Saturday, April 9, 2011

I Suwannee -- And Guess Who Is Still A Big Fat Turd?

CRPS is nothing if not weird.  I was hoping to catch some of that weirdness on video, thinking that it might help someone who is undiagnosed, or newly diagnosed, to get a glimpse of the possible "visuals" that go along with the syndrome/disorder/disease/krap.

It didn't show up as I was hoping it would, of course!

I wanted to capture something I've never seen or experienced before -- mostly because I think it's *impossible*.  My left wrist began burning and stinging, which is not, by itself, unusual.  What is unusual is that there is a space between my normal finger and upper palm involvement and the wrist area that's acting up.  Visually, that painless space in the palm of my left hand is white, with red at each of its ends.  There is documented nerve damage that follows the distribution of the ulnar nerve from little and ring finger (and half of the middle one) across the palm and partly up the forearm.  Well, okay, it deviates from the traditional, boring, established dermatome for the ulnar nerve in that it crosses the palm and goes up the opposite side of the arm. 

The wrist area is also swollen.

[I apologize, but along with often being unable to distinguish right from left, I've never been able to ably use helpful words like proximal and distal...]

Anywho... it's gone now -- the white space between two reddish-purple ones -- and I am back to what looks like a straight line, and what feels like an angled kind of pattern.

On the right, things are following the party line.  Extreme pain up to the elbow, extreme sensitivity to a point mere millimeters beyond that.  Sausage fingers and a line that looks almost drawn by a ruler below the knuckles, straight across, identical in length to the one on the left.  (The mirror effect of CRPS can be mind-boggling.  I have a DENT in both legs -- permanent DENTS -- that appeared several years apart and that are identical in appearance, placement.   Spooky.  In the old days, when people like Dr. Jose Ochoa, The Turd, evaluated people, he and his Trainee Court Monkeys decided that patients were deliberately binding their legs to achieve that lovely dented effect.  Yes, sigh, I will take a quick vid of it.  Warning -- it's ugly.  I'm ugly, by extension.  I miss my clothes, my legs, my figure, my unmarred face;  I MISS SHOES!  Especially red Italian shoes.)

Hmmm?  What?  Oh, right!  The dents ("fascinating!") are now memorialized below, in the bottom vid.  Blow in my ear, call me DimpleShin, and I'll follow you anywhere... 

Vic over at NeuroTalk wrote his assessment of Ochoa this way back in 2006:

Just a quick note:

Dr Jose Ochoa was once a highly respected writer and researcher who focused his work almost entirely on RSD. Then one day he saw the light: RSD is not a neurological disorder; try as he might, he was never going to be able to prove the unproveable.

Actually, the light he saw was a dollar sign. He was getting older and it was time to think of his golden years. He figured out that he could make a lot more money working for work comp lawyers and descredtiting RSD than by trying to prove it is something he knows it isn't.

He did the work. He was, and is, familiar with those who are still trying to prove RSD is what it isn't. He can go into a court room and advise work comp lawyers which questions they should ask, and he can testify knowledgeably about this disease.

By the time he and the lawyers are finished, they have made the doc testifying for the RSD patient look like either an idiot or a liar. It's easy, one simple question will do the job, it is the same thing I have challenged Forum members with for five years:

"Doctor, you say this is a neurological disorder. Can you provide this court with one example of scientific research - not an opinion you want us to believe - that even suggests that there is evidence of nerve damage in the etiology of RSD?"

He may try to duck and weave. He may try to tell the jury that nerve dysfunction is obvious in RSD. But in the end, he will have to answer that question. He will have to say; "No, there is no research showing that any nerve injury has ever been shown to cause RSD".

By the time they have reworded that question in a dozen different ways, and the doctor has had to admit a dozen different times that even though "everyone knows" RSD is caused by a nerve injury, no one can prove it. No one can even prove it is possible.

The doctor's credibility has been completely destroyed. The record has been filled with uncontradicted testimony that RSD isn't what the experts say it is. They haven't proved RSD isn't real; they didn't have to. Dr Ochoa is ready to testify that he studied RSD for years and in his expert opinion patients are either psychologically unbalanced or just plain liars.

By the end of the hearing, the RSD patient is sitting there in total shock. He or she has just seen any chance for compensation or treatment blown out of the water. She/he has just been described as a nutcase or a liar, and the expert as even worse. she/he is going to have to try to survive for the rest of his/her life disabled, in terrible pain, and without hope.

Is it any wonder that this this is called the "suicide disease"?

Do you Forum members who have been here or in other sites for very long ever ask yourself why any number of people suddenly stopped posting? There are names I still think about. Names that creep into my mind after I have turned the light out and prayed I would be able to sleep this time: Names and more names. Are they still alive? Did they turn out their light one night and then decide they could not face another morning?

I think about SamYamin. He wrote a goodbye post. Some concerned members started sharing bits of information and came up with enough to call the police. A few days after that goodbye post, Sam posted again: he thanked everyone for their concern and for saving his life, then told us he would be going into therapy and would not have access to the Internet for a while, but not to worry.

I didn't worry. I knew Sam had learned his lesson: Don't tell anyone. I knew Sam was dead.

I didn't pray for him anymore, you don't pray for the dead; you hope they knew Jesus and had asked Him to forgive their sins. If they did, there is no need for prayer, they are happier than I have ever been. If they did, I will meet them face to face in a little while.

And there is Andi; and Meg; and sunshine; and Heatherdawn. We rarely hear about those who committed suicide. RSD didn't kill them. They died of hopelessness. I miss them. We all do. And we all look at every detail; trying to find that one clue that should have alerted us. That something we should have seen; that if we had seen might have made the difference.

It won't do any good to say it; it hasn't helped me and it probably won't help you, but that clue probably wasn't there. If it was, it probably wouldn't have changed anything, nor will it be of much use the next time.

Hope is the last thing to go. Once it is gone, there is no reason to live. By the time we learn someone has lost all hope, it is too late. If we are to take any small bit of comfort from these tragedies, and it is too small to measure, it is that people who decide to die don't tell anyone. You tell someone while the hope is still dying, when you want someone to give you some reason to hope. Most of the time it works.

When I began this post I would never have suspected where it would lead. It went in an unexpected direction when I used the word suicide, and after rereading it, I see that if I can't understand why I wrote these words on this post, you probably can't either.

I delete a lot more than I post, and I would delete this; but something is stopping me. Something...something that outweighs the fear that some will think my words are out of line. That this isn't the right place or the right time.

I want to ignore that something, but I can't. All I can do is hope there is a reason that I don't understand now but may become evident later...Vic

A few months later, Vic added this to the thread:
Hi again,

I am usually a bit more organized, but what I wrote in my last post kinda threw me off stride: I didn't finish my comments about Ochoa, and there are still some things we all should know about this (I believe literal), butcher in a physicians lab coat. I still have to finish yet another post in which I'll present some views on the original topic.

About Ochoa: I don't know whether he is still malpracticing medicine, but if he is, forewarned is forearmed. I have some "abstracts" of "articles" he has written about RSD. They are actually more in the nature of advertisements aimed at insurance company lawyers: showing how well he can testify in their behalf.

If you live in Oregon and work comp orders you to see him for what in Kansas is called an "independent medical evaluation" (IME) [what it really means is intentional misrepresentation of evidence], I will be happy to provide your attorney with a critique of these abstracts.

Ochoa is knowledgeable and good with words, but like all liars his words expose the truth about him. What I wrote about his victims sitting shocked at the end of a hearing really happened to people I know, and I would enjoy doing my small part in preventing this from happening again, exposing his deceit, and paying the S.O.B. back for the damage he has done.

One of those abstracts describes a trip to the land of his birth: Chile. The problem is that this trip occured during the regime of Auguste Pinochet: the most brutal dictator in that country's history, and with the possible exception of "Papa Doc" Duvelier of Haiti, the most brutal dictator in the history of the Western Hemisphere since Spain left the area. He was a nasty man, responsible for the torture and murders of thousands of Chileans whose only offense was belonging to the wrong political party.

(Pinochet came to power with the help of our CIA; overthrowing a democratically elected president "we" (the CIA) didn't like, then murdering him).

Anyway, Ochoa went to Chile. Upon his return, he wrote about his experiences in a hospital ward full of RSD patients. He wrote that during the day, all of them exhibited extreme motor dysfunctions (jerking, falling, etc), but he suspected something was amiss: that these patients might be faking their symptoms.

He described secretly having video cameras installed; lo and behold! In the evenings, after the staff went home, the motor deficits vanished. They all walked around, talked, etc, and no one appeared to be in distress.

There are a few things wrong with this picture. Chile was and is a very poor country, where hospital beds are reserved for the rich, not the needy. Also, it would be difficult to find a large enough group of RSD patients in most cities in this country to fill a ward: Chile is probably no different.

Then there is the fact that RSD patients here are rarely (if ever) hospitalized for movement disorders or anything else related to RSD in this country; a land filled with beds and insured patients.

And Chile doesn't have any worker's compensation laws, so why would people fake a medical disorder? OK, some hospital beds in Chile probably had sheets, which I know are more comfortable than straw mats. But there are other disorders/diseases/syndromes/whatever that don't require as much effort to fake as RSD.

By the way, in this country, staff don't go home for the night leaving patients unattended; they are relieved by other staff. Oh, well, they may do things different it Chile. In fact, you can be damn sure they did things different in Chile.

Ochoa, however, is an expert in RSD and he found RSD patients. Is all this coincidence? Or could it be that he made it all up? That he lied.

Mike can correct me on this, but I suspect that any attorney with two brain cells to rub together would fight like Hell to introduce this abstract and then ask some rather cogent questions of the bad doctor....

I can't prove it, of course, but I would be willing to bet this shiny new computer my son gave me against a bucket of pig **** that none of the "patient's" he saw had RSD.

Like I said, he is knowledgeable and good with words, but someone who understands RSD would be able to blow him out of the water for a change....

Blowing Ochoa out of the water is not my purpose in life. If given the opportunity, I think it would be better called a necessay but extremely rewarding and pleasant diversion. We need to enjoy life's little pleasures wherever and whenever they appear...Vic

In the small area under his avatar, Vicc's status is now listed as "In Remembrance."  That's too bad, because I think we might have hit it off.  Pinochet held a coveted position on this death penalty abolitionist's List Of People Needing Extrajudicial Execution.

Due to a recent rise in moral ambiguities, The List is now nonfunctional and out of circulation -- but you can still get a bumpersticker...

Anyway, dunno what happened to Vicc but enjoyed his attempts to teach people of the futility in following the "sympathetic nervous system" bullcrap to its illogical conclusions and to offer in its stead a unifying theory -- that CRPS is all about Ischemia-reperfusion injury. Unfortunately, one can say the same thing about *that* that one can say about the SNS Party Line:  It is about IRI, except and unless when it isn't...

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