My Relationship With Dr. Plance

You are not going to believe this, but many years ago when I was fooling around with Dr. Plance, he injected me with 6 grams of C, just to see if that would help. It took a few big syringes.

What happened?

I nearly fainted from the pain.

I had a serious blood sugar crash. Delivering a very large amount of C to the body rapidly will do that.

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Dr. Plance’s staff found me some candy.

I couldn’t leave his waiting room for like an hour because I felt soooooo bad.

Yesterday I asked him if he remembered this. “Oh yes,” he said.

Was I crazy to let him do this to me?

Dr. Plance has a certain hold over me. He could probably talk me into robbing a bank with him. Why not? We’d have a great time. He has a sense of adventure, of optimism and imagination as few people do. These are the best traits, and the best way to talk me into anything. Mr. Pennington, too, is a person firmly grounded in the stars.

Dr. Plance never once spoke to me like I was pathetic, even though I was so sick and so weak and nearly dying from pain. Truly pitiful.

At the same time, he acknowledged how extreme my suffering was. It was in small ways, a flash look of deep concern, a quiet gentle word. He had great delicacy about my problems, yet coarseness about everything else, which made his courtesy even more impactful.

After that first appointment when I asked him if maybe it was time for me to end my life, we never directly discussed the hopeless of my condition again.

Yesterday he admitted this was absolutely deliberate on his part.

I hadn’t known. He never wanted me leaving feeling dispirited.

Our appointments, for all those many years when I was horribly ill, were, well, ridiculous, but in the highest sense of the word. This was just fine with me. I don’t like complaining. It’s just so boring. I do love being entertained.

Dr. Plance kept me out of trouble. He coordinated my care back when it was really hard to get information about Ehlers-Danlos. He would hit the ceiling when other doctors recommended joint surgeries for me. To someone who understands human structure, it was obvious how pointless these would be. Surgeons spend years learning their skills and aren’t particularly motivated to look at the big picture.

Dr. Plance always made me feel better, emotionally and physically. I kept coming back. He kept trying something else, whatever he could think of next. I lived for our appointments. Driving to his office in the beautiful mountains above Glendale, I felt like I was escaping Los Angeles, like I was going to a retreat, like I was in the right hands.

So yes, I let him inject 6g of C into me once, I nearly fainted, and I didn’t even mind.

This went on for about eight years.

In the end, even Dr. Plance had a hard time admitting the daily C shots were effective. It wasn’t his idea. It does seem ludicrous that injected C everyday would enable my body to cope when oral C did not. I wonder why it does. Genetic disorders are remarkably simple. Such a grand mess made by one tiny error. Somehow this is getting past mine.

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Ascor shots (the brand name for injectable ascorbic acid) are sometimes painful. I have a friend who adds lidocaine. I’ve never tried.

Ascor shots are cheap, easy, portable, safe and verrrrrrrry effective for whatever version of Ehlers-Danlos I have, to be determined. I fit the 2017 HEDS criteria. Those shots plus lots of exercise, plus using my joints well to avoid strain, plus avoiding meds that make dysautonomia worse is all I have to do to have quality of life. Hardly anything at all, really. I am lucky.

I Heal Now

Even my tendons and ligaments.

This summer, I aggravated my old knee injury doing a Turkish Get Up. I HIGHLY recommend this exercise. It teaches your body to work as one unit. It teaches your body to pivot at the big joints. It builds those protective muscles in the front of the torso. It stabilizes the shoulder. The Turkish Get Up is so marvelous and beneficial, I practice it almost everyday. Hoisting yourself up off the ground with a kettlebell extended above your head is a rush. You feel triumphant, on top of the world, undefeatable.

I wasn’t worried about my knee. It is very important to challenge your muscles, bones and fascia with a variety of motion and forces to stimulate and make it all stronger. There are many bumps along the way for someone like me. I give my delicate body time to heal, learn, adjust and then I am right back at it. Of course, I choose only to do healthy moves. No backbending, for one. Backbenders, from divers and gymnasts to yoga enthusiasts, have high rates of spine fractures. Backbending also destroys discs. Keep your spine in an excellent plank to build it up.

This was the knee injury that brought me to Dr. Plance many years ago. In the rain, I had slipped and fallen on a slick step which left my patella tendon stretched out and my kneecap permanently dislocated. There is no easy surgery for this.

Over the years, Dr. Plance gave me so many prolotherapy shots my patella tendon, I cannot even count. OMG do those shots hurt. They only began to take well when I was getting intramuscular shots of Vitamin C. Prolotherapy is such a simple, inexpensive and noninvasive procedure, I do not understand why insurance does not reimburse for it, or rather insist you get a few rounds of it before a joint surgery. WTF.

This time, with my recent irritation of my old injury, I was traveling, so I put on my favorite knee brace and continued to exercise. This brace has velcro parts inside you can position to push your kneecap into alignment. It’s fantastic.

I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Plance. It was weeks away. When I finally got there, my knee no longer bothered me. Dr. Plance measured my kneecaps. They were both in good alignment. No shot needed. Body did its job and healed. Yay!

Even though I am structurally very knock-kneed and my kneecaps are very shallow, thanks to excellent posture training and exercise, my knees work just fine. If my wonky kneecaps can be made to behave, so can yours.

My Relationship With Dr. Plance Now

It’s not the same. I am busy working. I don’t have a whole day to go seem him. I don’t even have a reason to go. I try to find one.

I tell him, “I miss us. I miss coming to see you all the time. I miss the way our relationship was. But now you have grandchildren and I just can’t compete. You don’t need me like you used to. Sometimes I wonder if you know how much I love you and how much you mean to me. I miss what we had, the way it was between us. I don’t miss how sick I was, but I miss what you were in my life. That was very, very special.”

“I have plenty of needy patients,” he says, to dismiss my forthrightness. But then he says other things I won’t type here and now.

We are in agreement, as we always were, without trying, long before we got to know each other..

Me Now

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Here I am running on the treadmill in my Vibrams, which I highly recommend. I run for 10 minutes whenever I go to the gym. I love it. I would run for longer, but my feet need time to heal. This is working just fine for now.

Note my excellent mid-foot strike. This is the way to hit the ground.

I take a short stride on purpose. My feet are very high-arched so my achilles are short. I have heel spurs. A short stride makes running safe for me.

More on how to run injury free here: