Patient no AN11

BORN : 1952


I first experienced joint pain symptoms at the age of 8 in the form of aching knees. My mother and I thought it was growing pains. My mother has also told me that I was slow to start walking when I was young. Perhaps I was already experiencing pain and stiffness of the joints.

A diagnosis of a rheumatic disorder was confirmed at the age of 13. Some months before I had hurt my ankle. The ankle was swollen and we had several doctor’s appointments, where we were told that nothing was wrong.

Finally, we went to a private doctor in Björneborg who immediately diagnosed rheumatism. I was referred to the Rheumatology Department at the Björneborg Central Hospital. I underwent several tests and my joints were examined with ultrasound scanning, I then received medication for the rheumatism.

Initially I received 4 different types of medicine, one of them a cytostatical that was administered once a week. I attended check ups every few months at the Björneborg Rheumatology Clinic, and in connection with that I received cortisone injections in my joints.

At first everything went well, but then my general condition and immune response deteriorated. My blood count fell and I contracted various infections. I had fever almost daily and was susceptible to infections. Two of the prescribed medications caused severe abdominal pains and had to be discontinued.

At the age of 14 we began regular quarterly visits to Heinola National Hospital involving weeklong rehabilitation exercises. Medication was changed regularly, one drug caused nausea and another caused my hair to fall out.

At 16 I contracted influensa and my joint pain increased dramatically. A course of biological medication with oral Remicadea every 6-8 weeks was tried over 8 months, until I started experiencing breathing difficulties. At this point I began to despair of the doctors ever finding the correct medication for me and felt that my illness would never be cured. I felt dejected because of the constant pain and because I could not lead a normal adolescent life. It felt as if I was always being hospitalised and that the rheumatism ruled my whole life.

Then we heard about ECT, Energy Cell Treatment, in Sweden. My mother thought about it for a few days and we decided to try this alternative. Initially we went once a week and after three treatments my situation began to improve. I had gone for a check up at the Björneborg Rheumatological Clinic just prior to my first ECT session. At my next check up a month later, the doctor was surprised at my imporvement. My joints were already much better.

I gradually phased out my medication and we visited Susanne Johansson every few weeks. When I had been treated in Sweden for about six months, I told the doctors at the Heinola Rheumatic Hospital that I was undergoing alternative treatment in Sweden and asked if they were interested in communicating with the Swedish clinic for a description of how the ECT treatment worked. But the doctors were not interested. This surprised me since the doctors were forced to admit that without the ECT therapy my condition would have continued to deteriorate. The only person who showed genuine interest in the ECT therapy was my physiotherapist.

Today I am in good health and I am able to live the life of a normal adolescent. I have finished my secondary education and am studying to be a woodcarver. I dread to think how I would feel today if we hadn’t gone to Sweden to try the laser treatment.