Nine months ago I started to have some serious pain in my shoulder and left arm. Sharp shootings pain that would intensify as the evenings wore on. Finally I drove myself to the hospital at 2am because I couldnt take it any more. He gave me a shot of Tramadol and the pain subsided in 60 secs! The hospital doctor thought it was tendonitis, so he told me to take it easy & let it heal. Soon after I began to notice my hands swelling around the joints and the feet were puffy & painful on some days. After a while I started to accept that the feet were always going to give me trouble in the mornings and I decided to see a doc because I knew this was a sign of RA, since my sis-in-law has it. Knowing how quickly the disease advances and how impossible it is to treat,I began to read voraciously about the disease and scanning the internet for elusive hope. That is how I came to Roadback.org. I ordered the book and as I was reading it became clear to me that there are a whole lot of people with this disease who suffer quietly & dignantly because they have been told that the best the medical industry has to offer is drugs who can slow the progression of the disease as well as help to aleviate the pain. I felt desperate, alone & very depressed. People around you do not want to hear about your pain everyday. Most folks of a maturing age experience Osteoarthritis & they don’t understand how a flare can cripple you one day & you can be fine the next. I was ready for the AP treatment upon reading all the identifying qualifiers in the book & was determined to get my doc to prescribe it for me. On the day of my appt. I went in with book, notes, pen in hand, ready to go to battle for my cause. The doc just chuckled at me but he listened carefully and said “well, if it does work I can tell you why the medical field won’t promote it, there is just no money in it for the pharmaceutical companies.” He still hesitated untill checking his PDA for a double-blind studies, which he did find, even if it only consisted of 20 people. Still the study showed some group improvement and I left with my MWF dose of 200g of Minocin with some tramadol for pain and a prescription for Amitriptylin 10mg to help the anxiety associated with chronic pain (it helps me sleep soooo much better). Three weeks marched by and I still had pain most evenings and mornings with severe pain when the summer storms moved in. I took the pain as a good sign (herx) and tried not to worry too much. Finally after about 2 months I noted some improvement with my feet in the morning untill the 3rd month when they were just a little tender but I could walk normal. WOW!! I can walk without limping…WOW! My hands still felt tender but I hadnt had a flare in 3 weeks! It has been just over 3 months now and my energy level is almost back to normal, far less foggy days and onrey as ever! I am looking forward to completing my life with vigor and joy thanks to all of you here and the RBF Board. You are the lifeline and I think you grasp how important your work is. I read some posts written by ‘experts’ in the medical field who rattle on about stuff I can’t begin to grasp and I feel real bad if it has not taken hold in their systems and they are not getting better. I hold them up in my prayers because I feel their pain but you can bet I whisper ‘thank you God’ for finding your site in time! THANK YOU!
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