Friday, March 28, 2014

RSD Treatment - Calmare - Day 4 & 5

For those that want to "catch up", here are two of my earlier blogs about this treatment. Day 1 LINK and Day 2 & 3 LINK.

Today I finished up my fifth treatment. Thank you for your well wishes and prayers. I know that only God can heal but I do believe the treatments are helping. 

I now have the weekend "off" since the doctor only has office hours Monday through Friday. I am half way through my treatments. 

The doctor said to rest which is exactly what I will do. There are about a billion stores down here including some of my favorites: Goodwill, TJ Maxx and Target. But I will sit in my hotel room and rest. The doctor told me specifically not to walk around Target to look for dancing dresses. He may know me a bit too well at this point in our relationship ;)

Ramen noodles in bed while watching Family Feud.
Recognize the bowl Mom?

We have been using our microwave to eat in the hotel room which is a challenge but it saves me going out and saves money. Pizza, baked potatoes, ramen and rotisserie chicken are making it a bit easier to stay in bed. Yum!

I am going to be completely honest in case someone is reading this that has RSD or knows someone with RSD. 

I was taking a pain pill about three times as strong as Percocet and I was taking them about 4 times a day.

Today I have taken 2 1/2 Percocet. That is a major difference and I am truly thankful for this decrease. My hope for this weekend is to continue to decrease my medicine. 

Thank you all for following my journey as I try to put this RSD into remission. With Calmere, I will most likely need booster treatments. Everyone responds differently but the doctor said that I will most likely need 2-3 treatments in about 3 to 6 months. Then the length of time increases between the boosters until I won't need them at all. 

My doctor was one of the first in the US to get the machine and he has had it for about 3 years. It is used on US military bases, at the Mayo clinic, at Hopkins University and a few other prestigious doctor's offices. 

Please feel free to ask any questions and I will try to answer them as best I can. I am not getting paid or compensated at all to give my opinions about this treatment.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

RSD treatment - CALMARE - Day 2 & 3

So for those that don't know, I have been diagnosed with a condition called RSD. No one really knows how you get it. It could be from an injury, shingles, surgeries, etc. Unfortunately I have had all three within the last two years - two injuries, shingles and 3 surgeries. It left me with this nerve condition. Basically my nerves tell my brain that there is pain in my knee but there is really nothing physically wrong with it. 

My husband and I traveled to New Jersey where there is a doctor who specializes in treating RSD patients. There are about 10 doctors in the US that use Calmare therapy. People travel from all over the United States and abroad to see this doctor. He has a woman traveling from Switzerland next week who has RSD. It is a really painful condition. 

Day 1 went well. The treatment doesn't hurt at all. It is completely non-invasive and has no side effects. There are no drugs to take. It is FDA approved and some insurances are starting to pay for it. The cost is $2500 for 10 sessions. This sounds like a lot of money. But when you consider the surgeries, medication, injections, doctor's appointments, etc. it isn't that bad. 

The machine has ten wires attached. At the end of each wire is a pad. 

I have RSD in my left knee and so five pads are attached to your spine and five to your foot. Basically the doctor wants to get on either side of the pain. The pads send electricity or shocks through the area. It is helping to train my brain and reset the nerves. The machine is like a TENs unit (for those that have tried that) but it has about 20 algorithms. This means there are a bunch of patterns to the shocks going through your body. Some are strong and short, others are longer and dull. 

Your brain is very smart. It gets use to things very quickly which is why I have had to up my pain medicine over the last few months. My brain and body got use to it and so I need something stronger. But with a bunch of patterns, your brain doesn't have time to get use to them.

Yesterday I woke up with the worst pain yet. Sometimes your nerves get temporarily worse before they get better. The doctor compared it to working out a new muscle. Your muscle becomes sore before it becomes stronger. The same is true with nerves. 

Except I didn't realize this. I walked in on Day 2 (yesterday) thinking I was done with this treatment. Pain makes me a bit crazy. It is hard to think through it sometimes. 

I ran into another patient coming out and she said she experienced the same thing. She is 18 and has had RSD for 4 years! Her dad drove her 10 hours to get to this doctor. She came in a wheelchair and is now completely walking - within two weeks of treatment. 

Day 2 went well and I woke up with slightly less pain this morning. Day 3 (today) went very well. I downgraded myself from a very strong pain pill to a slightly less strong pain pill. Ha. I was walking without a cane for a bit today. 

The treatment lasts about 40 minutes. Most people feel itchy and sleepy afterward. 

People respond differently to the treatment. It takes about 3-5 sessions to feel less pain. The 2-week treatment plan will last anywhere from a few months to a couple years before I will need a 'booster' treatment. 

I will continue to update my blog. Ebay and basically everything else is on hold right now. Please feel free to ask any questions. I realize there are a lot of people out there who are hurting.

Monday, March 24, 2014

RSD Treatment in NJ

Yesterday after church we drove to New Jersey. There is an RSD specialist who does a treatment called Calmare. There are 10 doctors in the United States that do this treatment and it was recently FDA cleared for RSD patients. 

We will be here 13 days and so we got a hotel fairly close to the treatment. The hotel was about a third of the price of other hotels in the area and so we were surprised when it turned out to be fairly nice. Plus there is free parking, free wi-fi and free breakfast with waffles. Yum!

We brought our own pillows, blankets, a hamper, hangers and a TON of other stuff and set up the hotel room last night. 

Today is my first treatment. I will be there for about 2 hours. I am trying not to get my hopes up too high honestly but a lot of people say they feel better after the first treatment. 

I will update this post later today and let you know how it went. 


Five pads were attached to my lower back and another five were attached to my foot. The wires from those 10 were attached to a special Scrambler Machine. The doctor wanted to get on both sides of my pain in my knee. After speaking with the doctor about my condition and verifying I have RSD, I was given my first treatment. Each treatment is 40-60 minutes and I will be going M-F for this week and next. 

While hooked up to the machine, it sent electrical shocks through my leg. I had feeling in places that there was no pad which was amazing to me. There were about 20 different currents/shocks and all 20 felt different. The machine would cycle through them. Some were intense and short, others were dull and long. None were painful. 

While being hooked up to the machine, my pain was covered by these shocks. The doctor was really good. Within two tries of rearranging the pads he found the exact spot of my most intense pain. I have felt that pain for over two years. 

After being hooked to the machine I felt wonderful. I had a level 8 or 9 when I went in (I didn't take my pain meds this morning) and was at a 2 or 3 afterward. The doctor said that wouldn't last and the pain would be back and not to be discouraged. He was right of course. 

Usually someone responds to the treatment on a more long-term basis by treatment 5-7 which means I may start to feel some lasting relief by the weekend. 

There is a slight possibility of my insurance reimbursing us for this treatment which would be wonderful. The office manager spoke to us about that as well. 

Everyone was extremely nice. We found out my doctor loves Oreos and so we plan on stopped before the treatment tomorrow and picking some up. 

Thank you for your prayers.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Show Us What You Make: Embroidered Pillowcases

Today I'm linking up with Kelly's Korner to feature my sister's wonderful talent of hand embroidering pillow cases. 

Each costs just $20-$30 (depending on the name) and the turn around time is about 2-3 weeks. Each takes hours and hours to hand embroider.

Click here for her Etsy store. 


What a wonderful gift for Mother's Day, birthdays, bridal showers, secret sister gifts and so much more! 

You pick the color and font style.

She has embroidered dozens & dozens of pillow cases. Here are a few more she has done over the years:

Look at all the hand stitching! Amazing!

HERE is the link for the store.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Recent Ebay Sales - 3/20/14

I had a pretty good week on ebay. Yesterday I ended all of my listings since we leave for NJ in just three days. In October I had 600 listings. Before I ended all my listings yesterday I had under 250. Hopefully that will change soon! 

Here are some recent sales:

1. Camille La Vie pink prom dress, sold for $100.

2. Vintage Dr. Martens boots, sold for $35. 

3. Ann Taylor polka dot skirt & jacket suit, sold for $50. 

4. Free People oversized white top, sold for $32.

5.  Cynthia Ashby purple top, sold for $25. This is a great artsy name to look for. Mine had a hole but some go for $100+. 

6. Another pair of men's Levi's, sold for $25. I purchased a TON of these at TJ Maxx a few weeks ago. Each cost me 70 cents to $3. 

7. My favorite sale of the week! Jennifer Tyler Scottish cashmere sweater with a hole, sold for $100.

8. Eddie Bauer long denim skirt with flaws, sold for $20.50. 

9. Two Star Dog brand long linen dress, sold for $25. I would have kept this if it was my size. 

10. David Meister red dress, sold for $65 within two days of listing. 

11. Vintage Laura Ashley corduroy floral dress, sold for $34. 

12. Men's Express blue sweater, sold for $19.50. Purchased at TJ Maxx for $1. My sister actually found this so a big thank you to her if she is reading right now. 

13. Athleta knit bamboo/cashmere dress, sold for $27. I love finding this brand. It doesn't bring a lot but it always sells. 

14. Black lace mini dress, sold for $20. I purchased this for just $1. It isn't the best made dress and had no labels. But it was cute and I thought I would take a chance. It sold the first time I listed it which is always great. 

15. Hot Cotton by Marc Ware linen top, sold for $20. 

16. Ann Taylor animal print skirt, sold for $20. I purchased this for $5 on ebay to resell.

17. Jones Wear burgundy suit, sold for $25.  

18. My last item was just sitting around my house. It came free with my new hand mixer. I knew I would never, ever make my own bread. They sold for $10. Not a ton but better than something taking up space in my house.


This one came from my Ipsy bag this month. Ipsy is a monthly subscription box that costs $10. 

For the $10, you get 4-5 sample sized or full sized beauty products in a make-up bag. 

I keep a few items from each bag and sell the rest. I break even or make money every month. That means free beauty products for me! 

This month (March) had a NYX eyeshadow palette, Bare Minerals lipstick, Pixi (sold at Target) foundation primer and a Chetta blue eyeliner. It came in an adorable make-up bag. 

I listed the Chetta eyeliner for $6.49 and it sold within an hour! The NYX eyeshadow is listed for $5.49 and the make-up bag is listed for $3.99. That means I got to keep the lipstick & primer (the two products I would actually use) for free. Awesome. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Knee Update: We are going to NJ!

An ebay update will be posted tomorrow. I promise ;)

I have RSD in my left knee. I was diagnosed in December and have had several doctors confirm the diagnosis. 

I got a spinal injection last week which didn't work. Most days I am in bed. I am taking a very strong pain medicine several times a day. 

My awesome husband has been doing just about everything for me including the RSD research.

I will be honest, RSD is not a good thing to have. It worsens over time. I don't like reading about it since it is pretty depressing.

Last night he was on his knees praying and got the idea to search for "encouraging RSD treatments".

He came across a treatment called Calmare Pain Therapy Treatment. There are only 10 doctors that do this treatment in the US and it was recently cleared by the FDA. 

We called today and spoke with the office manager/nurse. She was very helpful and actually put the doctor on the phone since he passed in between patients. I was able to ask him some questions. 

They have an opening Monday. Yup, this Monday! They are located five hours away in New Jersey. The treatment is 10 sessions in 10 days and has a 70-80% success rate. 

We will be in New Jersey for almost two weeks. I am not the best when it comes to spontaneous plans (is that even a thing?). I like to know well ahead of time that we are going on a two week trip. I like to make lists and have everything taken care of. 

We have no where to stay at this point. I have no lists made. I have no idea of how I am going to endure a five hour car ride when a trip across town gives me major pain. But I am trusting God with this.  

On the plus side, I have watched a TON of make-up videos on YouTube and have learned how to apply my foundation a bit better :)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Photos from around the house

Today is Sunday. I love Sundays since I love our church. However, my hubby is in Ohio today and we decided it was best for me not to drive with the pain medicine I'm taking. It makes me a bit fuzzy but does help with the pain. And so I am home enjoying the sunshine from bed. 

Here are some photos I have taken over the last week. 

I love to thrift and found this divided basket at Goodwill last week for $3.99. I'm not sure if I will sell it or keep it. We haven't been entertaining too much but this would be great for different pretzels & chips. It is on a lazy Susan which is pretty great.

A couple in our church had a baby girl. I sent the present in the mail since I knew they wouldn't be at church for a few weeks. Her name is Harper. I stock up on Kraft paper from the Dollar Tree since you can use it for almost any gift. Love it!

Isn't the human body amazing? I am starting to bruise from my IV and I love to see the different colors. 

Spring cleaning time! Both the hubby and I love to organize. I realize we are weird but we both look forward to it. On Saturday we did our annual "clean out the file cabinet" where we go through every. single. file and see if we can throw anything out. We wound up with a big trash bag full of paper. 

I love having a window across from my bed. It allows me to see the wonderful sunshine! We went from a -20 wind chill to 50 degrees in one day last week.

My hair is getting SO long. I have trimmed it myself but really need a trip to the hair dresser. One of the symptoms of RSD is hair growth.

Hair dye from I will be doing a post about this next week. So much cheaper than the salon! 

I also found a pair of shorts at Goodwill last week. I cannot wear pants too often since the material presses against my knee.  This is a common outfit for me - a bleach stained GAP hoodie, my husband's oversized t-shirt and shorts. It is a good thing we don't entertain too much!

A few years ago we painted "my" room (i.e. the guest bedroom) and we installed new shelving in the closet. We removed the doors and put up the curtains. For about $120 I had a new closet. I wish I would have remembered to take a "before" photo.

Do you see the box sitting on the shelf? That is my father-in-law's medicine.
I put it together every week. I wish we had another spot for this in the house but for right now it is in here.

Tucked behind the curtain are my belts, umbrella & purses. I'm down to two!

Please continue to pray for my knee. The injection hasn't helped at all. The doctor told me not to be discouraged since there are other things to try. I will go back to the doctor who did the injection in about 10 days to see what is next. Until then I am thankful for my cane and my new (thrifted!) wheelchair. 

I hope everyone has a great week!