238 ~ Transformative tips – Part 9 ~

The series of transformative tips doesn’t have a specific storyline. They are as the title describes – updates on techniques, devices, and over-all tips that improve my quality of life.

Here’s a little update from where I last disappeared and became inconsistent with chats since my health spiraled out of control onto a wild, intractable roller-coaster. Yesterday one part of Dysautonomia overtook plans, after it settled, today a different part overtakes, and tomorrow the cycle continues likewise. Full good days with all symptoms kept at bay are infrequent.

Nonetheless we persevere and express profuse gratitude for the countless comforts endowed upon us, the privilege to afford medical care, rare Drs who fight along our sides through these challenges and search for avenues to improve our conditions even if they aren’t sure of the next stance to adopt.

A revelation discovered

24/06/2020

I had a follow-up session with doc to discuss the latest happenings and my Gastroparesis upsurge over the past few weeks. She then applauded me with an admirable well done for fitting in one big missing link.

Not long too ago a new stretch for the Subscapularis muscle was added to my exercise regimen and I later figured it being the most probable cause of a Gastroparesis flare-up.

This stretch involves straightening the arm onto a lever and turning the upper body, abdominal area, hips, pelvis and thighs towards the opposite side angle. I stopped it for a while until I managed to regain stamina but when the subscapularis muscle began paining I thought to resume the stretch again and a few hours later, the chain of symptoms attacked with ferocity.

It gladdened me to see that doc was not only OPEN to hearing my opinion or possible suggestion of the flare, but also accepted and appreciated my effort in assisting her towards understanding part of my body based on what I feel happening.

She then gave the following explanation:

“Doing this particular stretch hasn’t caused any issues for someone in the past, but it makes full sense with you – because the part where you have to turn and hold for 30 seconds is like a partial twisting action, and that does pull the tissue membranes covering and holding your abdominal organs together in the cavity.

So unlike a person without Gastroparesis where no reaction is triggered from within, your situation is delicate and this specific turn seemed to have switched your gastrointestinal activity more upside-down.”

Since seeing we’ve stopped the stretch, Alhamdulillah GP has somewhat settled into my “normal”. A marked loss of weight and what’s food? But even though not much food is tolerated, at least the liquids are staying down! A win 🎉

This is what true professionalism looks like. When a specialist is open to working alongside the patients narrative and figures out a way of handling matters together. Not being dismissive of our facts and saying “we don’t know what we’re saying.” Or worse off – it cannot be as such because it’s never happened to someone else.

She’ll now resort to mobilization of the subscapularis muscle herself as necessitated in order to avoid any further gastro issues being triggered.

Doc stated: “It hasn’t happened before, but that doesn’t negate the possibility of it occurring at all because you’re a special case who’s body contradicts the usual norm of process or reaction.”

Akin to the profound statements below:

Although the suffering was awfully intense, I overlooked this one mishap because we’re all human and infallible. I do not blame her for giving me the stretch to do because the consequences were unprecedented and unexpected by both of us. We’re learning together and whatever issues are encountered along the way can be tackled or resolved, provided we have Drs like her who are committed to help us move forward by being receptive to our perspective on the matter at hand.

Building a strong doctor – patient relationship with effective communication is conditional to having a two-sided cooperation. When both parties listen to one anothers views and then work on bringing options forth. The results, even though having gone through trial and error become favorable in such an instance.

I am appreciative of her keenness and humility to accept my side. She trusts me enough to relate about my body based on what I feel happening inside, as much as I trust her expertise based on years of knowledge and studies.

Some pieces can only be fitted when extra opinions are placed on the table and taken into consideration because rare or complex cases often contradict ordinary textbook versions, making it difficult to think beyond and out of those covers.

A type of experience with a profesional not commonly recorded, apart from meetings with my CT neurologist and physiotherapist / pulmonary rehabilitation therapist.

Please remember! When you hear hoofbeats, the sounds of which are unfamiliar or unheard prior to date, it might just be a zebra with unmatched stripes.


In terms of the muscle spasms we’re also doing dry needling (not acupuncture) to target certain areas which are located beneath all the top layers of connective tissue and muscle. The spasms from these spots are not easily reached and undone as without needles.

Dry needling releases the stiffness and provides relief. Counter-factual to diligent following of the after care protocol, whereby heat is applied, followed by stretching and the notable changes are a huge blessing, although follow-up sessions cannot yet be spaced apart too soon. We’ve tried doing so but my body keeps slipping backwards instead of progressing forward on a more independent and stable level of function with less intervention.

Intermittently, she focuses a little on the spinal curvature (mild scoliosis) to prevent it from becoming progressively worse. We cannot overdo here so she maintains caution in this regard – due to the heart, Prinzmetals Angina, and likelihood of increased respiratory difficulty when targeting the said area.

To conclude some treatments, she “seals it” by taping certain areas so the muscle is held in place, stiffness is decompressed, blood flows through easier, and input is given to the nervous system (neural input).

Note: It’s not a rigid tape. This is a flexible one that allows normal movements with no restrictions and the results from muscle and rib performance thereafter is superb.

Kudos dearest Dr:

Thank you for always ‘having’ my skewed, tricky back
And keeping the spine aligned on optimal track

You’re one of the best who makes me ‘crack
In no way does your expertise or care ever slack

Your warm-hearted nature often takes me aback 
It’s fair enough to add – you just have the knack!

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