Dr. Plance and Me

This gif made its way around the Ehlers-Danlos and Dysautonomia Facebook groups. And did we all have such a good laugh over it.

<<< This gif made its way around the Ehlers-Danlos and Dysautonomia Facebook groups. And did we all have such a good laugh over it!

Except the first doctor is what happened to me.

I met Dr. Donald Plance in 2006, just after someone finally pointed out to me that I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. The internet was still a baby back then, but enough about EDS was on it for me to figure out that this is what had completely ruined my life, and there was no hope for me for anything better.

I went to see him for a prolotherapy shot for my injured knee. I was so desperately sad about my diagnosis, I hadn't planned on talking to him about it.

Meet the other love of my life, Dr. Plance. Part of me will always be angry that I was born sick, but I would not trade the years of my life I spent with him for anything. That was an experience worth having.

Meet the other love of my life, Dr. Plance. Part of me will always be angry that I was born sick, but I would not trade the years of my life I spent with him for anything. That was an experience worth having.

The way Dr. Plance came strolling into the exam room that March day, 6 feet something, blond, brilliant blue eyes, impish grin, in a plaid shirt and lumberjack shoes topped with the white doctor’s coat, time stopped. A new chapter of my life began.

What happened between Dr. Plance and me is quite a story, and I do plan to bore the world with it someday, but I’ll sum it up and get to the good part now: We had a moment. We connected. He said he would do something to try to help me heal, and after about six years of trying whatever he could think of next (long time, but he was very entertaining and I had nothing better to do) something very surprising did help me. I became able to heal, sleep, think, recover, build some muscle, build better collagen. I got off the heavy pain meds (morphine, Vicodin, soma) and started living my life.

What was it?

Antiscorbutic Acid, you complete me. As long as I inject you.

Antiscorbutic Acid, you complete me. As long as I inject you.

Vitamin C. Injected.

I DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT benefit from oral vitamin C. But a shot in the ass? Yes!

I went back to physical therapy, which I’d been failing at since my childhood, and this time, I was able to make gains.

We follow the protocol for burn victims, which injected C is used to treat. I do 1-2 grams per day. We also go by observing my symptoms, since there is no lab test for C deficiency. This is a good dose for me.

My shots are monstrously big. They burn like a motherfucker, but they do hurt less over time, I promise. Although every now and then I have to check to see if my backside is actually on fire.

EDS is an awful lot like scurvy, after all.

You can add water to dilute the C and hope it burns less. I don’t bother anymore. Warm the shot in your hand. Inject it cold once and you will never make that mistake again. Shake it well if you add water so it actually mixes. Depress that syringe SLOWLY, let the C disperse into the tissue. Then depress it little more, SLOWLY.

I’d suggest starting with very small shots, every few days, increasing frequency and/or volume as necessary, based on symptom relief. But then I'm not a doctor, I only play one in my real life.

I just felt better, the more often we injected C into me, so we kept going and hoped I wouldn't get a kidney stone. Never did. After six months of daily shots, I was ready for physical therapy. Six months after that, I started my titrate off the drugs. 

Warming a shot before a flight at LAX.

I have given myself shots anywhere and everywhere. I try to find a bathroom, although I have given myself one in public. Before a flight to Hong Kong, I had no time for both a shot and to get a Starbucks, so I did one in the corner of the terminal. I really am that tacky, that into coffee (should be part of diagnostic criteria of EDS), and that good at self-injecting quickly and discretely. 

I’m very severely affected by EDS. One of the worst, really. I was born sick and it's been downhill ever since. I'll break that pathetic story of endless suffering down elsewhere. I’ll bet many of you out there would benefit with less C than I need.

I’ve been injecting C everyday now since December of 2012. I’ve probably injected more than anyone on Planet Earth. No problems, other than twice I have gotten an infection at the injection site, but no big deal. Only needed antibiotics the second time that happened.

Drug facts from Mylan. It's safe stuff!

I used to buy the Mylan C, which I loved because it had a long shelf life, but it became very expensive and no one could tell me why. Now I buy the one made by McGuff Compounding Pharmacy. My shots cost me about $1.50 per day, including the cost of the syringe.

I’m managed, not cured. I go to the doctor all the time. I love a specialist. I follow the doctor's advice. I read research. I avoid quacks. I exercise nearly everyday. I take good care of myself. I am still a delicate person, inside and out.

Best wishes on your journey. Remember, always try to look good and have fun. That is the meaning of life.

Long journey from totally disabled to this. Ballet sur le Power Plate, avec ankle weights, wrist weighs, weighted vest and one on the top of my head.

Long journey from totally disabled to this. Ballet sur le Power Plate, avec ankle weights, wrist weighs, weighted vest and one on the top of my head.