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A patient of mine developed a queer symptom complex which I felt a bit difficult to decipher therapeutically and encompass homeopathically. Rheumatic nature of it was certain, but with puzzling overtones. He said that there were electric like waves running from upper extremities to lower body, up to the calves. On moving or turning his neck, for example, in any direction, a lightening like painful wave would ensue and travel to his hips or calves. Sometimes on raising one arm or the other a shooting wave of lightening-like pain would travel like the spark in the clouds that spreads into many branches at the end.  The pain would shoot from shoulder to lumbo-sacral region, and from there it would spread in fine waves throughout the gluteal region. Same feelings in the gluteal region and hips would be experienced on sitting or on rising from sitting. He felt miserable. He was my patient for arthritis. Now no remedy was felt to be touching him.

I decided to send him to an orthopedic specialist for expert opinion. I sent him to an orthopedic hospital, and searched, from among 12  orthopedic specialists and professors, the one who was most sought for in the hospital complex. People would wait for him in queue. First day my patient could not meet the doctor as his turn was after 20 patients. Next day he went early to get himself among the first few. After hearing his presenting complaint, the doctor made him stand, stoop, touch his own feet, rotate the torso, both sides, raise his arms up and rotate in gyrating mode, etc. He decided that the patient’s left shoulder was 50% frozen. And then asked him about any urinary problem, as burning, etc., to which he answered that he had no burning, but had frequency of urination, without diabetes. “Since how long you have this frequency of urination?” the doctor asked. “Since childhood”, he replied. “I always rise three to four times at night to urinate, since my childhood”, he added. The doctor gave a small chit as a prescription, to my patient’s son, to be fetched from the hospital pharmacy. He wrote only ‘Inj.’ on that chit. The lad brought two vials and a syringe. My patient was told that he was going to give him a shot of long acting steroid in the joint of his left shoulder. By baring his left shoulder and cleaning the skin with spirit, he thrust the needle into the joint. It (the whole process) was so sudden that my patient could not collect his senses to deny or affirm his move. At the end he was given a prescription, on which it was written: “Left shoulder 50% frozen + UTI”. And the prescription was:


Ciprofloxacin (antibiotic)  500mg.      bd.       4 days        (for UTI, perhaps)

-ditto-                              200mg.      bd.       4days

Diclofenac Sod.                 500mg.      t.d.

A gel as liniment for applying on the shoulder.

Mecobalmin    Tab.     t.d.


My patient told me that there was zero discussion with the doctor, who would rather talk on any subject under the sun, except the patient’s complaint and his laboratory reports; and his own diagnosis of the disease. On reading the prescription I kept wondering from where the good doctor deduced the ‘UTI’. According to the age of the patient, late sixties, he should have thought of the prostate rather than the UTI. And about the shot in the shoulder joint, it was, me thought, perhaps the cause (and the secret) of the flocking of the herd of patients around him. One shot of a long acting steroid and blocking anon all the painful symptoms for few months or a year. What else a suffering patient can expect from a Messiah?

My patient at that time was using Dexamethasone eye-drops for his sore eyes, prescribed by his eye-specialist. He had to consult him again (the eye-surgeon) for fear of over action owing to this strong steroid shot into his body.

Along with instant relief of the painful joints what miracle the long acting steroids can perform, read the concise list below: (For further reading Cf. ‘’)

  • In diabetes, cortisone injections can elevate the blood sugar.
  • Can suppress the body's ability to fight the infection and worsen the infection or may mask the infection by suppressing the symptoms and signs of inflammation.
  • Worsen bleeding disorder.
  • Long-term risks of corticosteroid injections depend on the dose and frequency of the injections. With higher doses and frequent administration, potential side effects include:
  • Thinning of the skin, easy bruising, weight gain,
  • Puffiness of the face, acne,
  • Elevation of blood pressure,
  • Cataract formation,
  • Thinning of the bones (osteoporosis).

Such drastic measures should not be taken without affirming the consent of the patient; or without informing him of the possible consequences. Medicine is not a license to shoot. Medication is a serious and solemn matter, not to be relegated to fadism.




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Comment by Dr. M. A. Usmani on November 20, 2012 at 7:51am

Wise words, dear Debby, thanks.


Comment by Debby Bruck on November 19, 2012 at 9:43am

Dear Dr Usmani ~ Getting a second or third opinion, coordinating all medications, having all physicians in conference as a team for your health, seeking out all alternative actions possible and investigating the side-effects of drugs will help us go a long way toward better health. Plus, getting an advocate on your side and always going to the doctor with a supportive friend or family member can help keep things in order. 

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