Neuro doctor update.....

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by timer lady, Sep 21, 2007.

  1. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Went to a neuro doctor yesterday who specializes in Guillian Barre Sndrome & CIPD. He spent almost 2 hours going over the entire summer & checking me over from top to bottom.

    He administered some very basic neuro-psychiatric tests, along with the usual neurological exam.

    I walked out of the office feeling heard. In the meantime, he will be doing some "down & dirty" research & will be calling me within the next week or so.

    Additionally, while I feel I'm getting better to a degree, neuro dr feels I need more in home help. But he would like me to start physical therapy at one of the nearby clinics so I can get hydro therapy & other treatments that aren't available here at home.

    My biggest concerns when I walked in the door is my memory issues, my inability to walk with-o a cane or walker (gait & balance issues), & this incessant headache. I can't seem to get the cycle of pain regulated.

    Neuro dr would like to see me off the prednisone (I'm backing him on this one) & to find more "user friendly" pain control techniques, if at all possible.

    I'm looking forward to hearing his opinion (my GP called this neuro dr in to ask if he would make time in his schedule to take me on. He kindly agreed & got me in within a week of that call.)

    So, not much of an update. Keep a good thought if you would.
     
  2. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I am glad the doctor listened to you, for me that is very important. Good luck, and hope all goes well.
     
  3. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sounds like you are in good hands!

    Will continue the prayers, Linda!
    :angel:
     
  4. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    Its great to feel "heard". Hoping you can find methods of pain control that work for you.....
     
  5. Penta

    Penta New Member

    My thoughts go out to you. This was published in our local paper. I wondered if it could be helpful for you. Take care.


    Deirdre Earls' Life Changing Discovery

    In a few short years, Austinite Deirdre Earls has made a remarkable journey from the frustrations and despair of chronic illness to burgeoning national prominence as a dietary expert. Her modest, 27-page book Your Healing Diet: Austin's Quick Guide to Reversing Chronic Diseases Through Healing Foods has become something of a phenomenon. During this past year, Your Healing Diet has established itself as the No. 1 bestseller in BookPeople's health section, and the No. 1 bestselling book at Whole Foods. A national version is the No. 1-ranked book in its category on Amazon.com, as well as regularly ranking in the top-selling 1% of all books sold on the site. The local edition is now sold at more than 40 locations across Austin, and Whole Foods has commissioned Earls to tailor unique editions for Houston, Dallas, and New York City markets. Denver, Chicago, and Boston editions are slated to follow. The well-known national magazine Prevention will be running an article featuring Earls this November, and she is profiled on the television documentary The Incurables on the Veria Network.

    "My focus has never been on publicity," Earls says. "My attitude has been if you do the work and generate results for people, the work will be its own marketing. Yesterday I got a call from the magazine Natural Health, and for me, that was just a great affirmation that I don't need to seek out exposure. If I am doing my job right and getting results for people, all that will take care of itself."

    What makes Earls so compelling as a spokesperson for natural healing through diet is a combination of her unique story and her impressive credentials. Unlike many who have a personal tale to tell regarding a profound dietary change, Earls is a registered dietician, with a degree in scientific nutrition from Texas A&M and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas. She has worked professionally in health care from 1986 to the present day, and because of her medical training, her words carry weight beyond the merely anecdotal. Add to that her extraordinary energy and glow of regained health; though she is 44, she looks easily 10 years younger.

    "People have been telling me that I need to get a new photograph taken, because I look younger today than I did two years ago, when I had that picture [on the back of my book] taken," Earls confides. "When I hear that I look even younger than I did two years ago, that's just more evidence that a healing diet impacts every area of your life."

    Earls' story begins in the summer of her 13th year, when she suddenly broke out in severe psoriasis right before the start of middle school. "Thirteen is just an awful age to have a disfiguring condition," she remembers. "But it wasn't like I could hide it. My family was very supportive, and with their help I managed to not let it rule my life."

    Twenty-five years of battling chronic psoriasis followed, with a number of hospital stays (sometimes a month at a time) and thousands of dollars paid out for medical care and prescription drugs. "Some treatments would clear my skin for a while, but after an initial improvement, there was an inevitable relapse and a steady worsening of symptoms," Earls recalls.

    During those years, she graduated from college, worked as a dietician for a string of hospitals around the country, and went to graduate school. "Never, in all that time, did my training or anyone around me suggest that there might be a dietary aspect to my psoriasis," she says. "It wasn't until 2002, when I began looking on the Internet in desperation, that I discovered that diet could be playing a role."

    That year, Earls had a jarring epiphany. "The pain, tightness, and cracking of my hands got so bad, I couldn't unscrew a jar or grip my steering wheel properly," she says. "As I was driving to work one day, it dawned on me that it just wasn't safe for me to be driving my car! Before, this had just impacted me, but now, it had gotten so bad that I was presenting a danger to others." She knew from previous consultations with her dermatologist that he had nothing left to offer except chemotherapy, a type that breast-cancer patients often receive.

    "A cancer patient has six or maybe 10 doses of methotrexate; for psoriasis, the treatment is to keep you on methotrexate indefinitely, with regular liver biopsies. The biopsies are to make sure that your liver can take another dose of chemo without failing – that's how harsh this treatment is. But people sometimes die from the biopsy procedure alone."

    Determined to find another way, Earls began the aforementioned Internet search. To her surprise, "diet" kept coming up. "Several sources claimed that psoriasis can happen when there is an inflammation of the intestine, due to elements in the diet," Earls says. "Now you have to understand, I had formal training and experience as a registered dietician! And I had never come across this information before. My formal training, instead of helping me, had kept me sick. Looking back over my career, I realized that my training had never enabled me to effectively help anyone else, either."

    Earls researched all the diets that claimed to promote natural healing: vegan, raw foods, macrobiotics, alkalizing, anti-inflammatory, cancer prevention, and anti-aging. The one thing they all had in common was an emphasis on eating a whole-food, plant-based diet. With nothing to lose but her painful condition, Earls committed herself to trying a "healing diet" for six months.

    "Now, I am a Texas girl, and it was hard to separate me from my beer, my barbecue, and my jalapeños," she says. "And it was hard to forgo the social interactions that I was used to having around food like that. But I just kept reminding myself, that it was a six-month experiment. If I didn't see improvement, I could always go back."

    Natural healing methods usually cause symptoms to intensify before they recede, and Earls' experience was no exception. "I was prepared for that, and really, it didn't discourage me," she says. "At around four months, the itching got so bad it would keep me up at night, and I felt like I just wanted to jump out of my skin. My ankles became so swollen and tight I had to sleep with my feet off the edge of the bed. This was undoubtedly the most challenging part of my healing. But somehow, deep down I had no doubt I was doing the right thing."

    Abruptly, during the fifth month of eating a whole-food, plant-based diet, Earls' symptoms started to vanish. Over the following two weeks, they virtually disappeared. Her psoriasis went into remission and has stayed that way, from 2002 until the present day. Her success was so dramatic that dermatologists began referring patients to her, and eventually she decided to write a helpful guide about how she did it, to help others find healing. Your Healing Diet is that guide.

    "Psoriasis is naturally the area that I feel I am most knowledgeable about," Earls says. "In fact, I was asked to be a featured speaker at the 2005 convention of the National Psoriasis Foundation. But I have discovered along the way that a healing diet is hugely beneficial for a number of medical conditions. Diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, and a whole range of autoimmune disorders can respond dramatically when a plant-based, whole-food diet is adopted. I have clients who no longer need to take pharmaceutical medications for many of these conditions. Most of the people who consult me experience an unlooked-for weight loss as an added benefit."

    Unlike many other natural healing proponents, Earls was not interested in writing a lengthy tome or strident manifesto. "If my years of being a dietician taught me anything, it is that people's attention spans are short, and no one ever achieves 100 percent compliance with a strict diet," she says. "People don't need that level of structure in their lives. If a patient feels deprived and unhappy, they are not going to stick with it. It just isn't human nature. Changing my diet was, beyond any doubt, the hardest thing I have ever done. If I felt overwhelmed by it, how much more so must be a woman with children, or with a husband who wants no part of it? I wanted to write a guidebook, a simple, short book that got the basics across but most importantly could make adopting a healing diet more 'doable' for regular, busy people."

    One of the things that Earls had come across as a dietician was the attitude that if you don't follow a diet perfectly, you might as well not do it at all. "That is not my experience," she avers passionately. "If you even change your diet a mere 15 percent, you will begin to experience some benefit. In fact, I often start people who feel overwhelmed at a 50 percent compliance rate. One of my success stories, an Austin police officer, has always hovered around 50 percent compliance! He hasn't become a vegan; he still eats meat every day. But he used to eat meat three times a day. Now he has a salad for lunch, and he makes other healthier choices. He no longer needs medication for diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, and he lost 30 pounds.

    "As people experience better health, increased energy, and a lessening of severity in their symptoms, they are usually motivated to take another step and become more committed. They 'up' their compliance, on a continuum that is done at their own pace. It is certainly much, much better to ease your way into a healing diet than to feel so overwhelmed you don't attempt it at all."

    "And once people are completely committed, they are still going to cheat sometimes," she laughs. "I cheat about once a day! But I do want to help people make better cheating choices, because that is the reality."

    Another reason Your Healing Diet has become so popular is that Earls addresses the difficult issue of eating out. Included in every edition is a comprehensive list of local restaurants that have good options for people on a whole-food diet. This list alone makes her book an invaluable tool. People following a healing diet (as well as people suffering from celiac disease and other food allergies) don't want to risk going hungry when they try to eat out with family or friends. Putting together a frequently updated list of accommodating restaurants is one way Earls smooths the path.

    Another is by providing a shopping list, so that your cupboard won't be bare once you get rid of unhelpful or proscribed food items. "I have already done all the label-reading and research," she says." Why shouldn't I just share what I have learned and save people time?" She provides a list of options for every meal, and she focuses on foods that do not require lengthy preparation. "I don't take the time to cook every meal I eat," Earls says. "And I don't expect other people to suddenly have time to become a home chef. The cooking classes I teach are really more food-assembly classes: quick, easy things you can eat that taste good and will help you heal."

    When I asked Earls what she used to eat, compared to what she eats now, it is clear that the changes she endorses are very "doable" indeed. "Before, I would perhaps have had a bowl of cereal with milk for breakfast. Now, I have a rice cake, with almond butter and raisins on top. Or, I can have an amaranth breakfast cereal with soy or almond milk, and my 'cereal experience' is nearly identical. The difference is one meal will cause my skin to flare up, and the other won't. For lunch, I used to grab a sandwich at ThunderCloud. Now, I have a smoothie or a Quinoa Greek Salad at Castle Hill Fitness. I don't feel at all deprived, and I am well. Not to mention, the financial drain of expensive medication and constant doctor visits is a thing of the past."

    The benefits of eating a plant-based, whole-foods diet can extend beyond health and finances. Earls used to be so allergic to dogs that she couldn't have one. Two years ago she adopted Santiago, a 90-pound, indoor, shedding black Lab whose presence brings joy to her life every day. "He's my best friend," she says. "And to think I would never have met him if I hadn't been willing to change."

    Your Healing Diet can be found at Whole Foods, BookPeople, and 40 other locations listed on Deirdre Earls website, http://www.yourhealingdiet.net. Every other Saturday at 11am, she teaches a free class at the Whole Foods flagship (Fifth and Lamar) called Let Food Be Your Medicine (class size limited to 12). She also teaches two classes at the Whole Foods Culinary Center.
     
  6. blb

    blb New Member

    Linda,

    Have you looked into acupuncture at all re the pain relief? I have a couple of friends who have found real relief with certified acupuncturists.

    Glad you were heard.

    Take all the extra care help they offer (while they are offering it!) so you can be doing this :dance: soon!
     
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Linda

    Having a doctor that listens to you can be invaluable. Holding good thoughts he can come up with a good treatment plan for you. I know it's got to be frustrating.

    ((hugs))
     
  8. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    It seems that you have a really good team of doctors. I'm so glad to hear that. It makes all the difference in the world.

    As for the neuro wanting to Difficult Child the steroids...yippee!!! Anything to get off the steroids! :doctor:

    by the way, when my (former) cardio put me on medrol for the allergic reaction to plavix, I asked him what side effects I should be aware of. His response? (And I quote) "Steroids don't have side effects." I'm thinking you should call him and set him straight. Tell him about the birdhouse. :wink:
     
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    That's really good news, Linda. getting a good neuro to check things out and to chase up the odd and the interesting - a lot won't do that. I'm lucky, mine does.

    Here's hoping he has some answers for you.

    And good news about his agreement to getting you off steroids, too.

    Marg
     
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Linda, thank you. It was actually a very good update.
    I am so glad you have a dr. who listens to you and is able to do more testing. Way To Go!
     
  11. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm very glad you felt heard. Continuing with prayers.
     
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