A Headache in the Pelvis, case history #2

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A Headache in the Pelvis, case history #2

Post by webslave » Mon Sep 01, 2003 4:31 pm

Received from David Wise, Ph.D.:
Recovery of patient with spermatocele

Beginning in about 1992 (age 27), I experienced occasional pelvic pain, primarily the right side--in an area stretching from my groin and extending upward. It was a dull ache. I am a military lawyer. I saw a civilian urologist who conducted a thorough pelvic and prostrate exam and concluded there was nothing wrong with me (except a small, benign, and unremarkable spermatocele resting on the top of the right testicle). He examined my prostrate fluid under a microscope with negative results. The pelvic pain was worse just above and to the right of the pubic bone and in the lower abdominal area.

When I was stationed overseas from 1994-1996, the pain became progressively worse. I tended to usually have a dull ache in the pelvis just above the pubic bone and to the right. The pain was worse if I had to stand for a long time (e.g. in a courtroom or on a subway). I got to where I would want to sit down and "rest" to relieve the ache, even though I was physically fit and not tired. I didn't want to walk anywhere. In concert with the pelvic pain, I experienced pain that would radiate down my right inner leg and back thigh and rear, sometimes as far down my leg as the calf. Another symptom was that my urine flow was typically very, very slow. It would sometimes slow to an intermittent trickle, and I learned that if I took a deep breathe and exhaled while standing at the urinal, the flow rate would accelerate a bit. Usually, it took me a long time to urinate, and after going, my bladder still felt full. I remember during some of my first court trials in 1995, I had an intense urge to urinate, even after I just went, and it would feel as though I had to urinate virtually the entire day. During this time I started feeling an occasional, sudden, sharp pain somewhere inside the rectum. This pain would last for up to 10 seconds and would slowly release on its own. It was sometimes so intense and sharp that I was seized with pain and couldn't move until it subsided. (Imagine a severe toe cramp in your rectum). The pelvic pain level would fluctuate from between 0 to 4 or 5 on a scale of 10, and it was usually between a 1-3. In addition to the pelvic pain, the pain in the inside thigh, and slow urination, I usually also felt a tight feeling in the area between the testicles and rectum for about an hour after sex, as though the path for the sperm had been tightened or blocked. In 1996, I moved to the West Coast, and these symptoms continued.

I went to a several military urologists, both in overseas and in California, who diagnosed me with chronic prostatitis. In 1997 I experienced these symptoms on and off. In 1998, the symptoms became worse. I was prescribed ciproflaxin 500 for about 75 days for chronic prostatitis. The doctors never found any evidence of a microbe infection in my prostrate fluid. One doctor also inserted a lighted camera into my urethra and examined the path leading up to my kidneys and bladder--all tissue was healthy. After the anit-biotics and tests, I still had an aching pelvis, and was still "double eliminating" (on the advice of one of the doctors, urinating 10 minutes after I urinated--in order to try to make the bladder fully empty). My side ached nearly all the time and no one knew why.

Fortunately, the military urologist had heard a paper delivered by Dr. Rodney Anderson at a conference on prostrate massage. The urologist thought Dr. Anderson might be able to help me, so he referred me to Stanford Medical Center. Dr. Anderson did a complete physical examination. That exam found the unremarkable spermatocele, but more importantly, and some "pressure points" of pain. Dr. Anderson sent me immediately to See Dr. David Wise.

When I first began the treatment I was skeptical; I could not believe that my pain was unwittingly, a self-inflicted wound. After I learned to be conscious of my body, and to reflect on the holding and tightness in my pelvis and the pain I felt, I became convinced. It took some time--months, and I cannot recall when I crossed the line, but I became absolutely certain that my symptoms were relieved by the protocol.

Over the course of my year of training in progressive (paradoxical) relaxation, I learned to totally relax my mind and body. When I received myofascial release therapy from a physical therapist prescribed by Dr. Wise, I could actually feel When the tension inside was released by stretching the tissue; it was instant and soothing relief when a "tight" spot was stretched. It got to where I the pressure point was and could direct the therapist to it quickly. My wife has also been trained in the myofascial release therapy, and she occasionally treated me in 1999 and early 2000, but stopped after the pain subsided. She stands willing to continue that protocol if the pain flares up.

In the last four years, I have integrated this relaxation method into my life. Each day, I practice momentary relaxation and the deep relaxation, Stretching (taught by the physical therapist), and breathing in concert with relaxation. I try to make time for one complete session of progressive (paradoxical) relaxation session each day, but in my current position I cannot always do so.

For the present, I do a complete session of 45-55 minutes 2-3 times per week, and a shorter session of 15-25 minutes on all other days. I also practice conscious effortlessness throughout the day by relaxing the pelvis, and practice contractions, stretches, which were taught by the physical therapist. I also do a continuous, almost subconscious series of checks throughout the day to search for and release any tightness and holding in my body, particularly in my pelvis and the sides of my face. When I practice relaxing my body, my head and neck become so relaxed that my head bobs gently and unconsciously with the flow of the blood to the head. As a result of this relaxation, the blood vessels in my body relax and widen, and after a few minutes, my hands and feet become flush with blood.

Because of my military job and lack of privacy in Washington, D.C., I have adapted and learned to practice a full session of progressive (paradoxical) relaxation while lying with my head on a towel in the building gym--with a loud game of basketball taking place on the court next to me, or while laying on the sidewalk or grass as planes landing at National Airport roar overhead. These conditions are not ideal for relaxation, but it does work well. Because I have been taught to effectively abandon effort, I can focus on my breathe and heart beat rather than the noise. I don't fight or stress about the noise around me, but just let it be there as I drift away. I have done the same thing on a ship--with bells clanging and announcement being made over the loudspeaker. I have learned to be profoundly relaxed.

I have experimented with raising the temperature of my hands. I can raise the temperature of my fingers from a normal 90 degrees to an average of 94-95 degrees within a few minutes by practicing progressive (paradoxical) relaxation. I know this empirically because I used a household thermometer to verify the rise in temperature. I first taped the thermometer to my finger and let the temperature stabilize for ten minutes or so--usually at 90 degrees. Then I practice progressive relaxation; if I check the temperature after a few minutes, it will be at 94-95 degrees due to the increased blood flow into my fingers. This only verifies what I already felt, which is that my hands and feet become warm and heavy.

The ache in my pelvis is dramatically less than it was. It is usually nonexistent, but will fairly rarely be present at a low level if I become very stressed or busy at work. This condition stands in stark contrast to before I began the protocol when the pain was occasionally severe, and chronically ever present. One of the most important benefits is that I am certain of the source of the pain, conscious of the feeling and aware of the tendency to subconsciously tighten or hold the pelvis. I now feel how I tighten (and can focus on releasing) the tension. I am also aware of how the level of pain is linked to the pace of stress in my life. One more thing: until I wrote this, I had forgotten the emotional and mental worry and fear that I had over what was mysterious pain and symptoms. Now I am in complete control, the worry and fear have vanished. I know the recipe for getting well--discipline for exercising daily relaxation. Until I wrote this I had also forgotten the slow urine flow that I used to have--standing at a urinal taking as long as 4 or 5 other men to urinate. My urine flow is now strong. I had also forgotten how I always had the feeling that I had to urinate soon after I already went. Now, I have a feeling of a totally empty and comfortable bladder. The discomfort after sex has now abated except for rare instances--it now occurs about twice a year.

This treatment and protocol has changed my life.

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