Let’s talk alternative therapies…
I’m going to start from the top, with the very first alternative therapy I tried once I got to Portland. I had heard about this doctor from my Chiropractor back home, and it just so happened that we ended up moving to the place where this doctor is.
We got here in April, and my appointment with Dr. Zielinski was May 15th I believe. He was the first doctor of any sort that I sought out here. (All of Dr. Z’s information is listed at the bottom of this page).
His initial appointment is $650, and before you go freaking out about the cost of that, realize that it is a 3-4 hour appointment. He does a ton of testing, and all of that testing gives you SO MUCH information. So even if all you ever do with him is get that initial testing, you will learn a lot about your condition. The testing is pretty intense. It is hard to explain but it is basically a bunch of tests of your eye movements with many different variables. After your testing he will show you the data. So you know it’s not a hoax or anything, like you will actually watch what your eyes do during each session and see for yourself.
Anyways all those tests tell him certain things, and each test has a baseline for what the average healthy persons movements should look like. From there he will do a physical exam and a neurological exam, and some other things that will make you kind of roll your eyes and feel a little bit stupid (they are useful I promise). And then after all of that he develops a treatment plan. Sometimes people just need to come in for a few sessions and they will be fixed, sometimes people (like me) need what they call an Intensive where you come in from 9-5 everyday for two weeks.
I only did one week of intensives because that was all I could afford. I benefited greatly from that one week, and was very diligent with my at home therapy there after, so it worked for me. However, I do believe the benefit would have been greater had I done the full two weeks.
Aside from the Intensive, he ran all sorts of labs on me, and we experimented with different supplements that theoretically should have been helpful to me. I tried a lot of them, but in the end I found only Glutathione and a Nitric Oxide supplement to be helpful enough to be worth the money.
He ran all sorts of labs trying to track down what was happening with me aside from what my eye movements showed, but we found nothing definitive through those labs.
Anyways, about the intensive, I basically went in there with two incidents that had caused my POTS. One was the onset when I was 14, and the other was taking a softball to the head when I was 17. From the softball incident I had some major post conclusive syndrome that was giving me insane POTS symptoms. When I went to see Dr. Z I could hardly drive, I had no idea of my own orientation in space, I was nauseous all the time, I vomited daily, my eyes and my whole body were constantly fatigued, and I could not keep my eyes looking straight, I had a very visible lazy eye, and I had zero balance. .
The intensive was the worst week of my life you guys. It was so hard on my body because I was so messed up. I had to drive myself because my husband couldn’t take a week off of work to chauffeur me, and we don’t have a support system here. Everyday I barely made it home, like I honestly was not safe to drive. I didn’t even make it till 5 pm everyday, I had to quit at 3 pm. I would get home and I would be asleep the minute I walked in the door, the only reason I would wake up would be to run to the bathroom and puke my guts out from the nausea. Think drunken bed spins on steroids and that’s how I felt. I have honestly never felt so terrible in my life.
The things they do in the intensives are not physically demanding, I was hardly ever standing, and didn’t really do anything but move my eyes but it was so hard on my body. Everyday when I woke up I wanted to quit, but I kept going, and I made it through the week. After that week I crashed. I was in a pretty bad flare for a week or two, just sleeping a lot, because my body needed all the rest it could get to recover.
Once I got out of that flare though, the whole world was different. I could drive without hitting curbs, I had enough balance to do yoga, I stopped falling down stairs, I stopped walking into walls, I was noticeably less fatigued, my heart rate chilled out a ton, and my nausea dulled down a lot. I believe this therapy completely cured the post-concussive factor of my POTS.
I was not fully cured by this therapy, because my illness has so many layers to it and eleven years of traumas and undiagnosed ailments, but I would do it again a million times over. It was worth every penny I spent, and Dr. Zielinski’s care is exceptional.
Practitioner: Glen Zielinski, DC, DACNB, FACN
Practice Name: Northwest Functional Neurology
Location: Lake Oswego, OR
Website Link: https://northwestfunctionalneurology.com/