I understand and can relate…

April 3, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Lgooseman and all,

It has been over 13 years for me. I had what everyone called “charliehorses” in my calve muscles nearly every night, and at first all I could do was roll up and take the pain. Then I learned to roll to the edge of the bed and force my legs and feet to the floor and with my hands push myself up in a standing position – that stopped the cramps, then I would get my cane and walk around. I got a perscription that helped but I can not remember what the drug was. If I remember it I will post it later.

It seems that nearly everyone has some type dysfunction with their feet, or there are many post about feet problems. Like all the rest of you when I get up I first just stand and stretch…then small baby steps (about the first 6-8), then I feel a litttle better walking with my cane.

We have many pressure points, or receptors in the bottom of our feet and these receptor neurons, or nerve cells stretch out but never actually touch other nerve cells. These cells talk to each other by neurotransmitters, small messenger chemicals that are stored in the nerve cell endings.

When a neuron is activated, an electrical current passes through the cell out to its branching nerve endings causing the release of its neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters drift out into the synaptic space. The neurotransmitters attach onto surfaces of neighboring neurons at docking sites called receptors. When enough receptors are occupied, the cell is activated and an electrical current rapidly pulsates down the cell causing release of its neurotransmitters. This electro-chemical process passes on affecting millions of neurons in an instant.

We have billions of neurons in our brain. However, as we grow older many of these nerve cells die and ARE NOT replaced. So the natural aging process leaves some of us with nerve cells that are not communicating with other nerve cells – which means our muscles are not receiving the electro-chemical process from the neurotransmitters. This IN ADDITION with axonal damage which also leaves us without full function of nerve cells takes a toll on our body control and management.

I got GBS in Dec 1996, was misdiagnosed, and did not get either IVIg or plasmapheresis treatments. I was totally paralyzed – the only thing that worked on my body was my eyelids…thats all that would move. Then I got Transverse Myelitis, a blood staph infection (Staphylococcuss Aureus), pneumonia, internal bleeding, a tracheotomy and on a respirator, in a coma, and an EEG that showed no activity, a temperature of 107.9, BP 44/0 by Doppler (would not register by cuff), and the doctors told my wife to make arrangements for a post-mortem. They also told her, “had I lived, I would have been severly brain damaged from the high temperature and low BP for such a long time.” But my wife did not make those arrangements. She called our pastor instead – and when he arrived my family and friends circled my bed and prayed for a miracle. I was spared by the Grace of God!

While in the hospital ICU I did not receive any PT. My wife questioned about PT, but was told the special AiroDyne bed would give my body enough movement that I would not need PT. As a result I got another disease called Heterotopic Ossification – bone growth in and around the hip joints from lack of movement while paralyzed. I haven’t done anything about this for 13 years because looking back, I felt so badly I didn’t think I would live to see 2010. But now that I have, and feel much better than I did then, I told my wife, Rosemary, if I live another 13 years it’s not going to be with the hip and knee pain. I already have a chronic back condition that surgery can not help, chronic adhesive arachnoiditis, CIDP, and I get my first hip replacement April 20th!

I hope everyone has a Great Easter Sunday!!

Warmest regards.