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.