Elly de Jongh (69) from Rhoon had a very different Christmas season in mind when in mid-December she was struck by an acute form of shingles (postherpetic zoster neuralgia). When ibuprofen failed to alleviate the pain and numerous lumps started covering her arm, Elly visited the central out-of-hours surgery on Saturday 16 December. The attending doctor prescribed valaciclovir for the shingles and tramadol and paracetamol to relieve the pain. ‘I should have been clear of it after three or four weeks.’ On the contrary, the pain in Elly’s arm actually kept getting worse.
Many analgesic medicines
Desperate, the day after Christmas Elly went to her GP, who prescribed her pregabalin. She was also referred to the pain clinic, but the earliest they could see her was on 9 January. ‘Fortunately, the pregablin did a reasonable job in suppressing the pain somewhat.’ Still, the 69 year old from Rhoon was not happy with the situation. ‘It remained extremely painful and I did not like having to take all those medications. After all, it is a kind of ‘poison’ that you’re swallowing. On 2 January, Elly therefore decided to phone the Van der Kuil Functional Neurology & Vestibular Rehabilitation Center. ‘My husband and I have been going there for 20 years, in part to help my husband with his hernia and prostrate problems. To be honest, I didn’t expect them to know much about shingles, but the receptionist reassured me that they could successfully treat the condition. Moreover, they could see me the next day.
Almost pain free and more energy
Three months later, the mood is quite different in the De Jongh residence. ‘The first three weeks of January, I had two treatments a week with the GyroStim. After that, I had one treatment a week until the beginning of March. The GyroStim is a computer-driven multi-axis rotating chair that doctors use to help patients with a variety of impairments. The treatment also included a course of supplements. ‘I take vitamin C, vitamin B-complex, D-Toxinex, a premium (UDP47) walnut oil supplement as well as CTX Cannelex, a pure cannabis oil. They made me feel a lot better than all those painkillers. My resistance is rebounding and I’m feeling more energetic. I would say that 95% of the pain is now gone.’ Thankfully, Elly again has normal use of her arm. ‘Apart from being pain-free, regaining the use of my arm was a relief. For weeks household chores fell onto the shoulders of my husband and daughter because I couldn’t use my right arm.
Elly is extremely positive about the Van der Kuil Functional Neurology & Vestibular Rehabilitation Center. ‘We’ve had good experiences with attending physician, Ronald van der Kuil, for 20 years now. He is highly professional and honest. He raises realistic expectations and puts patients’ minds at ease. If we get any medical problems in the future, he’s the first person we will call.