Monday, October 31, 2011

Life Is About Taking Chances

I talked about this topic last August and now 14 months later, I am revisiting this option again. What am I referring to? It's the kidney surgery. Why revisit again? The are some developments that necessitate a review of this option.

Firstly, my RBC count is dropping with every blood test. Daily I am losing some amount of blood due to the kidney tumor. My face is quite pale and has lost its shine. The kidney tumor is giving me some pain, with increasing frequency. I sense that I am starting to lose some muscles again, a sign of cachexia may be around the corner. I don't think my body can handle the two main tumor sites of the lungs and the right kidney at the same time. My body is getting weaker by the day because I easily get tired nowdays.

The last time I gave this surgery a pass was that those patients who did the surgery, did not survive for more than 6 months. Also most urologists are reluctant to perform this surgery as it does not improve my chances of survival because the cancer has metastasized extensively to my lungs. From academic point of view a few urologists agree that the body will have less stress to deal with once the kidney tumor mass has been debulked. A check with a few very experienced specialist doctor friends, all recommend that I go for the surgery. Anyway, statistically, patients like me have an average survival period of 10 months. Initially my doctors said I would not survive 6 months, but here I am still breathing. Hopefully, I can achieve the same after surgery. Is this too much a risk to take? If it ain't broken, why fix it?

At this moment, it's just thoughts. It will take some months for me to ponder. I still have to discuss with my family members, especially my brother because I hope to spend one month at his house in Malacca after surgery to recuperate. Furthermore, the surgery if it happens, will take place at a private hospital in Malacca. If it happens, it will most likely be after Chinese New Year, sometime around March or later. So many ifs.

I am now doing further reading to see what developments have taken place in radical nephrectomy. Some information about this surgery.

Definition:
Open radical nephrectomy is defined as removal of the entire kidney with surrounding fat and adrenal gland via an open flank or abdominal incision.
Technique:
Under general anesthesia, the kidney is removed along with the surrounding structures such as the adrenal gland and lymph nodes. Occasionally, open radical nephrectomy requires removal of a rib or placement of a drainage tube within the chest cavity to complete the operation.
Candidates:
Candidates for open radical nephrectomy are generally patients with large kidney cancers that are greater than 10 cm (approximately 4 inches) in size. Also, patients who have had extensive prior surgery are good candidates for open radical nephrectomy as laparoscopy can be very challenging if there is a large amount of scarring in the space around the kidney. Finally, if there is evidence that the kidney cancer has involvement of organs around the kidney, then open radical nephrectomy is often the best procedure.
Advantages / Disadvantages:
The advantages of open radical nephrectomy is that the larger incision that is created allows the surgeon to deal with complex cancers, which involve structures around the kidney. Kidney cancer can involve organs around the kidney such as the pancreas, spleen, and liver. With open radical nephrectomy, the surgeon will have the best ability to access and control these structures if they are involved by the kidney cancer.

The disadvantages of open radical nephrectomy are predominantly related to short-term post-operative pain control as the procedure is four to five times more painful than the laparoscopic radical nephrectomy. Additionally, in comparison to laparoscopic radical nephrectomy, the open radical nephrectomy is typically associated with a longer recovery period and complete recovery.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

It's Written In The Stars

After two years of fighting cancer, I thought the journey would be easier as I gained 'experience'. When I first started, I just ran as fast as I could, so that I am far away for the enemy. The beginning so much easier but as I live longer with the tumor, I found that the tumor knew me better but I still have no idea what the tumors are up to. Unfortunately,  the experience that I learned would not prepare me for the journey ahead. It's like walking in the desert, every step seems more difficult then the step before.

The other day when I was traveling back from Ipoh, my friend asked me "whether I have thoughts of giving up?" My reply was swift "many times", I said. Sometimes I would wish it end there and then, "why go through so much pain?" I am just an ordinary person. But then, the next day I wake up to another day and life continues. I have been feeling quite miserable since my pair of legs gave me pain. Yesterday, I tried to walk a little faster, I found that I could not because the pain was just unbearable. I'll be damned if my mobility takes a hit. In an effort to motivate myself up, I watched the movie The Way Back. It shows the tremendous survival and fighting spirits of humans when they are forced to walk 4,000km in a very hostile environment after escaping from a Gulag camp in Siberia set during World War II period. It's not about the survival of the fittest and not about putting one's own interest first but that of the group first. That each one has his own skills that will useful when the situation dictates. Apparently supposed to based on a true story of one of the prisoners but later unearthed by BBC as false as records from USSR showed he was released 1 year later. Still, it was a good watch.

I felt a little emotional watching the movie, not just because there was a tender scene when Irena, the run away girl passed away but because the group has to constantly battle with the hostile environment to survive. It reminded me of my own daily survival battle, only mine the end is nowhere in sight. I don't have any skills and perhaps this is why my journey is so much more difficult. I do take comfort in reading the Buddhist scriptures to help me keep my sanity in check.

John, you wanted to know what the fortune teller said to me? He circled the year 2014 on a piece of paper but did not explain and just showed it to me. He whispered to me a list of foods (mainly meat) to avoid eating and do charitable deeds and make my fate.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Joke Is On Me

I think Sabah Snake Grass (SSG) has taken Malaysia by storm. Everybody with cancer seems to be taking it. At one point in time, I took it too. I was desperate too.  Now some enterprising people are making it into teabags and in pill form. They can now export. Innovative and enterprising growers. Last I heard, there is a shortage and price is increasing. What's worrying is that some people are taking SSG as the magic cancer  bullet. They are doing nothing else. What's the healers' code? You don't gamble with people's life.

I guess the joke is on me because once upon a time, I was promoting it too. This was until I had my own problems and met some herbalist doctors. I  am not saying it don't work. That the usage is not correct and to continuing taking it without care of the side effects. My herbalist doctor said during my Iridology training last week why certain people changed their career and are in the health care business? This is because they have experienced pain. They know what pain is all about and now they want to do something about it. Anyway, people have every right to do what they see fit.

I have been having stomach discomfort for the past week especially after dinner time. I would feel very uncomfortable and have to lie down. I have also been feeling a little lousy. I also found out that this is my best time to sleep, only I can't. Else I would starring at the ceiling for hours in the night. I have also started taking my Tramadol HCI, just before bedtime. Well I spent quite a bit to see the orthopedic surgeon and he recommended me physiotherapy and medication. I thought I should at least give the medication a try before I meet him next, which is after my trip back from India.

A Little Joke
I was reading theStar online when I came across an article titled Rosnah: We have highest number of obese people in region. Apparently Malaysia are the top sixth in Asia of obese people in the region. Deputy Health Minister Rosnah said her ministry hopes to reduce this target by 30%. Her intentions are good. But wait! They also published a photograph of her undertaking a medical checkup. You can see those spare tyres. How about leadership by example?

Friday, October 28, 2011

It Dosen't Matter Anymore

Today's blog title was taken from Buddy Holly's last song of the same title. I thought I will write something about my cancer for those readers who are new to my blog. Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) or commonly known as kidney cancer is not a common type of cancer and forms about less than 2% of total cancer cases. More prone to males above the ages of 40 years old.

According to the Journal of Oncology (1999;17:2530-40), RCC is a life-threatening malignant disease for which available therapy is inadequate. In one review of 690 patients enrolled in therapeutic trials for metastatic disease, the median survival was 10 months, with a 2-year survival of only 45% for those in the best prognostic category. RCC demonstrates high levels of resistance to standard chemotherapeutic and hormonal agents, with response rates typically less than 10%. Data has not changed since then.

Kidney cancer is quite different from the other type of cancers because it does not respond well to chemotherapy and radiation. Hence all my 7 doctors (oncologists and urologists) did not recommend it as a standard treatment. Based on what my doctors tells me, there are no conventional treatment available as of now. Whatever treatment is just to lengthen the life of a patient. As you would recall in one of my recent post, a lengthening of life of say 3 months is considered very good in allopathic medicine during a clinical trial in England. The median survival of 10 months is considered good because my urologist tells me that all his patients died within 6 months. Even for good prognosis cases, you are looking at 2 years survival. Of course, I just passed my 2 years which is very good considering I did not do any conventional treatment. Honestly, I did not think I would survive that long when I first started.

So what can I do when my options are so limited in allopathic medicine? For one, I just continue to track developments in allopathic medicine and hope. Meanwhile, I did come across some new developments. I did talk about a Korean Traditional Medicine called Rhus Verniciflua Stokes which has shown good promise for RCC based on two case studies. On Tuesday HITV (Human Initiated Therapeutic Vaccine) was again featured in some local newspapers. So happens the lady mentioned in the article is a classmate of my sister and I have also met her before. I am happy for her. A response rate of 50% is really good (based on 8 Malaysian cases) while in Japan, a HITV study on 26 patients with different advanced cancers (breast, cervical, gastro-intestinal, lung, lymphoma, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate and renal) showed 80 per cent of the patients demonstrated a complete response to the initial treatment, while 50 per cent have remained disease-free. That's 40% and I consider that as a very good success rate. I will have a word with the doctor.

Meanwhile, I will still rely on alternative therapies for whatever it's worth. I think 95% of all cancer patients who uses alternative therapy have tried conventional medication but did not work for them. It dosen't  matter anymore which route one takes so long as it works for them.

A Prayer For A Country

No matter which religion you belong to, I hope you could spent a little time to say some prayers for the people of Thailand to overcome this flood crisis. Thank you.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Non-Toxic Cancer Cure

Another cancer patient friend emailed me about this therapy and after doing some reading, I think it's worth my while to write about it. I am biased towards this protocol because I found that there were 5 testimonies where kidney cancer patients were cured. Even for Gerson Therapy, I have not read of any single case of kidney cancer being cured. Cured here is meant going into remission. For more information, please read Tanya Harter Pierce's book Outsmart Your Cancer.

Well, If you are looking for the “Magic Bullet” then this is not the protocol. I wish there was one. Everyone’s body chemistry is different. The key to surviving cancer is to find the treatment or treatments to which you best respond. Finding those treatments may sound difficult, but it can be done in a few minutes using a method promoted by people like Dr. Wayne Dyer.

How Cancell Works


Cancell was developed in the 1950s by a chemist who called it Entelev and provided it free of charge to patients with terminal cancer. In 1984, production was taken over by a second manufacturer who distributed the mixture free of charge under the trademarked name Cancell to individuals with cancer, AIDS, and other conditions. Cancell-like products, Cantron and Protocel, both have the same ingredients, but slightly different ratios of those ingredients. It's no longer free but the costs is still very reasonable at about US$170 for two months supply excluding shipping charges.

Both Cantron and Protocel work by reducing the ATP energy (adenosine triphosphate) in each cell of your body. (This is also one of the cancer fighting effects of Paw Paw and Graviola.) Our cells have an electrical potential that effects how the cell processes energy producing substances mostly blood sugar and oxygen from our blood supply (the red area in the graphic).

By reducing this voltage level from 70 to 110 mv to something in the 50 mv region, normal cells can still function. However, cancer and viral cells cannot process energy at this low voltage level and start to starve. The process of starving is a slower process than being poisoned which is why Cancell works slower than chemo and why there was a dramatic reduction in the weight of tumor cells in the two day NCI test of Cancell, but only a small number of dead cells. Had that test run longer, all the tumor cells that showed such dramatic weight reduction would have starved to death. You can read more of the NCI test here.

For some testimonials of the effectiveness, please see here and here.

Cancer
Some of the fastest-responding cancers to Protocel may be prostate cancer, bladder cancer, colon (or colo-rectal) cancer, cervical cancer, and childhood leukemia. Also very good responders appear to be kidney cancer, astrocytoma brain tumors, melanomas, breast and lung cancers. There are no known types of cancer which never respond to Protocel, however for certain types (such as glioblastomas, melanoma, squamous cell cancers, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer and rhabdo-carcomas) full recovery may depend on how advanced the condition is.

Usage
There are two formulations of Protocel : Protocel Formula 50 and Protocel Formula 23. These are only slightly different variations of the same formula and either will work for most conditions. But the 50 is preferred by many people for certain diagnoses and the 23 is preferred for others. Use this guide to find which formula is suitable for you. Since individuals may respond better to one or the other, having two versions allows people more control over their own recovery. Protocel Formula 50 is taken at about ¼ teaspoonful 4 times a day (spread out evenly around the clock) and the Formula 23 is taken at about ¼ teaspoonful 5 times a day (spread out evenly around the clock). For optimum results, never going more than 6 hours between any two doses is recommended. This means that people using Protocel for critical life-threatening situations will usually get up in the middle of the night to take a dose.

Because Protocel works in a different way than other approaches, by interfering with the cancer cell’s ability to produce energy for itself, supplements that raise cellular energy are to be avoided. This means that people using Protocel should avoid supplementation of vitamin C, vitamin E, coQ10, and selenium, among others. Taking these types of supplements can work against Protocel’s action. More information about dosage and foods to avoid can be obtained here.

Side Effects and Toxicity
Protocel does not seem to have any side effect except that initially a person may feel tired. On average tiredness lasts 2 1/2 weeks, but some patients report that it lasts longer. This is an indication that Protocel is working. Some people who are having digestion problems may not be able to keep Protocel down. Using simple food combining can reduce digestion problems; do not eat starch with meat, and do not eat fruit with other foods. Another solution is to switch to rectal administration which is explained with the other dosage information.

For more information about this protocol, please visit Paul Winter's site.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Deepavali

I would like to wish all my Hindu friends: 

Happy Deepavali!

Also know as Diwali, or the "festival of lights," is a festival celebrated the Hindus families by performing traditional activities together in their homes.


Update
I am having problems with my stomach since I came back from Ipoh. I think this could be mainly due to the oil in the vegetarian dishes that I ate for the last three days. My daily diet is free of oil and the presence of oil in the food has always given me problems before. Look's like I have to take off the shelf TCM medication like "Poh Chi" pills.

The nerve pain on my right leg has "moved" slightly to a different place. According to my chiropractor, this is a good sign which means that the bone has shifted it's place. To me, it makes no difference because it' still painful. I have four more physiotherapy and chiropractic session left I will be referred back to the orthopedic surgeon for further treatment options. There have not been much improvement. I am now reading more on TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome) as the problem on my right leg could be a psychological problem

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Treasure The Current Moment

I have been running out of quota almost every month on my 3GB broadband subscription. Like today, even trying to get to compose a "New Post", the page takes forever to load. I also get the annoying message every time I surf " Your quota has been exceeded, do you want to buy more quota?" Anyway I will stick to my basic subscription until I find something that I think is worth while subscribing.

Although I had a good weekend, I found that sitting for two days continuously on a chair is a little tiring on my back. I think I may have problems attending courses longer than three days in a row. I was a little worried over the weekend because of my sleeping problems. Perhaps,its the change of environment, I slept very well. Maybe I was tired but it did not matter. I just slept when I went to bed. During the last three days, I just ate vegetarian food. This was the best food I could get though it's not on my approved list of foods. Sometimes, I feel I am under house arrest by my therapy. I just could not get out or go anywhere. Anyway, like last weekend and next month, I will take some risks and breakaway from my routine.

My friend and I left Ipoh at about 11.30am yesterday. Then we detoured to a market where my friend told me that there is something I must do. He took me to see a fortune teller. A man in his 60s, ply his trade once a week (only on Mondays) at a spot under a big tree. Apparently, I was informed at times, a bus load of people will turn up to see him. He uses a queue system and we took our queue numbers and adjourned to a nearby coffee shop for breakfast and brunch for me. We had to wait for about an hour before our turn came. I told the fortune teller I was interested to know about my health. The fortune teller uses the normal playing cards to read the prediction. I was asked to take 1 card and subsequently 3 cards. All I can say is that his reading of my past to present was rather accurate. At one point, he whispered to me something and then said I am very serious about what I just said to you (about my future). I told him "I believe you". I have not said anything about my cancer and he seems to know. What about my future? Continue to read this blog and you will find out. I am still making my future!

By the time I reached home, it was almost 8pm. Why did the journey it take so long? Well we had many stops along the way. My friend needs his puffs and we spend lots of time stopping at resting areas and chatting. Later I also had dinner with him. Well, I have to thank him for taking me around and putting me up at his place for two days. I was rather tired by the time I reached home. After a rest, I took a shower and quickly wiped myself dry because I was feeling a little chilly. I was shivering a little and feeling a little feverish. I took a bowl of oats and went to bed immediately. I almost slept immediately.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Weekend In The Woods

I really had a swell time at Ipoh. My course mates (including two from Singapore) were really cheerful and a playful lot. As a result the two days course was really lively and enjoyable. Most of my course mates are already practitioners (acupuncturists, ayurveda, herbalists and two allopathic doctors) except a few of us.

I have taken a quite a number of photos of the site but I only posted only a few here.

The photograph on top shows the name of the Academy that I went for my course. To the left of the Academy is a clinic.


Just behind the academy, you will see lots of trees and also a limestone hill. This place is so full of trees. Three acres of trees and herbs!

I told the trainer's assistant that this place will be suitable to be used as a health spa (similar to the Gerson Clinic in Mexico).













To the left of the limestone hill, there are more trees!
















This is the cave I was telling you about. I do not get the opportunity to explore. The class was not held in the cave though.
Two new additions to the family of dogs that resides inside the Academy.











To the left of the Academy and clinic, another road leading to the main residence of the trainer and my herbalist doctor.

 
The path leading to my hut where I spend the night. Behind the hut where I stayed is the cave.

The place is quite cooling at night, there is no need to use air-conditioning. I slept well despite only basic amenities.  This place is not for the faint hearted because the creepy crawlies are out all over at night.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Short Break From Routine

Yesterday night, I did not do much better, I slept around 3am. Looks like I will pay a visit to my doctor to get some sleeping pills. I hope with a few days supply, I would be able have some regular sleeping time. My sleeping time seems to have changed after I took low dose naltrexone (LDN) last November. Since I took LDN, I was sleeping around 2am everyday and subsequently I stopped taking the drug after 3 months, I did not managed to sleep back at 11pm. Prior to LDN days, I would sleep by 11pm. Sigh.

I will be traveling to Ipoh after lunch today. I will take a break from blogging for two days (Saturday and Sunday) because the course venue does not have Internet access. So, I will not be taking my notebook along. The venue is held at a farm like environment. I hope the lectures will be held in a cave. Yes, you read correctly, a cave! That place is full of nature with a limestone hill as a backdrop. I will take some picture and upload them so that you can see.

I will make the post short today because there are a number of errands I must run before I leave town. I hope you all will have a relaxing weekend.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Slow Turn

Last night, I couldn't sleep at all. I went to bed about 10pm and I thought I was feeling a little sleepy. I listened to some music and hope to slowly drift into sleep. But it did not happen. I just tossed and turned in bed and soon it was 2am. Soon it was 5am. I was really tired then and only after that I managed to fall asleep. I had to wake up at 10.30am. This morning, I observed that my phlegm is stained with blood. After my normal morning routine, I went to the hospital for my physiotherapy.

My chiropractic session this afternoon was quite good. I told my chiropractor that I walked better now and also the nerve pain has moved. He said this is a good sign. So the session today was slightly different from previous days and he concentrated on the hip socket area. After some twists and turns, I felt some improvements immediately. The pain seems to have gone down a bit.

I received a late invitation to attend a two days Iridology course in Ipoh this weekend. Iridology (also known as iridodiagnosis or iridiagnosis) is an alternative medicine technique whose proponents claim that patterns, colors, and other characteristics of the iris can be examined to determine information about a patient's systemic health. You can read a technical dissertation on Iridology here. The trainer has asked me to come and learn about the techniques so that I can use it to monitor my own health.

A week earlier, a friend has asked me to come over in Ipoh and stay at his apartment. He said the surroundings are resort like and will be good for me to get away from my usual routine. I took up his offer and hence will leave on Friday afternoon by train and come back on Monday morning together with my friend. My friend is a retiree and has adopted Ipoh as his second home. Compared to other bigger cities like Penang, Malacca or Johore Baru, I think Ipoh is much laid back. Housing and cost of living there are also much cheaper than in Kuala Lumpur. If I survive my cancer, I hope to move to Cameron Highlands where I hope to spent much of my retirement time there. I like the cool mountains and freshness of the air. Although born and bred in the city, I have always like the countryside.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dawn of Change

I am tired. I have not been able to sleep early these days and as a result I am still waking up late in the morning. I try not to sleep during the daytime in the hope that I will sleep earlier but it's seems not to be working. As a result, I am just feeling tired.

My back and abdomen hurts a little when I sit for too long, especially when the posture is not correct. I have to then lie down on the bed to 'straighten the back out'. I asked the psychotherapist how many more session of traction I must undergo? She said normally, between six to 10 session. After which she said if there is still no response, then the doctor will probably recommend pain killer, injection or surgery. I have completed 3 sessions and will be going for my forth tomorrow. Same goes for my chirotherapy. Anyway, there have been improvements and not just I am walking better, the pain level has also come down.

In about a month's time, I will be leaving for India. I look forward to visiting New and Old Delhi. Recently, there has been a slight change in applying for Indian Visa. Now the applicants have to apply online and submit a print copy of the online application. The traveling group will be submitting the application next week.

Actually, I have a much longer post today but at the 11th hour, I have decided not to include some information about my beloved country, Malaysia. Somehow, the politicians have very short memory. Although what I am about to say is not new, I hope to keep reminding Malaysians what's becoming of Malaysia. Make sure you exercise your vote in the coming general election. I will cast my vote if I still have a breath of air left!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

To Where It Goes

Last week, my friend Yeong had a chat with me. He said he was worried that I am taking too many pain killers for my leg problems. I told him that I have stopped taking Pregabalin and so far I only took Tramadol HCL+Paracetamol once only. I still take Neurobion and one Gabapentin tablet nightly for another week. I will only take Tramadol HCL+Paracetamol when necessary, if I can't stand the pain. My doctor has recommended that I take 3 times daily but I did not take because it would make me very drowsy. My doctor is surprised that I complained as none of his patients reported similar side effect. When I cough, the pain in my groin area is still unbearable. I have found that if I pressed my body against my thigh tightly when I cough, the pain is milder. My lungs feels congested all the time as if something is affecting the air intake. I breath rather heavy at times. I can't even do deep breathing exercise now because every time I try and take a deep breath, my chest feels constricted. Under the Gerson Therapy, patients are not recommended to take any form of medication. This is because the body has undergone detoxification and any medical drugs are bound to affect the patient.

I have been feeling a little tired lately. Yesterday evening, I was feeling a little hungry and so grabbed a piece of sprouted bread to eat. I did examine the bread to ensure that it's not moldy before I ate it. I then took a second slice and also examined it but this time I found the bread has molds on it. That also meant the earlier slice had molds just that I did not see it. True enough, I have a slight stomach upset just before dinner. I went my bed to lie down while waiting for the stomach to improve. Two things that still bugs me is the tingling pin like painful sensation that I sometimes experienced on my rib area. It just come and go in a few seconds but when it strike, I find my body would freeze during those few seconds. The other is the occasionally pain on my right abdomen, the same place where my kidney tumor is.

Other than the above complaints, I feel good. The last week or so, the sun has been shining rather brightly, warming the atmosphere. Then the wind begins to blow. I could feel the warmth of the air and it gives me a nice sensation. It is during such times, my mind will wonder that Chinese New Year (CNY) must be just around the corner but it is not. I enjoyed CNY best when I was a kid. I get to eat chicken and drink carbonated drinks (once a year affair) and of course, getting the red packets. Normally, such feelings comes around mid November and December but this year, I have been feeling it a little early. I have this feeling of nostalgia and I don't know why. My heart is telling me to do a little more traveling next year. I have set my sights on at least three places, a temple about two hours from Bangkok, my grandfather's hometown in Daipu, China and Ladakh, India.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Healing Back Pain

I was searching the Internet for more information on back pain when I chanced upon Dr John E. Sarno's TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome)  in his book Healing Back Pain  Dr Sarno's starts off by saying that you should not conclude that you has this disorder described unless you has been throughly studied by your regular doctor and he has ruled out all serious conditions.

Dr Sarno hypothesizes that repetitive strain injuries (RSI) and other pain syndromes are entirely psychosomatic in nature and not caused by underlying musculoskeletal injuries. According to Sarno, emotional stress eventually manifests itself as physical pain through tensed, oxygen constricted muscles. Sarno calls this condition TMS. The muscle pain in TMS is similar to what athletes might feel after strenuous workouts. The difference is that for athletes pain relief usually occurs within moments of completing the workout whereas RSI sufferers have constant, lingering pain. TMS says that the brain latches onto tension to divert attention from underlying negative emotions.  By doing this, the brain manages to suppress the negative emotions deeper into the unconscious levels. This can lead to a disastrous cycle where negative emotions cause RSI pain, which end causing more stress and negative emotions and transitively more pain. Sarno boasts very high rates of treatment success (85% - 95%) with his approach, and many RSI sufferers have claimed complete recoveries from adopting this regime. 

Symptoms of TMS
  • No conventional treatment seems to bring lasting results, you’ve tried everything and nothing works.
  • You’re a “Type A” personality. Common personality traits include: Perfectionist, self-motivated, ambitious, neat and organized, in control, responsible, self-critical, tendency to feel guilty.
  • Pain plays a large role in your life. You think about it and/or experience it frequently.
  • You have a history of psychosomatic conditions, not necessarily clinically diagnosed. Earlier trauma or eating disorder for example.
  • The pain coincides with or started at a stressful periods of your life.
Unconscious fear and anger
People are capable of experiencing various negative emotions like fear, anger, guilt, anxiety and shame. During a lifetime a person will likely experience a variety of these emotions to varying degrees. People also tend to construct a self-image of themselves as intelligent, successful, independent, strong, likable, sexually attractive, patient and loyal in the context of some role like a husband or wife, father or mother. When a situation arises that threatens this self-image, the mind tends to do everything possible to divert conscious attention from this threat and avoid confronting it. Psychologically, a persons mind avoids confronting certain negative emotions by embedding them deep into the unconscious mind. This appears to be a built-in defense mechanism. 

Physiological Changes
The underlying premise of Dr. Sarno’s work is that the repressed, unconscious fear and anger described above can actually induce physiological changes.Dr. Sarno came to this conclusion as a result of dealing with patients suffering from back and joint pain. In the vast majority of his patients, Dr. Sarno noticed a history of tension-induced disorders such as heartburn, pre-ulcer symptoms, hiatus hernia, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, spastic colon, tension headache, migraine and eczema. Whilst not all in the medical profession agree that these disorders are psychosomatically-induced, based on his consistent clinical observations and on the failure of conventional treatments,  Dr. Sarno felt confident that indeed they were.

Sarno also noticed that heating pads, massage therapy and physical therapy seemed to provide significant pain relief to his patients, albeit temporarily. Since those therapies simply increased blood circulation to the applied areas, Sarno further conjectured that the real cause of pain was a reduction of blood supply to soft tissues in the affected areas, initiated by emotionally-induced tension. His texts go into much greater detail on how the limbic and autonomous nervous systems are able to produce such effects.

According to Sarno, TMS is pain syndrome and does not lead to permanent damage of the affected soft tissues, despite the intensity of the pain. Simply understanding that the pain is tension-induced and not a structural problem is the key to a “cure”. Sarno noticed that once his patients understood that they were suffering from such tension, they were able to resume their normal activities without pain.

It is important to emphasize that according to Sarno’s TMS theory, the cause of the pain is entirely psychosomatic in nature and not a consequence of underlying musculoskeletal abnormalities as typically diagnosed by conventional medical practitioners. The pain is not caused by muscle tears, tissue inflammation, herniation, degeneration, decrepit muscles, bad ergonomics, poor posture or bad typing techniques. None of these are the cause. The root cause is entirely a sea of repressed, unconscious, negative emotions which must be confronted. This is a tough pill to swallow for RSI sufferers who have received diagnosis of underlying musculoskeletal disorders from various doctors and who can testify that the pain they feel is indeed frighteningly real.

According to TMS, what is often diagnosed as tendonitis, bursitis, fascitis, metatarsalgia, shin splints, tennis elbow, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, deQuervain syndrome and so are simply areas of soft tissues not receiving enough oxygen. Something interesting to note is that people with real structural problems often don’t experience any pain whatsoever, and yet people with perfect structural composition might undergo excruciating pain. This pattern is common within computer-related RSI sufferers.

So how do the mind and body conspire against you in this way? How do they know what physiological modifications to make in order for these unacceptable emotions to go away? The answer to this question is remarkable. Most assuredly the sufferer will develop symptoms least likely to be attributed to the underlying negative emotions - symptoms attributable to a structural abnormality or something “mechanically wrong”. So long as the conscious mind believes that the pain is mechanical nature, believes that something wrong with their wrist or joint, then this mechanism is doing its job and the  distraction will remain in place with the true cause – the underlying negative emotions – remaining unconfronted and repressed.

Physical Symptoms

The physical symptoms of Tension Myositis Syndrome are many. In fact, throughout its incremental development, TMS symptoms began to accumulate and now range from cardiac disorders to immune system disorders. TMS says that the following disorders are fundamentally emotionally-induced – created by your own system to distract you from underlying and unacceptable negative emotions.
Class of disorder
Specific disorders
Lower back pain Sciatica
Osteoarthritis
Spinal stenosis
Herniated / bulging / degenerated lumbar disc
 
Scoliosis
Spondylolysthesis
Piriformis syndrome
Weak/inflexible
 
torso or hip muscles
Spina bifida occulta
Spondylolysis
Transitional vertebra.
Neck/shoulder pain Osteoarthritis
Pinched nerve
Herniated / bulging / degenerated cervical disc
Tendonitis
Whiplash
Thoracic outlet syndrome
Weak/inflexible neck
 
shoulder girdle, or rotator cuff muscles
Rotator cuff tears
Bursitis
Knee pain Osteoarthritis
Chondromalacia
 
Torn meniscus
 Tendonitis
Unstable patella,
Muscular
 Imbalances around the knee joint
Elbow pain Tennis elbow,
Muscular imbalances around the elbow joint
 
Tendonitis Osteoarthritis
Lower leg pain Tendonitis
Neuroma
Shin splints
 
Plantar fasciitis
Flat feet
Muscular imbalances around the ankle or foot joints
 
Plantar metatarsalgia
Osteoarthritis
 Calcium deposit/heel
 
Wrist/hand pain Carpal tunnel syndrome/repetitive stress injury
 Osteoarthritis
Tendonitis
 
Muscular imbalances around the wrist or hand joints
 
Nerve dysfunction Sciatica
Bell's palsy
 
Carpal tunnel syndrome / repetitive stress injury
 
Trigeminal neuralgia / tic douloureux
 
Gastrointestinal Heartburn/acid reflux
Ulcer
Irritable bowel syndrome
Hiatus hernia
Nervous stomach
Colitis
Gastritis
Spastic colon
 
Circulation Tension headache
 
Migraine
 
Raynaud's phenomenon (excessively cold hands/feet)
Genitourinary Urinary tract infections Prostatitis  
Cardiac Rapid pounding heartbeat (paroxysmal auricular tachycardia)
 
Extra (ectopic)heartbeats
 
 
Immune system Allergies
Skin disorders
Asthma attacks
 Epstein-Barr syndrome
 
Frequent infections
Psychological Depression
Anxiety
 
Panic attacks
 
Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Other Dizziness/vertigo
 Laryngitis/spasmodic dysphonia
Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
 
Chronic fatigue syndrome
 


If you have tenderness in any of these areas, it is a reliable indicator or diagnosis that your body holds tension induced pain.

And it will show up in many of the places located in the diagrams below.











 

How to cure TMS

Conventional treatments such as pain relievers and ultrasound therapies may provide temporary relief from physical symptoms, but they won’t treat the underlying psychological cause – the root cause. If you understand and believe in TMS, there is good news – you can cure your pain, and you can do it without damaging your wallet. Since TMS is designed to distract you from underlying emotional pain through physical pain, understanding and believing TMS is half the cure. The other half requires the identification and confrontation of the repressed emotions which threaten your self-image. Acknowledging these emotions evaporates them and renders the smoke-screen physical symptoms unnecessary. In some people this can occur quite dramatically. They might be emotionally volatile for a few days, then suddenly no more pain and no more negativity, almost miraculously.

Identifying and confronting these emotions is the hardest aspect of the cure since these unconscious emotions may not be apparent. The following suggestions help in this process:
  • Completely believe and accept TMS as the source of your symptoms. If you believe that a structural problem is still a contributing cause, then you are allowing TMS some breathing space. You must accept that these symptoms are emotionally induced.
  • Think about the case of your symptoms in the “emotional context”. Whilst the actual pain comes from mild oxygen deprivation to afflicted areas, the root cause is emotional. You must think about the pain in the emotional context, not in the “structural problem” context. It can be difficult to adjust your way of thinking in this manner, but it is crucial.
  • Write down a list of expectations you have of yourself, identify which ones you think are being threatened or which ones you are failing to accomplish. Think about why you believe you are failing and reason your way out of this way of thinking.
  • Start to get your body in the best physical shape you can. This step is extremely important because it helps clear the mind and relieve stress. Jogging, Yoga, Tai-Chi / Chi-Gong and meditation all allow you to do this.
  • Practice these steps several times a day.
  • Don’t rush, go slow. Resume your activities gradually as your health returns. Jumping straight into the old activities can cause a relapse.

Many people have claimed to have cured TMS by simply reading some of Sarno’s books. If you find yourself not making progress, it may be worthwhile to check out some of his books. If you still aren’t finding relief, meeting up with a TMS professional or standard psychotherapist may be helpful. Empirically, 10-15% of TMS sufferers require some form of psychotherapy to aid them. It is important to be patient and persistent, and to be easy on yourself.  Poking around in your unconscious mind can be difficult. Several suffers have described being very emotionally volatile for weeks during this process.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Start Reading Now!

It has been a tiring day for me. This morning, my friend came over and together we went to visit our ex colleague. We were joined by another ex college at the house. He 58 years old and recently suffered from a rupture colon as a result of the tumors in the colon. I have not met him for over 10 years and he could not recognised me due to my long hair. My friend said, "hey your ex finance boss, you cannot remember?"

I found that he has been quite stubborn prior to the episode. For about two months, he has been experience pain and his stools has been blackish. But he did nothing. Then one day in the middle of the night, he was groaning in pain and fainted. His wife with the help of the neighbor sent him to the nearest Government hospital. After taking a scan, they found out the his colon has ruptured and the hospital doctor said the tumor mass is rather big and it would be difficult to operate on him. The doctor suggested chemotherapy first. He then did his first cycle of chemotherapy but he was so weak, he could not complete his first cycle of chemotherapy. The wife then decided to transfer him to a private hospital, apparently the doctor there is a very known colorectal surgeon. Subsequently he was operated on and the tumors removed. But his condition was not very stable and was transferred to intensive care. Much later his condition improved. The hospital bill was slightly above RM100K (US$32K), with RM60K of the funds coming from health insurance and the balance through the sale of his car. The wife then decided that her husband would not be doing chemotherapy. The cancer has spread to his lymph nodes.

Then many well wishers came and they were recommended to do this and that. They shortlisted two therapies, one a Wellness therapy and the other Dr Chris Teo's TCM herbs. However, the Wellness therapist (holds a master degree in nutrition) told the wife, Dr Chris Teo uses rat medicine (directly translated from the term she used in Chinese). I think it's very unprofessional for an alternative therapist to comment about other people's herbs when she got no idea what it is or deliberately (I think in this case) to frighten them. The rat medicine is actually Rodent Tuber, a local herb I wrote about sometime ago.  Of course, they selected the Wellness therapy and was recommended to take a basket of supplements and a generic German made Hulda zapper (non programmable). She came over for two days and the bill was RM7K (US$2.2K). I did have a look at the supplements and some of them are without labels. The Wellness therapist probably bought in bulk and then repack into smaller bottles. Meanwhile the wife has been giving him Sabah Snake Grass, 100 leaves a day. The wife disclosed that every time he takes the supplements, he will vomit. He has been asked to used the zapper twice a day but he and his wife got no idea what the zapper does. Perhaps, it's a case of therapist knows best. Best part is the after sales service is almost non existent. There is no follow-up on the patient by the Wellness therapist, etc. What surprised me was the there were no recommendations on the diet the patient should take.

Anyway, I did give her some dietary suggestions that her husband can take. I also suggested if the supplements is giving him vomiting problems, then he should stop taking it too. I told my ex colleague that the time for crying is over (wife said he is crying a lot). It is not that he cannot cry or feel his emotions but the self pity feeling must stop. Now it's the time to heal himself and for that, he must stay strong and remain positive. I gave him a pep talk before I left. The wife and the other friend asked me if I was a Christian and I said no. They say I talk like a Christian, like the Father in her church. I have seen how some Christians talk and I just copied their lines. Since, my friend is a Christian, so I do my best to motivate him.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Life Remains Within

Some of my close friends asked me this and I have been thinking about it every now and then. What is my own take on my situation? Forget about my present condition for the moment. Deep inside me, what is my own feel about my mortality? Before I go on, I think it's appropriate I quote Steve Jobs who said "No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there." Not that I want to live forever, in fact I don't think I want to live past 72 years old.  So what I am trying to do with all the therapy that I am taking?

When I first embarked on this therapy, I was trying to buy sometime because what the doctors told me about six months to live is just too short. I wanted a little more time, maybe a year or two more. I got that now. But now I want another three more years more, if possible. By that time I would have seen my eldest daughter graduate and my two other daughters in college. I also wanted to devote sometime to my spiritual needs that I have been neglecting for the past two years.

I can't say for other cancer patients, for me there is a Jekyll and Hyde within me. What I am referring to is that while instinctively I want to live but yet another part of me says I will not survive the cancer. There seems to be an explanation.  According to Freud, a person has two instincts: life instinct and the death instinct. Freud in his discussion of the two classes of instincts states that the first class is the sexual instincts or Eros. This is a "...self preservative instinct,...". On the other hand there is the Thanatos or death instinct whose task it is to, "...lead organic life back into the inanimate state;...". Human nature, life and the universe is unerringly a collection of opposites.

Most religions hold life to be very sacred and from a Buddhist point of view, being born as a human is really a very rare event. I hold dear to this believe. I don't know if this has something to do with my inability to recover from the sickness after a period of time. Subtly, the mind sort of slowly gives up. If the mind is giving up, how come I don't know? I try to understand this phenomena but I have yet to make sense of what's going inside my mind. Another way to help me understand is to look from the psychological approach. When medical explanations no longer remove patients’ culpability, people are left to construct the meaning and moral message of their illness on their own. This process evokes profound anxiety and sometimes oddly punitive responses. Patients may blame themselves for behaving or even thinking the wrong way. Freud’s theory of the death instinct seems to support this idea that we bring our own destruction upon ourselves. Torn eternally between eros and thanatos, we have an inner urge to return to an earlier state of inanimate, inorganic existence, Freud claimed.

It seems distressing that subtly a person can bring about their own destruction. There may be many reasons why one would walk this path but it's not always clear. Again, perhaps lessons can be learn from patients that look to the practice of euthanasia. In a study of 32 AIDS participants, researchers has found that participants' desire for euthanasia and assisted suicide were affected by two main factors: disintegration, which resulted from symptoms and loss of function; and loss of community, which was defined as progressive diminishment of opportunities to initiate and maintain close personal relationships. These factors resulted in perceived loss of self. Euthanasia and assisted suicide were seen by participants as means of limiting loss of self.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Towards an End Game

So I am now in the 25th month of therapy. So what does that mean? It depends on how one looks at it.  First off, kidney cancer is not an easy cancer to cure. Well, to survive this long, it most likely mean that the therapy that I am on is working, at least it prevented the tumors from spreading. There are a number of options available to me now:
  1. I could just just continue my present therapy until either my immune system recovers and then kills of the tumors or the tumors have the better of me as my body weakens over time fighting the tumors. It's like in a tug-of war, where neither side wins but it takes a lot of energy to maintain that status.
  2. I could supplement my therapy with something stronger to give an additional boost but which adjunct therapy is suitable for me?
  3. I could go for radical nepherctomy in the hope that the removal of the kidney tumors, my body has less tumors to deal with. This is on condition that my body can take the open surgery and also does not weaken after the surgery. Otherwise, the tumors may spread when the body is weak. Statistically, those who operated did not have good survival rates.
  4. I could just change to another therapy that is deemed more effective. There are so many out there, which is suitable? Would it be wise to abandoned something that seems working for another therapy to start all over again?
These are not easy options to choose, at least for me. It seems obvious that option 2 is the safest. Oh, I forgot, it's takes a lot of money to continue with any of the above options, at least for an unemployed person like me. How much, about RM5K (US$1,540) a month to sustain the above therapy. A few days ago, a friend texted me and asked me how can I sustain paying all the hospital bills now that I have no income? A friend visited me yesterday evening and we also discussed the same question. I take a step at a time, meaning I try to do what's best for myself when I can still afford. When my funds run out, then I will just go to the Government hospitals and take non organic foods and also take minimum or no supplements. Does not sound like a good end game but this is life.

Meanwhile, I live my life to the best and as happy as I can. Occasionally, If my health permits, I will travel a little too.



A friend emailed me some cartoons. Thought I share one here.




STAY HUNGRY, STAY FOOLISH
Steven jobs

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Some Lives Are Cheap

The last two days, I have seen improvements on my pair of legs. The pain has subsided somewhat and I am now walking much better. I don't know if the improvements are due to the drug Gabapentin, the traction session that I took or the chiropractic treatment that is finally bearing fruit. Whatever it is, I am happy. I have been feeling miserable since May when the pain on my legs started to escalate.The improvement could not come at a better time when I am due to visit India next month.

Somehow, I think things are improving a little. I have been sleeping much better now days falling asleep around 11pm. I think the improvements on my legs may have helped me sleep better. At least I don't get up in the middle of the night to massage my legs. My cough has also slowed down (taking ginger tea) and while it's still painful on the nerve around the groin area when I cough, it's not as bad as before.

Yesterday, a group of friends visited me and supply me another four bottles of the supplement Minyak Buah Merah (Red fruit oil). They have been very kind and has been constantly supplying me for a while now. Thank you guys.


Sabah to Ban Shark Hunting From Next Year

I have been trying to influence friends not to eat shark fins soup under the 'Say No To Shark's Fin Soup' awareness campaign for the past 20 years. The sharks are killed in a cruel way just to harvest their fins. The sharks either starve to death, are eaten alive by other fish, or drown (if they are not in constant movement their gills cannot extract oxygen from the water).

I am happy to note that Sabah is the first state in the country to make Shark hunting by early next year. But what I don't understand is why the authorities is proposing to amend the Fisheries Act to make all forms of shark hunting or shark finning prohibited in Sabah only? It should be banned in the whole of Malaysia.

If you read between the lines of the news, the reason why they are banning shark hunting is not because they wanted to save the lives of the sharks per se. The sharks are an attraction and the state tourism office wanted more divers from all over the world to come and dive in the Sabah waters. Perhaps that's why this ban is not extended to other states.

You can read theStar news article here. To learn more about Stop Shark Finning please visit here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Long And Winding Road

Today is the 25th month of my therapy. It feels good that I survived this long though the road to recovery is still long and winding.

Yesterday afternoon, I started taking one tablet of Tramadol at about 3.30pm to see how effective the drug is in controlling pain. I must say it reduced my pain by at least 50%. I felt good because I was able to walk much better. I took my coffee enema around 5pm as usual by lying down on my right side. After about 20 minutes later, as I was trying to get up to discharge the enema, I felt some drowsiness (did not go away even at 9pm). Of course, one of the side effects of Tramadol is drowsiness. I also felt I had a little difficulty breathing. That's when I started reading more about the side effects of the drug; it said for allergic reaction, the symptoms includes: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. The pharmacist told me that this drug is only to be taken when in pain (max: 3 tablets a day).

I retired to bed early yesterday because of the drowsiness. Listen to some music and became more relaxed. Shortly afterwords, I fell asleep and only got up this morning at 8.30am. the drowsiness has cleared. I feel recharged. I think the pain on both my legs has reduced and I am walking slightly better.

Vitamins Linked With Higher Death Risk in Older Women 

When it comes to vitamins, it appears you could have too much of a good thing, say researchers who report a link between their use and higher death rates among older women.

Experts have suspected for some time that supplements may only be beneficial if a person is deficient in a nutrient. And excess may even harm, as the study in Archives of Internal Medicine finds.

All of the women, in their 50s and 60s, were generally well nourished yet many had decided to take supplements. Multivitamins, folic acid, vitamin B6, magnesium, zinc, copper and iron in particular appeared to increase mortality risk.

Helen Bond of the British Dietetic Association said some people, like the elderly, might need to take certain supplements. For example, vitamin D is recommended for people over the age of 65.

She said some took supplements as an insurance policy, wrongly assuming that they could do no harm. "But too much can be toxic and it is easy to inadvertently take more than the recommended daily amount."

Source: BBC.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

So What's New?

Another busy day for me. After my morning routine, I went to the hospital to get a second opinion on my protruding disc problem. My orthopedic surgeon said my problem is not that serious and started me on physiotherapy (traction) for four sessions and also gave me new medication called Ultracet which is made of 37.5mg tramadol HCI and 325mg paracetamol. I am to continue with Neurobion and Gabapentin until my current supply runs out. After consultation, I went to the Rehabilitation Center to start my physiotherapy. The physiotherapist took some basic particulars on my present condition including my tumors location and whether I had surgery or not. Then she taught me three simple exercises to do at home. After that, she started me on the traction therapy for 20 minutes. She said since this is my first time, she will start off with lighter weight. I did not feel any discomfort throughout the session.

After lunch, I proceeded to IMU for my chiropractic session. My doctor told me that my back muscles seems to be more relaxed. He said he will continue to work on it. I told him I did not feel much improvements except for my left leg. He said that is good. After the session, he loan me a book called The Miracle of Fasting by Paul and Patricia Bragg. He said I could try fasting to detox and recharge my health. I thought it would be good to read another health book to learn more about fasting and how it affects the body. I thank him for his gesture and said I will return the book when I meet him during the next consultation which is this Friday.

2012 Malaysian Burger (oops sorry, Budget)
I thought I would say a little about the 2012 Malaysian Budget. What's my take on it? Nothing spectacular and perhaps one of the worst I have seen so far. It's nothing more than an election budget giving more burger handouts to the underprivileged voters to ease their cost of living. The only transformation that the budget was designed to achieve are to transform some of the votes to the ruling coalition.

Should you be afraid? The Government's 2012 expenditure is to rise by 9.4%, the deficit to be funded by borrowings. Don't forget that budget overruns as high as 30% are normal for the successive ruling coalition's administration. As of June 2010, National debt is now at all time high of RM592.8 billion. A number of Government departments were privatised over the years, so their debt gets reclassified as commercial debt. Elsewhere in the world, most are reporting lower growth for 2012 while Malaysia is forecasting a bumper harvest of 5-6% growth. Malaysia Boleh!

After the 13th General Election what is to be expected? I looked into the gotcha ball and this is what I saw. Implementation of GST and increase in fuel prices.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Rainy Spell Forecasted

Of late, my posts seems like an old broken record that keeps on replaying. That because the same problems that has not been resolved. Since I stopped taking the Pregabalin pain killer, my breathing has returned to normal. The current drug that I am taking Neurontin (Gabapentin) seems to affect me more as I feel drowsy after taking it. Pregabalin gives me lesser drowsiness but it affects my breathing. I am caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. I am taking two tablets a day but it is not helping me to control the pain at all. I think increasing my dosage to say four a day, I am afraid, I will be like the "Sleeping Beauty", sleeping most of the time.

I think my current sleepy spell is due to the pain killer drug Gabapentin that I am taking. I seems to be sleepy most of the time, just lie in be and I will dose off. Sounds good but then I will miss drinking my juices. Resting is good but there is a tread-off for me because my "medication" are the juices and the supplements that I take. If I am sleeping, I cannot take my "medication".

I wrote a DOS software program for a client in 1991 and over the years the program was updated into the Windows version in around 1996. They have been trying to contact me to make changes to the 20 year old program! I have forgotten most of the source code (and the Visual FoxPro programming language as well) and the notebook where I used to developed the program is not now accessible. They have also lost the installation diskette and now want to reinstall on newer computers. Anyway, I told them I will meet them and try to do whatever I can. I never thought the program would survive that long.

Of late, I have been receiving nothing but bad news. Last week, one of my ex colleague now in his late 50s was diagnosed with cancer after he was warded into a hospital when his intestines burst! Doctor gave him six months and he is now undergoing chemotherapy. My backdoor neighbor's brother in his early 60s also passed away after a eight month fight with throat cancer while still undergoing radiotherapy.  On 14 September, I met a patient in his 50s and today, my hypnotherapist informed me that he has passed away on 8 October 2011.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Sleeping Weekend

The whole of last week was really hectic for me. I was spending most of my time at hospitals, SJMC, Tung Shin Hospital and International Medical University (IMU). At the moment, my main problem seems to be my legs, the left leg next the knee joint and the nerve problem around my groin area for my right leg. I am meeting another orthopedic surgeon to seek a second opinion for the treatment of my right leg. My current orthopedic surgeon has only one recommendation, that I take medication. Furthermore, the medication Neurontin (Gabapentin) is not helping me to control the pain, even with two tablets a day. My doctor has said I can take up to six a day. I don't like this option. My chiropractor has recommended six spinal realignment therapy sessions and then physiotherapy (traction). I think surgery is out of the question.

Last night I slept a little late but have to wake up by 8.30am this morning. I have an appointment with my dentist for some tooth filling work which I thought I better complete before I go to India next month. Today, after lunch I went to bed to take a nap as I was very sleepy. Originally I planned to sleep for one hour only but ending sleeping for three hours. I woke up at about 4.15pm. Even then, I was still feeling tired and did not want to get up. But then, I have to get up to continue with my therapy of preparing the juices (I already missed three juices during the time I was asleep), doing the afternoon enema and then preparing dinner. Gerson Therapy is a full time job, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, with no rest days! But then, the therapy is keeping me alive, so life goes on.

Last month I wrote something about the Acid/Alkaline Food Debate. Subsequently, a reader by name of Mr. Wong shared some interesting information on what happens to the stomach when a person drinks alkaline water. I believe this is also applicable to alkaline foods. I met Mr. Wong a few times at his office when I went to purchase some products from him. His company sells Alkaline water filters and I find him very knowledgeable. I am doing further reading on this and hope to write another post "Acid/Alkaline Food Debate - Part 2". The purpose of doing an additional post is not about who is right or wrong but have better understanding of acid and alkaline foods that we are taking daily.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Little Drowsy

Yesterday, after seeing my orthopedic surgeon, he did not recommend further treatment. I am going a second opinion with another doctors to see the treatment options. Meanwhile, I have increased the dosage of the Neurontin from one to two tablets a day. The first tablet I took during the day time, I did not experience drowsiness. I took another just before I went to bed last night. I was also feeling very sleepy and I fell asleep rather quickly. This morning, I could not wake up when my alarm bell rang at 8.30am. I was feeling a little drowsy. After my morning routine, I went to see my chiropractor.

My chiropractor is very experienced and hails from USA. He is always very cheerful. He would greet you "Good Morning" and ask "How are you?". I would exchange back greetings. I showed him my MRI films. After reading the radiologist's report, he looked at the MRI films and said "this is good news. Just a minor bulge but it's pinching the nerve. No surgery required. Let see if I can improve your position and I will require 6 sessions. After that, I will recommend you to take traction." He asked if I knew what traction was and I said yes after seeing a friend doing traction at a rehabilitation center just a day before.

My drowsiness did not subside, so I drove home quickly and went to bed for a rest. It was much better after the rest but I think I am still feeling kind of sleepy. I think this drowsiness is due to the pain killer drugs that I took.

Traction in Physiotherapy

tractionTraction today, otherwise known as "spinal decompression therapy", addresses the functional and mechanical aspects of discogenic pain and has been used by physiotherapists for years.

Now, through use of computerized systems, it will cycle through preprogrammed patterns, ramping up and down the amount of axial decompression allowing for higher levels of spinal traction and disc rehydration. During spinal decompression therapy, a negative pressure is created within the disc. Because of that negative pressure, disc material that has protruded or herniated can be assisted back within the normal confines of the disc, and permit healing to occur. Pressure is released off of inflamed nerve roots allowing the inflammation to subside.

Traction is effective for:
  • Bulging, prolapsed, or herniated discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Sciatica
  • Facet syndrome
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Neck pain
  • Pain radiating down the arm
  • "Pinched nerves"
  • Spondylitis