A Review of My Trigenics OAT Nightmare
Due to the general lack of public information, and honest accounts regarding the Trigenics OATs procedure available on the web, I feel the intense need to describe my experience with it. I hope that this article serves as a warning to others.
Frozen Shoulder Pre-Treatment
I had just given birth to my first child 4 months earlier when I developed frozen shoulder in my right (dominant) arm. I suspect that you are familiar with the condition otherwise you wouldn't be at this site, but as a general reminder the onset is intensely painful and makes it very difficult to sleep. In addition loosing use of the arm makes it tremendously difficult to take care of a newborn.
My husband and I surveyed the available options for treatment on the internet. We were both desperately hoping to find something that would treat the condition quickly so I would be able to care for my newborn. The only treatment that suggested it would provide rapid recovery was the Trigenics OAT procedure invented by and promoted by Dr. Oolo-Austin and his little for profit clinic. We did some web research and found that there was little information available online regarding the procedure that was not curated by Dr. Oolo-Austin at all, but we were pretty desperate so we thought we would give it a try anyway, thinking that the worst that would happen would be that it simply did not work.
We went ahead and contacted the organization, and arranged a phone call. We had several calls with a man name Faiz Kakar who played the role of salesman and proceeded to tell me 3 lies:
1) That Trigenics OATs has a 100% success rate at treating frozen shoulder. At minimum this is clearly a falsehood if he says it to you, because Trigenics did not work for me. They did suggest that sometimes it didn't take the first time, and if this was the case they would perform a follow-up treatment for free.
2) That the exercises that must be performed afterwards would be “mildly uncomfortable” at worst. When questioned specifically on this point he said “It will feel about like being sore from a gym workout”
3) That though we needed to pay about $8,000 cash up front, our insurance would reimburse us for the cost. He specifically checked what insurance we had, blue shied of CA, and said that we would have no trouble with the claim.
Faiz made a large number of other statements about Trigentics OAT, varying from remarkably honest to deeply misleading. Some of them backpedalled from claims made on the web: Though the mobility of the arm would be restored, it would require weeks of their exercises program before it was in any sense useable and the months of the exercises before it was truly recovered. That the first two to three days after the procedure the exercises would need to be performed every hour or two, including through the night, meaning no sleep. That the exercise sequence would take 5-10 minutes. That the procedure was somewhat painful even with mild anesthetics that I would be given as part of it.
At this point I interrupted, I was desperately trying to maintain breastfeeding for my baby, and I wanted to make sure that the drugs I would be given as part of trigenics OAT were compatible. It turned out that they were not, but Faiz told us that they were only to reduce the pain of the procedure, and that other people had done it before without the drugs for the same reasons that I wanted to. He did, to his credit, warn us that it would be quite painful. I had given birth without any form of anesthetic only four months earlier and it had been entirely manageable, so I figured I could handle what came at me.
I made my $8000 payment, booked my treatment at the trigenics OAT “clinic”, and booked airfare as well as the hotel room that they suggested. There was no availability for a few weeks, so I just had to wait, thinking that relief was on the way. In the time before going I was able to get a MRI and an X-ray of my frozen shoulder to send to Faiz, so that they were sure that the diagnosis was correct, and there would be no complicating factors. They told me that I was an ideal candidate.
When I arrived in Canada, and saw the Trigenic OAT “clinic” I immediately had a bad feeling. The clinic was, in fact, a residential home that had been slightly retrofitted. I brushed it off, telling myself that lots of perfectly reputable providers worked out of buildings like this. I got settled in the hotel and had my initial consultation with Dr. Oolo-Austin. We discussed my case, and also mentioned that he had not had seen the MRIs of my frozen shoulder that I had sent to him, but seemed unconcerned. He then sent me to another site where I met with the anesthesiologist.
I talked about my desire to keep breastfeeding with the anesthesiologist, and about the procedure that I was about to undergo, and he prescribed the normal local anesthetic and anti-inflammatory injection for trigenic OAT but with out the oral drugs which act system wide. I was given these drugs via an injection into my right shoulder. From there I went to the pharmacy, filled the prescription, and returned to Dr. Oolo-Austin's “clinic”, and waited for them to be ready for me.
Dr. Oola-Austin checked if the injected drugs had reduced the pain in my frozen shoulder by pressing on it firmly. I indicated to him that I still felt significant pain depsite the injected local anesthetics. He didn't express any concern, and indicated that we could continue with the trigenics OAT procedure.
Dr. Oolo-Austin began by attempting the “trigenics” component of the treatment on me. This was in an attempt to get my arm afflicted with frozen shoulder to move freely to the point of the adhesion without pain. At best I can describe this as an entirely inept attempt at hypnosis. Maybe it works better when the patient is severely intoxicated under the normal regiment of system wide prescription drugs, but for me it had no effect. Dr. Oolo-Austin seemed to hardly notice, and in fact generally seemed to be paying very little attention to me.
A few minutes later the O.A.T part of the procedure itself began. Three additional orderlies entered the room to hold me down as Dr. Oolo-Austin began to wrench my shoulder through the range of motion. The pain was indescribably horrible. I screamed and screamed and screamed. Dr. Oolo-Austin roughly told me to stop screaming. I begged them to stop, but the continued going ignoring my agonized shrieks and gurgles. Dr. Oolo-Austin told me that I had a “low pain tolerance” and that I was “not being a good patient”. Having just performed a natural childbirth I knew that this was not the case. As Dr. Oolo-Austin continued to brutalize my arm and I kept on howling and crying I clearly remember him telling one of the assistants to “turn up the music, so no one else will hear her screaming”
After the trigenic OAT procedure ended, I remained in agony. Dr. Oolo-Austin wrenched my arm into the vertical position and took some pictures, claiming that this indicated that I had recovered full range of motion. I was unable to move my arm into this position under my own power, but this didn't seem to concern him. He drew a line straight line in black pen on my armpit with the arm extended and indicated that this was the position I would need to return to during the followup exercises. He went over the exercises that I would have to do every hour for the next 48 hours with my companion and me and dismissed me. I remained in intense pain, and retreated to the hotel.
The night after the trigenic OAT procedure was excruciating. With the help I diligently performed the exercises that he had prescribed every hour. I wasn't actually able to perform them independently, my arm simply would not move that far, though my companion was able to force it into position. The sequence, for me, took about 40 minutes. Done every hour this left a few 20 minute breaks to rest, drink water, and try to eat. The pain, even when not doing the exercises, was unbearable and sleep was entirely out of the question.
The next day we returned to check if the trigenic OAT procedure had “worked” on my frozen shoulder. I also went through the set of exercises again with Dr. Oolo-Austin, this time recording them so that my husband, who had stayed home to take care of our infant child, would be able to see what I was supposed to do, and help me through them. I was still entirely unable to move my arm to the full range of motion on my own and remained in agonizing pain. Dr. Oolo-Austin simply forced it in to position again, and declared that the procedure had been successful. He said that I would need to have my husband force the arm as part of the recovery exercises if I was unable to move it on my own. I was given some instructional pamphlets as well.
I continued the trigenic OAT exercises, even doing them during the flight home, despite the agonizing pain which had still not subsided at all. Once home to my family the torment continued. Though I now only had to perform the 40 minutes of exercises once every hour and a half, the pain continued unabated. Worse, I found that the range of motion, both that which I was able to achieve on my own and what I was able to achieve with the help of my husband was slowly decreasing. I was totally unable to breastfeed my son, even with my off arm, and entirely unable to sleep.
By day five it became evident that my range of motion was not, in fact, restored. Worse yet, the pain level had still not decreased since my encounter with Dr. Oolo-Austin and his “trigenics OATS” procedure. I gradually discontinued the exercises and sought other help. My orthopedic surgeon pityingly suggested that this sort of desperate and unproven technique was unlikely to have worked, but was unable to provide any help for the pain I was now in.
If you or someone you know has frozen shoulder, you have probably observed that it aches continuously, making it hard to sleep and enjoy life, but the real pain kicks in when something bumps into your arm. My pain level was now continuously at the point which I had previously experienced when someone ran into my arm. Before treatment I had been able to sleep only in short sessions, carefully propped amongst pillows, but now all sleep was entirely impossible.
To rate my pain on a scale of 1 to 10:
Initial, constant frozen shoulder pain: 4
Initial frozen shoulder pain when bumped or jostled: 8
The pain of the Trigenics OATS procedure: 10
The constant frozen shoulder pain after the procedure: 8
The pain when trying to force my way through the exercises: 9
Over the next two weeks, my husband and I tried nearly everything we could find to bring my pain level down. All attempts at breastfeeding were given up on. I went to every type of practitioner and specialist we could find, trying to bring the pain back under control, and ate NSAIDS like candy. There was no sleep, there was no relenting.
Finally, after following a referral from an acupuncturist to another acupuncturist who was a shoulder specialist, to her teacher I was able to find a little relief. This extremely senior, and expensive, acupuncturist actually did some bleeding on my shoulder, which reduced the pain back to the normal frozen shoulder pre-trigenics & Dr. Oolo-Austin level. at this point I hadn't slept at all in weeks, and immediately fell asleep. Treatments would provide relief, meaning going back to just the normal frozen shoulder level of pain, for about two days, but gradually this became 3 days, then 4, and finally it just sort of stuck.
This left me back where I had started before my ill fated encounter with Trigenics OAT and Dr. Oolo-Austin. I had completely lost my milk, and suffered tremendously. My family and I were exhausted, and had spent well over $15,000 USD all told. Some months later, we received a letter from our insurer indicating that they would no reimburse the procedure. When Faiz Kakar was contacted about this he did not respond.