You are so right. They never said it would be a common and long standing side effect. No, they don’t talk much at all about the long term side effects of treatment. My theory is that they think we’ve got enough on our plates and should focus all our energy on beating the disease then, they’ll drop the rest of it on us like a big, ugly shoe. A kind of “If they knew now what they’re in for later they might just plop down, cross their arms in defiance and say forget it, I don’t wanna”, or as one doctor put it “My job is to treat the disease, not its side effects.”
Whatever the reason, there you have it. Aches and pains abound and no definitive explanation for cause or cure for them in sight. For me, it’s mostly around my ankles and heel, but my knees, shoulders, neck and hips ache too if I sit or stand in place too long. It even hurts to get pedicures now. Feels like they’re stabbing me. Then again, they might be (note to self, try new pedicure place). However, the Antler Velvet I mentioned in The Bigger Boat chapter really does help. You just need to be careful about the dosage. It’s not a matter of addiction or mood swings, but, well…to put it this way…if you take just enough, your joints and tendons will ache far less. If you take too much then you’ll be chasing down the formerly not so handsome mailman (or any guy in passing) and flirting in ways that would make even Mae West blush.
What is it? Here’s what WebMD had to day about it, “Deer velvet covers the growing bone and cartilage that develops into deer antlers. It’s been used for centuries to treat a wide range of health problems.
It’s used to boost strength and endurance, improve the way the immune system works, counter the effects of stress, and promote rapid recovery from illness. It is also used at the onset of winter to ward off infections.
Other uses include treatment of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, migraines, muscle aches and pains, asthma, indigestion, weak bones (osteoporosis), headache, liver and kidney disorders, cold hands and feet, soreness and weakness in the lower back and knees, chronic skin ulcers, and overactive bladder. It is also used to promote youthfulness, sharpen thinking skills, protect the liver from toxins, stimulate production and circulation of blood, and increase the number of red blood cells.
Some people use deer velvet to increase levels of certain sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone), improve fertility, increase interest in sexual activity (as an aphrodisiac), and treat male sexual performance problems (erectile dysfunction, ED). Women use deer velvet to reduce the dose of estrogen they need in hormone replacement therapy. They also use it for menstrual and menopause problems, vaginal discharges, and uterine bleeding.
In herbal combinations, deer velvet is used to improve athletic performance; to improve eyesight and hearing; to reduce stress; and to treat arthritis, osteoporosis, “tired blood” (anemia), women’s reproductive disorders including premenstrual syndrome (PMS), ED, and skin conditions.
Herbal combinations including deer velvet are also used to increase blood circulation to the brain and to delay or reduce signs of aging such as tissue, bone, and muscle degeneration, and declining mental skills.
How does it work? Deer velvet contains multiple substances including the female sex hormones estrone and estradiol. It also contains substances which may help cells grow and function.”
In a nutshell, I feel better when I’m taking it than when I’m not. I take one every morning with the rest of my pills and that seems to be the right balance. However, in the beginning I did go the recommended dosage route for healing which was two in the morning and two at night for about a month and to this day can’t quite look the plumber or the postman in the eye…
I tried a couple different brands. First, the one that my friend Bren recommended and swore by and then a cheaper one and then back to the first one because it clearly worked far better. I switched because money was tight and because this company has a policy of auto re-filling your order and thus auto charging your credit card which always make me nervous. They’ve been around a while now and no one seems to have any complaints against them, so if that doesn’t bother you then I’d recommend them. They’re called Lurong Living.
Water and physical therapy are good, no doubt, but if you want my advice don’t wait for them to start. Just being in the water and moving your body helps so much. Swimming in Italy was wondrous. The water is so clear and a body is so buoyant in it that there was almost no stress at all to swim around in it for over an hour at a time. I’m not that comfortable swimming in the ocean here with those big crashing waves, but I do walk along shoreline knee deep in the water and that soothes my sometimes uber swollen legs and feet like you wouldn’t believe.
I also used good old aspirin and one of those microwavable neck pillows. I belong to a gym too that has hydro massage tables. They’re brilliant. Do a google search to see if there are any near you. They help a great deal.
Did I mention hot yoga yet? Yoga is nice, but for someone with aching joints and tendons it’s hard to enjoy. I tried hot yoga once and I was sold on it within the first 30 minutes. First, being drenched in sweat I knew those chemicals were just dripping out onto the floor and away from me. Second, they way it heats up your body just makes movement so much easier. Kind of like how the Mediterranean makes it easy to swim. I admit I struggles with the poses, so I invested in a one on one for an hour with an instructor who could help me revise my movements using blocks to support my short reach. So much easier to do now.
My neighbor also suggested the other day (well, he actually put it on my feet and massaged it in) called Bio-Freeze. Kind of like icy hot (I already use), but it seemed to have a more lasting effect. Again, maybe that’s the product, or maybe that’s the charming Brazilian guy who insisted on massaging it into my feet. I’m quite a pushover that way.
Will they ever go away completely? Who knows, but those are my ways of dealing with the aches, pains and stiffness. If you come up with any others, do post em below~