Thursday, October 26, 2017

Heart-based Healing/Marine Style

I have my brother John Howard of Battlefield Acupuncture fame to thank for the gift of my  Bethesda Naval Hospital, Marine Amputee Grand Rounds experience. From which I have never recovered.  Walking up and down a long corridor housing 17 Marines, hanging on, wracked by phantom pain, and trollied down to ICU regularly for debraiding, and recovery from the lala-land of morphine. We entered each room geared up in gel, gloves, and disposabal gown over our scrubs. Infection was the new enemy.

One Marine we looked in on was fading fast. Both legs and an arm blown-off. Tubes everywhere. Hyper-ventilating. Waxen, ashen face, covered with a light sheen of sweat. What to do? Anything? I looked down at his stumps. A voice said no Kidney channel, Kidneys pull down Lung Qi. Ear is the Entrance to the Kidney. Some force took an ASP dart clutched in my hand and pushed it in the Kidney point on his ear. He grinned weakly, started breathing more evenly, and whispered "Oooorah".

John and I finished up our rounding, and on the way off the ward passed by a door with a big red placard taped on it, with the following Marine message:

                                   ATTENTION TO ALL WHO ENTER HERE!
If you are coming into this room with sorrow or because you feel sorry for my wounds, go elsewhere. The wounds I received  I got in a job I love, doing it for people I love, supporting the Freedom of a Countyr I deeply love.

I am incredibly tough, and will make a full recovery. What is full?  That is the absolute utmost physically my body has the ability to recover. Then I will push that about 25% further through sheer mental tenacity.

This room you are about to enter is a room of fun, optimism, and intense, rapid regrowth. If you are not prepared for that GO ELSEWHERE.


I can say nothing more. Only committed, full-out action is the appropriate response.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

This Little Piggy went to market...

Actually it was her thumb. Her right thumb to be exact (and she is right handed to boot).  It hurt worse then her back. Which I usually treat for her. But thing about it is that the thumb is what separats us primates from the rest of the animal kingdom. And makes our brain bigger. More cpu's necessary to operate its multiple vectors. So there she was, pained and frustrated. With a simple band-aid wrapped around its tdj.
Because that skinny splint was enough to immobilize. And lock in the pain. Thumper (remember the rabbit in Bambi?) was sceptical when I explained one needle in Gall Bladder 34 on the opposite leg would begin to address the issue...("they laughed when I sat down at the piano, but when I began to play...the old headline reads).

Needle in I asked her to move her thumb. "Touch it to the base of your little finger," I gently prodded. She did. Grimaced. Said it hurt. "More movement..., " I said.

"But it hurt."
"It did. It will. Less and less," I replied. Slowly (hypnotically?) To add emphasis.

I left the room to go next door to check with a newby that our Charge Nurse said had some questions. She was disappointed (it showed on her face) that I wasn't Chinese.
I get that with some frequency. My usual reply is "Not in this life."  I asked her to follow me. Grabbing the new Pain Fellow (he's Romanian, thus slightly more open to what looks like magic, not getting a rapid scientific explanation rattled off regarding what just happened, other than "you hit that first valve down, the music goes round and round, oh oh oh oh, and it comes out here". There we were. The 4 of us, waiting for the teaching. From the patient. (God I love this work! You actually get paid to practice). I twirled the needle a bit. And asked her to touch "thumper" to pinky, and beyond. She did. Anticipating pain. Of which there was very little. But significantly more movement. Then I walked over to the right ear and pointed to the ear chart I had brought into the room early. We found the thumb point I palpated, and, showing her the ASP dart (she had had seeds before and I told her this was a step up, and would, in so many words, and velocity to the new ascending vector of relief/function we had established today--we're still talking about the dart) said dart into the auricular thumb point. I explained the care and feeding of said dart, which would pop out of her ear like a stainless steel splinter in a few days. She was happy. The newbie was happy (but I warned not guarantees, to which she asked how long will it last?) What a great, and frequent question. To which I smugly answered,  "Your body will be the first to let us both know." I went on to add my usual spiel that we are all different. And that I could speculate. As most do. But I would rather we both listened to the wisdom of the body. Whether it whispers, or yells. Listen. And honor the communication. We all temporarily got it. And went on our separate ways.