Saturday, March 31, 2012

Report from fifth Prolotherapy Treatment

Ok, well sadly there was no surprise in yesterdays visit to the Dr.'s office.  He felt my hip while I brought my knee to my chest and back down, and when it went "clunk" he almost seemed startled and asked "Oh we aren't doing PRP for this?"

That makes me a little irritated because I was expecting to do PRP from the beginning.  Patients always want to go to the most aggressive treatment first, and I was no different.  When I first saw him back in December Doc said that we should try sodium muriate first, see how that goes, and then do PRP as a plan B.  And since the sodium muriate costs "only" $375 while the PRP costs about $650, I appreciate that.  Well I am now three months/five treatments into it, and it looks like we're still sticking with sodium muriate, but I'm a little irritated that he was surprised when he felt the tear.

Laberal tears tend to require between four to six treatments, and since I just had my fifth one I'm still in the normal range.  Doc just got my hopes up when he said that the fourth treatment should be my last.

I swear, my recovery from each treatment seems to get faster and faster.  I felt better the day of my fifth treatment than I did maybe four days after my first treatment.

Concerning my neck, Doc was a little disappointed when I told him that I had in fact manipulated my neck a couple times (probably 6-10 times total) over the three weeks.  I've gotten ridiculously better, I was doing it like 7-10 times a day, but he was still not happy that I did it at all.  He wanted that put on the record, so that if this treatment takes longer the record will show that I had a hand in slowing down the healing.

The dude gave me a ton of injections up and down my neck/shoulder.  I think with the neck it was just sugar water (the most conservative solution used).  Leaving the office, my neck felt a lot of the pressure from the solution, but I felt none of the pain/discomfort I am used to dealing with.  As I write this now, I completely normal on my shoulder/neck.

So it looks like I'm going to have to wait a little longer for the opportunity to get back into oly lifting/crossfit.  I'm starting to get a little annoyed by this, but there is nothing I can do but do isolation weightlifting and swimming.  ...More on that on a later post.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

An Omnivore's Morals

Today the family guinea pig, Larry, died.  This morning he wasn’t eating, and when he tried to move around it was apparent he had suffered a stroke of some sort.  Although he wasn’t making any noise like he was in pain, he had lost the ability to eat.  We were going to take him to the vet to be put to sleep, but before that happened he died.

Santa Larry for Xmas
This has been hard for me.  When I first met Larry I thought very little of the rat.  He always bit my finger mistaking it for some fruit or something.  Even drew blood once.  But in his twilight years he settled down some, and suddenly, like a switch went off, I liked him.  I liked him a lot.  Multiple times a day I would take him out of his cage to hold him and pet his little head, hearing him purr and squeak.  I found it calming.

I knew his time was fast approaching, he had lost a lot of weight and like I said he was a lot less energetic.  Knowing my time with him was short, I tried to make an effort to make sure his last months were good months, giving him a cherry tomato or a blueberry every day.

Anyways, right after I was told Larry was on his way I really didn’t know what to do, so I decided to make lunch before heading to the vet.  I made chicken salad, my specialty. It’s paleo awesomeness, canned chicken, homemade paleo mayo, even has bacon.  After breaking up the bacon into crumbles I licked my fingers and, while staring at Larry’s cage, tearing up because I’m thinking about how much he meant to me, I thought to myself, ‘damn this bacon is delicious.’

That, in a nutshell, is the conundrum I faced.  How can I mourn the life lost of one animal while simultaneously enjoying the tasty rendered fat of another?

“Am I a hypocrite?”

“Am I an uncaring predator?”

“Am I supposed to be, gasp, a vegan?”

I think, nay hope, that the answer to all three is “no”.

I’ve always thought that it is my duty to myself and the world to be the happiest I could be.  This world doesn’t have enough people who are self-actualized.  And for me to reach self-attainment, for me, is to be as healthy as can be.  That means strong and fast.  And I simply cannot do that on a vegan diet.  The human body was designed for meat consumption. This is just the way things have to be.  Tigers need to kill gazelles to survive, Pythons need capybaras to live. And so do humans.  That’s just how I feel (feel free to enlighten me in the comments section if you disagree).

Death is a part of life, and I owe it from all those animals I have depended upon for sustenance to live the best life I can possibly live.  And while I believe meat eating is necessary, I don’t think animal suffering is.  That is one thing that I know we as humans have control over.  That is one reason why I always try to buy my meat from local places where I know the animal has led a good life and was humanely killed.  It is also another reason why I try to avoid Dairy and eggs.  Look, Larry would viciously grab a cherry tomato out of my hand and run back to his little house to snack on it. That’s just who he was.  And if he were capable of it, I think he would understand my need to eat meat.  That’s just who I am.  And to deny myself what makes me happy/healthy wouldn’t really change the world, I think it would just make it a sadder place.

Forgive me writing about this stuff is not easy, these subject matters are very murky to me.  But I don’t think I’m a hypocrite, I’m just a person who accepts for me to truly live other animals must die, yet I am still allowed to form bonds with creatures that I don’t deem a food source.  I also don’t think I’m uncaring, I just accept the fact that all life must come to an end one way or another, and an omnivore eating meat is about as natural as can be.  And I really don’t think I’m supposed to be a vegan.  It just seems way to unhealthy for me to be happy.

I do not write this as an article condemning others who have chosen different paths, this is just how I, personally, see life.  Larry, you will be missed.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Labrum not yet 100%

So of course the day after I write about how my hip has not clicked at all it of course clicked when I was taking off my shoe.  Then the next day it clicks when I put on my jeans.  ...I was hopeful that it would only take 4 treatments, but it seems more likely it will take at least 5 treatments.  Who knows though maybe the labrum is sooooo close to being completely healed that the fourth treatment really is all I need (although the majority of healing takes place in the first two weeks, the body actually continues healing for about six weeks).

It's a bit of a test of faith now.  Doubt is starting to creep in a little, I start to wonder if my fear of never being 100% will become reality.  But I have to look at the past, after each treatment my hip gets better, and better, and better.  So I'm consistently getting better, there's really not much to doubt.

I guess it all comes down to being patient, winning at the waiting game.  I started this treatment in late december, it's been three months and I can tell the labrum has healed considerably.  I saw Bobby yesterday and he said my psoas was pretty much normal, a great sign.  Although my hip has clicked, indicating that there is still a labrum tear, the muscles around my hip (especially my psoas and pectinius) have not felt the need to be as tight (and painful) as they used to be.  I just have to keep reminding myself that things are getting better, I just need to be patient.  I've been looking for a complete recovery for over five years, a couple more months is just a blink of the eye.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Good news on the neck, meh news on the hip.

I apologize for the long time between posts, but jodi's story has garnered so much attention that I thought to leave it as the top post for a while.

So it's been about two weeks since my last prolo treatment with Dr. Hauser, and I am feeling much better.  I almost made it a week without cracking my neck, but even after I "broke the seal" I've been doing a really good job of not cracking my neck again. Everytime I catch myself cocking my neck to the side in order to crack it I catch myself and then do some self trigger point massage with a lacrosse ball or a really small foam ball.  That seems to lessen the need.

As the swelling goes down, the instability has crept back in a little, but it much better than before.  I'm really responding well to this, and sleeping with the neck brace seems to have really helped out with
the recovery.

I saw the Chiropracter the other week, and I told her about Dr. Hauser's theory that the issue was with my C6-C7 and not my shoulder.  She went back and looked at my records, and pretty much every time I visited I had issues with either my C6, C7, or both.  So it seems like Dr. Hauser was right after all.  Hopefully I need only one or two more sessions and this'll be fixed and I won't be in pain anymore.

Concerning my hip: it is definitely getting better.  Each time I raise my knee to put on a shoe, or get into the car, or go up a flight of stairs I have this moment of hesitation where I brace myself for that dreaded click.  That click that means my labrum is still torn, that I'm not 100%.  But it never comes.  I am not going to test it out, because that would be just silly.  I really need to just be patient and treat it as if it is still torn, let the Dr. check it out and see what he thinks.

So I've been wondering about what happens once the labrum is totally repaired.  At first I thought that I could go full throttle once I don't need any more sessions.  But I emailed caring medical and they said that it will actually take some time to re-acclimate the hip to a full range of motion.  So that means I'm going to have a timetable of when I can do what.  I don't have that timetable yet, I hopefully will when I see the doctor next Friday.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Hoping everything is going as it should

Kind of lacking if faith that my hip is almost completely healed.  I saw Bobby on Thursday, and he spend like 1.5 hours just on my right hip, working on the illium and psoas and whatnot.  From the injections (all eighty of them) my muscles were all kinds of inflamed, so it took a lot of work.  This is the first time that I've seen Bobby the week of a treatment, and I think it was less then optimal.  I think it would have been better to wait and let some of the inflammation die down on its own. [EDIT: I should point out that with prolo you have acute inflammation (aka, healing), which is a good thing, as opposed to chronic inflammation, which is a bad thing.]

However, the day of seeing him and the day after were amazing, no pain/discomfort whatsoever.  But after that, the swelling/inflammation started creeping back in, and now i'm feeling discomfort again (although no real pain, can just tell it's not normal).

Since the treatment my hip has clicked like 6 times, and each time I freak out that I've undone the treatment and my hip is never going to be completely healed and I'll always have to deal with thispainandOMGandwhhaaaaI'mfreakingoutman...  *Takes deep breath*  Ok, I know that despite all kinds of clicking after the first session, it did get better.  I also know that after each treatment I worry that it's not going to get better because I have the discomfort from the actual injection, but it always gets better.

I've just been jerked around so much I'll believe it once my hip actually stops clicking and I know for a fact the labrum is healed.

On another note, my neck is way, way better.  I've been sleeping in a neck brace, and the need to crack my neck all the time has lessened considerably.  Actually, today i didn't think about cracking my neck at all until writing this piece up.  But this issue of my neck, of tendon laxity, seems to be much easier for prolotherapy.  Other than practicing good posture and not cracking my neck, there's nothing I can't do, much different than treating the labrum.

I'm really looking forward to seeing Dr. Mary.  It seems that the non-force directional technique she employs works well with prolotherapy.  I know Dr. Hauser says I should not see a chiropractor, but when I asked him why he explained that the manipulation of the hip, the force that it takes to crack it, renders the joint less stable.  So if the chiropractor uses so little force that nothing cracks, my guess is the joint isn't adversely affected and will probably be even more stable since everything is in alignment.

...I realize I'm taking the risk of slowing down the healing process, but I honestly do not believe I'm wrong on this.  Now if only I could be this sure that my hip will no longer click in like three weeks....

Friday, March 9, 2012

Possibly last hip treatment, first shoulder injection

So I saw Dr. Hauser for hopefully my last hip treatment.  I’m hopeful that it will be my last treatment, but I’ve also been through too many “hooray I’ve fixed my hip” experiences to really celebrate until it is completely done with and I stop experiencing pain in my hip.

My recovery with each session is faster and faster.  However, for this last treatment Dr. Hauser decided to be real nice and inject me with 80cc of Sodium Morrhuate instead of the regular 60cc.  ….That is a lot of solution to get into your hip.  But even with the eighty injections my hip was feeling less locked up then it had the previous time.  It still hurt (the sodium Morrhuate tends to burn), but that’s what the vicodin is for. Day of I was still able to walk and go up and down stairs, albeit with a bit of a limp.  …On a side note I should mention that I try hard not to limp, because last time I limped the muscles in my leg patternized in such a way it caused a lot of discomfort, if not a touch of pain.

I asked about when I can get back to squatting, and the answer wasn’t exactly the best.  After allowing the three weeks for recovery, it looks like I’ll have to ease back into it a bit.  Starting with half squats and stuff like that, gradually getting more and more range of motion back.  I’m guessing I can do power cleans and maybe some other stuff, but I’m excited to get back to really working out.

I also asked him to check out my shoulder, and he disagreed with my self-diagnosis of supraspinatus laxity being the culprit.  Instead, because of the way that I crack my neck to feel relief of pressure, he believes that my issues stem from laxity in my neck.  Specifically, the ligaments/tendons that are connected to my C6 and C7.

He actually seemed hesitant to try prolo for this, suggesting I try the more conservative treatment of wearing a neck brace when I sleep.  Just by not cracking my neck, things should slowly go back to where they should be.  However, I’ve got money in my flex spending account that I need to spend and I’m all for healing the fastest way possible.  So I’m now doing a combination of prolo for the neck and sleeping with a neck brace on.  I feel a little silly wearing the thing, but I’ve worn it and I think it helps.

The hardest thing is that I can’t crack my neck.  It wants to go so badly, but it’s been two days and I’ve refrained so far.  Each time I want to I just foam roll the knots in my neck and the want lessens.  This is a tough one, but I want this to be over asap and that means no cracking.

Thankfully I can do pretty much everything with the neck injections.  As long as I keep good form, I can do pretty much anything, so once I’m back with the hip working at 100%, this won’t stop me.

Again, I really cannot believe that I should be done with hip treatments, and am on my way to healing my neck/shoulder.  Yet here I am, on the cusp of fixing both.  This year has been turning out to be a damn good year.