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SEVERE FOOT AND HIP CRAMPING
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SEVERE FOOT AND HIP CRAMPING

Since starting treatment I've had periodic cramping in the joint where my right thigh meets the hip bone. In other words, way high up. Like most cramps, painful but usually they release in a minute or so. Therefore never really thought that much about it.  

Yesterday afternoon, I had an extremely painful cramp on my right toe extending up the top of my foot. The cramp actually "locked" my right toe and (arch front) in an up position. Sounds funny but quite the opposite. Could not get it to release for over five minutes. Had three or four more episodes during the night -- not sure if they woke me up or I was awake and just had them. Painful and long enough that at one point I started gathering my stuff together in case I had to make a quick trip to the ER. Tried a heating pad and some gentle self-massage each time after it released but still came back.

I realize this may have absolutely nothing to do with Hep C treatment and I have had some cramping in the past but usually in my calve and nothing lasting this long.

Wondering if anyone has had this happen on treatment or simply has any suggestions. If it keeps happening I may see a physical theapist but of course in the back of my mind is some sort of joint issues from all the interferon. Thanks.

-- Jim
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Avatar_m_tn
Forgot to add that I also got another hip cramp last night. Hadn't had one of those in months. Possibly the two are related, or possibly due to EOT stress. It also occurs to me that I've been doing more physcial work around the house lately and that might also be an issue.
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Jim my wife sees my extremities draw up into balls and me start screaming and its like the funniest thing she has ever seen. The madder I get the more she laughs about it. Of course she keeps telling me the little air bubbles in the syringe want hurt me and says a real man would poke it in a main artery (kidding)

MrsO: The RN at my doctor office has warned me on several occasions about caffiene and to stay away from it during treatment. For some reason it speeds up the dehydration of muscles and causes pain. I figure I'm drinking around 80oz of water per day and now I think it is not enough. Someone the other day said that you should drink should take your body weight 200lbs divide it by 2 = 100 and that is the daily water intake (100 oz) you require while on Pegasus / Copegus. There is so much information floating around that I'm not sure if I am coming or going sometime. Other than the aches you doing okay? Dale
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Avatar_m_tn
I like your wife. A good sense of humor in a care-giver/companion has to be near the top of the list in getting through this.

1/2 your weight in ounces is a pretty standard formula. You're a big buy and 100 ounces isn't too much.  That said, I've probably haven't followed that formula myself for most of treatment as it's been hard for me to get that much water down due mostly to throat constricture from the reflux and perhaps the riba.

Maybe I'll stay off the green tea for more than a few days and try some decaf. BTW you're wife is right about the air bubbles. Real men simply eat the entire syringe with their riba :)

-- Jim
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Avatar_n_tn
I know whereof you speak! The foot thing is a little like a marionette wire being tied between a toe and the ceiling and pulled as taut as it can get. I had the hip cramps several times during tx, but haven't had them lately. Hands and toes are still getting my attention fairly frequently. Bananas, lots of fluids, and magnesium is the standart rx I guess, but who knows ... maybe chowing down syringes will be the answer - at least it will take your mind off whatever else ails you! Let me know what works.
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Jim just for clarification to your comment I'm not a buy guy. If I let that typo go Flguy, goofy and beamish would be all over it.

You are right about a sense of humor. She keeps me laughing all the time and its usually about me. She went to a meeting the other night and I gave her about thirty minutes and called her. I had this real pitfull world coming to an end voice and she immediately wanted to know what was wrong. I told her I had crapped the bed and there was no way I could clean it up. She hung up on me. Come to find out she was in front of a group of people when I called. She was a little hostile when she came in but relieved I was lying. Me too. I think we both use humor to cut the tension of not being able to go as we did before treatment started.

About 40 minutes after I take the riba I could probably chew that syringe up without any problem. Dale
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Avatar_m_tn
So I had a banana this morning and popped a Centrum Silver which among other goodies contains:

Magnesium: 100mg
Zinc: 15mg
Calcium: 200mg
Potassium: 80mg

Does this sound enough for a daily intake? Thanks.

-- Jim



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As a runner you know that adequate potassium is required to avoid cramping.  Not sure if you've been more active these days to cause depletion.  Pre-tx I had a lot of cramping issues, but was more active in hot weather back then. Always loaded up on supplements, OJ, bananna's and magnesium.  Going with the potassiun concept (probably off base) what kind of water do you drink? If distilled, could lack electrolytes?  Also wonder if the riba could cause red cell impacts to 'K'.  Maybe it's just your mind and body sending you a not-so-subtle message?  Taking any diuretics? Any change to BP?
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Avatar_n_tn
my joints,muscles ache chronically;lower back(kidneys?) neck,shoulders;sciatica down entire leg to &including foot;hands,shoulders-every bodypart i've ever injured reminds me of my ongoing 'youthful indiscretions'.......i stop using pain meds for 1 or2 days per week,attemptin to prevent total loss of effectiveness& or dependency..These are my absolute agony days-of course! Yestrday felt like i had survived major car accident or a brutal baseball bat beating:Flu-like symptoms?? more or less...spent 13 hrs in bed the remainder on the couch:couldn't read 0r watch tv-thnk god for radio& an incredible ability to sleep for extended hazy hours..Today.by comparison,i feel like a million bucks-still not good,but bearable........Jim,you will soon be past the daily toxins,at which point i am sure things will get bettr!!!! Trx meds sux,part of the unpaved path to SVR-get yourself a serious fullbody massage
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Avatar_n_tn
I've found that a gram of magnesium (at minimum) will definitely interrupt the cramping episodes.  As a preventative, equal amounts of calcium and magnesium daily.   Been there w/ the paralytic parrot imitations, and the pain you're describing is no picnic.  

Not sure that interferon is directly culpable, but the cascade of effects can certainly lead to nutritional defieicnes of all sorts.  I remember that you've spoken of problems with excess acid production, probably exacerbated by the evil riba.  If you're taking antiacids on a regular basis, malabsorption of various nutrients could be a result.   Hell, I was NOT taking antiacids on tx and WAS supplementing, and still ended up with a B12 deficiency that has caused all sorts of neuro problems....go figure.   At any rate,  you might want to check out a book called _Digestive Wellness_ by Elizabeth Lipski (Keats 1996), which is a pretty intelligent treatment of nutritional approaches to all sorts of physical kinks.  

Try the magnesium and see if it doesn't get you out of trouble.  So sorry you're going through this....
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Me too Jim. I'm only 4/48 but my left hip is killing me. It's way up high too where my let meets my pelvis. The last 2 days it's been constantly aching. keeps me awake. Read it's part of the tx? Good luck. Hope you feel better.   tracy
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Avatar_m_tn
Been drinking a lot of tea the last few days. So maybe it's the diuretic effect of the caffeine as you suggest although I've read at least one study that have debunked the "coffee is dehydrating" theory. These days I drink mostly Fiji water which is not distilled. Had to stop with the electrolyte sport drinks like Gatorade because of my GERD (reflux) but maybe I can find something less acidic to tolerate at the health store. Thanks for the tips -- with all the drugs I'm on you never know.

-- Jim
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I can relate to the cramping that you are having. During TX I also experienced several bout's of cramps in my foot and right hip.
I was taking several different supplement at the time including magnesium, Zinc and calcium.

I found no patten to the attacks. I might have several cramps within a couple days, then nothing for Weeks or more. The even persisted for some time post TX.

I am now 1.5 years post TX, I have not had the cramps for some time.

  The Supplements that califa mentioned, very well could take care of the problem.

   Blessings to you

           TonyZ
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I would consider cutting the tea out and see. Have the same issues with hands and feet and calves. I just keep pouring more water to it but I didn't have the problem pre treatment only after starting treatment. I've had both hands wad up and my wife would have to straighten them out and hold them for a minute until the cramping ceased. Your correct it sounds funny but isn't. Good luck and by the way my doctor had never heard of that one either. We porbably all need to log this stuff and educate the medical community - I wonder what that would pay? Nah! They would charge us for the nusances. Good luck to you and if you find a cure let me know. Dale
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Funny you should mention that about the cramping.  My joint pains didn't start till last Thursday.  It was last Monday that I had the foot cramping you described.  Strangely, within a few minutes my thumb locked up on me and I didn't think I'd ever get it to move.

My first thought was potassium.  I just happened to have a dr apt this week and he said it's the interferon.  It can do crazy things to your body.  Told me to take motrin or advil for pain and if that didn't work he'd prescribe something.  Great, that was helpful. (sarcasm)

I guess the worst part is that it boils down to it could be this...it could be that.  

Good luck. Valorie
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Avatar_m_tn
Again, thanks for all the tips. Sounds like the cramping may be treatment related. For some reason, I had stopped taking multi-vitamins a few months ago but it sounds like time to go back with perhaps some of the xtra supplements mentioned. Also, I'll lay off the green tea for a few days.  Dale...I can relate to the story about your wife straightening out your hands LOL. I kept doing the same last night but the foot kept snapping back. Only fun if it's not your foot (or hand). LOL.

-- Jim

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100019_tn?1335923317
Good morning, Dale.  Hope all is going well for you.

Starting about a month prior to beginning TX I began drinking water.  It takes so much to get down 1/2 to 1 gallon of water you don't really want anything else.  Now that I'm at 23/48 I'm really getting rather tired of water.

I made some ice tea last week and we've been drinking it.  Not to the exclusion of water.  But my tea consumption has coincided with the cramping and joint pains.

Think there's a correlation?
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Avatar_m_tn
You really have to experience the pain to understand. A cramp lasting a minute or so is manageable, but once it goes beyond five minutes you just feel you're in a lot of trouble. If it went on much longer I would have called 911 since I was unable to walk:
------------------------------------------------------------

911: What is the nature of the emergency you're reporting?
JmJm: I have a cramp in my big toe!
911: Could you please repeat that.
JmJm: I have a cramp in my big toe!
911:
911:
JmJm: Hello? Hello? Hello? Is anyone there? Heeelp? Motherrrr!!!

-------------------
Thanks for the tip. So far today, no cramps, just some soreness from last night. I'll take meds if necessary but hoping it was a one night thing and will not repeat as I'm in the process of getting off the treatment drugs. I hope this finds you well. If I remember correctly, you're back on the treatment drugs or you're about to be soon? If so, any different in sides after being off for a few weeks?

-- Jim
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hey, thanks for the banana info! have about two a day...in increments cause they do contain sugar....it would make total, total sense to me that stuff like that could cause nutritional defiencies of all kinds...and besides good ole Califia, I have other friends who really made sure those bases were covered during tx and after...they just don't do studies on this stuff, almost at all, and God knows many docs schooled in AMA policies don't emphasize this enough, cause they don't know much about it of course...cept a few...I know I'm such a crashing bore to some talking about this stuff but I do think it's pertinent, big time...
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Avatar_n_tn
From what I have studied, calcium could be playing a rule in the cramping. When you are low in calcuim, you will cramp.

But, I too, have had severe hip pain, in my right. I wouldn't call mine cramping, just like tendon pain or something.

Hope you get better soon!

Sincerely,
Dana
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Avatar_n_tn
Just want to add a few things to the discussion.

Potassium--Peanuts and potatoes are much higher in potassium than bananas.  In fact, bananas are somewhere in the middle of the list, peanuts and taters are at the top.

Calcium--If you are not absorbing the calcium, it can cause more problems than you are trying to be rid of.  I would suggest getting as much naturally as you can.  Kale, broccoli, all the dark green veggies.  The calcium supplied naturally also has other things with it to supplement absorption.  

Now, I'm not a nutrition guru by any means and I still drink plenty of milk.  I do know that just taking additional this or that isn't the same as the way God made it for us to consume.  Hydrogen must mix with oxygen to produce water, or it takes a village to raise a child, however you might view it.  All nutrition works in tandem.  

So, there is no simple formula.  These are my views and I am not a doctor.

missmiss

goof--what happened yesterday?
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"Do you like Gladiator movies"? That is one of my favorite lines from a movie. Airplane! Who had the fish? Of course Bill Murray's routine from Caddy Shack is right in there too. "I don't think the hard stuff is going to come down for quiet some time now" Dale
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So sorry you are having a rough time, but you did make a joke!  I hope you start feeling better soon!  Here is a lil something about bananas that might help!

fisheress

After Reading THIS, you'll NEVER look at a banana in the same way again.....

Containing three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose, and glucose combined with fiber, a banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just 2 bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the # 1 fruit with the world's leading athletes.

But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.


Depression:
According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND among people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood, and generally make you feel happier.

PMS:
Forget the pills -- eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.


Anemia:
High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure:
This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect way to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.


Brain Power:
200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation:
High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.


Hangover:
One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Heartburn:
Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.


Morning Sickness:
Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites:
Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Nerves:
Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.
Overweight and at work?
Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every 2 hours to keep levels steady.


Ulcers:
The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control:
Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)---e.g. Winter blues, rainy season:
Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.


Smoking:
Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12, potassium, and magnesium they contain help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Stress:
Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain, and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be re-balanced with the help of a
high-potassium banana snack.

Strokes:
According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!


So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has 4 times the protein, twice the carbohydrates, 3 times the phosphorus, 5 times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium, and is one of the best value foods around.

So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"
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Avatar_m_tn
jim, do a google search on n-acetyl cystene , what you read about this suppliment may interest you. This is a good suppliment most emergency rooms carry on stock for tylenole poisoning especially in children.  This suppliment helps with glutithione production, a natural enzyeme that helps the liver flush toxins from drugs, chemicals we may breath ect. Check it out.

Dyce
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Avatar_n_tn
So glad you're "done"! How soon will they do a PCR? I think I started to feel better about 2 minutes after the decision was made and I haven't stopped since, although there is always a small cloud of doubt that seems to hover just out of reach. I'm getting pretty good at ignoring it though, and if I make it to the 6 month PCR clear I'm going to fageddaboudit. Good luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
What are the odds of Jim tucking into a plate of  freshly picked organically grown kale or collards, sauteed in olive oil and garlic, say two or three times or five times a week?    In other words, whatever works.
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<i>I had this real pitfull world coming to an end voice and she immediately wanted to know what was wrong. I told her I had crapped the bed and there was no way I could clean it up. She hung up on me. </i>

You sir, are this week's treatment hero. You have reset the bar for all of us. Nice job!

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<i>What are the odds of Jim tucking into a plate of freshly picked organically grown kale or collards, sauteed in olive oil and garlic, say two or three times or five times a week? In other words, whatever works.</i>

What the h3ll is that? Aversion therapy?

<hr>

<i>goof--what happened yesterday?</i>

Stick a fork in me, missmiss. They say I'm done!
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One of the first things I did when I ended tx was clean the kids' closets. Found all kinds of cr*ap and discarded it, organized it, threatened the kids with all kinds of evil things (still had some riba left in me) if they didn't keep it that way. After a few days of that (hit the garage too) I sat back, admired my work and relaized the metaphor.  However, things do get cluttered and sometimes need to get cleaned again. Here's to another closet cleaning in the near future.
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Avatar_m_tn
Fish said:  "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"
============================================================

I wish I knew that a few years ago. One of my apparently neglected  ex's left me for a neurosurgeon.

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Avatar_n_tn
Hey Jim,
I just bought centrums performance, and it aint cause I'm a runner!!  It looked like it has like 300% of the b vities, which they said would help my poor sore mouth........  We'll see, just bought and started last night...

next question: can we take vities with the nightly dose of riba/ bloodpressure, or do we have to wait?

Don't yall think its funny that we used to go to a party and talk about reds and orange sunshine, ... panama red..

now its Viagra, oh heck no, scared of it... Centrum silver,
nexium.... ambien...
oh how time flies....
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm the wrong person to ask about vitamins. When my bottle of Centrum Silver ran empty a few months ago didn't even bother to get a new one until today :) But from what I do understand, a normal dose of daily vitamins are fine to take with your meals and riba -- as opposed to certain antacids or products like Metamucil or Flax which might slow absorption. Of course check with your doctor because some only suggest a minimal daily vitamin w/o iron like Centrum Silver. I imagine other medical condtions might dictate what you should or shouldn't take as well. Keep up the good performance, as they say :) Just finished my third banana of the day. Think I'll go find a limb and swing.

-- JungleJim
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92903_tn?1309908311
<i>One of my apparently neglected ex's left me for a neurosurgeon.</i>

Yeah, well don't feel too bad. One of mine left me for a banana! I'm overwhelmed with inadequacy each time I walk through the produce dept.
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Avatar_n_tn
Is it enough?  
For the calcium & magnesium  multiply by 5.  
Zinc you could safely double.
Potassium-I have no earthly idea of the proper ratios w/ above.   Easily researched, though.

You could go over to lef.org or the mayo clinic site and read about nutrients and extra nutrtitional needs during chemo.   IMHO Centrum Silver keeps us just minimally alive enough to meet nursing home standards.  Besides, sounds too much like Grecian Formula.

Seizing up & cramping was part of my tx experience as well.  Pretty sure it's a product of deficiencies that develop, and that we can minimize it or step it down a few levels w/ good supplementation.  

Anyhow, get this in place and if results are inadequate or too slow, _then_ turn to pharmaceuticals.  



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Avatar_n_tn
Hey, you need to drink more water. Sounds like you are dehydrated.

Good Luck,

Wes
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks again, all. Drank a little more water today, cut out all caffeine, ate 3 bananas, took a multi-vitamin, and stopped wearing a pair of boots that I've been walking in lately.  No more cramping today so that's a good start.

Ina, currently I'm on two Nexium a day and have been for most of treatment. The three times I've tried to wean myself to only one a day have been disasterous. Philosophically, I hate the idea of taking PPI's, but in the real world they have been a lifesaver and would not be still on treatment if not for them. Very early on I tried  DGL, ginger, apple cider vinegar, etc,  and as many life-style changes that made sense, but to no avail. The head of my bed is still raised a foot. My hope is that I'll have more success weaing off the Nexium when the treatment drugs clear my system and my body's natural healing mechanism becomes stronger. For the past two months, the GERD has been in a manageable state for the first time since I started treatment. For that I'm grateful. BTW -- and I know you have an interest in antibiotics -- I did go on a six-week course of broad spectrum antibiotics for a prostate problem a little while ago. (All told 3 months of antibiotics while on treatment) While it didn't seem to help the prostate, my GERD and psoriasis did seem to get better, so I stayed full course.  Coincidence? Of course, I'll never know but my gut tells me I may have had some kind of chronic infection my body couldn't fight by itself and the long-term antibiotics gave things a little push. Again, I'm not a big fan of antibiotics, but desperate measures for desperate times. If it works, it works.

-- Jim
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Hello, Jim,
Congratulations on making it to the exit lane after such a long, hard trip.  As a fellow 59, and soon (you're to be my) fellow SVR... You've been a steadfast and dignified member of this forum.  
My doc - who's from South Africa - turned me on to quionine for cramps.  Easiest way to get it is by drinking quionine/tonic water.  You can toss in the lime, but skip the gin.  I had those painful cramps in my foot, mostly, but sometimes in the calves; tonic water worked quickly for me.
I hope you have a smooth detox, and have many pleasant discoveries in the spring days ahead.

Wasabi Pea,
I'm sorry about your vision problems.  I hope you're not driving for your long commute... anyway, most of the vision problems will go away after tx, but do check with your doc.  It would be a good time to see an eye doc (opthalmologist, not optometrist or optician.)  For now, check out the books on cd's (or cassettes) if you have a player; most libraries will have a stock of good books "on tape".  
You're really moving through those weeks!  We'll see you at SVR soon.  Just keep putting one foot in front of the other... it's really just a later point in that journey of a thousand miles that began with a single step...
Maj Neni
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