I have finally found a young doctor from China who has three medical degrees, has clinics in two hospitals in my area and her practice focuses on pain management and rehabilitation (without pills and nerve numbing shots)! I realize that I will never be "cured," but my hope was to find someone or something that would lessen my chronic pain, or at least make it more tolerable. I have two appointments weekly during which I receive treatments including deep muscle massage, some electronic nerve stimulation, manipulation by the physical therapist and exercises to do at home (which are changed frequently as needed), exercises to do at the clinic, meditation and a vast variety of other things. This is by far the most positive experience I've had since I was first diagnosed many years ago.
I recently was on a photo-shoot in Michigan (I'm a photographer by trade), and was more than thrilled to find that I was able to walk on muddy and uneven rock-strewn paths without suffering the
consequences! On alternate days, I go to a warm-water arthritis pool for short exercise sessions. All of my treatments are focused on strengthening the areas around affected joints to support them rather than returning for more surgery, with the ultimate goal to lessen the intensity of my chronic pain. A bonus is I am now able to sleep much better at night and am not awakened by pain! We are beginning to work on my balance - a major issue for me. As I get stronger, my doctor may be using acupuncture on me also.
For me, one of the most exciting things is the positive attitude I've felt from this clinic. I'm NOT a number, a folder or just another prescription - it's actually important for the staff to help me feel better! I realize that this may not be the solution for everyone, but after many long years of struggling with deteriorating joints, falls, pain and surgeries, I finally have some hope. I KNOW they are helping me get stronger. On my initial appointment with this doctor, she informed me that if I just wanted pills and shots to numb the pain, I really needed to go to a different doctor. But if I wanted to get healthier with less pain, and was willing to work WITH them, I was in the right place!
Yesterday, I saw a newscast about a disabled Israeli lady rower who had just won a gold medal. She stated, "If you look at an obstacle as an obstacle, it will knock you down, but if you look at an obstacle as a challenge, then you'll do the maximum to overcome it!" I love her attitude; I love her thinking. It seems to fit in with my way of living, as many of you've heard me say, WATCH ME!