PROGRESS REPORT FOR HEATHER
[Heather is an adult, a Registered Nurse and suffers from RSD]
Guess what??? I am absolutely great!!! I can honestly say that I have almost zero pain, pressure, very few nerve zings, my clavicle pops only occasionally and I have no more numbness. I think there is one area that I can feel 95% as good as I could before otherwise Iím 100% and doing great! Life is soooooo much better without the pain!
Update from Heatherís Doctor Ė November 8, 1999
To Whom It May Concern:
I examined MS. Heather _______ in August with obvious and definite findings of Brachial Plexus irritation. This was further corroborated by the fact that the symptoms reduced with Local nerve blocks. Since then she has been essentially self procuring treatment with dramatic reduction in her ongoing symptomatology.
Of interest is that obviously increased oxygen tensions, as provided by prescribed Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, have been of great benefit to her condition. This is hardly surprising given the pathophysiolgy of the disorder in and of itself. Magnesium supplementation has also done much to reduce her myoneural irritability, which has been my experience in certain subsets of individuals with these kinds of entrapments.
W. Ellis, MD
12/99 Update from Heather
I am writing to all of you because I have had the most amazing thing happen in my life, I am pain free! And I know a way to help a lot of you in your journey of trying to control your pain.
I have met the most wonderful, most dedicated, Christian lady who has completely changed my life forever. I can not say enough good things about her!!! Her name is Susan Rodriguez. She is the owner of Rapid Recovery Hyperbarics located at 1455 N. Waterman Ave. #124-125, San Bernardino, CA 92424. Her phone number is (909) 889-7626 or phone/fax is (909) 8898-0517. E-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org and Web address is www.hbot4u.com.
I am sharing this with all of you because it is very important and may change your life too. It is so unbelievably wonderful to be pain free!!! Susan has dedicated herself to helping others through her business. She runs a hyperbaric chamber. I know that some of you havenít heard of that or why such a treatment would work. I encourage you to look and find out about it. And I want you all to know that because of the miraculous experience I have had with her treating me, that I have decided to join her. She is already very knowledgeable, and I am on my way to learning as much as I can about Hyperbarics.
Let me tell you a little bit about my story and how I came to know Susan and be pain free again. I am a RN working in Cardiac Intensive Care...at least I was working until I was in an accident this past March. This is what happened: I was working with my dad on my car because the clutch cable had snapped. I was under the car and dad was using a 35 LB solid metal bar to pry. I had positioned the bar...and apparently not too well because it popped off and completely creamed me left hand throwing my arm shoulder and neck backwards and towards my left side. My thumb broke and my hand was extremely swollen. At least thatís all I saw and I figured it wouldnít be that I would heal ok. Instead I ended up having multiple complications that left me on disability most of this entire year. Thank God that is ending soon :)
I can not begin to share with you the whole picture of what has happened. Nor all the pain I have gone through, nor the desperate attempts to find a MD that knew what was going on. I can not begin to describe how many different things happened to me, the 8 times I have been in the emergency room, the tests I have been through, nor the fear that I would never been well again....forever in pain and disabled. If you have experienced some of these frustrations you know what I am talking about when I say it is so humiliating to not be able to lift your own arms to feed yourself.
I have written a 6 page comprehensive history of what happened and what symptoms I have experienced. I have confused many doctors and finally come to the sad conclusion that there just arenít enough doctors that know about these kind of injuries. What I speak of is reflex sympathetic dystrophy AKA complex regional pain, sundeckís syndrome, shoulder - hand syndrome...and neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome. I will now abbreviate to say RSD/TOS.
They both are absolutely devastating diseases/injuries that affect your whole life. I do not have the time to explain exactly what they are. I am going to send you this one web posting site though. It is excellent. I do put out messages on the RSD and TOS forums as well. I know not all of you have these particular problems, but I am here to say that I have become a believer in Hyperbarics because I have seen many lives changed because of it, including my own. I believe in it so much I have joined the staff at Rapid Recovery Hyperbarics and I want you to get the same great compassionate service that I got, and gain a new perspective on life.
I am more than happy to send any of you my 6 page list of symptoms and if you are truly interested in Hyperbarics and look into seriously I know that Susan and I will be able to send you web sites and articles to answer your questions and let you know that this is the way to go. This is what you need. I believe it in my heart or I would not bother to tell you this.
This is the web site that has been most helpful to me:
I am not exaggerating in the least when I say that I hit the rock bottom of my pain, suffering, dysfunction, frustration and fear. I was in severe pain, total dysfunction of my upper body and dependent on my parents to feed me. These are categories of symptoms I have in my text: 1) extreme sensitivity to barometric pressure drops...this happened to me and that is how I thought that raised barometric pressure...i.e. Hyperbarics would help me! 2) Hot flushing in my hands and upper body, plus I had Raynauds in my left arm for a while 3) Sudden weakness and loss of ROM of a upper body part at a time...it would drop and that was it. 4) Extreme sensitivity and reactions to cold 5) pain....every type of nerve pain listed basically I have experienced, 6) parathesiaís and altered sensations 7) vascular responses/swelling/ cold spots/ sweating 8) Muscular weakness, loss of ROM, atrophy 8) joints...snap/crackle/pop including clavicles, wrists and so forth...everything that I did not already pop :) 9) miscellaneous: trouble sleeping, inability to find any direction to lay that was comfortable, bleeding in my thumbs and other horrible problems created by my EMG which was worthless!!!, fever x 1 month until my tonsils were removed, multiple headaches which I had rarely experienced in my life previously.
I also reacted horribly to multiple medications and to the EMG test in which I was literally tortured for 2 hrs straight. Tests I have had multiple one...and all the rest of this info is in my 6 pages which you may request. Just about anything made me worse...:( It was so terrifying to have you body completely fail on me like that.
I have tried to briefly summarize how bad off I got and how wonderful I am doing now.
My key to recovery was: number one God helped me through it, number 2 Hyperbarics was totally key in helping reverse nerve pain, swelling, inflammation and dysfunction, I also discovered that magnesium oxide 400mg and Epsom salt baths helped with the muscle twitching and nerve symptoms, I definitely have my PT Julie to thank as she does a wonderful job of stretching me and relieving pain, and I have my Dr. Ellis to thank for correctly diagnosing me with TOS and I have happily say that I have extremely mild symptoms of TOS left that are due to structural damage. I am so grateful to God and to all these people. Of course I cannot leave out the creators of this chat channel and neuro pages and Dr. Togut who has done so much to help especially those of us with TOS. Thankyou and God be with each one of you. I greatly look forward to hearing from each and every one of you. And please remember...there is hope...always hope for the future.
Heather Guhl RN
Rapid Recovery Hyperbarics