Half a life in extreme pain
Relief: “The instrument was set up and I lay down on the table. I heard the instrument click and I immediately felt relief in my body, warmth in my feet and my pulse was lower. It was as if my body was starting to work again” Says Trond.
Back and neck. Hommersåk in Sandnes.
Trond Skjørestad was injured in an accident at work and has since suffered from severe head and neck pain. This has led to extreme dizziness, constant headaches and migraines. This has now destroyed 18 years of his life.
15th September 1997 was a painful turning point for Trond Skjørestad. Before this date he was never ill and never suffered headaches. He was always happy and had a positive outlook on life. This day also started that way.
It was quiet at work and wanting to be helpful he agreed to help a colleague to fix the roof on the workshop where they worked. The accident happened on the roof – he fell down, head first, three metres onto concrete. Trond was transported to Stavanger University Hospital and was unconscious for eight hours. He suffered a fractured skull and partial facial paralysis.
He was disregarded
He was signed off work for only three weeks and was encouraged to gradually return to work. His GP declared him ‘well’ after six weeks, even though Trond tried to stress his ongoing symptoms and severe pain.
“I had at that time a feeling that my whole brain was loose and squelching around. I had severe tunnel vision – almost like looking through a straw” says Trond “I explained this to my GP, but he just laughed. I was in despair about not being believed”.
Years went by and he underwent neurological and physiological tests including x-ray, MRI and CT scans. The doctors gave up one by one and diagnosed fibromyalgia.
“My experience is that this diagnosis was made because they don’t know any better” says Trond “There was also suggestions made that this was a psychological problem. I felt that they were speculating as every morning I would wake so dizzy I would almost fall out of bed and the pain was so severe I had to crawl to the bathroom” says Trond “When I went to the hairdressers I had so much pain I almost vomited”.
This was the new existence for Trond, who before the accident was never ill or suffered headaches. No pain relief helped, he was also offered antidepressants. He took one, which made him physically ill and he disposed of the rest.
“I thought at that point that nobody could help me and that my life would remain a painful hell” says Trond “I tried many types of treatment, without any significant relief. On the contrary I felt a little better after light jogging. This was of course uncomfortable because I felt my brain was still loose, but afterwards I felt better”
Did you feel a specific sitting position triggered the pain?
“Sitting position? I couldn’t sit in any position! My body had to move at all times to relieve the constant pain I had” he answers.
“I went to work every day to get some pain relief, but it demanded so much of me that I had problems keeping up with my children and friends in addition. Luckily I have a fantastic wife that I cannot say enough good things about. I don’t know what I would have done without her”.
“In 2012 I developed a disc prolapse to my lower back that started without any particular physical strain. A bit beforehand I had felt a little ‘niggling’ when I was out fishing. The next morning my back was completely locked. It improved after a little while, but the radiating pain into my legs remained”.
“In 2014 I was tired and fed up with how my symptoms were playing havoc with me. I contacted Liv at the Norwegian Whiplash Association – she felt it had to be something to do with my neck. Liv suggested contacting a new and advanced MRI scanner in London for imaging. Liv organised with Mari-Ann at Inova Medical for an upright MRI scan and I travelled to London just before Christmas 2014. Here they took extensive imaging, with unique flexion views, which immediately revealed the history of a fracture in my neck that had previously been undiscovered. After one and a half hours in the scanner Professor Smith called me into his office. He looked at me seriously, and straight to business he told me that I had previously had a fracture of C1, the atlas. The fracture was in a position that was difficult to operate on. All the same I was lucky. If the fracture had gone inwards I would have been finished!” says Trond.
“There was cartilage and scar tissue around the fracture- the pictures showed that there was a problem with movement of my head. This was stopping neck rotation, therefore my spine was compensating elsewhere. This could explain why I was getting so dizzy and why the pressure behind my eyes felt like it was increasing when I turned my head” says Trond “Professor Smith was unsure if they could operate because it was so close to the spinal cord. It was possible though that the atlas could be adjusted even with the presence of scar tissue, but this was complicated”.
Dr. Iain is contacted. The case is discussed between experts in England and the USA. They deemed the chances to be good, so Dr. Iain wants to try.
“Dr. Iain used an AO procedure. The principle is to adjust the atlas by calculating angles from x-rays and transferring them to an apparatus for adjusting. The adjustment takes just a few seconds and sounds just like a click coming from the instrument. There is no pain associated with this. The machine was adjusted to me and I was laid down on the table. I waited in anticipation” says Trond “I heard the click from the instrument and immediately felt relief in my body, warmth in my feet and my pulse was lower. It was as if my body was beginning to work again. A fantastic relaxing feeling”
“I got up and felt further effects – I had always been so dizzy, but now it was almost gone. Unbelievable after just one ‘click’ and a few seconds. I walked about a bit to consider how I felt. The whole thing seemed surreal. Everything was easier. I could walk without the feeling of wanting to fall”.
“Dr. Iain asked me to lie down again, he measured my legs and saw that my legs were now level in length. The previous two centimetre difference was now equal. What had happened to me in the space of a few minutes was so strange yet good. If my wife hadn’t been with me she wouldn’t have understood. Afterwards she said she had a feeling of being shocked, impressed and a little confused. Almost like she hadn’t believed what had happened – like she hadn’t been there”.
“Dr. Iain explained that many processes in the body had to be reversed – it would take time, but I should return after a few months for follow up treatment. I returned after Easter 2015”.
“Now I have very good days with minimal pain. I am careful because I notice I still feel fragile, but the pain has almost gone. The pain has also gone from my legs from the disc prolapse” says Trond “I have got a new existence, more energy and I manage to do more and have fewer worries. At last I can talk with people about this because I now know what caused it. It is lovely to know there are people like Dr. Iain that can help me” concludes a happy Trond Skjørestad.