Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Retreat, Day 7

This is *SO* interesting! Amazing. And these treatments and medicines have such intellectual and practical integrity. The medicines are done with muscle testing, the body says what it needs and what it doesn't. Doesn't matter what the patient or practitioner think needs to be given. The body gives so many clues.

For instance: For the past three days, my digestive pulses have been pretty regular and predictable. This morning, however, they were all off. The doctor immediately asked me what I had for breakfast. What Western doctor takes your pulse and then asks what you had for breakfast? So I told him; spelt bread and hummus. I hadn't had spelt bread since Shabbat until this morning. He said, ah, that's it-- I'll bet your sensitive to spelt. Then he takes out his samples of all the 7 grains, and yeast as well. More muscle testing to see if I have sensitivities or allergies. Guess what? The only grain I *am not* sensitive to is barley! Spelt, yeast, wheat, rye... outta there. But the good thing is that there are ways of desensitizing the body if you want to be able to eat these things. So, seeing that Robert bought me a bunch of spelt matzah for Passover, Dr. Frischman said tomorrow he'd desensitize me to spelt. After Pesach we'll do yeast. Now how cool is that? Just by the pulses we made more discoveries.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Deep into the middle of this intensive two-week treatment plan with Dr. Frischman, we have been often encountering "red-herrings" as we try to solve my pain mystery. What seems to be consistent, though, is an infectious process is going on. Still. Doesn't seem to be responding to the Chinese antibiotics, though, even though my body tested positive for that medicine.

What is also going on is a hint that we got from the results of the MRE. There were a few findings that raised an eyebrow... one such finding is unusual cysts on my right kidney (where I often have back pain). The cysts have some sort of separation, well-defined shape, and the evaluation recommended I follow-up on that with a nephrologist. But that's not likely to be the source of all this abdominal pain. But it is a piece of the puzzle that Chinese medicine can address. I'm not worried about that.

The other finding is a little stranger in nature... an anatomical anomaly. Apparently my cecum (the part which comes between the small and large intestine) is apparently misplaced... and stuck to the back side of my liver. It is supposed to be lower- the appendix hangs off the cecum-- and that is usually lower right abdominal quadrant. In me, however, it's way up high, causing an inverted loop effect in my intestines. Now *that* could be causing the pain. But how would that happen? And the other question is, when I had an appendectomy in 2008, was the appendix and cecum in the right place? Robert actually tried to call the hospital to see if he could get in touch with the surgeon for that surgery, but that surgeon left Israel a while ago. The hospital said they'd try to get Robert his contact info. Of course he's done 6,000 appendectomies since mine, so what are the chances he'd remember mine... but on the other hand, we have the NF in my story (and remarkably visible on my abdomen, of course), so it's possible it may have been slightly more memorable than your average appendectomy to him. Dunno. So far that's a dead end, so we don't know when the cecum shifted positions, but suffice it to say it's not where it's supposed to be.

That can explain why my liver is often not healthy regarding it's pulses. It's got the cecum stuck to the back of it, doing digestive things. It might also explain my pain.
Dr. Frischman is not fazed by this finding, he believes he can manipulate it to break up the adhesions and coax it back into place, not unlike moving a baby in-utero from a breech presentation to head-down. I'm sure he's right. But today was the first time he really went for trying to do that, and WWOOOOWWWW, it hurt like h*ll. I can handle it, though. And it's better than surgery.

Having said that, I have decided to go through with a surgical consult which I lined up a while ago, here in Jerusalem in Hadassa Ein Karem hospital, tomorrow. It is with someone highly recommended. I don't see myself going into surgery any time unless absolutely necessary, but I will get this doctor's opinion on my situation, and I have the MRE results now also. Information from other points of view can sometimes shed light in a different way, and can be useful. Or not. Nothing to lose.

It was interesting to put to the test going through a major migraine here, on Sunday. I hadn't slept enough, and had a difficult Shabbat at home (also with a migraine on Friday), so when I arrived here on Sunday, by afternoon my head was about to spiral out of control. At home, I'd take analgesics, Cannabis, and pray that they work. Here, NO Analgesics. Strict doctor's orders. OK, so the migraine was getting worse and worse, and it got to the point where I'd normally have gone to the hospital if I were home... it was the point of no return, too much pain, I can't take anymore. But I was here, at the Frischman's house, not taking analgesics, and certainly not planning on going to the hospital for steroids. I had to wait my turn for my treatment, he has other patients. But even between patients, and sometimes during other patients, he'd work on me. Either with acupuncture needles, head pressure points, and Chinese medicines. It wasn't working. At one point he put a needle behind my jaw, kind of behind my ear, and it was excruciatingly painful. That was a hint.

"the upside-down machine"
parallel=weightless. It's AMAZING.

(This machine pictured is where I spent hours of the migraine the other night...)

Seems that my jaw is misaligned. All that pulling and rearranging my teeth and the orthodontics when I was a teen was either for nought, or was done wrong. This can be a major contributing factor in my migraines!

Dr. Frischman spent a tremendous amount of time with a rubber glove on, fingers in my mouth. It was excruciating. He literally realigned my jaw, painstakingly, slowly, methodically, in my mouth. I can't believe that happened, who would ever expect that? It was not easy... not only painful for obvious reasons, but also triggering old traumas of the mouth and breathing ability. I told Dr. F about all that, and he walked me through it. He stopped when I gave the sign to stop, continued when I gave my green light. Amazing amazing amazing. Such tremendous respect for the patient, I've never encountered this. And I've encountered A LOT of doctors.

It didn't take away the migraine, but it took it down a significant notch, with no analgesics, cannabis, or hospital. After my intensive treatment Sunday night, I was able to go to sleep with my regular (still half-dose) sleeping meds. I woke at 7am still with the headache right behind my left eye. I turned over and went back to sleep. I slept on and off until NOON, when Dr. F's wife came to wake me so I could get in a treatment. The headache was what I call "remnants" at that point. After the treatment, I ate lunch, then went for a walk in the sun again. After the walk, the headache was completely gone.
It is the first time, I think ever, that I got over a real hardcore migraine without analgesics or a hospital visit. It was with the support and help from Dr. F, his wife's nutritious food, and fresh air. And lots of good, restorative sleep. I sleep very well here. Thank Gd. Tonight I begin the next stage in cutting my sleeping medicine.

There are so many miracles happening here, it would take at least 4 more pages to document it all. It's all just remarkable. I have been feeling energized and with a new feeling of wellness that I haven't experienced in a LONG time. The abdominal pain remains an issue, but it is overall on a healing trend. It's going to take time; it took a long time to get to this situation, it's not going to go away immediately. But the turtle wins the race, right? There are so many issues to address, it's all interrelated. I've been a walking ball of symptoms for so many years, and here we are putting the pieces together. And much of the picture is pointing to a low-level infectious process that has been rearing it's ugly head over the years but never gone away. It may be stemming from the NF, or possibly from the mystery infection I had which led to my c-section birth with Azriel 12 years ago. I think it's from the NF, Dr. F thinks it's from the c-section... doesn't really matter who's right. All the cellulitis episodes, the infected appendix, the Bartholin cyst, and the open small wound on my skin graft last spring which took four months to heal, which lead to finally healing and immediately thereafter this abdominal pain starting up in Spetember. I have a good immune system, which is why it hasn't done more frequent damage, but we believe there is still an infectious process going on, and that is the source of all my ills and pain these past 6 months.

Keep praying, keep hoping. I have strong hope and belief that we are going to get to health. I believe that I will be healthy. Read that again... when was the last time I could write that???

As you can imagine, being sick for almost 11 years has taken a huge financial toll on my family. I've written about that before. These two weeks of intensive treatment are also costing an arm and a leg, so we have decided, with the support of family and friends, to start a fund-raising campaign to help defray the financial burden of these treatments, which, of course, are not covered by insurance. I'm putting the link here in hopes of two things: One that you feel free to please share this link on facebook sites or to friends, or blogs which you feel would be appropriate for this type of fund-raiser, and two, to give us the chance to humbly thank you all from the bottom of my heart for any support you can offer. I've had this blog for 10 years, almost 11... and this is the first time I've ever done this. It's that big, that important, and that necessary. And I have tremendous hope for the first time since NF.

Robert wrote the story for this page:

May everyone have a wonderful holiday of Passover, and Easter!
May this Passover free us all from whatever personal slavery we have been wedged into this year. New hope really can come with springtime, can't it.

1 comment :