An Updated pictorial and HTMA History of Recovery from Frostbite (graphic!)
Updated: Jun 29
(Updated 28 June 2022)
Warning: What follows has graphic content that is best not viewed by sensitive people and not recommended while eating dinner.
Thank you for all your help in the HTMA tests and your advice.
This feet shot is just over one year after the fun in the snow. And after a summer of extreme bushwalking and a school term of Outdoor Education with school children."
"Here's another one near the end of a 22 km walk, carrying 18 kg for the first half and a light pack on the return journey. A victory pose.
Joe, not his real name, wrote this summary for me:
"64-year-old (now 65), Outdoor Expedition Teacher (recently retired Co School Principal).
Last 11-day canoeing and hiking expedition, following 14 other "warm-up" expeditions in coastal and rugged Tasmanian highlands...but only around 1100 meters.
An expedition, left on Easter Sunday 2021 when over 1m of snow fell at the middle point. A party of 2, Male 64, female 60, traversed mountainous untracked terrain to finally be plucked by Rescue Zodiacs with only 3 km to go!"
What follows is a timeline of photos of his feet from Easter through to September of this year. One of the questions that I will try is answer is why his partner did not suffer similar damage to her feet? I also explain, in general concepts, what we did to assist his medical treatment to help prevent as much loss of tissue as possible and to assist his healing and recovery.
Joe has made a good recovery, and he will eventually resume the physical activities he loves, including hiking and canoeing, but it is too soon to be able to say to what extent. Joe is upbeat. My only concern is that he may have ongoing issues with poor tolerance of cold due to the legacy of nerve, blood vessel and tissue damage. It may be beneficial to migrate from Tasmania to Northern Queensland, but I suspect he is a died-in-the-wool Tassie!
"I have taken time off at beautiful Freycinet National Park on the east coast of Tasmania. And I even tried out some new boots from Boulder Colorado, designed to give your toes more room. And I even walked 12 km up and down hills (just two weeks after my final toe operation). Good for amputees as well."
So, why did he suffer such terrible damage and not his partner? We might have the answer in HTMA reports from before and after his mishap. These tests are revealing and point to a possible contributor to his demise.
We had two HTMA from previous years (2018 and 2020), which is fortunate about this case. We then repeated the test immediately after Joe's injuries and a few months later to see how he was tracking. Refer below.
His earlier HTMA (above) is a relatively clean, non-toxic profile for both tests, especially 2020. However, were there some severe toxins lurking deep in his body, or was he about to be exposed to some nasty environmental toxins? These are toxins that might:
Damage blood vessels and circulation.
Cause oxidative stress to tissues.
Reduce his metabolism.
Toxins such as lead and arsenic may be sequestered deep within body tissues and not show on HTMA, blood or urine tests. The toxins only show if some is leaving the body (detoxifying). While they may not be present on a test, the sad fact is these toxins will be doing damage, a little like unseen rust in the chassis of one's car. It is worth noting that nutritional elements such as manganese have heavy metal properties when they are in excess.
A clue that toxic elements may be unusual patterns with nutritional elements. For example, heavy metals like lead and even excess manganese may cause deficient calcium (refer to Joe's low calcium levels). Calcium and magnesium are essential nutritional elements, and they must be plentiful and in balance for health, including ensuring optimum circulation. In addition, heavy metals cause much damage, including slowing enzyme processes, therefore depressing heat production and compromising tissue healing.
Please have a look at the next HTMA (below) taken after he suffered frostbite to the feet. What is obvious to even the untrained eye is that Joe has a burden of toxic elements and unhealthy manganese levels.
Note: We have HTMA testing for his partner, who did not suffer frostbite. In contrast to Joe's, her HTMA is clean.
It may be fair to conclude that Joe has suffered sub-clinical poisoning, possibly recently or several years ago, contributing to his vulnerability to suffering frostbite.
The HTMA below is after active detoxifying and well into his healing and recovery from frostbite. The important things of note are these:
Calcium has declined despite supplementation, thus indicating there is a hidden toxic burden. It is also worthy to note that monobasic calcium assists tissue healing. Joe's needs are high.
Copper has declined while iron has gone up. This pattern indicates there was or is a bacterial infection. Joe needs supplementary copper.
Joe's Zinc has declined. This nutritional element aids tissue healing, and he needs to increase supplementary Zinc.
Manganese is now optimum, which is excellent news.
Mercury, cadmium, and lead have each declined. Has he completed detoxification, or is there a pause in the cleansing process?
Arsenic has gone up significantly. There must have been an unseen toxic burden of arsenic which is now being mobilised and removed. Arsenic is especially damaging to peripheral tissues, including blood vessels and nerves. It also causes thyroid issues. The thyroid regulates heat production.
His partner, a vet by training wrote October 6th:
"Thank you Joe is fantastic, he had the sutures out yesterday from the final toe trim 10 days ago and is cleared for action. This morning he wore the new Lems walking boots for an hour walk with a backpack. I am struggling a bit with my training schedule so he carried the 9 kg kayak partway up the hill for me. He is back to his enthusiastic and generous bouncy self. I will probably keep up the foot massage every second day to ensure the scars continue to heal. He is making sensible decisions to rest too."
"The healing from frostbite was excellent. The medical people here have no real experience so hard to know whether better than expected. In the Uk, they say frostbite in January, toes off in July. Joe had frostbite in April and toes off in early July. He did not develop any of the predicted infections or sepsis once he started the supplements. ( had one infection caught during three weeks of treatment in hospital at the Hyperbaric unit before coming home to supplements). His general well being and positive outlook have been inspiring throughout the supplement period. I have massaged his feet and legs twice daily for the first 6 weeks, then daily to stimulate the nerve regrowth. The sensation in his toes returned after 8 weeks and we managed the pain with daily laser, oral PEA and occasional courses of Boswellia and Turmeric capsules. The neuropathic pain has resolved and he reports the toes feel normal. No phantom limb pain except warm feelings at loving times." .....
"We are both so grateful for your excellent advice and confidence. The underlying issue of heavy metal toxicity and its resolution gives us hope that Joe will continue to heal and be back to the bushwalking he loves for the next few decades."
26/10/21: "following last weekend run, Joe was very happy to discover he was number 3 of the 10 in his age group in the 5 km run!"