I have more for you soon, but for now, as I focus on trying to revise an article before school starts next week, let me share this with you:
Yesterday on impulse I treated myself to a massage, with someone I didn’t know, who turned out to be an excellent massage therapist. (Her name was Ginette, but we both agreed something like Gina would be more suited for her. Her French father saddled her with the name Ginette Antoinette, but that’s another story.) At the beginning of the massage, I mentioned the R.A. She asked me if I had tried apple cider vinegar. I hadn’t, because in all the web surfing I’d done, I hadn’t seen that particular home remedy come up. (With different words in a search, though, I have since found it.) I chuckled a bit inside, because my 81-year-old dad has been singing the praises of that particular pucker-inducing, anus-tightening nectar for a number of years. Ok, so some old-fashioned cure-all, I thought. Whatever. But, then again, what the hell; my left wrist and random, assorted toe and finger knuckles have been in steady pain for two months now, and especially in the morning.
So after the massage I head over to Whole Foods and finally locate the brand Ginette specified: Bragg’s, because it is unpasteurized and unfiltered, and has “the mother vinegar” in it, whatever that means. (Looking up the mother, it reminds me of the Kombucha mushroom “mama” that makes a “baby” in every new batch of Kombucha tea and is some kind of microcosm of all good in the universe, but is kind of glossy and gross to look at. I went through a bit of a Kombucha phase at 29.) Also, Bragg’s packaging looks like something you’d find at the Ma & Pa store round about the Scopes Trial era. Alchemists and county fairs–that sort of thing.
So last night before a session of therapeutic painting in my basement romper room, I took some big swigs of the ACV, diluted, as suggested, with water and a little honey to make it sufferable. As soon as I tasted it I had this instant flashback of my late grandmother, and had to text my mom to see if there was any empirical reality to that. She confirmed that Grandmamma was a major advocate of ACV for all kinds of health benefits. (Then again, Grandmamma ascribed to the theories that direct sunlight cured just about any wound, and anyone could learn to see without glasses.) Anyway, I drank about half of the glass I poured myself. Maybe with a small vodka and grapefruit soda chaser, while I was at the business of self-medicating.
I then enthusiastically painted a bunch of unattractive, schizophrenic-looking things and forgot about the ACV.
Until this morning when I woke up and, stumbling into the kitchen to feed the whiny cats, suddenly became aware of the fact that my wrist hurt less and had a greater range of motion than it has since this damn RA started. WTF??? I seriously had forgotten the ACV until that moment. But this is the first thing I’ve tried that has actually made much of a difference in the pain, and I’ve been taking 500 mg of Naproxin (Alleve) twice daily for 6 weeks now, plus fish oil, primrose oil, and assorted other vitamins. From one “dose,” I’m not kidding, I noticed a distinct difference. Nor do I think it’s a placebo effect, as I’ve felt more positive about other supplements I’ve been trying, since there’s more out there about them and some of them have shown results in scientific trials. Weirdly, although I have now found all these detailed testimonials about ACV and arthritis on the web, the damn stuff has not been run through any RA-related trials. Why do you think that is? Could it be because a quart of Bragg’s costs about $5 at the store? Might a lot of people stand to lose a lot of money if an ordinary elixir did the same or better than all that stuff they’re selling us?
Anyway, obviously time will tell and I don’t want to whip myself into effervescence or a full-blown campaign against the arthritis industry until I see what happens long-term, with 2 doses a day over time. But still. I haven’t taken my Naproxin yet, but I did suck down some more pucker potion, and my wrist still feels much, much better than it has all summer.