Alternative treatment and management of pain.
Never having been a person who wants to pop a pill for every ache, after decades of pain that increased over the past year, I sought alternative methods for dealing with it. This led me on a path of oriental medicine, herbal supplements, and bee venom therapy. Over the course of the past 9 months, my pain level has gone down, I have lost weight, and I have learned why I have had so much pain to begin with. My intention is to enlighten others to a different approach to pain management. And ultimately managing how you approach your overall health.
I am not a licensed practitioner. I am simply someone who chooses to listen and follow the advice of the trained holistic healers in my life. This journey is still beginning, and I am so looking forward to the continuation of where I have been taken already. The differences that have already been made in my life over the past 9 months have been incredible, and where as before, I had been feeling hopeless and desperate, I now feel hopeful for a wonderful outcome.
My story began decades ago. Starting with aching in my knees. I learned then to live with the mantra, it’s all in your head, just get over it. Mostly because after a few visits with Doctors, nothing was found, and so… I learned to live with it. Sometimes I would use a knee brace. Mostly I just kept going. I was pretty active, in my younger years, living in Boston, I rode my bike, or walked to the subway. Always moving, always active. This, I believe kept my joints lubricated and working.
It wasn’t until more recent years, that the pain was increasing, along with my weight. For over 20 years, I was upwards of 200 pounds. At the most, I know I weighed 230 pounds. While I knew I needed to lose weight for my health, I did not feel bad about myself, I could look in the mirror, and like who I was. With the help of weight loss meetings, and learning about nutrition, I was able to drop pounds, but continued to hover just over 200 pounds. My thinking was, if I could just lose weight, I wouldn’t hurt so much. Regardless of the knowledge I had about nutrition, and for the most part eating healthfully. I would get to the point, after being unable to drop any weight, of just saying, oh forget it, let’s eat that cake, or chips, let’s drink soda all day long, what difference is it going to make.
As long as I kept walking, and mostly eating well, I could maintain the weight, without getting bigger, I just couldn’t stop the pain. By this point, the pain was no longer just in my knees, it was widespread. Not always in the same place, sometimes more intense in my hips, or my back, or my neck, or my legs. Thankfully, I have an ability to be bright and happy most of the time and not many people around me, not co-workers, nor my grown children really had any idea that I was suffering. My husband, Abdiel, and I have been married for 10 years. He has seen me at the worst, but he also knew I did not usually complain. In 2015 the pain was at such a high level, that I was complaining, and asking for massage, and sleeping on ice nearly every night. Abdiel even found me an ice pack, that when opened, it was as big as a pillow case. Man he was my hero when he brought that home! I could curl up on in and go numb. I could sleep for a few hours at a time. It was bliss!
In 2013, I did finally ask the Physicians Assistant, who regularly treated me for whatever was ailing me, for some pain medication. She prescribed Tramadol, a narcotic to treat pain. Over a four week period, I used it five times. Each time the reaction to this drug became stronger. One of the side effects of this narcotic is respiratory distress up to and including death. Wait, what? So the fifth time I used this little pill, I really had to concentrate on breathing. I was certain I would wake up dead. That was the last time I took it, and it was years before I sought alternative treatment. Ice packs became my best friend. Laying on them at night became the only way I could get some relief and fall asleep.
Throughout this pain, I have continued to be an avid walker. Regardless of where I worked, I would take time during my lunch break to walk outside. I truly believe this is one of the things that has kept me out of a wheelchair, and able to continue to move. My husband and I would joke about a wheelchair. Abdiel buys and sells items, and would often find some really nice wheelchairs or walkers, and would tease me that this one is for me. Honestly in 2015, I got to the point of hopelessness, and would covet some of the nicer walkers. Without walking through the pain four to five times a week, I feel I would have been using one or the other in the near future. Being a positive thinker was also a benefit I had.
My journey is just beginning, in the following weeks, I will continue to share, and will get into my course of treatment, and the hope I now have for a pain free future, and a healthy lifestyle.