It's too bad, in Betty Edmonds' experience, that medical diagnostics are not as reliable in analyzing her painful symptoms as the Endless Pool is in relieving them.
Having undergone back surgery nearly three years ago and being confined to a body brace for the better part of a year, Betty developed mysterious pains. These subsequently led to conflicting diagnoses and treatments from "every specialist in Fort Wayne".
The latest in this series was the most distressing: fibromyalgia, a little-understood affliction of the joints, ligaments, and tendons. Worse still was the extensive, lifelong drug regimen prescribed, which, in one physician's determination, included a morphine patch.
Exasperated, Betty sought another opinion at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. She was diagnosed with bursitis -- inflammation of the bursa sac, which serves as a cushioning agent in joints. In Betty's case, the inflammation was in her hip. Current wisdom holds that physiotherapy, rather than medication, should result in total or substantial recovery from this condition.
Attending physicians were encouraged to learn that Betty had an Endless Pool that she could use year-round, since "pool swimming" tops their list of recommended exercises.
In fact, the Endless Pool has been a source of comfort throughout her ordeal. Her daily stretching-and-swimming routine would customarily last 45 minutes to an hour in the 89-degree water. When the pain was particularly acute, "I stayed in as long as I could, because that was the only time I didn't hurt." Apart from the long drive, she says, one of the toughest things about the visit to Mayo Clinic in Minnesota was not being able to use her pool for two weeks.
Several months ago, Betty's husband, Jack, underwent an emergency angioplasty to clear a virtually total blockage of a coronary artery. He now uses the Endless Pool to build cardiovascular strength and relieve stress.
"Really, I don't know how we would have managed to get through the last couple of years without the Endless Pool," she says. "I'm looking forward to going a long time without pain, and without all that medicine."