How Long is This Care Going to Take?



 When you’ve lived the first 60 years of your life without worrying about getting any major disease or shortening your life with bad habits, you tend to think you’re invincible.  When you’re young and in your 20’s and you feel pretty good, you’re pretty sure you’ll be around for a long time.  You never expect a major illness to knock you over and change your life forever.  That’s exactly what happened to our patient Joanne S.  Here is her story:

However, it took 21 years to diagnose my illness and visits to many different doctors who had no clue what was wrong with me.  They just wrote out prescriptions for my “mystery” illness. It took a liver biopsy to stop the madness.

The first sign that “something” wasn’t right happened in August, 1979 when my daughter was 6 months old.  I bent over to pick her up and heard a “pop” in my neck.  I spent the next few days in bed in severe, intractable pain.  I went to the ER and they gave me Valium I.V. which didn’t help the pain at all.  I had similar neck problems and back problems for many years after that until I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in August, 2001.  The doctor that diagnosed me was actually an orthopedic surgeon, a hand specialist.  A classic symptom of this autoimmune disease is bilateral pain (both sides)  in the same joints.  Both of my wrists felt like they were on fire.  I went to this doctor thinking I had carpal tunnel syndrome.  It turned out that I did have CTS, but I also had a torn tendon in my right elbow.  This doctor repaired the CTS and my elbow giving me full use of my arm again.  I call it my bionic arm.

However, when both of my wrists began to ache at the same time, the doctor ran blood work and that’s when I was diagnosed with RA. I was referred to a rheumatologist who said he was going to help me.  He never promised a cure.  He said a “remission” is the best I could hope for. So, for 5 years, I trusted my rheumatologist.  But alas, something worse would strike in early 2005.

One of the medications I was taking was literally destroying my liver.  It’s called Methotrexate.  It is a cancer drug, but I didn’t know that until much later. It’s used for RA in very low dosages.  When a patient is on this medication, they are supposed to have a liver biopsy after the dosage reaches approximately 3 grams.  My doctor let me go much longer and my liver enzymes started going up.  By that time, I had received over 6 grams of Methotrexate over the 5-year period.  The only way I can describe a liver biopsy is that it feels like you’re being shot!  You remain awake because you have to be able to take a deep breath on command.  I was placed in a CT scanner, the biopsy needle was aimed at my liver and after I took the deep breath, the needle was shot into me like a bullet.  Force is needed to break the liver capsule that protects the liver from injury.  It felt like all my organs shifted to the other side of my body and then back again.  It was the worst experience of my life. After the biopsy, I had to lie on my right side for 2 hours to prevent my liver from hemorrhaging.  A pressure bandage was applied to help protect the wound.  As I waited to be discharged, I thought a lot about what had just happened to me and that I would never allow it to happen again.  I had already stopped the Methotrexate, but I vowed to stop everything else I was taking.  After 5 years of treatment, I didn’t feel any better.  In fact, my pain was worse than when I started treatment.  I had constant sores in my mouth.  I had gained a lot of weight from the steroids they gave me to help with the pain.  I knew then that I needed another treatment mode and it wasn’t going to be more surgery and drugs.

One day, my husband asked me to go to a chiropractor with him. I was amused.  I thought  “what’s a chiropractor going to do about my RA?”  He pretty much had to drag me into the office.   Prior to chiropractic care, I had been taking most of the following drugs:

 Prednisone, meloxicam, tramadol, hydrocodone, oxycodone (after surgeries), Plaquenil, methotrexate, Vioxx, Bextra, large doses of ibuprofen, Daypro, Indocin,  naproxen, estradiol patch, Premarin, Prozac, Paxil, Nexium, Bentyl, Tagamet, Darvocet-N100, Ultracet (which contains Tylenol), Urocit-K, Soma, Flexeril, Deseryl, Ambien and Klonopin.  Not all of these drugs were taken at the same time, and none of them stopped my pain or helped me sleep any better. That’s 28 drugs folks.  I might have even forgotten a few.

My rheumatoid factor continued to climb, indicating my RA was still very active.  Some of the drugs mentioned above were recalled, i.e., Vioxx and Darvocet-N100, for serious side effects (including death). I’m amazed I’m still alive. I’m also amazed I have never developed an ulcer from the many anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) I have taken throughout the years including aspirin. The steroid meds. (prednisone) worked but caused me to gain weight and caused severe insomnia. They are probably the reason I am developing early cataracts. Steroids also cause thinning of the skin, the outer surface of internal organs and contribute to osteoporosis.  Steroid medications caused the death of my mother-in-law. Her bowel ruptured because of thinning of the intestinal wall. The drugs I was given were in addition to the many vaccines I received throughout my life including yearly influenza vaccines, MMR, hepatitis B, the pneumonia vaccine, and of course, booster shots, etc.  I worked in a hospital for 23 years and these vaccines were readily available to hospital workers for free.  I consider myself a drug/vaccine survivor.  Big Pharma says we are still vulnerable to get these diseases.  Well, I am here to tell you, if you’re healthy, if you exercise and if you eat healthy, you won’t get sick. Period!  And of course, get regular chiropractic adjustments.

I still wasn’t convinced that chiropractic was for me. I mean, how can an adjustment take away RA?  However, I stayed with the program and today I can say that I am so much better.  I still have problems, but nothing like I had before. My RA factor has gone way down. I don’t have the joint pain I used to have and I’m on the road to recovery. I’ve been a patient for many years now.  I’ve changed the way I eat.  In fact, I’ve lost 20 pounds because of eating better.  I am currently lifting weights to build up my muscle mass.

I’m here to tell you that if you’re a new patient and sometimes results don’t happen overnight for some of us. I have big plans for my life. I want to swim again. I want to be able to walk 5 miles. I’ll be happy to begin with 1 mile at a time.  Healthy foods are my usual choice.  It gets easier and easier to avoid “bad” foods. It’s a gradual process.  All artificial sweeteners are definitely off my list forever.  I read labels and I listen to my body.  If something hurts, I know I’ve done something I shouldn’t have.

I just celebrated my 65th birthday.  That’s pretty late in life to start over, but it’s not too late!  I want everyone to know it’s NEVER too late to change your lifestyle. This office has been a godsend to me.  I continue to learn from them, and even though things go wrong with me once in a while, I want him to know I’m staying the course. I can’t wait to be able to exercise more.  I can’t wait until I can sleep through the night without pain. I can’t wait to be in a 5K (a 1K would be fine). For someone who’s been pretty much a toxic dump site for Big Pharma, I think I’ve made a lot of progress. I will see my miracle. It’s just taking longer than I want it to.

So, to anyone new to this office, please be patient. You too will heal. If you’ve been toxic for a long time, it may take longer to de-toxify. I’m proof of that.  Never ever be discouraged. I am healing and I thank this office everyday for my new found health.

Call our office to see how we can help you – 770-552-7500.

Dr_Matthew_EisenWho is Dr. Matthew Eisen?

“Dr. Matt” as he is known to his patients, is in private practice, an author, nationally sought after speaker, visionary and health ambassador to the general public as he educates and empowers others about true health and well-being.  He runs a large multi-discplinary health clinic in Roswell, GA (just north of Atlanta) and has over 10 years of clinical experience.  You can reach him at

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this email are based upon the opinions of this office, unless otherwise noted. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information presented is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician. The information here is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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