But it's not...it's functional neurology, biologic medicine and Quantum Neurology Rehabilitation... and I am so beyond grateful that I get to be a part of it all. Not only am I confident that I a going to get well, I get to LEARN about the body and MY body specifically...I get to witness myself heal and understand how and why it is healing. (insert mind blown emoji)...
I need to take a step back however and thank my husband Mallard for driving my mom, her cute pup and myself out to AR in a matter of 3 days. We were packed to the gills, but after a total of 1,700 miles, 5 gas station stops and plenty of murder mystery podcasts, we made it. It was a breeze and it's all because of you, so THANK YOU MATTY! We now know that you 100% could be a long haul truck driver.
It's hard for me to put into words what it was like to wheel up to the doors of the Spero Clinic. I had no idea I would become so emotional...this place has the potential to really give me my life back...
The entire staff knew exactly who we were when we entered the waiting room. We were greeted with hugs and a bit more paperwork, it felt so good to finally be at the clinic. In a matter of 30 minutes, I'd met a handful of Dr. Katinka's other patients. These people have flown in from all over the country, all over the world, seeking one main outcome from coming to the Spero Clinic...to get their life back...to put their chronic pain into remission, so I am in GREAT company.
Everyone's story is different of how their CRPS developed. For one person it was several shoulder surgeries, for another it was an ACL surgery gone wrong. Another was a female veteran, blown up in Iraq. For some, their CRPS is in a foot or an arm. For others it's full body CRPS and for me, its lower body CRPS. Like the mother of a Spero patient put it, whether you've been fighting CRPS for years or months, one minute is too long.
After a short meet and greet in the waiting room, I was whisked away for tests/evaluations. It was "time to get to work," as Dr. K said. With each test or evaluation comes a load of information which I oh so appreciate. Spero wants you to understand what has happened to your body and how they're going to help you heal with their tools. So bare with me if I completely botch some information. These words are coming from a handbag designer, not a medical doctor.
The first exam I had done was a Static EMG or sEMG exam.
Hang in there with me as this is a lot of information, but its worth the read, I promise. At least its fascinating for me to read my test results and understand them. Remember when I woke up post spinal surgery paralyzed and was supposed to be using a walker at most? I believe this exam gives a lot of insight as to why my mobility is still cruddy on top of my insane pain.
This exam evaluates the function of the muscles that support and move your spine. These muscles are controlled by the nerves running within it. This test measures how much energy is needed to maintain your posture and how it is distributed throughout the muscles. If too much energy is used when a spine is out of balance, this test score will be lower than normal. Over time, daily stress can continue to overwork these muscles, causing them to lose their support and mobility, both emotional and physical stress.
This technology reads electrical activity of the muscles (action potential) in order to measure paraspinal tension, similar to the use electromyography in EKG/heart rate measurement machines. The electric current pattern is a critical component of how your body functions. The muscles on either side of your spine should be balanced; if they are not working equally well, the body is forced to compensate, which takes energy. This imbalance can be monitored and tracked by our sEMG technology. Alterations in electrical activity in the paraspinal muscles can shed light on the muscular changes linked to vertebral subluxations. As such, chiropractors can use sEMG to establish a baseline for paraspinal electrical activity.
Although this sEMG is similar to EKG/heart rate monitors, it is important to note that these sensors are 1,000 times more sensitive. This enables them to read the electrical activity of paraspinal muscles, which is much weaker than that of the heart.
Once a scan is performed, two graphs are depicted from the information gathered. The first graph shows reveals the nerve to muscle connection among the paraspinal electrical activity, noting areas of muscle spasm, weakness, and fatigue as indicated by different colored bars. InSight™ uses a color coated system:
The baseline (or ‘healthy’ spine) to which all scans are compared to reveal bars along both sides of the spine that are white, they also show a nice pear-shaped pattern.
After the sEMG test I went and had strength and sensory tests done, which every paraplegic or quadriplegic dreads. These tests are a great reminder of how jacked up your body truly is...oh well, not for long! As Dr. K said, "the tests are merely necessary to measure the progress you make in your time here.", how I love you Dr. K. I also have the test results of my Autonomic Nervous System Regulation that I don't fully understand just yet...but when I wrap my head around it I will definitely report back.
After my strength and sensory tests, I had 2 chiropractic adjustments and then a 60 minute session in the Magnesphere.
Its the Magnesphere. The Magnesphere is a Magnetic Resonance Therapy system with extremely low-level, natural magnetic fields. The Magnesphere's FDA-authorized claim of “Enhancing Feelings of Relaxation” helps reduce the symptoms associated with chronic stress.
Chronic Stress, whether it be stress to your body or emotional stress, adversely affects disease states and chronic conditions of many types, leading to an exacerbation of symptoms (typically pain, inflammation, energy level, digestion, and sleep). The Magnesphere helps bring balance to the nervous system and address the issues of chronic stress.
I've had 3 sessions in the Magnesphere so far. Each session has made me insanely sleepy and relaxed, to the point where talking was difficult. I have the Magnesphere everyday next week as well.
using the NMR and good God, I'm excited to see how my body reacts.
So what is NMR and how does it work?
The NMR device was designed to go after the cause of the injury by stimulating both the peripheral and central nervous systems. This stimulation in turn allows the body to identify and heal the injured tissues. The human nervous system heals and learns through strength of stimulation and repetition. NMR provides both of these during the performance of its unique protocols.
NMR is not your standard electrical muscle stimulation. Not even close. The key to the uniquess is it’s specific waveform which allows for the resultant current to penetrate deep within the tissues being treated through a combination of differing frequencies, duty cycles, and outbursts. Also unique to NMR is the ability to put the patient in motion during the treatment protocol without tetanus (“spasm” of the muscle), for advancement of neuromuscular reeducation.
I've been so used to using a TENS unit at physical therapy. A TENS unit v NMR can be compared to burning a house down from the outside (TENS units) v rewiring the home's electrical from the inside out (NMR).
The main advantage of NMR is the way it works in a harmonious nature with the body’s nervous system so as not signal the nervous system to protect by concentrically contracting muscle during treatments. This effectively reduces the pain-guarding-pain reflex. Patient improvement is often noticed following the very first treatment.
NMR can be used for the following uses:
Understanding NMR and how it works makes me wonder if I've been doing myself a disservice by strapping up to the TENS unit at PT. I wonder if I've inflamed my CRPS by blasting my muscles with electrical stimulation. Oh well, onward and upward!
Pain is still bad, but I managed to sleep okay last night. I am not the slightest bit concerned as most patients don't see relief until week 7 or 8. Everyone's bodies and unique and operate differently. BUT things I didn't expect to happen are happening. Dr. Lucas has been working on evening out my hips. My left leg was almost a half inch longer than my right when I first got to the clinic (is that even possible??). So as one would imagine, my balance is much better. Its amazing what will happen when your body is aligned. And now I suddenly feel like my body is getting stronger because of it.
That all I really have to report for now. We've settled into our adorable Airbnb and my mom is presently splashing Christmas cheer all over our place. I'm missing the pups and Matt but are you kidding me? ITS WORTH IT. Fayetteville is absolutely delightful and the people here are so kind. THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING.
Grateful for you all!
Taylor Gilkey Laird