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Unread 03-29-2011, 01:52 PM   #1
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I come back to my fellow players with a warning regarding TENDONITIS. Take heed.

How are my fellow 7 string slingers? I haven't been here in ages and for a sad reason really. I came to you guys regarding my wrist tendonitis I had going on a while back.. and it has only gotten worse because of my foolishness.

This is my old post from a ways back.. and I just wanted to get advice and update some you fellow players of a HUGE problem that can occur.

Tendonitis and Carpal Tunnel, The end of a guitarists legacy?

So, I haven't played guitar in almost a year now regularly. Why? Because my wrist tendonitis was so bad that I stopped playing and focused on school and other methods of entertainment (i.e. video games and pc programming) which led to something far worse.. tendonitis of my fingers that has created some masses in my palms that are achy and sore with use.

I was just listening to an old album and just remembered how much I miss playing guitar and how desperate I am to heal and be able to do what I want again.. so I came here to my fellow mates once more for advice for THESE MONSTERS.



Any ideas what this may be? or can anyone probably confirm it's just tendonitis that has gotten out of control?

Here's to hoping I can recover and join you all in the world of playing guitar once more...

It's quite depressing without it.

-Fenris
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Unread 03-29-2011, 02:00 PM   #2
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Wow thats sucks dude . looks broke or something
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Unread 03-29-2011, 02:02 PM   #3
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Wow thats sucks dude . looks broke or something
Right? It's more from overuse.. I've had all sorts of x-rays bilateral done.. and went to a specialist and he was a little baffled since I didn't have any numbness or shit.. and said I should get an MRI if I want to be totally safe.

I can't afford that out of pocket.. It's impossible.
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Unread 03-29-2011, 02:27 PM   #4
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I feel you bro. I destroyed my right thumb which is my strumming hand, (broke in half at the first joint coming off the hand don't know what its called) anyways i have been battling pains in the joint of the thumb. I know I will get arthritis in it eventually and i have been thinking about corrective surgery, but that cost money. Anti inflammatory meds work but they don't cure anything

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Unread 03-29-2011, 02:57 PM   #5
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That's disheartening. Honestly, cut to the chase and go see a Dr. and ask him/her.

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Unread 03-29-2011, 03:01 PM   #6
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That's terrible man

I got VERY lucky as once my wrist started hurting a close friend of mine also had tendonitis and showed me some exercises before mine really went anywhere.
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Unread 03-29-2011, 03:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenrisulfr View Post
Right? It's more from overuse.. I've had all sorts of x-rays bilateral done.. and went to a specialist and he was a little baffled since I didn't have any numbness or shit.. and said I should get an MRI if I want to be totally safe.

I can't afford that out of pocket.. It's impossible.
No health insurance?

Say what you will about socialism... at least in most of the western world you can get yourself fixed up and not have to worry about being bent over when it comes time to 'settle the bill'. Terrible.
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Unread 03-29-2011, 03:18 PM   #8
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Stop playing guitar...stop playing the video games and stop using a keyboard..the combination of all 3 are surely your problem.

Give you hands a rest for a few weeks.

This along with rest got me through my problems
GHS HANDMASTER PLUS A12 - Thomann Irish Cyberstore

It is great for warming up before playing and for builidng strength in the fingers hands and forearms..its used by lots of musicians for warmup and maintenance.


3 times a day for a min each time on both hands cured any aches I had

Best of Luck!
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Unread 03-29-2011, 03:24 PM   #9
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That sure don't look like tendonitis OR carpal. Looks more like your hand will give birth to a hoarde of angry spider babies soon.

Seriously: I was planning on giving some helpful advice on carpal tunnel here, but from those pics this is NOT your issue. Tell your doc the truth - that you cannot afford an MRI, and see if there are other avenues to pursue. Also, get insurance. Do what ever you can to do it, because god forbid you get into an accident - your life could be over. Literally. This is WHY global health insurance is such a hot topic in the US right now.
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Unread 03-29-2011, 03:49 PM   #10
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Hey Fenris, I have a few questions for you concerning your hand. I am no doctor, but I am a nurse.

Is your dominant hand your right or left? The raised area on your right hand, what causes it to hurt? Be really specific, like, "It hurts only when I use my thumb to apply pressure to something," or "It just ....ing hurts all the time, even when not being used." Next, if pain occurs, what relieves it? Last, the hand that is in pain, do you wear a large watch around that wrist?

It is tough to tell from just the pictures what is wrong. Unfortunately tendonitis is kind of hard to detect by looks alone. Here is what I would do. Restrict hand motion that is causing your palm pain. Use the hand as little as possible. Wash hand in warm water, 2-3 times a day and apply cortisone cream. Cortisone is a steriod which helps to reduce inflammation. In addition to the cortisone, take a does of Ibuprofen in the am after breakfast, and in the evening after dinner. I would say about 400mg per dose. Most importantly, restrict hand movement for optimal healing.

It can take anywhere from 3-6 weeks for tendonitis to heal. If the problem persists after this period, it may not be tendonitis.

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Unread 03-29-2011, 05:42 PM   #11
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Here are some updates pics I just took

http://imgur.com/a/254e9#wuslg

Here's a quick update to you all. I'm from KY so I live in the states and I'm a 20 something college student who can't afford my insurance. It really does suck, and I have forked over 600 bucks in the past month going from doctor to doctor and paid for bilateral x-rays.. and a specialist.. a HAND SPECIALIST.

This is all started with playing guitar when I first returned from the military and it started with wrist pain.. Wrist tendonitis is what I was told. Next I went on to play PC games when I couldn't play guitar.. and I will admit it, it's pathetic, but when I didn't have a job for a while there and no school, and I had just all this free time to waste inside, I played StarCraft and other crappy pc games for hours at end.. I mean like 4 hours at a time with breaks to get up and eat. No stretching before hand, and going through initial pain symptoms of aches from playing. "OH that is probably just my hand hurting from playing in this crappy chair, I'll be okay to keep playing."

I was a dumb ass. Still am for not getting much done for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ill-Gotten James View Post
Hey Fenris, I have a few questions for you concerning your hand. I am no doctor, but I am a nurse.

Is your dominant hand your right or left? The raised area on your right hand, what causes it to hurt? Be really specific, like, "It hurts only when I use my thumb to apply pressure to something," or "It just ....ing hurts all the time, even when not being used." Next, if pain occurs, what relieves it? Last, the hand that is in pain, do you wear a large watch around that wrist?

It is tough to tell from just the pictures what is wrong. Unfortunately tendonitis is kind of hard to detect by looks alone. Here is what I would do. Restrict hand motion that is causing your palm pain. Use the hand as little as possible. Wash hand in warm water, 2-3 times a day and apply cortisone cream. Cortisone is a steriod which helps to reduce inflammation. In addition to the cortisone, take a does of Ibuprofen in the am after breakfast, and in the evening after dinner. I would say about 400mg per dose. Most importantly, restrict hand movement for optimal healing.

It can take anywhere from 3-6 weeks for tendonitis to heal. If the problem persists after this period, it may not be tendonitis.
To answer your questions I am right hand dominant which is what hand is shown in the pictures. The lump started off small after playing computer games with rigorous amounts of index finger usage. I mean like clicking the mouse a ridiculous amount of times in a short period and shuffling my wrist around as well. I also have the same sort of lump in my left hand which is a little bit smaller as well.

Nothing really HURTS it. I can poke it, rub it around and it's squishy/malleable.. Not a tense ball of pressure that hurts constantly. It feels like a really tense muscle or a mix of fluid with muscle underneath that has raised up. It gets aggravated with use on the computer or using the mouse excessively... anything that really uses that finger quite a bit. My grip strength is still fine.. my ability to do menial task is still there.. I don't get tingling or numbness.. I don't wake up in the middle of the night because of it.. I just have achy pain that kind of hinders me from doing my activities.. mainly because it feels like it gets worse when I do them.

THESE LUMPS GO UP AND DOWN IN SIZE.

I cannot stress that enough. On my "better days" it feels like it has gone down quite a bit and seems like it is taking care of itself, or I'm doing something right.. but with use like at my job where I am a barista constantly making coffee and using my hands like crazy it gets aggrivated. Creating the same dull achy pain once more.. I have never had ANY sharp pains from it.. just some burning and achy annoyances that stems from my thumb joint to index joint.

The hand masses seemed much more prominent after playing xbox 360 and other games as well for a while at a time. Not using my hands makes the pain not come around as much, and I'm starting to ice them regularly now but it doesn't seem to do TOO much.. I stopped taking ibuprofen as of 5 days ago because I was taking like 9 a day and felt like I shouldn't be doing that for over a week.

So to sum it up.. typing makes it seem worse, and so does using my hands as far as making beverages at work (starbucks) and what not. Recently I have been getting aches in my forearms as well from overuse I suspect.. but I can't just lay off everything because of class. I have English 300 this year so I have to type a 5 page paper every week..

If this says anything as well
I go to chiropractor from time to time and have had some shoulder and neck problems as well as far as alignment so I dunno if that has anything to do with.. but she's even baffled at what the .... is going on with my hands. She has done grip strength tests and I check out fine..

My shoulders feel like I could cut diamonds with them because they are so tense though and I can't sleep on my side every at night because I feel like my arm is paralyzed from my rotor cuff being so stiff in the morning. So maybe that has something to do with it all.

I'm just fed up and need help. I can't afford more than what I have already spent.. I just want to have my passion back.

Thanks for any advice.

-Fenris
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Unread 03-29-2011, 05:57 PM   #12
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I'm going to have to ponder this one for a bit, but I will see if I can be any more insight. I feel your pain about not having insurance. I work in a god damn hospital and still am not yet eligible to receive benefits. I will get back to you after doing some pondering and reading up on hand musculature and potentially problems.

James

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Unread 03-29-2011, 05:58 PM   #13
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advice 1:

change your thread title from "warning about tendonitis" to "I have swollen hands". Since it's likely it's NOT tendonitis, you're more likely to have someone familiar with your problem come in here with a more accurate title.

Like I said, I was ready to come in here and give advice on coping with Carpal/Tendonitis, but that looks like NO carpal tunnel or tendonitis I've ever seen. That's swollen muscle tissue.

Advice 2: if you're former military, you should look into vet benefits and see if you qualify for any type of medical coverage.

Advice 3: Stop trying to get medical advice on a guitar forum. I betcha a guitar this is NOT guitar related at all.
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Unread 03-29-2011, 06:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ill-Gotten James View Post
I'm going to have to ponder this one for a bit, but I will see if I can be any more insight. I feel your pain about not having insurance. I work in a god damn hospital and still am not yet eligible to receive benefits. I will get back to you after doing some pondering and reading up on hand musculature and potentially problems.

James

Just for the record, you're a nurse. Not putting you down, but think that by qualifying yourself thusly you may be misleading OP into thinking you have more extensive training and medical knowledge than you do. I'd think the best advice in any situation like this is diagnosis by a trained medical professional, not pretending to be one.

Again, REALLY not trying to be mean, but when someone's health or well being is at stake, the wrong reply or answer could be the worst possible thing. And as someone in the medical FIELD, you should be much more familiar with the consequences of misdiagnosis or delaying seeking medical help. Since he's already seen a hand specialist, do you really think you'll be able to help better? I don't, but OP might. And that's DANGEROUS.
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Unread 03-29-2011, 06:12 PM   #15
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If the lumps grow and shrink depending on use, then you're most likely dealing with Ganglion Cysts. They're rarely harmful, but they can be painful if they apply pressure on certain parts. You can get rid of them. I have one that appears and disappears on my right wrist. It hurts when it shows up, but doesn't cause me any trouble otherwise

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Unread 03-29-2011, 06:16 PM   #16
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Alright, I'm in the same boat. I have tendonitis in my fretting hand (as well as cubital tunnel, and maybe some other nerve shit as well...not cool), and haven't really been able to play guitar since December...although I foolishly played a couple shows trying to tough it out.

I'm no doctor, but thankfully my mom has her PhD in nursing and is a professor in a nursing department at a university, so I can get a lot of free medical advice. She's also had carpel tunnel and dupuytren's contracture (your tendons contract so that you can't fully stretch out your hand and fingers), so she's got some personal experience with hand issues.

She has me taking four 200 mg pills of ibuprofen, 3x a day, with meals each time. She has assured me that this is completely safe for an extended period of time - ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory drug, but she says in order to get the effect for the problems I'm having (and you are too, apparently) you need to be religious about taking it. If you miss doses, it reduces how effective it is at reducing the inflammation. Obviously, with a dose like this, lay off the booze...which also sucks.

Thankfully, I do have health insurance, so I've been going to physical therapy as well as the doctor to check up on things. My 4 pieces of advice for starters...

1. Buy an Ace splint to immobilize your wrist. This is for the recovery period, hopefully not a long term solution. Even if you only wear it at night, it is still giving your wrist, hand, and extensor muscles (your forearm) a chance to relax. Tendonitis occurs from overuse.

2. Rest - no guitar, no video games. Believe me, I *know* how much this sucks. I just watched my band play our cd release show on Saturday...a cd where I wrote a good chunk of the music, and recorded almost every single guitar track...and I've played every show with my band since we started 10 years ago. I've been advised by multiple doctors, and my physical therapist...if you don't rest, you could be dealing with this for years.

3. Ice - it does help. You don't need much, 10 minutes at a time, 2x a day is more than enough.

4. Stretches - my physical therapist has given me a lot of different stretches to do...I have an ancient laptop, I'm going to see if I can't figure out how to get an old webcam working and maybe demonstrate a few that will help.

Lastly, I don't know if you have a girlfriend or whatever, but massages will definitely help. I have my wife massage my arm and hand 3-4 times a week, and it's really helped loosen up my forearm and hand.

Let me know I can help you out with any more info, man! This shit sucks, I know.
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Unread 03-29-2011, 06:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArrowHead View Post
advice 1:

change your thread title from "warning about tendonitis" to "I have swollen hands". Since it's likely it's NOT tendonitis, you're more likely to have someone familiar with your problem come in here with a more accurate title.

Like I said, I was ready to come in here and give advice on coping with Carpal/Tendonitis, but that looks like NO carpal tunnel or tendonitis I've ever seen. That's swollen muscle tissue.

Advice 2: if you're former military, you should look into vet benefits and see if you qualify for any type of medical coverage.

Advice 3: Stop trying to get medical advice on a guitar forum. I betcha a guitar this is NOT guitar related at all.
I would change the title if I could mate. Also, from what I've been briefed on from the specialist and his diagnosis of sorts within his bafflement he said it may be tendonitis that has eventually gotten to the point of fluid build up and the tendon pushing up in the palm. He's not certain.. but since I had all this start originally from guitar I figured I'd come around here and see if anyone had any ideas.

Seeing how it WAS based off a problem from a guitar originally (and the right hand from playing bass with my fingers [pluck and slap] I went on a whim of trying my old guitar forum lastly.

I know you are being helpful and I am not being resentful in any way, but I am putting my word out there to see if any bait catches a lead. I can't shit out another 220 bucks for a specialist to say "Take ibuprofen", and I can't afford to be a blind fool and accept medical opinions from anyone who is not a trained professional. I merely want opinions to jar my thoughts around and possibly get new ideas for icing/massaging/bandaging/bracing and whatever the hell else that wouldn't necessarily hurt my cause.

Even your post saying this doesn't even look like tendonitis or carpal tunnel helps me look towards other means of doctors to check out my problem.. Maybe even to the point of saving more money and going to some sort of sports doc.

I am just going off of what I've been told from my docs, and now I am taking it a step further to seek familiar stories and words of wisdom.

Thanks again
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Unread 03-29-2011, 06:32 PM   #18
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I've heard they're doing research in using botox for this type of thing. I read a story about a famous pianist regarding this matter, though I can't recall who it was or where I read it though. I'm sure google would bring it up.
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Unread 03-29-2011, 06:42 PM   #19
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OP, did you look into veteran benefits? My fiance's father had some trouble paying for insurance too, (he's a vietnam vet) and they ended up taking care of him at the VA.


Just a suggestion.

And the reason I stress the danger is because something that might aid one ailment can worsen another.

As for the fluid buildup, that's kinda like the gangleon cyst that someone mentioned. My drummer had one of those, but it was on his wrist. If the doc thought it was a buildup of fluids, I'm surprised they suggested an MRI and didn't just try to drain it?

Again, take with a grain of salt. I'm not a doctor, just a guy that wants you back on your feet playing guitar.

P.S. - thank you for your service to our country.
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Unread 03-29-2011, 09:47 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Just for the record, you're a nurse. Not putting you down, but think that by qualifying yourself thusly you may be misleading OP into thinking you have more extensive training and medical knowledge than you do. I'd think the best advice in any situation like this is diagnosis by a trained medical professional, not pretending to be one.

Again, REALLY not trying to be mean, but when someone's health or well being is at stake, the wrong reply or answer could be the worst possible thing. And as someone in the medical FIELD, you should be much more familiar with the consequences of misdiagnosis or delaying seeking medical help. Since he's already seen a hand specialist, do you really think you'll be able to help better? I don't, but OP might. And that's DANGEROUS.
Hey dude, there is no diagnosing here. All I can do is offer suggestions to relieve symptoms. I am acting well within my roam and only offering advice that I would take myself. Also, I was going to run this gents problem off of some of the doctors in the department that I work in tomorrow. I only qualified myself, because I can ask some very talented doctors whom I work with. That is all I can do, I cannot diagnose anybody or I am acting out of line. And helping is helping, just like what you are trying to do. I love your last line, pretending to be a medical professional Mr. Arrowhead, by the way. It made me smile.

Mr. Arrowhead brought up two very good points though, you need professional medical advice if your hand is really bothering you. Also, posting on a guitar site may not get you the best advice out there. Even I can only go off of what experience I have attained. There are free clinics that you maybe should look into, or veterans benefits. Mr. Rug also offered good advice. Rest your hand, ice it, and light stretching. See if there is improvement.

If you are not going to pay for medical advice, read up about your symptoms and problems on the internet. No, it is not really a good idea to self diagnose yourself if you do not have medical knowledge, but maybe you can find some answers that people on this blog cannot give you.

Hope you find some answers that you are looking for.

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Unread 03-30-2011, 09:31 AM   #21
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Odd as it sounds, from a guy with tonnes of previous tendinitis issues. Clean up your posture, even when doing things like playing video games. When you are sitting up straight your body is in a more natural position, it can move freely. When you are in positions of bad posture moving is just harder for your body, more wear and tear is put on it.

If you won't see a doctor, try spending 15$ on a book by Pete Egoscue called Pain Free, it did more for me than any doctor ever did, including more than physiotherapy.
Pain Free: A Revolutionary Method for Stopping Chronic Pain: Amazon.ca: Pete Egoscue, Roger Gittines: Books

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Unread 03-30-2011, 10:16 AM   #22
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The only problem i have ever had with my tendons was cubital tunnel in my elbow. I got it from posturing my elbow improperly on the mouse/keyboard while using the computer for prolonged periods of time. Everytime i would move my elbow or make a fist with my hand, electric pain and tingling would occur from my elbow all the way to my finger tips. I basically kept my elbow in a comfortable position and didn't use it for 2 weeks. Didnt use the computer or play guitar or anything. It cleared up. Programming is probably what kept your hand from healing, but i really have no idea. i would at least get a diagnosis from your doc and then look up treatment afterwards. good luck man.
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Unread 03-30-2011, 10:45 AM   #23
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Personally, I think asking for medical advice on a forum is not a good idea, even if people claim they know what they're talking about.

I hope there's some way you can afford an MRI and get it sorted. Is there someone you know that could help you out, financially?
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Unread 03-30-2011, 12:03 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Ill-Gotten James View Post
I love your last line, pretending to be a medical professional Mr. Arrowhead, by the way. It made me smile.

By pretending to be a medical professional, I didn't mean you AREN'T one. I just meant that you are not trained in diagnosis or treatment of these sorts of maladies, and as the more medically experienced person here, you should be the one MOST aware of that, and the dangers of giving medical advice WITHOUT proper diagnosis and treatment.
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Unread 03-30-2011, 12:12 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nazca View Post
Personally, I think asking for medical advice on a forum is not a good idea, even if people claim they know what they're talking about.

I hope there's some way you can afford an MRI and get it sorted. Is there someone you know that could help you out, financially?
Negative. I am on my own as it is. My parents were in worse of condition than I was when I was away in the military. They didn't have insurance or a lick of cash, they are out of the question and I don't have friends in high places. Just old military buds like myself.

I qualify for military insurance.. for a low monthly payment of 850 bucks a month.. No thanks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ArrowHead View Post
By pretending to be a medical professional, I didn't mean you AREN'T one. I just meant that you are not trained in diagnosis or treatment of these sorts of maladies, and as the more medically experienced person here, you should be the one MOST aware of that, and the dangers of giving medical advice WITHOUT proper diagnosis and treatment.

Tis' true. Yet, he can be a valuable tool towards getting advice from trained professionals. Even at that point though I'd still be wary of what I learn on the internet. I'm smarter than the average bear I'd say...
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