( Sorry this is a little long, but I did go into a good bit of detail here.)
“My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” These words from II Corinthians 12:9 were spoken by the Lord to the apostle Paul when Paul pleaded with the Lord to give him relief from his thorn in the flesh. And they are words that I am hanging onto at this time. For some time now I have been dealing with a lot of joint and muscle pain and some other symptoms such as numbness in my hands, feet, and face. More recently severe headaches have been added to the mix. Many times I feel a great deal of fatigue and weakness and find it a great effort just to get through the day. I do need the Lord’s strength. It is perfect though I may be weak.
And I need the Lord’s grace. When I am experiencing a lot of pain, it is difficult for me to have a gracious and kind spirit. But I know that any other type of attitude is not pleasing to the Lord and does not come from Him. Please pray that the Lord will help me in this area.
An appointment had been made with a rheumatologist to discuss the joint and muscle pains, but this appointment got postponed because the problems of weakness and also of loss of sensation in the arms, legs, and face became more of a concern to me than the joint pains. Muscle spasms became a problem as did severe headaches accompanied by pain that traveled from my neck up into my head. This neck-to-head pain increased upon standing or upon moving my head quickly.
I began to wonder if I had more of a neurological problem than a problem for a rheumatologist. An appointment was made for re-evaluation with the family doctor to see what her thinking would be in that regard. No appointments were available until November 4th, and my regular doctor was to be off for that week, so they set me up to see the Physicians Assistant.
In the meantime, recommendations had been made to us to try a chiropractor in Charlotte. The daughter of a missionary friend of ours from church had been greatly helped by this chiropractor, who is a board certified sports chiropractic physician. To learn more about what that is, check out this link http://www.chiropracticfitness.com/doctor-s-training/
After praying and researching this chiropractor’s credentials, I made an appointment with him. Dr. Schulman took 3 x-rays and did some other tests. He found that there is moderate nerve impingement (pinched nerves) in my lower back and moderate to severe nerve impingement in my neck. He felt that the pressure on these nerves was sufficient to cause the neurological symptoms I had been experiencing. My neck is very straight, has no natural curve. It has been this way for a long time, but Dr. Schulman says I was not born this way. He feels it can be corrected.
The follow-up with the Physicians Assistant was today. She is very nice and seemed to be very good. Apparently some years of experience have given her some wisdom. When I told her the chiropractor was a board certified sports chiropractic physician, she said, “Good.” After hearing what he had found, she said that the neurologist probably would not be able to tell me any more than the chiropractor did. At this point, she does not think seeing a neurologist would be helpful.
The joint pains apparently are not associated with the pinched nerves. Also, she said that very tight muscles can actually pull the neck out of alignment and make it straight. A number of years ago a chiropractor in Florida mentioned that my muscles were so tight she could “pluck a tune” on them. They apparently have remained that way for quite some time. Now there are severe muscle spasms with loss of muscle tone. The PA believes the loss of muscle tone is due to lack of use of the muscles. The muscle spasms she thinks can be helped with certain types of exercise and by applying heat. Her caution was to use moist heat rather than dry heat and not to use anything that is too hot as that would actually make things worse.
With the exercises and stretches I have already been given, the moist heat, the supplements, and the specific exercises recommended by Dr. Schulman, she thinks I should see a great deal of improvement. She said that I have already had all the labs the rheumatologist would recommend. Tests were done for rheumatoid arthritis and possible lupus. Though the tests for rheumatoid arthritis were normal, it appears that there is some form of arthritis with the muscle pain and spasms. But she feels this can be controlled by the exercises and chiropractic treatments.
Her recommendation - No need to see either a rheumatologist or a neurologist at this time. Continue with chiropractic care and follow-up in 3 to 4 months. Praise the Lord! Thank You, God for giving wisdom.