Dr Steven Silverman’s name came to me when I was at a loss as the where to turn to regain my life back as I had known it. I had been a physically active woman taking care of 4 my horses, a home and my family. My ability to do that was gradually diminishing. I had pain that at times didn’t allow me to do so much as to cut vegetables or brush my horses. There were times when I was unable to hold a pencil or pull the sheets over myself if I was cold.
Over a number of years the pain had increased in frequency and severity. It started in my hands and had spread to every joint in my body from my jaw down to my toes. Sometimes the pain was so unbearable that even while I was just lying down doing nothing I felt as if my hands and arms were going to explode and there was no getting away from the pain.
I had gone to numerous specialists: two hand specialists, two rheumatologists, an orthopedist, an infectious disease doctor, all who took lots of blood tests and scans. Even when the doctors could see that my joints were swollen, they could find nothing wrong from the tests. My blood work was normal. I had some osteoarthritis in my hands and had carpal tunnel syndrome for which I had surgery in both hands. That helped the numbness in my hands but the severe pain and swelling in my body and sometimes my hands continued to plague me.
The doctors tested me for everything under the sun. I tested negative for Lyme disease, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, Lupus, parasites and other exotic ailments that I might possibly have gotten from traveling. There were disorders that I was tested for that I have never heard of. When the doctors called to tell me my blood work was perfect I was almost disappointed. At least if they had found something they might know how to treat it.
The medical solution for pain and swelling when there is no cause and over the counter remedies aren’t working is prescription anti-inflammatories and pain killers. This was difficult for me. The narcotics only made me nauseous and very sleepy which is not in harmony with an active lifestyle. My active lifestyle was slowly becoming less active.
There were times during those extremely painful episodes that I resorted to taking the narcotics. They didn’t seem to help the pain but did put me to sleep. Being unconscious helped. I was ready to travel to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to see if THEY had an answer for me, only to find that they did not have a rheumatology department. I was devastated, not knowing where to turn next for relief. I have respect for the medical professions but they could not help me in this area. Dr Silverman DID.
When I first met Dr Silverman I saw him 3 times a week. He tested my reaction to foods that I was eating on a regular basis to see if they weakened my joints. Before I met Dr Silverman I generally had tried to stay away from the night shades which are peppers, tomatoes, eggplant and potatoes. I also stayed away from sugar wheat and dairy, thinking that these foods were a cause of inflammation in arthritic people.
Dr. Silverman explained that every person is different and there is no “one” cookie cutter formula for eating, that suits everybody. There might be people who have arthritis who are sensitive to these foods but surprisingly, I was not. He did find certain foods weakened me so I stayed away from them, among them being coffee, fried foods, cotton seed oil and partially hydrogenated oils. I became a label reader. He also tested my vitamins and drinks including wine and beer, along with creams and makeup I rub on my body or face.
I made lists of foods to avoid and I strictly abided by them. He gave me drops to take daily. I religiously did what he suggested. Dr Silverman also found that I had some toxicity due to mercury and other metals. There was a Lyme spirochete issue which was a curious thing. I am tested regularly for Lyme, being that I am often on trails in the woods with my horses. The Lyme tests the doctors took always came back negative.
I was skeptical at first because I was still having some swelling and pain in the beginning of my visits to Dr Silverman but they were slowly diminishing in frequency and severity. I told Dr Silverman about my doubts and he explained to me that this is a “process” and that I would benefit by continuing, so I did. I had nowhere else to turn. I had to continue with him and I became committed to the process. As I continued with this program my condition improved.
The number of pain free weeks increased.
A year later our daughter was getting married and at this time I was seeing Dr Silverman now once every week or two. I was significantly improved at this point only having an occasional mild episode of pain. I had Dr Silverman test the foods that I was going to serve at the wedding to see what I could freely eat without having a problem. If the foods weakened me I did not eat them.
The day before the wedding I was starting to get a flare up. The wedding was at our home and needless to say we were busy with lots still to do. MY knees were starting to swell and it was getting harder to move around. I NEEDED to be able to MOVE!!! I had to think.
I didn’t know if a visit to Dr Silverman would help in such short notice but taking meds was not an option. If I took any I would miss the wedding!! Dr Silverman created the time in his schedule to see me that day. I was not only fine for the pre-nup dinner that very same night but the next day at the wedding I did a lot of dancing and I felt GREAT!!!
The changes that I have experienced are remarkable. I did not think it was possible to achieve this level of health. The pains I use to have were so unbelievably severe, there were times that I felt my hip joint was collapsing and I could hardly stand. At times my shoulder pains would make me cry. A year and a half ago I had my last major episode. I have had no flare ups since then. My body has changed and it no longer feels diseased.
Dr. Silverman accomplished something for me that was not possible from the medical field. I see Dr Silverman once every few months just to keep things in check. I have my life back. It truly is a miracle.
We have a relationship and a partnership with our bodies. Just like in any healthy relationship, awareness is key. I have become more aware of what my body is saying and what I put into it. I have learned how to listen to my body regarding foods I eat. In the beginning of my visits to Dr Silverman if I felt joint pain I would think of what it was that I ate that day or the day before. Then I would bring that food into Dr Silverman to be tested. This helped me to see if I was on the right track with what I was observing. Soon I was able to notice BEFORE I ate a lot of what might negatively affect me.
If I am really aware and listening to my body I feel a twinge when I just LOOK at something I shouldn’t eat. There are times when I just want to go ahead and eat something anyway but then I might feel the achy consequences the next day. Now that my immune system is stronger I can tolerate more things I couldn’t before.
We have a partnership with our doctors. Like with any partnership, success comes when you both do your parts. Dr. Silverman did his part by contributing his knowledge and expertise toward curing me along with educating me on how to increase my awareness of what goes into my body. I did my part by staying away from the things that he said weaken me and took the prescribed remedies that were an integral part of getting me well.
Now I have the skill to be able to tell on my own what is hurting me. We have the ability to sharpen that skill with awareness. I am so grateful and I feel so lucky that my friend, Jackie, gave me his name. I have my active life back.