Getting on my last nerve – Finding some healing in Boquete, Panama!

Blog by Terry Richmeier

1It all started back in October of 2015! Although in reality it started a lot earlier, January 2015 to be more precise! I had a car accident and was hit in the back side of the van by a speeding, inattentive driver. I and my van flung across in a complete circle and it hit another car on the opposite side. This really jolted me. Thank God nobody was hurt, or so I thought at the time.

Although I was fine for nine months, suddenly in October I woke up and could not stand up straight. I had to hold onto the end table, then reach out to grab the dresser, then reach out to grab the walls and anything that I could hold onto in order to get to the bathroom. I thought I was going to need a wheelchair! This was just the first day of many months of falling down, having weakness in my legs and arms and hands. 2Every step was exhausting and I needed many naps throughout the day. Walking our guests upstairs to their room completely took all the energy I had! I finally got to the point that I just wanted to crawl into bed and not get up again. I gave up on Zumba class and I gave up on life as I slipped into a depression.

 

3I went to the doctor. I went to the Chiropractor. I went to the acupuncturist. I loaded up on different vitamins. I had massages often. I purchased a back rest. I took muscle relaxers. I took advice from absolutely everyone. I practiced yoga from Youtube. I did stretches daily. Nothing seemed to completely cure me. Yes, I had a pinched nerve for sure!

 

What is a pinched nerve? And why does this happen? This is what I learned from the Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pinched-nerve/basics/definition/con-20029601 A pinched nerve occurs when too much pressure is applied to a nerve by surrounding tissues, such as bones, cartilage, muscles or tendons. This pressure disrupts the nerve’s function, causing pain, tingling, numbness or weakness. 4

A pinched nerve can occur at several sites in your body. A herniated disk in your lower spine, for example, may put pressure on a nerve root, causing pain that radiates down the back of your leg. Likewise, a pinched nerve in your wrist can lead to pain and numbness in your hand and fingers (carpal tunnel syndrome).

With rest and other conservative treatments, most people recover from a pinched nerve within a few days or weeks. Sometimes, surgery is needed to relieve pain from a pinched nerve. Pinched nerve signs and symptoms include:

  • Numbness or decreased sensation in the area supplied by the nerve 5
  • Sharp, aching or burning pain, which may radiate outward
  • Tingling, “pins and needles” sensations (paresthesia)
  • Muscle weakness in the affected area
  • Frequent feeling that a foot or hand has “fallen asleep”

 

6The problems related to a pinched nerve may be worse when you’re sleeping.

A pinched nerve occurs when too much pressure (compression) is applied to a nerve by surrounding tissues.

 

 

In some cases, this tissue might be bone or cartilage, such as in the case of a herniated spinal disk that compresses a nerve root. In other cases, muscle or tendons may cause the condition.  7

In the case of carpal tunnel syndrome, a variety of tissues may be responsible for compression of the carpal tunnel’s median nerve, including swollen tendon sheaths within the tunnel, enlarged bone that narrows the tunnel, or a thickened and degenerated ligament.

A number of conditions may cause tissue to compress a nerve or nerves, including: 8

  • Injury
  • Poor posture
  • Rheumatoid or wrist arthritis
  • Stress from repetitive work
  • Hobbies or sports activities
  • Obesity

This pressure causes inflammation of the nerve and disrupts the nerve’s function. If a nerve is pinched for only a short time, there’s usually no permanent damage. Once the pressure is relieved, nerve function returns to normal. However, if the pressure continues, chronic pain and permanent nerve damage can occur.

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For me, I’m 95% better but still suffer from some weakness and my depression has lifted. I’m currently doing ARPWave/Therastim treatment. And this seems to be working for me. What is this you ask? The Therastim (also called “ARPwave”) uses conductive electrode pads to provide neuromuscular stimulation. It treats the neurological origin of soft tissue conditions, not just the physical symptoms.

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  • The Therastim features a state-of-the-art electrical mechanism designated as a class 2 medical device by the FDA. Treatment includes unique Therastim protocols and testing techniques.  Therastim has been proven to be an effective treatment for those who have been told they need surgery and for those who have already had surgery.
  • By increasing range of motion and decreasing pain, Therastim can be a highly effective way to prepare for physical therapy.
  • Therastim is used by many elite athletes and teams throughout the world.
  • Therastim dramatically reduces recovery time for ankle sprains and strained tendons or ligaments.
  • Every year, thousands of patients receive Therastim treatment, it has proven effective on all types of chronic pain including RSDS and FibromyalgiaWhat is amazing to me is that all of this is available right here in Boquete! Plus, this is not all that is available here in Boquete. Many more options such as Yoga, botanicals, energy healing and much more…  So whether or not you’re traveling to Boquete or looking to move here, give us a call and we can get you connected with any one or all of these service providers while you stay at Casa de Montaña for your recovery!

    Contact Us at Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast

 

Getting and staying in Shape – Boquete style!

Blog by Terry Richmeier

boquetedeportes

 

Some of you may take one look at me and think, “he’s not in shape”, why would he be talking about being in shape?” Well, I’m here to tell you that I AM in shape and here is why.

When we arrived in Boquete, Panama a year ago we thought that we had better look at some kind of exercise course or place to work out so we can get back into shape before we opened Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast. So we began to look throughout this quaint town. We found that there are several clubs to join. There is a gym dedicated to weights and treadmills on the second level of the San Francisco plaza building in Alto Boquete that is fairly inexpensive and carries a month to month membership. Also, there is one right by the Boquete library and there they include classes of salsa dancing and Zumba. Again, just a small fee every time you use it. There were plenty of other gyms for pumping iron and working on the tri’s and the bi’s and glutes and such! Although we knew that Manzar would be ok running for hours on a treadmill or walking on the elliptical trainer, I also knewthat because of my weight (and my attention span!), I was not going to do well running in place – looking at the four walls and other people who are in much better shape than myself is not my cup-of-tea! I needed a pool of water and a Jacuzzi afterwards for when I am exhausted after my thirty minutes in the water.

As we researched some more, we found out about the fitness center in Valle Escondido resort. It is fully loaded with machines, weights, swimming pool, steam room, sauna, and has a racquetball court as well. Along with a golf course and massage studio. I was in love, unfortunately our budget said no! Valle Escondido is a gated community that has several yearly and monthly fees involved and although a great place, just not in our budget.

Soon thereafter we discovered “The Haven” with similar facilities at a cost that we could afford. We signed up! The Haven also has classes in yoga and offers massages as well. We signed up for a three month deal. We found ourselves using the gym a little less each day as we opened our doors and began to have guests. We decided we had better not continue if we are not going to go as much (we have signed up again for three months as the slow season started and we had more time.)

Suddenly we discovered that all we needed to do was to walk the 15 minute walk to downtown and walk back up the 20-25 minute uphill climb to our house. With each day showing a beautiful sunny morning, it was the perfect time to do this. I was soon able to walk right past two bakeries and not stop for a donut or a snack that I felt was due me for my decision to walk and exercise!

There are certainly alternatives to joining a gym in the Boquete area. These other options are hiking groups with mild, medium and difficult hikes. Something for everyone. There are Zumba and Kettle Bells classes, also yoga and Thai massage, regular massage and facials, chiropractors and botanicals, you name it. If you want healthy, you can get “healthy”!

Within the last couple of weeks, we have begun to look at the value of our food and have decided to watch what we eat. With so many restaurants available here in Boquete, Panama, we are looking at healthier choices. There are a variety of nurses, nutritionists, and botanists located in Boquete. Healthy eating is as easy as taking the time to learn what to eat and how much! Visit the organic farms and buy the healthy alternatives.

Recently, Casa de Montaña hosted a “Be Wildly Happy!” workshop. Manzar and I both attended the workshop. With some newly formed friends here in Boquete, it was an intimate gathering. We have discovered how truly happy and blessed we are! The workshop was intense and well worth the effort we all put into it. Being mentally and spiritually healthy is as important as being physically healthy.

Here are some of the gyms where you can work out in Boquete: S & J Fit Gym Puro Cardio, Curvas Bonitas, The Haven Spa, B-Fit Boquete Sports Club, Spinning & Esthetic Center, Valle Escondido Fitness Center, and more.

We have only begun to learn about all that is available to us living here in Boquete, Panama! So, to say are we “in shape” depends on how one defines the term. We are happy, healthy, and working every day to share our enthusiasm and joy with all those around us and when you come down to see us, you will hopefully find yourself “Wildly Happy!”

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