Saturday, May 5, 2018

No Pain, to Cane

This was another of those patients I have been treating for awhile for his back pain and leg pain with routine care. It would work for a while. Then he would come limping back. No real breakthroughs. No significant, sustainable improvements. My silent question tickling the back of my throat is in those instances, "How good can you stand it? I speak for both of us.

As I stared at his smooth, cloesely shaved head....you know by now what was running through my silver-coifed cerebellum.  Why haven't I asked him if he would like to try scalp acupuncture? So I gave him the usual advantages. I allows us, real-time, to see how it's working, since he can use the the affected part of the body because, rather than pocupine peppering the affected area, rookie style, we are going up to the CPU to do a software fix. Reprograming operating systems that drive the hardware. His muscular/skeletal hardware. Reminding him that software operates hardware. And we were needling over that part of the brain that operates the affected part of the body. With the bonus that we would get immediate feedback how the rewrite was working, Kind of like an instantaneous neuroplasticity patch. Installing modified drivers to help improve affected back and leg function, along with simultaneous pain reduction.

The the first round of needle insertion in the Zhu points, and mindful "bucket down the well" stim, allowed him to get up caneless, and do the stroll down the central corrider, while the Attendings, Fellows and Nurses clapped their ears muttering "La, La, La, La, La, too much information!" (just kidding, not that overt).  Rather "Oh no here comes Yurasek again, rubbing it in. "Has he no respect? Or humility?" Actually I have neither. Just a deep respect for my paired teachers. In this case Dr. Zhu. And my patient at the time. They teach me whether what I have learned works or not. "No tickee, no laundry." That simple. Following my the Barefoot Doctor operating principle. "See it. Do it. Teach it."

 Perfect practice makes perfect. And with each stim and stroll he got up easier and walked better. Pain-free. You can't tell me we didn't have some real-time Neuro-Plastics going on. Even though it catches everyone by surprise (get over yourself) it's really quite predictable. One just has to risk looking like a fool (both patient and pricker) and do what might mean more to the patient, than just hanging another scalp on your belt.