PT Update – A New Hypothesis

My right innominate bone is now back in a neutral position. I really appreciate the knowledge and skill of the physical therapist who designed the program to make that happen.



My current goal is to be back in the pool as soon as summer camp ends and the kids are back in school.

Working with Linkonis  I have become stronger and more flexible. He has also helped me to understand the next step that I must take in order to achieve my goal. He helped me to phrase the question that I must ask when I meet with my neurologist and my neurosurgeon next week.


The ability to ask the right questions and to describe symptoms is an important factor in getting the correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment. I have been dealing with this particular problem for at least 20 years. Unfortunately,  I am complicated and other symptoms have always interfered with my ability to describe this problem accurately and to ask the right question.  This means that I am very excited!  This could be life changing.


Last winter I exceeded my limitations by taking two intensive deep water aerobics classes, back to back. At one point my right leg was collapsing. That was scary enough to send me to aquatic physical therapy.  The therapist with whom I worked in the pool commented that I seemed to know more about anatomy than most of his patients.  That is probably true.


I have  been fascinated by the human body as long as I can remember. Some of my most memorable  early childhood “switchings” were prompted by questions about human reproduction. My grandmother was convinced that my questions about how women got pregnant and where babies were carried in the body came from the devil. This was especially so when I refused to accept water melon seeds and the stomach as correct answers


As a 10 year old recovering from rheumatic fever I had plenty of time to look for answers in  books. I came to understand that one possible complication of rheumatic fever is mitral valve prolapse. I convinced one of the neighborhood butchers to give me a cow heart to study. I can still hear my mother screaming when she discovered the partially dissected heart in the bath tub (she screamed even louder at a later date when she found the planaria in the refrigerator). After that I kept all dissections and biological experiments away from home.


The rheumatic fever did not damage my heart. It did set off a cascade of autoimmune diagnoses, starting with lupus erythematosus. My primary interest then shifted to the human immune system. Before I could take university courses in immunology, I had to complete the prerequisite course in basic human anatomy and physiology. This course was my first opportunity to dissect a human cadaver.


Because of my research interest  in birth outcomes, I studied the human reproductive system as well as the immune system and I am still fascinated with the interaction and interdependence of these two systems.  I will definitely discuss this interaction in a blog on  how vitamin D sufficiency improves birth outcomes.


The last formal human anatomy and physiology course that I took was a required course in the health and nutrition education program that I completed in 2014. The major focus of that course was the digestive system and its influence on the other systems of the body  However, my own body has continued to provoke study of both autoimmune/chronic inflammatory conditions and musculoskeletal issues.


I am not an MD, OD, or Doctor of Physical Therapy. I am a medical sociologist, health educator, and patient advocate. I definitely know a “little sumpn sumpna” about how my body works. Over the decades, I have also learned that I am responsible for my own health and wellness. That is why the  lupus is in remission and I get to focus on other issues.


I do not approach health care providers passively.  It is my body. It is my heath. They have been hired to help me. I am entitled to an informed opinion. I also believe that if I can help my physicians solve the complex puzzle of my chronic pain issues  I can help other people do the same!


After working two physical therapy programs in 2016, I believe that the pain my brain is communicating to me about most strongly is neurological in origin even though the symptoms are musculoskeletal.  I even have a specific  hypothesis. I believe that the origin of these symptoms is the ilioinguinal nerve. I am not self diagnosing,  I am simply hypothesizing.

iliolinguinal nerve


Next week I will present my symptoms and questions to my neurologist and neurosurgeon.  They will offer their own hypotheses and then there will be a test.  I will let you know if their hypotheses are congruent with mine and the results of the tests.


Every time we test an hypothesis,  I am optimistic that this time we are right. Sometimes we are and sometimes we are not. It is always a team effort and I am a member of the team. In fact, I am the captain of the team.





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