When you are a medical mystery: There is turmeric and copper

For the past 4 years I have been a medical mystery too many health care providers. I have gone to top neurologists, tried acupuncture, gone to a chiropractor, and several primary care providers.  Three doctors outright told me I baffled them. I suppose every woman would like to consider herself mysterious, but probably not in this vein.  Sigh.


You may be wondering what may be so mysterious about me. Well, more specifically medically mysterious. For the past few years, I have had a pain in my shoulder that goes down to my fingers, at times. It is constant, chronic pain. I have no torn muscles. I have had four MRIs, including one of my head and lower back.   I am about to have another MRI this Friday.  Perhaps, this time around, something will show on the scans. I’m not holding my breath. No one can figure out what is wrong. All scans show I am fine.   Yet, the pain on some nights has been quite intense and most pain killers don’t work to alleviate the pain. Back when I was in New York, I was getting injection shots at the base of my head.  Those worked to a point.


What makes me laugh about this all is that other people have similar experiences. I have two colleagues that have gone through the exact procedures and varied diagnoses.  We have our own snarky support group going. Pain misery loves snarky company!


While I wait to undergo my next MRI, I felt tat I had to take some matters into my own hand. Thus, I did what everyone else does nowadays. I googled symptoms, treatment plans and alternatives. What I came up with is that I need to drink tumeric to help with my ansty legs and I need copper for my arms. Well, copper compresion sleeves. I felt a bit silly ordering compresion sleeves as I had seen such an ad on television I try to avoid television commercials because I hate being sold things I don’t need. I record the majority of the shows that I watch and I skip ahead through the commercials. But I caught an ad, while at the gym, of copper compression sleeves. It was like $15 or so. I thought why not?


I got my copper and my tumeric and the pain has eased a little. Well, it eased enough to let me sleep through the night. It’s not gone.   But I feel some relief.   That is just an amazing feeling to get some relief and to get it through my own doing. While a lot on the internet is crap, useless, and even dangerous at times, there are some good tidbits out there that can help empower one as a consumer and as a patient.   Of course, as a psychologist, I know this could all be a placebo effect. And you know what? I’m ok with that.

23 replies »

  1. the obvious response would be to say i am sorry you have any issue at all… this would not be worded like a consumate professional hell bent to rule the world because i didn’t buy that internet/tv how to talk like you’re hell bent to rule the world profession course for nineteeen ninety five! = If I called yesterday! the next less obvious reesponse is to ask all smiley how you like the snake oil 😀 – do not be mislead by the derisive pats one patronizingly tone!! 😉 yes, wink. I guess i’m just going to ask. the reason i’m curious is whether you’ve a circulator mri as in with the fancy ass radion dye traces to see abnormalities of your blood delivery – the reason is NOT because i am a doctor i am not , but I know some mechanics of nature hurt the devil – for instance: heart attack pain is ameliarated by morphine and a dash of aspirin- the aspirin covering what morphine never could, NEW pain. morphine’s darn good and whacking old pain but useless at new pain. heart attacks are BIG apins which is a note the different wording- but morphine can’t whack out heart attack pain hence the aspirin silly useless seeming aspirin. I stubbed my toe gimme a demoral patch is how useless most people feel aspirin is. this is not to forget to hint gently if one is NOT allegic to or otherwise contraindicted by prescribe medication to consider a dash of the silly aspirin to your copper ionized i’m assuming cotton compression sleeves which get all smelly sweaty but magically copper and silver ionization of the fibers leaves trace metal that blocks bacterial actions some for a far less stinky sock!…and is in fact cool but spendy!!! tech….next the compression soothes not fixes abnormalities of flow which in a way actually worsens whats bothersome shhhh i don’t care !! i’m again no doctor…seriously i am not… not kidding at all…know zilch squat…but it’d act upon the situation and thus that placebo effect of even sometimes the wrong direction is touching the issue means relief as it is addressed just as there is a point in copd where it is actually helpful to smoke even though we all know such causes the issue and such is obviously fatal…but ask any nurse and they’ll likely say there just are times when it comes to comfort as it’s otherwise not about fix but easing at a certain point…. now theheart attack pain is big but it is from flow, i have flow issues to a mild extentthanks to blood pressure irritations like when i skyrocket mine which does in fact effing hurt in spots of my arms shoulders toes blah. hence the babble of up to now not connecting this point. obviously due to the nature of mri’s being xray series to a point circulatory issues will not show ever on them well until catastrophic damage if even then. and all circulator issues are potentials for screaming agony pains…duh it’s like mortal issues heart attack considering all death legally stems from??? heart failure! woo hoo! you’re such a fun audience!… and thusthe compromised in some fashion MAYBE flow issues would baffle doctors if you normally show respectable blood pressure decent if stable cholesterol, low issue of stress management concerns like you aren’t a little teapot of anger often boiling over all red faced steamed …i.e. have spikes often in b.p. to hint at flow troubles hint manifesting in a twinge of same said troubles at other times than sleeping- which also points to asking the not so obvious that you’ve necver shown sleep apnia issues or fundamental biologic alterations sleeping /trouble sleeping/resting to back up a simple circulatory dye check- hav e no history whatever of heart/stroke issues indicating checking for this possibility either…hint the baffle to me isn’t baffling seems simple as why shit smell there’s a pile it came from somewhere that where gets stinky boom it’s stinky there’s a pile- do i really need investigate further? or this is precisely why i am NOT a doctor! I might not exercise due caution irradiating your innards. but i am curious if such avenues of detection have been explored – it might ease your issues


  2. Keep exploring alternative therapies of all kinds. Your quality of life is paramount! Western medicine has a tendency to fail us at times. This is why I find that Traditional Chinese Medicine and many eastern practices are most beneficial with some of my clients who experience what doctors end up calling “idiopathic” pain. I’m here if you ever want to pick my brain, chica!


  3. It sounds as though you have been very thorough with your testing but I do not see mention of an EMG? It may prove to reveal nerve damage from a different perspective.


  4. Tumeric, eh? Real turmeric, stuff you use in curry, contains curcumin which is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory.

    My experience is that pain that “travels” down a limb to an extremity is a nerve pinch or something similar. (Not a doctor here but I’ve been there.) I can imagine how a compression sleeve might squeeze things back into where they belong and mitigate things a bit. Have you tried a regular compression sleeve? The copper is, IMHO, a bunch of hokum.

    Is it possible your “antsy legs” might be restless leg syndrome?

    I have a problem where late at night my arches cramp. If I stretch my foot out it goes away and comes back again in a couple minutes.

    Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You said head and lower back, but have they checked your neck? My mom has the same type of symptoms and she has a herniated disc in her neck. Also, another thing I’ve heard of that can cause those symptoms is thoracic outlet syndrome. That can cause a lot of nerve pain in the arm and neck as well as circulation issues. I hope you can get some answers soon!


    • I forgot to mention they did an mri of my neck as well. They did find some space in my c5 area but not enough for the problems I’m experiencing-so they say. sigh. I’ll look into thoracic outlet syndrome


  6. There is good news and bad news about the “placebo” effect. The good news is that the body can produce its own pain-killers:
    Neurobiological Mechanisms of the Placebo Effect
    “As reviewed above, there is ample evidence that expectancy-based placebo effects are mediated by endogenous opioids. ”
        The bad news is that killing pain is not curing the problem. It’s just killing the messenger. But if a communications line with the subconscious can be established in order to “trick” it into triggering the production of a pain killer, then a more positive “magic” would seem to be possible.
        There seems to be an attitude problem with medicine. Its job seems to be to trick and cajole the ignorant patient. However, since the subconscious seems able to communicate with body systems, it would seem better to take a positive approach.
        Under hypnosis you could ask the shoulder what’s wrong, or ask the personified “pain” what it’s trying to say. Somewhere, the body knows what’s wrong through its various signaling mechanisms, and somewhere in the brain the signals are received but not always communicated in useful ways (like in a malfunctioning government where there are “need to know only” top secrets — so tell your body bureaucracy to de-classify the info and send it upstairs to the central office). And of course, a follow up and confirmation of the diagnosis.
        I play a doctor on TV who is on the “Mission Impossible” team so forget what I said. “This message will self-destruct in 20 seconds… Should any of my team be captured or caught, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of our activity or advice.”


  7. I don’t suppose you need another opinion, but when I had a similar problem with right arm only, after everyone failed, a small town, older doctor figured it out in about 2 minutes. Tension affecting nerve(s) in neck or shoulder. Someone else mentioned a similar problem and correct diagnosis. That doesn’t show up on any scan, so if you have tense neck or shoulders…yoga or qigong excercises for that area. that also rid me of migraine headaches for about 13 years so far. 🙂


  8. Just out of curiosity, have you come across similar symptoms with Lyme Disease? My wife has unexplained joint and muscle pains, but doctors think “everything appears normal.”


  9. I am almost hesitant to reply but I do see a seriousness when I hear restless leg syndrome because that often (my observation) goes along with lack of certain trace nutrients. I am wondering for lack of sleep and pain if this link would help and maybe even get to the root of it.


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