Dave came to see me Tuesday about numbness and pain in his lower legs and feet. I’ve known him for years and knew he was a Vietnam veteran and a diabetic. We talked about his leg and foot problems at length. After performing electrodiagnostic testing, it was clear that Dave had a peripheral neuropathy related to Agent Orange exposure while serving in Vietnam.
While discussing the limited treatment options, he remarked to me that, because of his increasing right arm and hand tremor, he has not been able to drink a cup of coffee in the morning for years without spilling it on his nightshirt. He even thought that playing golf this summer was very unlikely.
I mentioned that I see these tremors in anxiety disorders and sometimes with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and that I’ve had success using acupuncture. Dave decided to try one treatment. I told him, “You will see improvement in a day or two if the treatment is successful”.
The next day, I happen to see him on the other side of an indoor track where we both walk in the winter. He shouts, “Hey Doc, look”. He raises his right arm to show me the tremor is barely noticeable.
I run to catch up to him on the other side of the track. He smiles as he tells me that he drank his coffee this morning without spilling a drop for the first time in more than two years. “Not a drop on my nightshirt”, he says shaking his head with a disbelief in his excited voice.
Dave came to the office once a week for the next three weeks for acupuncture. He was delighted with the outcome. I did remind him that he may need a few acupuncture treatments from time to time. He laughed and said that was such a small price to pay.
The goal of my medical practice is to improve a patients’ daily quality of life, not necessarily a cure for their underlying disease process. Dave is delighted to drink his morning coffee, every morning, with a dry nightshirt. Playing golf this summer is probable instead of unlikely now that the tremor is almost gone.
Small improvements to some, but life is lived in those moments. Moments like drinking coffee in the morning without spilling a drop.
Dr. Allan Bazzoli, MD is a practitioner of Acupuncture, Holistic Medicine, and Physical Medicine in the Mt. Vernon/Central Ohio and Columbus area. He is available for speaking engagements on a variety of holistic medical topics. This material can be distributed free to the public as long as there is no remuneration and credit is given to the author.