Ted is a patient who has suffered from peripheral neuropathy in his right calf and foot since 1987. Ted today is 77 years old and in good health but for the lack of sensation, and some pain, from the peripheral neuropathy. Let me tell you a little about Ted and his methods.
Ted was a pharmaceutical sales rep. over 35 years ago and always had a keen interest in the way our body works chemically. His pharma training helped him understand the intricacies of chemical actions in healing and disease. But Ted is a true “doubting Thomas”. Over the years Ted has always shown an interest in helping himself by understanding what is going on with his body, and not accepting anyone’s advice without seriously questioning the logic, positive and negative outcomes, if he chooses to abide by the recommended treatment of his physicians. The plural is used as Ted does not go see one doctor, but several, when he has an issue. He listens to general practitioners, neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, Chiropractors, physical therapists, etc. and then compiles his own understanding of the health issues and forms his own opinion for his personal treatments.
Ted was originally diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy in 1987 by a neurologist after an extensive nerve conduction study. In 1986 Ted had visited Duke Medical Center as he had noticed a small tremor that was not visible to others, but he knew of it. Ted was a certified marksman in the U.S. Army and National Guard so he continued his marksmanship contests. It was the need to stay totally still and slowly squeeze the trigger that alerted Ted something was not right.
Ted was also an avid bowler, competing in the Nationals, and in 2004 he quit because he was losing his ability to move his feet and control his balance. He competed at the national level so the progression of the peripheral neuropathy was something that limited his competitive abilities and he lost that competitive edge to win at that level of competition.
He has used multiple drugs and combinations over the years to combat the peripheral neuropathy.
Ted came to us because he was losing sensation in his right calf and foot. This was causing an issue because Ted is a sole surviving spouse. He lost his wife to cancer about 20 years ago and is self dependent. Ted is very independent and drives his car whenever he has to and it was becoming dangerous for Ted and other drivers because, due to the lost sensations in his foot, he was no longer able to discern by feel if his foot was on the brake or gas pedal. Ted overcame this by simply looking down at his foot to see which pedal it was on. Ted was very concerned, that after 25 years, the neuropathy was going to limit his ability to drive and take care of himself.
Ted came to us after his chiropractor suggested he could “help his peripheral neuropathy” by using an electrotherapy machine, treating Ted 3x per week, for approximately 6 months in his office. Ted lived more than 45 miles from his chiropractor and the travel would be prohibitive, as well as costly. He had figured it would cost him approximately $8,000+ just for the treatments, plus the time and cost of travel. He was seeking another option and came to us for help.
When we talked with Ted we asked him what was it about this machine the Doctor used that would supposedly “help his peripheral neuropathy”. Ted found the web site for the company and also sent us the literature the company sent to the doctors explaining the equipment. For me I was lucky as I was very familiar with the company, the owner, and the history of how the machine evolved. There was no “mystery waveform” nor any information known only by the manufacturer. The unit itself was basically very simple as far as electronic circuitry goes and there was nothing new in the equipment that had not been around for decades.
We offered Ted a free trial use of Infrex interferential therapy machine and instructed him on the proper protocols and electrode placements to see if the therapy would help him. It really appealed to Ted that he could self treat at his leisure and not have to commute back and forth to his doctor’s office for therapy. We knew Ted would be one of the most compliant patients we had ever had due to his inquisitive nature trying to understand the processes of electrotherapy and effects.
Ted would go home at night, recline in his Lazy Boy and apply one electrode to the bottom of his right foot, midback waistline point, and the other at the popliteal space ( behind knee), or upper calf, lower back thigh. Ted would use the interferential mode only for 45 minutes nightly, then change the upper electrode and go for 30 minutes for pain control sensory relief before going to sleep. He changed the upper electrode location each night depending upon the sensory input he perceived. He called us once in the first 30 days to make sure he was using the unit correctly. We did not hear from Ted for the next 30 days.
One early morning the first call I received started this way. “Bob I want to start your day and week off on a good note” was the greeting. It was Ted. He explained how he had reached the point that in his opinion he had restored 30% of feeling and function to his foot and calf. He told me for the first time in over 10 years he could now actually feel his toes and had sensation in them. The color of his foot had been restored to a brighter skin tone hue, the cold, bluish callousness it once was, was going away, and he had greater range of motion than he had prior to treatment, absent pain.
Ted continues to use his machine daily and continues to see improvement week by week. What is interesting to us is, there is hope for so many people who have resigned themselves to the consequences of pathological negative outcomes. Now with the ability to self treat, with a clinical interferential machine, the prospects of staying the disease, reversing symptoms, is beginning to offer new hope for patients never before imagined. Functional restoration is occurring now and the future looks bright.