It has been quite sometime since I have made any updates. The year was crazy. Lost my home in a flood, moved my mom who has Stage 6 Alzheimer’s into a terrific, safe memory care, and have been recouping and playing catch up since last summer. That’s my mom there in the photo.
Joint pain has gnawed at me off and on for a couple years and has gotten much worse in the past few months. My hips are so painful that on a handful of occasions I cannot move my legs to walk. My range of motion is non-existent. The joints in my elbows and inner knees are in constant pain to the point where nothing can touch them, not even a soft pillow or my mattress. When the hip and elbow pain began to happen more frequently I thought I was having a flare-up. My neurologist thinks it is osteoarthritis and not M.S.-type or Syringomyelia flare-ups. He doesn’t think osteoarthritis is related to the Syringomyelia, but I swear I read a few interesting articles recently that noted the two issues have been seen in patients with a Syrinx. If I go back to find them, I will link here.
I have an appointment with a rheumatologist in the middle of August. For the last year I have been taking an all in one supplement: Chondroiton, Glucosamine, and MSM to alleviate the terrible joint pain. It may work for some of you, my fellow special spinal cord folks, but it has not worked for me. If anything, it has eased the crepitus a tad bit. Regarding pain, the supplement has not done anything. Time to make a change.
My neurologist mentioned Collagen Hydrolysate as having positive results for osteoarthritis pain, especially in the hips and elbows. So I’ve spent about 20 hours reading whatever I could find on the Internet and reading testimonials (and some negative comments) from current users of the supplement. Supposedly, Collagen Hydrolysate slows down the loss of cartilage, reduces pain, and gives you more mobility. I have ordered some for myself from the Great Lakes Gelatin company. www.GreatLakesGelatin.com
This could be a long shot, and I realize that 20 hours of reading stuff on the Inter-webs isn’t the magic ticket, however I am quite hopeful that this product will work. A few athletes who I work with did have positive, personal experiences using it. As always, I will let the new rheumatologist know I’m taking it and I am eager to hear his opinion. My order should arrive by Friday. I’ll update as soon as I notice any changes.
in the meantime, here are some random pics of the last few months.
Christmas in Montana, the Rose Parade, beach days, hanging with Tito Ortiz at my health and fitness expo, Mother’s Day, crazy sun in San Diego, and other fun shenanigans. Thank you for reading!
It has begun.
This is something I have been grappling with for months and months. Taking medication every day gives me an unsettled feeling. There are many reasons why I do not wish to become a daily pill-popper. The main reason is that I do not want to put chemicals into my body that have the potential to make my physical well-being become dependent on them. Make sense?
Baclofen. Baclofen is a muscle relaxer and anti-spasm medication. Everything I have read and learned from my pharmacist is that Baclofen has terrible withdrawal symptoms similar to Benzo withdrawal or alcohol withdrawal (neither of which I have ever experienced, but have witnessed in other people.) Additionally, I have been avoiding medication like this because I read that muscle relaxers make you feel a little hinkey in the head. My family owns multiple rehab centers so I am familiar with medication addiction. Maybe that’s why I am leary of taking anything.
So far, (so far being 36+ hours) the Baclofen has been amazing. I am tooting that horn even though I am not on board with the pill-popping train. It actually works. It has only been a couple of days and already I feel looser, barely any tension, and very few spasms in my legs and none in my shoulder blade. The Baclofen is supposed to be taken with my Gabapentin for maximum effectiveness. I tried that last night and this morning and I feel great. My head does not feel funny at all. I’m happy to report that this doesn’t seem to be a typical muscle-relaxer in that regard. My dosage is quite low at 20 mg per day. It seems that 80 mg is a high dose and somewhat typical for MS, Syringomyelia, and other spinal cord issues. I’m happy to stick with the 20 mg per day. It is working.