared to relaxing my muscles, as I have yet to progress to a form of meditation as you have suggested.
[quote]Have you changed your diet? Cutting down on fat intake I mean. This can cause joint stiffness and pains.

I am sure you r have been advised about eating (or taking in supliments) garlic and cod liver oil, but also look to omega 3 fatty acids (also good for weight loss), found in deep sea fish (and also linseed oil, but it tastes aweful).

Also, and this may surprise you, but do you drink a lot of diet drinks? I mean Diet Coke and such. Aspartame has a lot of side effects and it could be worth you researching.[/QUOTE)

Diet wise, I am only able to eat once or twice a day. (I know that aint great, but that's how things are..) I generally keep my diet balanced, though I avoid fats and oils like the plague ( as I've had a history of gall attacks). I do not drink carbonated drinks, pop or even diet drinks. Juice, water, and the occasional iced tea.

There has been some talk of gloucosomine (sp?), but I have yet to research it.

As to testing on certain desieses, I've come up clear on every test. Lupus, Fibromalgyia (sp?) and all that. Though from what I've read so far, one "test" can't identify most syndromes positively?

Sorry for the short response,

Kate

~~No smile is as beautiful as the one that struggles through tears.~~
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Old 03-24-2003, 10:02 AM   #14
John Boswell
 
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Kate,

Keep us posted on what you do and the results you get. Others, myself included, could learn from you and perhaps this thread will help out for a long time!

Best wishes and I hope you find a solution soon!

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Old 04-03-2003, 12:09 PM   #15
Anat Amitay
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sure thing, like John said.

I'm trying to find out anything with my teachers, maybe someone has an idea or a thread that can be followed. You should check the possibilities of being alergic to some form of food that can cause such symptoms, but that should be done with checking the influence of different foods.

hope you'll find your answers

Anat
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Old 04-11-2003, 08:41 PM   #16
KaitlinCostello
 
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Again , thank you for all posting and your suggestions.

I am now on my own in this painful journey. My doctors have done what they can, tried every route and come up blank. Blood test after test and an addictive NSAID have done nothing to ease the discomfort what seems to run amuck with me.

I'm frustrated…. I'm tired, but I'm no longer scared. Fear builds tension… and the last thing I need right now is more tension. I'm fighting withdrawal from Lortab (read vicodin) that was prescribed to "help" with my pain. I've come through a week now without another dose. The shakes and chills are starting to go away. I still get tired easily during class, but I'm gaining back the steps I lost before.

Yoga has helped a lot in the last month. I can stretch further, and the painful stiffness is eased after a nice warm up. "Yoga for Wimps" by Miriam Austin has been a life saver for me. Often times at work ( desk job) I do some of the stretches and find that I feel more refreshed and have less mobility problems. I think in a way, the Lortab addiction increased the mental reflex to pain. The pain I feel now is NOTHING compared to what it was before. I regret trying to silence my body in such a manner.

A change in diet and life style is here as well. I'm eating better ( as well as you can on a meal plan) and becoming more active. Swimming had proved to be a pleasurable exercise, helping my joints to pop less now. I'm gonna see if losing some weight will help with the pain. I'm about thirty over what I should be for my build and height.

I'm going to try Glucosamine( sp?) this summer, along with getting more Vitamins into my diet. Calcium is a biggie ( I'm lactose intolerant so the old , cup o milk every meal thing doesn't work for me).

Hopefully, after the summer I will be healthier and the pain will be gone, or at the very least an echo of what it was.

Any suggestions?

Kaitlin

~~No smile is as beautiful as the one that struggles through tears.~~
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Old 04-12-2003, 06:11 AM   #17
Avery Jenkins
 
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Kaitlin:

If you would like, e-mail me privately at ajenkins@cshore.com. I am a doctor that has had a lot of experience treating "no-hope" cases such as yours.

Avery

Avery Jenkins
www.docaltmed.com
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Old 04-17-2003, 01:36 AM   #18
Anat Amitay
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Hi again Kaitlin.

Sorry, no useful suggestions yet from my teachers (they adviced things you wrote you already did) but I'm still looking.

I thought maybe you should try alternative medicine (like chineese medicine or so). They have many answers to problems modern medicine doesn't know how to deal with.

I'm suggesting this with some fear- I know that today there are many sharletans out there on the market, and it's though finding someone who is serious and good at his/ her job. But it's worth a try if you know someone or have good friends who can recommend truely.

Of course it is personal, if you believe in these things and so, but I'm saying this from family expirience- for example- my dad had a terrible pain in the shoulder a few years back. Every time he worked with the hand the pain would worsen and paralize his hand. He works a lot with his hands so it was a terrible bother. The doctors found nothing, he did just about any check there was, so their answer was- you'll have to live with the pain. A very good friend of my parents heard that and told them he is going to an acupancture who realy helps him (specifically this guy is a doctor that also studied chineese medicine). My dad had 6 or 8 treatments and the pain was gone. that was over ten years ago and the pain never returned. I live in another country so I can't advice you on anyone, but it something you can take into consideration. Just be careful, there is so much "vudo doctors" so check well who you put yourself into their hands.

Promise to still keep looking,

Anat
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Old 04-29-2003, 05:04 PM   #19
VinceFont
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Exclamation

Dear Kaitlin,

I'm sorry to hear about your problems. You are way too young to be having these symptoms. There are many things to consider here including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, mitral valve prolapse syndrome, depression, and others.

My best advice to you is to get a second opinion from another doctor. If you have gone to multiple doctors in search of an answer, please consider going to a major university medical center like Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, etc. and have them see you there. Believe me, sooner or later you may end up getting the wrong treatment if you don't see the right specialist (I would personally suggest seeing a good internist or perhaps a rheumatologist in one of these medical centers). I sincerely hope it works out and that you get properly taken care of.

Good luck.

Vincent Font, M.D., FACP, FCCP, FACC
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Old 04-29-2003, 11:26 PM   #20
SeiserL
 
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There are so many reasons for pain. Look at alternative medicine as well as the orthodox. IMHO, first get a good complete physical. Check with a nutritionist, chiropractor, physical therapist, and oriental medicine (accupunture/pressure and herbs). Relaxation, slow deep breathing, visualization, and self-hypnosis can also help. Its your life, do your research.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 04-30-2003, 07:20 AM   #21
Kevin Wilbanks
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Skimming through the thread, this sentence alarmed me:

"I generally keep my diet balanced, though I avoid fats and oils like the plague ( as I've had a history of gall attacks)."

While I would be reluctant to pin all your problems on this, this misconception is certainly not doing your health any favors. The low-fat diet craze was based upon overgeneralization of certain studies showing lowered cholesterol in people with severe cariovascular disease risks. Fats are an essential part of a healthy diet. They are responsible for a multitude of important processes, including the construction of cell membranes. It is true that certain fats shouldn't be consumed in excess, and some probably not at all, but a good place to start is with fat making up about 30% of your total calories, and a good balance of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. Partially hydrogenated fats, oil used for repeated deep frying and other stale, damaged oils should be nearly completely avoided - all others are healthy, essential foodstuffs. Another issue, which can cause health problems, is one's ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 3 deficiency and/or exceptionally low 3:6 ratios have been associated with, among other things, increased overall inflammation responses and prolonged recovery time. Most americans are probably Omega 3 deficient, because they eat too much vegetable oil and not enough fish.

Do yourself a favor and get educated about good fats/bad fats, and start giving your body the raw materials it needs to make the changes you want.

A good resource is FATS THAT HEAL, FATS THAT KILL, by Udo Erasmus. Similar info can also be found in Dr. Andrew Weil's books, although he tends to stray into questionable territory at times. Nonetheless, his EATING WELL FOR OPTIMAL HEALTH is worth a read too.

Last edited by Kevin Wilbanks : 04-30-2003 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 04-30-2003, 07:35 AM   #22
Kevin Wilbanks
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Incidentally, all that stuff about aspartame is a bunch of alarmist 'Chicken Little' nonsense. Anything that truly caused that prodigious litany of symptoms would be banned and transported to underground storage by guys in lead suits. Even terribly unhealthy substances like nuclear waste and inecticides don't have that broad a range of toxic effects. If you're going to site axe-grinding biased sites, you might as well get the other side, which incidentally sounds much more level-headed to me:

http://www.nutrasweet.com/infocenter.../answers00.asp

The basic jist I've heard from doctors who are familiar with the science and clinical history is that the stuff is harmless unless you are allergic to it.
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Old 05-07-2003, 12:22 AM   #23
gi_grrl
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Dear Kaitlin,

Please, please: see another doctor. Keep seeing doctors, alternative healthcare practitioners, psychs and nutritionists until you find a way to heal. You know you aren't well. Stand up for your yourself - you deserve to be healed. You don't deserve a life of pain. So, don't give up.

My father complained for over five years of pain in his shoulder and neck. His doctor kept telling him there was nothing wrong. By the time cancer (originating in the nerve bundles where the neck meets the shoulder) was diagnosed, it had spread through the body, leaving him very little time.

Remind yourself of what it felt like to be healthy. Don't have fear, have strength! When you start to despair, come back here and reread the messages of support.

Fiona.
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Old 05-12-2003, 09:38 PM   #24
KaitlinCostello
 
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Another little update:

I am home again.

Fighting through a combination of Altitude Sickness and what is some sort of a throat infection. Ah the joys of returning to my smoggy crowded and weird smelling home town. The aforementioned : I live right next to the Purina dog food factory. Every morning there is the oh so delicious aroma of kibble and god only knows what else.

I finally saw another doctor today, partially to figure out what this throat thing is, and also to take another peek into the mysterious pain that we've been poking a stick with for the last six months.

The bad news: I was severely manipulated in Grand Junction. I have never seen so much political Health care bullshit piled up and thrown around. At least here in Denver I can go to the emergency room and not bleed to death in front of the building. Yeah, thanks to the cuts Cigna cut off extended care for the family package which my family and countless others rely upon. Here I have a fighting chance.

The good news: My doctor is setting me up to see a rhumatologist and start a new round of testing. When I was previously tested I was only given half the test that are needed to determined an inkling of what is going on and charged outrageously for those.

I'm being put onto vitamin supplements and might begin physical therapy for my knee soon.

I'm also trying an anti-inflammatory called Naprosyn to see if that will help my joints anyway.

Things are starting to turn around, and maybe... just maybe I will finally have some answers.

(I'd say more but the rat is running all over the place right now)

~~No smile is as beautiful as the one that struggles through tears.~~
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Old 06-11-2003, 10:33 AM   #25
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I'd like to tell you that the joint and muscle pain goes away with training, but... that would be dishonest lets just say you get used to it ... you know you've been fighting for a long time when the phone number of the massage therapist is on the speed dial list of your mobile and the next in the list is the chiropractor
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