Doctors overlook cause of symptoms…
Joel Safran develops understanding
of the injury and the related symptoms…
His therapy reverses effects of the injury…
Elderly woman given up for “dead” then… RECOVERS!
This elderly woman (Elizabeth) was my Mother. I lived 800 miles from her… and felt totally helpless while hearing the very dismal & depressing daily medical reports provided by my brother who lived 10 minutes from her. From the reports, I suspected the possibility of issues relating to her Head & Brain, but no one would pay any attention to what I thought. ‘I am not a doctor… just a lowly therapist.’ My brother assured me that the doctors were doing everything possible for Mom. The Hospital processed Elizabeth through a variety of expensive testing protocols, but nothing could be done to reverse the symptoms and the severity of her conditions.
I had arranged for Mom to be moved to a highly regarded Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) once the Hospital gave up and discharged her. During her first two days at the SNF, the doctor and the therapists pretty much ignored her. They did not know how to work with her. During those first two days, I carefully observed her… and was able to figure out what everyone else had ignored and overlooked. The following is what I saw, understood… and what I was able to do so that my Mom could live and recover… instead of waste away and die.
The discharge report from the Hospital had absolutely no information regarding what will be described below. They had been treating her as suffering from a “mild case of Pneumonia”. Even though I informed the SNF what I had done… and how Elizabeth had positively responded to my therapy… my information and report was ignored and not made part of her medical records at the SNF. Such is our HealthCare System.
…Symptoms that were presented…
Low tissue O2 saturation levels
Speaking difficulty & not being understood
Tongue Mobility & Dexterity difficulty
(enunciation & food shifting difficulties)
Dry mouth (no saliva)
Bowel & Urinary incontinence
Impaired Hand & Finger strength & dexterity
Extreme weakness. Could not stand.
Now does that sound like “a mild case of Pneumonia”?
…The Fall & The Injury…
Gradually, I was able to determine what had happened. Elizabeth was found on the floor, conscious but unable to move. She had fallen face forward, Hyper-Extending her Neck… and causing a shift of the articulating condyles of the Occiput and the Atlas (C-1). This put injurious pressure on certain Cranial Nerves which coursed from passageways of her Head to various body areas… thereby greatly impeding their functions. The two most affected passageways were the Jugular Foramen and the HypoGlossal Canal.
Because her Neck was so stiff, it caused even greater damage to the internal delicate tissues within her Upper Chest and Brainstem. The involved Nerves controlled various motor, sensory and autonomic functions that clearly related to each of the symptoms presented. The injured Vagus Nerve further compromised the proper functioning of her Breathing Regulation Center… which is based on the regulatory communications between the Brainstem (Medulla Oblongata) and the Carotid Bodies (small clusters of receptor cells) located along the Aortic Arch above the Heart. This was evidenced by her labored breathing and low tissue Oxygen levels.
Most probably Elizabeth fell because she had been weakened by a mild case of Pneumonia. But, the impact of the fall created far greater injuries… and all their resulting symptoms were totally overlooked by the Hospital and the SNF doctor.
The Nerves & their Functions…
GlossoPharyngeal Nerve (CN IX)
Functions related to: Breathing… Cough difficulties… Swallowing… Saliva production… Taste… Throat functions.
Vagus Nerve (CN X)
Functions related to: Palate & Throat… Larynx… Trachea… Bronchi… Lungs… Breathing/Oxygen Regulation… Heart… GastroIntestinal Tract…
HypoGlossal Nerve (CN XII)
Functions related to: Food manipulation… Swallowing… Tongue muscle strength, mobility & dexterity… Speech articulation…
Other Cervical Nerves & Ganglions & Plexuses
In addition to the above Cranial Nerves, trauma to other nerves arising from the Neck area affected functions of the Shoulder, Arms, Hands, Lungs, Heart and other internal Organs.
The Provided Therapy…
Briefly… this is what I was able to do for my Mom…
1. The compressed and disorganized space between her Occiput and Atlas (the uppermost Cervical Vertebra) was normalized. This reduced the impingement pressure upon Cranial Nerves coursing from the head to the body. The injured Nerves could now begin to heal and their functions restored.
2. The external tissues of her head & neck were treated so as to free nerves and restore muscular functions to her Face, Shoulder, Arms, Hands and fingers.
3. The IntraOral tissue… such as the Cheeks, Muscle of Mastication, Tongue & Throat… were treated so as to restore food shifting, chewing, swallowing, and clear speaking abilities.
4. The Vagus Nerve is the most complex of all the nerves. Its course from the Neck to the Thorax and Abdomen were followed and normalized as best as possible. Most internal Organ functions are controlled by the Vagus Nerve. The purpose of the therapy was to quiet the area’s heightened Neurological activity so functions could become more normal.
5. Breathing Regulatory functions are also associated with the Vagus Nerve. Specific techniques were used to free up the area of the Neck & Upper Chest so that this Regulatory System could begin to heal. We also worked to improve the functions of the Bronchial tubes coursing from the Trachea to each Lung. Mom could feel the softening and quieting of these tissues during the treatments.
6. In five days… by the time I had to return to Charlotte, Mom was breathing much more easily… and beginning to require less Oxygen Supplementation… She was speaking much more clearly… She was able to chew & swallow foods & fluids… Her ability to use forks & spoons with her own fingers was improving. She was experiencing a miraculous turn around in all her abilities.
The Physical Therapists at the SNF now had a patient they could work with. Instead of keeping her comfortable while waiting for her to die… it was now possible for Mom to begin to strengthen and recover… and continue to LIVE!
And “LIVE” is what she was able to do for another 8 months or so. Then the other weaknesses in her body overpowered her recovery… and she died at the age of 95. She was a wonderful patient and a great Mom. Being able to help her filled me with so much satisfaction and love. It is difficult to describe how much.
…Points to Consider…
1. This story unfortunately is a sad commentary on the state of our Medical HealthCare System. However, it also demonstrates that we as “consumers” of that system are obligated to challenge it when it blindly acts in a very incomplete and expensive way.
2. Doctors and Therapists are not all the same. Few rise to a level of excellence and compassion that we as “consumers” need. We need to learn how to recognize, appreciate and reward that excellence with our loyalty and support.
3. Most probably a non family professional would not have been permitted to do what I did for my Mother. That professional most probably would have been ejected from the healthcare facility and disciplined by his professional board. And the patient who might have lived… would have died. And the system would continue unchanged.