Rheumatoid Arthritis*

May 12, 2013

If you have Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) or other chronic illness, I hope my story gives you encouragement that there is a path to regaining your life.  Thanks to Dr. Minkoff and the Lifeworks Wellness Center staff, I am steadily regaining my strength and health, and feel like life is worth living again!

I have had RA for approximately 11 years, and I’m almost 52 years old.  I’m male, six feet tall, and when I arrived at the clinic for my first visit about 6 months ago, I weighed in at 123 lbs.  My weight was steadily declining.  But the body wasting wasn’t the worst of it.  It was the excruciating pain and extreme inflammation in almost every joint of my body.  I could not get out of a chair by myself, and for most of each day I could only get around with crutches.  I had reached a point where life wasn’t worth living; I felt ready to die.

Now, six months later, my last weigh-in was 140 lbs, and the pain and swelling is significantly improved!  I’m enjoying being able to perform simple tasks I hadn’t been able to do for several years.  For example, now I can turn the car key in the ignition, ride a scooter (since I can now use my wrists and fingers to work the brakes and throttle), and hold a glass of water with one hand! I haven’t looked at my crutches for about four months.

Over the past 11 years, I have continuously searched for improvement, trying one thing after another.  Over that time, I just got worse.  Now, I’m on a path of healing, and I’m excited for the future.  I wish I had found Lifeworks years ago, but I’m grateful to have finally made my way there.  If you have RA or other chronic conditions, I can’t urge you enough to open yourself to care at Lifeworks Wellness Center.  Much of my treatment involves intravenous (IV) therapies, and over the past six months sitting in the IV room, I’ve observed other patients’ improvement as well. So I know my improvement is not an isolated aberration.  At Lifeworks, I actually see patients get better; much different than what I’ve observed at typical medical facilities!
The staff at Lifeworks is professional, compassionate, and positive.  Dr. Minkoff is amazing, in that he obviously is very pleased with my improvement, but I also can see he’s not satisfied with anything short of complete healing.  He understands that true and natural healing can be a slow process, but it is very clear that he’s always searching for and open to new ideas, modalities, treatments, etc., in order to continue and/or accelerate healing.  And for me, the most inspiring thing is that it’s obvious that he walks the talk!  The man exudes vibrancy and positivity that men 30 years his junior often can’t muster.

I can’t say enough about the contributions to healing that we the patients enjoy from the center’s staff. Tamora’s passion and sincere care for the patients’ well-being is infectious.  Holly, Serena, and Tyler make the IV room a positive, upbeat, healing environment.  From the moment I arrive at the clinic, I enjoy the cheerful smiles of Ana, Shannon, Lisa, Mattie, and Shae, and I’m grateful to know I’m in the right place!

I know my story is not finished yet. As Dr. Minkoff put it to me about two months into my treatments (and already showing improvement), we’ve got a big hill to climb but we’re already making our way up the side.  I am looking forward to continued improvement and more zest for life as my ability to do things I’ve been unable to do for years returns! 

So, if you are reading this, and you feel like I was feeling before I came to Lifeworks (see my second paragraph above), please know that I know how you feel, and that there is a way to get your life back!  If you wish to speak personally with me, I’m happy to talk to you about my continuing experience as an RA patient at Lifeworks. You can just let Tamora know you’d like to speak with me. In the meantime, I fully expect to have more to share on my progress in another six months!  So, more to come….

I wish for you a happy, healthy life! 
In gratitude,

Matt F.

       *Disclaimer: Individual patient results may vary based on a patient's medical history and other factors.

 

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