September 1, 2014 PDI Newsletter
Greetings to all who fight the battle against PD and DC,
Welcome to this September 2014 PD Institute newsletter. I trust all my friends are doing well and working diligently for their recovery. In the Midwest we have had a rather gentle and pleasant summer thus far; we can only hope it continues as the shorter days are rolling over into the beauty of another autumn.
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Dupuytren’s contracture treatment is similar in many ways to Peyronie’s disease treatment; most everything that can be learned about treatment of these two problems can be used for either condition, except of course the obvious anatomical difference. For this reason our Peyronie’s Disease Institute newsletter is shared for the benefit of those with Dupuytren’s contracture. Do not just look at the first few paragraphs of a newsletter and assume that the PD information under discussion does not apply to you because you have DC. After all, with so little written about natural PD and DC treatment you have to take what is presented whenever you can find it.
This newsletter series is written about a wide variety of topics each month. However, the most common topic of discussion is the all-important subject of treatment progress – how to stimulate and sustain it, how to manage it, how to beat the odds and get your body to eliminate that nasty scar tissue. When treating your problem it is essential to keep an accurate record of the physical state of your condition in order to know if it is necessary to increase your treatment plan. We slightly increase our plans every 7-10 days if no improvement is noted with the physical condition of the fibrous material that is developing below the surface of the skin.
But, still some people will go about judging their treatment progress in the wrong way. Do you judge treatment progress by how much less your body is distorted; by a reduction of the persistent bends and curves? Do you test your fingers if they can be straightened a bit more than before you started self-treatment? Do you compare your shaft to see if it is bent less than last time you looked? Do you try to determine if your pain is less intense? Do you evaluate only by doing one particular movement that you couldn’t do before to learn if the outcome has improved? If these are the only tests you are doing to judge treatment progress then you are evaluating incorrectly, and you obviously are not paying attention to the ideas and information I am sending to you. I write again and again about the absolute need to evaluate the size, shape, density and surface features of the fibrous tissue in order to know if you are making actual progress with your PD and DC.
You started your own self-directed Alternative Treatment plan against your Peyronie’s or Dupuytren’s lump because you were concerned about what might happen later, and now that you are treating yourself you are expecting good things to happen. While the external changes your body has undergone can be scary, what is observable on the external side of the problem is not as important as paying attention to the minute internal tissue changes that occur under the surface of the skin, regardless of how your appearance or physical abilities change.
As I have said so often in these newsletters: When you have PD or DC, what is wrong with you is not that your shaft is curved or that your finger is bent over. Actually, your most basic problem is that you have deep fibrous foreign tissue that must be eliminated because it is secondarily causing all the distortion, abnormal function and pain that concerns you.
If you agree that the deep fibrous tissue is the primary problem of both PD and DC, and the bent condition of the shaft or finger is a secondary response to the primary fibrous tissue, why then do most people seem to only pay attention to the secondary response (bend) and completely ignore the primary problem (fibrous tissue) when they evaluate if their treatment is working? I suppose the answer is simply that people pay attention to what is more obvious to observe; they look at what is in front of them to avoid having to delve deeper into their problem.
Everyone who has spent any time on the DCI and PDI websites should know that the best way to determine if your care is working or not is to periodically evaluate the fibrous tissue as the earliest and most accurate way to know if you positive tissue changes start to happen in your DC or PD. These early tissue changes that can be detected are changes in the size, shape, density and surface features of the fibrous tissue of the hand and shaft – not changes in the degree of bending of the finger or shaft. Reversal of the bending of the shaft or finger happens too late in the recovery process to be a helpful indicator of treatment progress.
Another common treatment mistake people make is that they do not allow enough time for their tissue to respond and they allow themselves to become frustrated by expecting a faster recovery than their body can produce. They make themselves discouraged for no good reason at all, and this leads them to quit care that could otherwise help them if they were more patient and realistic about treatment. So many people are their own worst enemies in this way.
Because they have an irrational expectation about the speed of healing they expect a fast recovery, and so interfere with their treatment progress. Their faulty mental process thinking undermines their physical progress.
Treatment progress metaphor
See if this example might describe how you are approaching the treatment of your DC or PD.
Suppose you wake up one winter morning when it is zero degrees outside and inside your house it is really cold – 50 degrees. Last night the furnace was accidentally turned off, and so you quickly turn on the heat. You did the right thing, and now you have started a process by which the furnace will build up heat to correct your problem.
But, just like a child waiting for Christmas, you are impatient because of your discomfort and state of urgency. Even though you know it is a silly thing to do, three minutes after turning the furnace on you begin to complain to yourself that your house doesn’t feel any warmer. You start to make yourself more miserable than you already are by over-thinking the problem, eventually putting yourself in a knot of self-doubt and worry. Even though not enough time has gone by for the house to warm up you check the thermostat again, and son of a gun, you can plainly see the air in your house is still 50 degrees. You wonder, “Is the furnace working? Maybe it is broken. Maybe I need to double-check the thermostat setting. Maybe I need a new furnace. Who am I going to call on such a cold morning to install a new furnace? How long would it take me to freeze to death if the house continues to get colder like it did during the night? Wait a minute. I turned the furnace on just a few minutes ago. I guess I am being silly. Maybe I only think I turned the furnace on, but maybe I didn’t. I better go check to see if I really did turn it on…”
Two different things are going at this early stage of heating your home that works against anyone who is impatient with that poor old furnace: First, you are trying to remember what the house temperature felt like three minutes earlier, and realistically you cannot do it. Our brain and nerve endings are poorly equipped to accurately judge or remember small temperature changes. Judging precise air temperature variation is difficult because you are not trained or experienced in that kind of thing, and your body is not built – neither you nor I have a nerve system – to detect any kind of small incremental change in temperature that could possibly take place in three minutes. Second, the thermostat on your wall is not sensitive enough to pick up such a small temperature rise that would take place in just three minutes. A scientific thermostat could pick up a fractional rise in temperature (if you had one, it might be able to show you that your house temperature rose from 50.00 degrees to 50.12 degrees in three minutes), but your standard home thermostat is not built to detect or report the small kind of changes that can take place in a short span of time.
Most people have three internal settings by which they judge their temperature environment: it is either “too cold,” “pretty good – I am OK,” or “too hot.” For most of us that is how we evaluate our environment; that is pretty much how most of us judge our environmental temperature extremes. In the same way, regarding PD and DC, we have an impossible time trying to accurately remember degrees of curvature, how tissue feels, or the appearance of the body. That is why people suddenly realize that they have put on 10 pounds; without a scale and a tape measure you cannot tell you have put on quarter-pound of weight. And that is also why people always assume they will be able to tell when their PD or DC tissue will begin to respond to treatment, only to find themselves completely confused and guessing later on if their plan is working or not.
But, back to the cold house metaphor, you know the furnace is on; you hear the furnace making a rumbling noise and you see the drapes moving, so you know that something is going on. You know things are happening with the furnace even though you cannot possibly detect any temperature change at this early stage. You must realize that it is normal to be impatient because you are uncomfortable. When you stop to consider what needs to be done to raise the temperature 15-20 degrees in order for you to be comfortable again on a deeply cold winter day, you realize you just have not given the furnace enough time to do the job. Like the impatient person you are, you are putting yourself on edge by being unreasonable – this time with your furnace.
The amount of time necessary to raise the temperature one degree will be not only different from house to house, but also different from day to day in the same house. If it is really windy outside one day, or below zero one day, or if it is nighttime as compared to daytime, (maybe you even left the back door open), all of these things make a difference in how long it will take to warm up your house. No two houses are the same, after all. So, who can predict? Does that mean you turn off the thermostat after three minutes because the house is still cold and you impatiently give up on the furnace? No, you just hunker down and try to be patient while things slowly and gradually happen around you. You keep the process of warming up your home even though at the moment you are not able to detect improvement.
The real problem is not that the furnace is not working, or that the house is not actually warming up ever so slightly, the real problem, my friend, is you. You do not naturally possess a good way to measure the progress you are hoping to make with heating your house from minute to minute. The problem with the reality of life is that the colder it is, the more important it is to heat up the house, yet the more impatient we get with that furnace, even if it is doing as good a job as it possibly can under difficult circumstances.
In the same way people second-guess and begin to doubt their PD and DC Alternative Medicine treatment plans shortly after starting them, even before those plans have a chance to help them. With PD and DC treatment, since we do not have an obvious way to determine if our plan is working or not, we have to create a system or method to learn as early as possible if the tissue is responding to our self-treatment.
This is the reason you need to go out of your way to accurately measure size, shape, density and cohesion of that dense fibrous tissue; you must try to get accurate proof about the current physical condition of your fibrous tissue so you will be able to accurately judge your treatment progress. By using the system and ideas found on the DCI and PDI websites you can accurately know for a fact if your plan is working and use that knowledge to customize your plan for greatest effectiveness. If you are trying to remember what your distortion or pain was like last month, you are like the person trying to remember how cold the house was three minutes ago – you will not be able to do it. You cannot accurately remember these things. The measurement of size, shape, density and cohesion of fibrous tissue is an extremely accurate and reliable method to use and that is why I repeat so often that everyone should use these measurements. Read the section from my book, “Peyronie’s Disease Handbook” that describes in detail how to monitor the small changes in your scar and shaft as you undergo your therapy plan. It is vital that you do this.
If you are having trouble evaluating your problem, let me know and I will help you understand how to do it. I do not care how difficult it is for you to do this. The size, shape, density and cohesion of fibrous tissue must be accurate and clear in your mind. Besides that, it must also be written down so it is not forgotten and it is available later for comparison.
I am always concerned that the men and women I work with do not allow themselves enough time to respond to their therapy programs. Many men tell me they will wait to judge their progress after the first 30 days of care. In most cases this time horizon – a mere month – is way too short to be fair to anyone. When someone tells me they will give it until the end of their first supply of therapy products, I know I am dealing with someone who is not being realistic with himself or his situation. This is the kind of person who is beginning care with a flawed idea that will doom their recovery before treatment starts. Don’t be that person.
In my work with DC and PD, I came to an interesting and logical theory about how this whole PD problem gets started for a lot of people. You know that trauma, a large or small injury directly to the male organ, is the usual way that PD is said to get started, or the repeated injury to the hand with musicians or manual workers. That makes sense, except that a lot of folks swear up and down that they do not recall any injury happening or do not engage in heavy repetitious work to the hands. What I think very often happens is this: A man injures himself, but there is so much time that passes between the injury and the time that he first notices any change down there that he does not put the two events together. A woman injures her hand in the garden or at work, and perhaps two or three months later notices the first early signs of DC. It is because of the length of time between the injury and the start of the problem being noticed, that the two events are never connected. It is almost like having sex and then nine months later, a baby comes out. If this is true, what this should say to you is THAT IT TAKES TIME FOR THE FIBROUS TISSUE TO DEVELOP, and it will take an even longer time for that tissue to heal – if it is going to heal.
How about another metaphor? It takes a second to break a bone, and 6-8 weeks for it to heal. I hope you get the point.
Be patient with yourself. Try to keep in mind the immense job you have undertaken and the true complexity of what you are attempting to do. Stay focused to your success.
If things are going slowly for you, and you feel anxious and discouraged because your progress is not fast enough for you, put that energy into something productive. Do something positive for yourself rather than worrying all the time. Write an email to me that describes what you are doing, and include questions about those things you do not understand about your problem. I will do the best I can to help you so that you get the kind of results you want.
This concludes our discussion for this issue of the newsletter. I hope everyone found this issue of the PDI Newsletter interesting and informative so you can do a better job of helping your own PD or DC condition.
See you next month. Stay in touch and send your treatment questions to me so I can give you some ideas to work with. Let me know if you have any questions about what you are doing, please send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org