Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Alternative Medicine and Specialists

Yesterday, I visited a Rheumatologist. He is one of three specialists I have had a visit with regarding The Pain. He tells me I have bursitis in both hips and in my shoulder, possibly as a result of accomodating the Sciatica in my left leg for such a long period of time. And he tells me I have osteoarthritis, no news to me. Osteoarthritis is a disease that has been passed on to me by my mother, who suffers very badly with it.

I have a diagnosis. But, you know, when I think back on the extreme pain I was in, not so long ago, bursitis is nothing compared to that. I refused a cortisone shot. I will wait a little longer before I allow that invasive medicine to enter my body.

As a result of having the cortisone refused, the doctor and I spoke about alternative medicines. I told him, when he asked what I did, that I was a writer. He asked what I wrote about. This question was a tough my experience, doctors are not receptive when I tell them what I do. But, in for a penny, in for a pound...I told him I wrote about Reiki, Shamanism and the belief system. Pretty much all in one quick, breathy sentence as I was anticipating the usual scoffing reply. I was girding my loins, so to speak, to defend my beliefs.

What a huge surprise I received! This doctor was so interested, having had some experience with the benefits of Reiki and the belief system. His questions were succinct as we shared stories...there was little time for much discussion, as his waiting room was full. But I left with the knowledge that this doctor felt I was well on my way to understanding what I had to do in order to combat The Pain. He left me to my own devices, with his blessing.

So I have looked up some herbal and natural remedies. Calcium and Magnesium are the first on the list. Calcium is needed for repair of connective tissue and magnesium balances calcium. It is also needed for proper muscular function. Vitamin A is required for tissue repair and immune function. Vitamin C reduces inflammation and helps the immune system. It is essential for the formation of collagen, a protein in the connective tissue. Vitamin E is an anti-inflammatory free-radical scavenger. I will take Grape Seed Extract, which is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Phew!

And then there's Celedrin, which I use as a massage cream, and in capsule form.It helps reduce pain and inflammation due to osteoarthritis. The capsule form doesn't sit in my tummy too well...I tend to run to the bathroom a great deal with it, so I only take one every three days or so...but the cream is amazing. It gives instant relief, to me and to everyone else I have recommended it to.

Something else I picked up the other day is Horsetail tea, which can be made into an infusion, if you let it steep for 7-12 minutes. Horsetail supplies silica, a form of trace mineral silicon, which is necessary for tissue repair and healing. I haven't tried it yet, so can't comment on the taste, but the package literally jumped out at me when I was shopping. Anything that desperate to get into my shopping cart, especially since I didn't know anything about Horsetail, might be just what my body needs.

There are also other recommendations in dealing with bursitis. There is the suggestion to go on a seven-day raw-food diet, followed by a three-day cleansing fast. I may wait awhile for that sounds drastic to me. And then it is suggested to eat no processed foods or any form of sugar. Ok, I already do most of that one...just a half a teaspoon of sugar in my coffee in the morning and no processed foods.

It is also recommended to abstain from activity and get plenty of rest. If there is physical activity, I am not too push myself too hard or too long. Oh oh.

And then they talk about honeybee venom. The venom contains a powerful anti-inflammatory and can provide rapid relief. I once watched a friend go on the hunt in his garden for honeybees. He was very happy when he was stung, claiming huge relief. Of course, you can also inject the venom with a needle. Seeing as how I know instantly within myself that I could not do this, I may try the Bee Venom Balm I see advertised, which is in cream form.

These are the tip of the iceberg in the nutrients and herbal supplements that are listed for bursitis and/or arthritis. There are many more.

I am relieved. This is not the dire diagnosis I feared. There are so many far more scary diseases out there that The Pain could have been related to. I will deal with this one in a pro-active manner, accepting the bad days and embracing the good.

It's really ok.


  1. This is a fascinating blog. I have just had three MRI's in the past four months, a x-ray test and am going in for something weird with electrodes next week. No diagnosis yet, but I am quite interested in your blog. I take vitamin and mineral supplements, and I'm reluctant to take drugs.

  2. Thank you for stopping by my blog earlier today. You are welcome to stop by any time.

    I have osteoarthritis and have had it for many years. Hips, knees, back ... you name... I have it there. I've learned to accept the pain. As long as I know what is causing the pain and that it is just my joints telling me that they have been abused and are old ... I can relax and let the pain have its way and then abate. But when I don't know what is causing the pain, as with internal pains, I tense up and the arthritis gets worse.

    I would be interested to know if there are any herbals for restless leg syndrome which plauges me these days.

    I am very interested in your blog and am blogrolling you!

  3. I'm so sorry, Jan...I know firsthand how frustrating this waiting for a diagnosis can be.And frightening, especially at night, when, like a small child, all the boogeymen come out to plague your mind with all sorts of scary possibilities.

    Hang in there, and keep me posted!

  4. Thank you so much for blogrolling me! That is such a tremendous help!

    With restless leg syndrome, indications are that a deficiency in magnesium may be involved. Some research also strongly shows that anemia may be the culprit.

    I once knew an old Ukrainian lady, who advised me to get up and walk on uncarpeted floors (perhaps wood, even tile) or on a sidewalk that is concrete. She told me that carpets build up electrostatic conditions, and what was needed was grounding. I'm not sure she was correct; she was very old, but it works for me.

    It was such a simple remedy I was sure it wouldn't work. So, along with midnight wanderings on wood floors I took Vitamin B. The combination of the two, and the fact I now live in a house with few carpets, have put my restless legs to sleep.

    I hope it works for you. Isn't it true that when you know what is wrong, acceptance chases away the fear?

  5. Fear of the unknown is a powerful thing and when it is the fear of what is happening in your own body the trouble seems to worsen.

    I've heard of the magnesium thing before and need to get some more and see if it helps. I have a totally carpeted home except for a tiny kitchen. I guess midnight walks on the cement sidewalk might be called for! LOL ... Along with Vitamin B.

    My RLS comes and goes. It flares and then subsides. Right now it is about as bad as it has ever been. Think I'll get some magnesium and Vit B this weekend.

  6. That is very fascinating and I believe that the old ways of medicine had something to be said for them. I am not into herbal healing, but I am researching it now. Your blog is very informative and I enjoy it. I'll be back.

  7. Mama...Restless leg syndrome is such a weird feels as if your legs have a mind of their own.

    I've also tried to tighten my leg muscles and hold them tight for a few minutes...sometimes, amazingly, that works for me, too.

    Dana, thanks for stopping by. I have visited all your sites, and enjoy them thoroughly as well.

    Actually, most of the sites on Blog Village are interesting, well-written and always entertaining. I really appreciate having a place like that, where I know I will find most of the blogs knowledgeable and fun.

  8. That is very informative post and i think that the old ways of medicine had something to be said for them. fruits is a powerful and effective combination. If you’re searching for ways to enhance your health naturally.

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