May 092016
 
 May 9, 2016  Posted by at 6:52 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,


NPC “Melvin Jones, 5, who pierced heart with scissors” Washington DC 1925

Well, I guess I’m going to have to write this some time, even if I don’t really like to. Here goes. I haven’t written an original article in 8 weeks or so now, and there’s a reason for that. That is, two days after I flew from Athens to Amsterdam mid-March, I got myself a -for lack of a better term- nasty injury. And I have no idea where it came from. Crampy seat on the plane? There’s a link to earlier hip issues, I know that, but this was (is) severe.

What happened was the IT (ilio-tibial) band in my left leg (ligament on outside of thigh, runs down from hip to shin/ankle) seized up pretty much entirely; muscle contraction squared -or cubed-. All of a sudden, I couldn’t stand up straight any longer, nor could I walk other than in a hunched Quasimodo way and just for a few feet, and because when muscles contract in this fashion they get extremely painful, 24/7, lying down hurt a lot too, and I therefore basically didn’t sleep for weeks, other than occasional bouts of 1 hour and change brought on by utter exhaustion, and from which excruciating pain would wake me. I must have lost 150 hours of sleep in the first month, easily.

At times I was thinking that this was hell, but hey, I had a room to be in that was mine, a couch to site or lie down on, and I could have my groceries delivered and pay for them. As you will know if you’ve read me over the past year, I met a lot of people who don’t have these things. And who despite that, or maybe because of that -who knows, really- work their behinds off every day to make sure other people are taken of. More about that in a bit.

The family doctor had no idea what pain I was talking about and prescribed a useless generic painkiller (Dyclofenac). I then, 3 weeks in, focused on a treatment that my friend Steve Keen, the famed Australian economist and another fitness buff, had been talking about when we met earlier this year in Athens and had dinner with Yanis Varoufakis: myo-fascial release. And I found a physio practice that advertized it.

Then it took these people, in turn, over a week to figure out that the manual massage part of this treatment was of no use, but after that they started to do what I came looking for: dry needling, meant to ‘blow up’ the trigger points in the muscle. That helps. So yes, economists ARE good for something.

I can walk now, though it’s all far from perfect, and it’ll take more treatment. I can walk short distances but that’s it and I’m still exhausted most of the day and need to sleep a few hours in the afternoon. It’ll take treatment, and it’ll take time too.

All in all, that’s what kept me from writing. You can’t do that, or I can’t, when constantly in pain and/or fatigued. It kills the focus. I haven’t missed one day of doing a Debt Rattle news overview, but that was all I could do and had the energy for.

Next thing is, I promised to be back in Athens later this week, and I intend to go; the rent for our friend Konstantinos (Kostas) Polychronopoulos’ Social Kitchen nerve center is due the 15th, and I said I’d pay that with your Automatic Earth for Athens Fund donations -like I did in February-. I could perhaps have found another way to arrange for it to be paid, but the timing feels good now.

Because we need to figure out where we’re going with this, with the involvement of The Automatic Earth and its readers. To be specific: the first AE for Athens Fund I started about a year ago, when things were so hugely different from what they are now, and from which I expected to get just a few hundred dollars, today adds up -this is all in euros, worth $1.14 today- to €10,204. Since I donated €5,000 of that, €5,204 remains.

The second fund, started in December specifically for Kostas’ Social Kitchen when I saw how overwhelmed they had become with the refugee flows on top of their aim to feed Greece’s poor, is at €11,539. I gave Kostas €9,550 of that to date, so it’ll all be gone with the €2054 in rent for May, June, July that will be paid this week.

Converted -back- to US dollars, the currency 97% or so of Automatic Earth donations use, that means you crazy folk donated over $25,000 for Greece in a year’s time. Once again, I would never have expected to. And I’m very grateful, as is Kostas, and as are the large groups of volunteers he works with, and the people we all feed.

So, you know, the question is: what are we going to do from here on in? I will of course ask you to donate more, we are one-on-one feeding people here who go hungry otherwise. And looking after them in other ways. It doesn’t get much more direct than that.

But I realize you are not an endless source of funds. So, given how much you’re already given, and given the increase in need that exists in Greece, we’d have to find another, a wider approach. And to be honest, I don’t know what that should be, or what it would look like.

You see, a year ago, before the main refugee stream came knocking, there was very little involvement of NGOs in the country. Not on the islands, and not in Athens or Saloniki. That has changed beyond recognition since. And it’s the NGOs that are well-funded with western taxpayer money and -donations, so once they come in, they flex their muscles. Often not a great development.

They think they know what to do, while first talking with locals like Kostas would make sure their funds are spent much more efficiently. An example I mentioned before is an NGO that ‘peddled’ meals on Lesbos (Mytilini) late last year for which they received €7 from headquarters, while Kostas makes meals for 50 cents.

But I don’t want to delve into negative things, had plenty of that lately. You can still donate money to the Social Kitchen, which prepares some 10,000 meals a day (!), by using the Paypal widget in the top left corner of TheAutomaticEarth.com, and donating a number that ends in either $0.99 or $0.37. Not a penny will not go to helping those who need it most. The Social Kitchen is run entirely by volunteers, nobody gets paid for the work.

You can also of course always donate to The Automatic Earth itself, which needs to remain funded too, or none of these activities would be possible.

So you’re up to date, I have screwed up the guts to negotiate an airport, and we’ll talk again once I get to Athens. And we’ll take it from there.

The EU may still dump Greece, though that won’t happen until July when it has a huge debt to pay to the ECB and the Brexit referendum is conveniently in the past, but Erdogan and Turkey can go full-tard bonkers at any moment in time and drop more refugees on Greece than ever before.

Summer is coming.

Home Forums An Unintentional Sabbatical

This topic contains 15 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  TheTrivium4TW 2 years, 10 months ago.

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
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  • #28077

    NPC “Melvin Jones, 5, who pierced heart with scissors” Washington DC 1925 Well, I guess I’m going to have to write this some time, even if I don’t rea
    [See the full post at: An Unintentional Sabbatical]

    #28078

    gezelle
    Participant

    Ouch!! Former ballet dancer truly feels your pain.
    Take it easy as it is a maddeningly incremental healing process.
    Everyone has their 2cents worth….I was helped with acupuncture. .
    Your writing has been missed.

    #28079

    Babble
    Participant

    I don’t know if it is available in Canada but see if your doc will prescribe Voltaren Gel 1% (generic name is diclofenac sodium) which is a topical pain med. This may help, I wish you luck and better health.

    #28080

    Babble
    Participant

    One more possible help is Nyloxin which can be bought in a mouth spray or topical gel and is sold without a Rx (at least in the US). Check here: https://www.nyloxin.com/content/Nyloxin.aspx

    #28081

    seychelles
    Participant

    Ilargi you need to see a GOOD neurologist for a proper work-up of your symptoms.

    #28092

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    I would second seychelles on that; hope you mend quickly Ilargi…

    #28096

    bluebird
    Participant

    Hope you recover soon, and let us know what helps best to relieve the pain.

    #28097

    Greenpa
    Participant

    Yuck. Really sorry to hear. I have long and life altering parallels; but won’t unload here. Just two things- loss of sleep is far more important than most health workers yet realize; I’ve had at least 3 times in my life when disturbed sleep turned out to the be chief cause of a pile of health symptoms. Find a way to sleep.

    And – getting a regular neurologist’s opinion is a good idea. But. I live close to the Mayo Clinic- and 3 years ago, at immense expense, I baffled a senior physician who is probably one of the top 5 neurologists in the world (you should see the awards on his office wall). Excellent physician- took me 100% seriously, tested everything (3 full days in the Mayo test dungeons) – and at the end “we still have no idea what’s going on”. He did then prescribe a medication with an off-label effect to treat the major symptom; which worked for 2 years, anyway.

    So try the mainstream; try all the weird stuff; and when this one doesn’t work, try the next one, fairly quickly. Oh, and, many weird afflictions have on-line support groups these days- I recommend them.

    #28098

    FarmersWife
    Participant

    I would strongly encourage you to not put additional stress on your body (i.e. long flights) until you are fully recovered, as much as you want to return to your “usual” activities. It’s a hard lesson I’ve had to learn with a series of head injuries. If you move too fast you risk permanent damage. Not that you shouldn’t push your limits but it should be done thoughtfully and with respect for your body’s need to heal. It is difficult for us to acknowledge limits to our desires to “do”. You need to be in this life-long game for the longterm!

    #28099

    Porkpie
    Participant

    Sorry to hear this Ilargi, I hope you heal up soon.

    #28100

    kibbinayye
    Participant

    Get better soon. Sorry for all you’re going through.

    #28102

    danielm
    Participant

    Ilargi, consider that your body may be expressing long term physical and psychological stress. I have worked with people for over 25 years as a chiropractor and Pilates instructor and time and again have seen that this kind of debilitating injury is a voice, a message to you from your soul-body. The day after my sister was diagnosed with a terminal ALS like illness I bent down to pick up a pencil in my Pilates studio and my back blew out so to speak. I have also undertaken many different kinds of therapies to help with my back. The most useful was Rolfing which is fascial release therapy. I have had many chronic pain clients benefit a great deal from this work. Fascia is where human beings put their pain and stress to be able to keep going as it is a relatively sensation free tissue but it is also a major player in lymphatic flow and in meridian energy balance in the body. Hence acupuncture would be of help too.

    If you would like to talk more about this I would be happy to help in any way I can.

    #28121

    Kawwana
    Participant

    Raul, have been in the same quandary, crippling pain in feet and legs. I could not even go as far as the toilet….very humbling.
    Can highly recommend Acupuncture, is the only treatment that helps without poisoning you with allopathic “medicine”.
    Best wishes!

    #28143

    regionswork
    Participant

    Dear Raul – Your collection of bad economic news is part of my daily news diet. I’ve done such news aggregation for regional cooperation since 2003 and know how much work it is to find, read and decide what should be included. That you’ve been doing this in pain due to severe muscle pain is troubling. Having had long term chronic pain for many years, like others offering advise here, we do in fact feel your pain. My problem was a pelvic tilt, one leg shorter than the other more than normal, a lifting injury at age 17. Some resolution with chiropractic finger pressure acupuncture at age 50, but it took deep muscle massage at age 58 to correct the muscle distortion caused by living with an injury over 40 years. I did two or three sessions a week for nearly a year, with regular massages after that. Though I’d had massages here and there, it took continuous treatment to get the muscles right – then the regular hiking I did was more effective in maintaining moderate strength – never have been an athlete.

    So there’s a way to correct muscle, but that doesn’t mean you need to carry all the problems of the world. An unburdening of that is what I recommend. I carried that too, but not as much as I see you doing. The teaching of Greater Community Spirituality that I follow says we are here to work and to do so need to find our meaning, purpose and direction so that we may contribute to the world. The many challenges of the world we can’t solve, but working with others, we can contribute. It is beyond chop wood, carry water, in that this is a complex world in which we live. Power and domination are the objective of many, so communities have to work together to create environments of responsible freedom where human creativity can continue its evolution of organization and technology in a very competitive and challenging universe. The lack of wisdom and knowledge in our societies is reflected in the stories you give us daily.

    Those that can respond are responding and hopefully ideas will come as we retrofit forward, correcting the errors of the past and making a new, more humane way for a worldwide age of human unity and cooperation. Peace Dynamic. Tom

    #28197

    alan2102
    Participant

    Raul: “two days after I flew from Athens to Amsterdam mid-March, I got myself a -for lack of a better term- nasty injury. And I have no idea where it came from. Crampy seat on the plane? There’s a link to earlier hip issues, I know that, but this was (is) severe.
    What happened was the IT (ilio-tibial) band in my left leg (ligament on outside of thigh, runs down from hip to shin/ankle) seized up pretty much entirely; muscle contraction squared -or cubed-. All of a sudden, I couldn’t stand up straight any longer, nor could I walk other than in a hunched Quasimodo way and just for a few feet, and because when muscles contract in this fashion they get extremely painful, 24/7, lying down hurt a lot too, and I therefore basically didn’t sleep for weeks”

    Right. I have had extensive experience with a near-identical problem. The main difference being that my episodes have been much shorter — like a day or three each. Episodes have been precipitated by long plane flights, being jammed awkwardly into the seat for hours.

    There’s a solution that is cheap and easy. Your primary problem is MUSCLE SPASM; as you say, you have “muscle contraction squared, or cubed”. Right. Spasm. You need drugs which release the spasm, called muscle relaxants. The one I’ve used, which is highly effective, is called cyclobenzaprine (trade name “flexaril”). There are several others, and they probably all work comparably well, but I’m sticking with this one which I’ve used repeatedly with brilliant success. All the spasm, or at least 90% of it, and with it the pain, goes away inside of an hour, like a miracle. And that for a pill that costs, generically, only a few cents, and is harmless (no serious side effects)!

    If you’re really in terrible shape you might need an analgesic in addition, like tramadol or codeine. Forget diclofenac and NSAIDS; they are worthless for this. (I’ve tried.) But if you relieve the spasm you probably will need minimal or no analgesia. You also don’t need exotic myofascial release therapy or the like; not that I am against those things, only that I know what works spectacularly well, and it is cheap and harmless and easy.

    You write that “the family doctor had no idea what pain I was talking about and prescribed a useless generic painkiller (Dyclofenac).” Either the doctor is an idiot, who does not recognize the appropriate treatment for muscle spasm, OR you failed to specify fully what was going on — perhaps emphasizing the pain and barely mentioning the spasm.

    Regardless, get cyclobenzaprine, right away, and never run out of it. I take it with me wherever I go. I would never leave town without a few tabs in hand — each one offering blessed relief from hours of torture, in the event of one of those episodes.

    God bless you, and good luck.

    #28209

    TheTrivium4TW
    Participant

    Hi All,

    I mentioned it in a different post, but I’d recommend reviewing the free information on Dr. Wilson’s Nutritional Balancing website and giving it a try. The amount of information is expansive.

    NUTRITIONAL BALANCING, AN INTRODUCTION
    https://drlwilson.com/articles/NUT.%20BAL%20INTRO.htm

    You don’t have to do the hair analysis and supplementation, but that portion did play a key role in jumpstarting my friend’s allopathic doctor declared “dead” thyroid that was anything but dead. I know Big Pharma is upset they won’t be selling her drugs for the rest of her life! Her osteoporosis cleared up as well.

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