Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My Natural Remedy for Mild & Moderate Headaches

I get some wicked headaches and migraines, and I have different treatments for each. For my migraines, I use my Imitrex injections (which I have confirmed with Dr. Tinkle and Dr. Francomano that the Imitrex is safe for EDSers), for really bad headaches I use my harder Rx drugs, but for mild to moderate headaches I try a much more natural approach. I absolutely love this combination. I leave it on until the ice packs are no longer cold. Kicks it most every time. Sometimes, I even try this first for other types of headaches, but then I move on to other treatments if this isn't enough.

For mild to moderate headaches, there are four steps I follow:

  1. Rub white flower oil on your forehead, temples and behind your ears
  2. Put cold face mask on your head
  3. Put one ice pack behind head, at the base of neck/head, and one on top of head if you need an extra bit of relief. I find the one at the base of the skull to be the more essential of the two.
  4. Optional: I take 2 Ibuprofens (Advil) if it's bordering on moderate/severe

To purchase any of these items, click on the links (via Amazon thru LifeWithEDS store): 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Let the Walker Do the Laundry!

Let the walker do what? Well, it would be nice if a walker could actually do laundry, but instead the walker can help you get laundry from point A to point B. A walker can also help you walk and keep your balance, help you after a surgery, or help you sit while you are waiting in line or are at an event like a concert if you don't have a wheelchair with you. Walkers rock my socks.

I have tried several different kinds and I landed on the one I am sharing with you because I like how lightweight it is. I can fold it up and pick it up and carry it myself --- there are some out there I can't even fold up myself, let alone carry. This one weighs around 10 pounds. I also like the brakes on this model, they work well. There are four wheels instead of two, which for me is important because I can't pick the back end up as I walk. There is a nice sized cloth basket on the bottom that is detachable. And, the back rest is padded, so it's comfortable if you use it as a chair.

Lastly, the walker is amazing at carrying things around. If you remove the backrest, a laundry basket fits in it perfectly. You, therefore, can transport your laundry from room to room, or even use it to carry heavy things like books, or use it walk your groceries in from the car. It is very handy to have a walker that doubles as a cart. 

You can purchase this model, the Freedom Rollator, via Amazon through the LifeWithEDS store.

Happy walking!

Monday, August 25, 2014

My Six Cutting-Edge Hand and Arm Surgeries

This year I had six cutting-edge surgeries done on my right hand and arm, all at the same time, by the ever-amazing and wonderfully talented Dr. William B. Ericson of Seattle, WA, USA.

The surgeries I had are listed below:
  1. Right thumb CMC Joint Arthroplasty with FCR tendon transfer
  2. Lateral Humeral Epicondylectomy
  3. Carpectomy of the pisiform
  4. Neurolysis of proximal medial and radial nerves
  5. Tenotomy of pronator teres and common extensor fascia
  6. Capsulodesis of the wrist
To explain what these are and why I needed them, please watch the video below. Bear with the length, these surgeries are complex and I am trying my best to explain them in a way everyone can understand:

Dr. Ericson's chart is available for viewing in larger format here.

Dr. Ericson's paper on dual oblique incisions for proximal median nerve entrapment is available for viewing in larger format here.

 Photos of arm and hand a couple days after surgery (mind you, I look all healed now):

Dr. William B. Ericson
The Ericson Hand and Nerve Center
6100 219th Street SW, Ste 540
Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043
Phone: (425) 776-4444
Fax: (425) 272-2730

From EDNF:
Dr. Ericson is an award winning orthopedic hand surgeon with a special interest in painful conditions that do not show on standard diagnostic tests, including joint instability and peripheral nerve problems. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from MIT with a thesis on collagen and elastin, and then graduated from Harvard Medical School. He is board certified in orthopedic surgery and hand surgery, and is in private practice in the Seattle area, with a large number of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome patients in his practice. He has developed a unique and highly successful approach to treating upper extremity pain and weakness in this patient population.

Dr. Ericson belongs over 20 specialty societies and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, and a Fellow of the Association of Extremity Nerve Surgeons, who awarded him the Jules Tinel MD Award in 2009 for his work in this area. He was the Chief of Hand Surgery at Winchester Hospital, Winchester, MA from 1994 until 2005, and he is a past-President of the Massachusetts Orthopedic Association.