Real Patient Stories from the Clinic
1. Sore Wrists and Glitter
Without making eye contact, Linda slumped in my clinic chair and whispered, “I’m sad. I want to curl up in bed all day. If leave the house to do one errand, it is a successful day.” I treated her with acupuncture for depression and fatigue. On her fifth treatment, she came in holding her wrist so I asked, “How did your wrist start hurting?”. Her eyes brightened to match the glitter (jewels) on her necklace and said, “I have been making jewelry again! I entered myself in the craft fair. I used to love going to craft fairs but I haven’t had the energy to do one in years. It’s two weeks away and all I want to do is make jewelry!”
“Congratulations! How is your fatigue?”
“Oh, I forgot about that. No, I’m not too tired.”
2. No more visits to the ER for pain
After 4 visits to the ER, Jorge, a 38 year-old, was still in so much pain his father brought him into our clinic. The ER prescribed narcotics did not take away his shoulder pain. He squirmed so much that we streamlined his intake to provide immediate treatment. We cupped, directly over the pain, and did distal points on his hands. He sat still. He smiled. “Hey!” his dad said, “I haven’t seen him smile in four days!”. In a few minutes pain went from a 13/10 to a 2/10. No drugs. No pain.
3. Accusations and Curiosity
“Hey! What did you do?” She starred me down with wide eyes. My heart skipped as I finished pulling out her acupuncture needles. “My headache is gone! Gone. I’ve had it for three days. It’s gone. What did you do?”
My patient had never had acupuncture. I pulled out his needles at the end of his treatment and he says, “Are you a magician?”
After a few treatments patients will forget to mention their original chief complaint. It becomes so minor that, I have to ask follow-up questions to bring it into their awareness. Even when the chief complaint has resolved, they continue care for all the other well being side effects of acupuncture. Instead of a list of complaints patients say, “my sleep is better”; “I feel less stressed at work;” “I didn’t have gas when I ate my favorite burrito”.
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