Archive for June 13, 2009

Homeopathy, naturally

How many of you have heard of homeopathic medicine?  Do you hit Whole Foods and check out the natural oils and medicines section?  Ever considered biofeedback, meditation, hypnosis, yoga or other means to tap into your inner abilities? Do you believe in any of it? All of it?

By way of background, it might help to know that when I was growing up, I wanted to be a psychiatrist.  I can remember this pretty far back, like 5th grade.  The only catch was the medical school component.  I wasn’t scared of medical school, I just am not a big believer in prescribing medicine.  Not then, not now.  If you opened my medicine cabinet right now, you would only find the remaining medicine from my back surgery.  Yes, I do know that there are some very necessary medicinal needs (insulin, etc.) but for the most part, even at 17, I have thought we are an overly medicated and overly dependent society.

After 2 years, a few misdiagnoses, and one unnecessary surgery, I learned that I had psoriatic arthritis in 2006.  It was nice to understand why my knee, hip, and shoulder would sort of lock up and swell, or my toes would go numb.  It was nice to finally understand why we had to drain my knee once a month due to the excessive swelling.  I was first put on methotrexate and was told I would be on this the rest of my life.  I really hated this. Then when it wasn’t working well enough after about a year, they added twice-a-week injections of Enbrel.  What a lovely combo of drugs – I won’t disparage them because they were very helpful. I could roll over in bed again, walk without my knee blowing up and grasp a pencil again. I am thankful that they gave me my life back. But they severely compromise your immune system in order to suppress the overactivity.  But remember, I dislike taking drugs, especially ones that I would have to administer for the rest of my life (and let me tell you, those Enbrel injections are no picnic and I am someone who did the daily fertility shots for at least a month in order to donate my eggs to couples wanting children).

So, after almost three years of this, my desire to find an alternative was escalating. My uncles and dad took me to see a homeopathic doctor in India in April.  He had been successful with other members of my family with allergies and other issues, so I was very nervous but excited to see him. He spent about 3 hours with me, trying to understand how my body is affected by psoriatic arthritis and how the current drugs alleviated the pain.  He sent me away with some natural pills (for lack of a better word) and told me to call him in a few weeks to tell me how things were going.  His belief was that we would try it out and adjust as needed, but all in all, in a few months, no more psoriatic arthritis.

So, here it is, the third month. I stopped taking the Enbrel injections at the end of March (my suggestion) and had stopped taking the methotrexate earlier in the year (doctor’s suggestion).  After taking the medicines the doctor in India prescribed, I have had considerable success.  My knee hasn’t swelled once, which is a huge win if you ask me.  The toe numbness, hip/shoulder pain, and other issues have steadily become less and less of an issue. There are always alternatives, always choices. It’s up to you to decide.  I am glad I did, with my family’s help. Now, I hope you will excuse me while I snoopy dance as a way of expressing my complete happiness with how well things are going!!

June 13, 2009 at 9:26 am 5 comments

June 2009