09 September 2015


So here is a weird thing. 

My shoulder has been hurting - first a little and then quite badly - for about two months. For the first couple of weeks I ignored it (it got worse), and then for over a month I took ibuprofen for it just about every day (it got worse). The most painful things were reaching back to grab something (e.g. purse in the back seat of the car) and lifting my arm straight up to the side.

Ice helped, briefly, but the effects didn't last.

Finally, a week or so ago, I decided no more with the ibuprofen. It's a white substance, and white powders and crystals will kill you (see also: sugar, flour, cocaine, heroine, meth, salt). And it wasn't helping anyway.

Plus I started reading about ibuprofen and what it does to your stomach. Not cool.

So I stopped taking ibuprofen. I was in pain, though.

In order to feel like I was doing something - anything - to help with the pain and swelling, I started taking turmeric. Specifically, I started mixing a teaspoon of turmeric and a bit more than a teaspoon of honey into a paste, and then adding some boiling water. I drink it like a tea, even though some of the powder stays in precipitate and is chalky in my mouth. It tastes, well, not great. I think it would be better if I added ginger or something. But it's tolerable.

My doctor friend S. who used to live in Universe City was in town this weekend and told me that turmeric is one of the only herbal remedies that has actually been proven to do what it supposedly does, namely reduce inflammation. (It also has anti carcinogenic properties.)

I haven't been icing my shoulder at all, due to having a houseguest and some camping. Also  due to frustration that it wasn't helping.

Yesterday, I noticed a strange lack of pain in my arm, despite having worn a backpack the day before, which usually makes it flair up. I didn't want to jinx it, so I didn't move my arm much, but last night I tried, just once, to lift my arm up to the side past shoulder level. It worked. Not only did it work, but there was only a moment of stiffness and pain at shoulder level, instead of it getting caught there.

I tried again, again gently, this morning. Even less pain.

I don't want to make any assumptions too early, but this is sort of freaking me out. Modern medicine totally failed me in this instance. But turmeric might work? As a skeptic who tries to keep an open mind (or maybe more of an open mind that tries to be a skeptic) and who generally thinks the scientific method works quite well, I am surprised. In a good way, but surprised nonetheless.

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