Wow! Acupuncture beats expensive pain blocker in pain control
In our 38 years of practicing acupuncture, we have never encountered a pain problem case as severe and as difficult to combat as this one. This person who has seen more than a dozen medical doctors. His pain was so tough that during my first encounter with him, he did not utter a word of his body being subjected to relentless pain attacks, but his mind is always full of hope and thinking how he can overcome the pain problems. He never lacks determination to live despite having to wrestle with unbearable pain every day, an outstanding model not to give up.
In Dec. 2011, I woke up in the morning with what I thought was a normal headache in the back of my head. Over the next two weeks the pain gradually increased to a level that I could no longer function. I was working as a plant production mechanic and left mid-shift to go straight to my doctor. He suspected a major problem and sent me straight to neurologist who immediately sent me for an MRI. Sadly, the test was not able to identify the problem and when he could not figure it out, he sent me to another neurologist who was a neurological spinal orthopedic specialist that ran many more test. They believed it to possibly be nerve inflammation and began painful spinal steroid injections which gave me little to no relief. After six months of testing the only relief they were able to give me was with potentially addictive medication. At this point when I was still not able to return to work, I was let go, lost my insurance and my ability to continue medical treatment.
I spent the next six months getting through the VA system trying to get the proper referrals and to the doctors that I needed to see for some form of relief. In the meantime, my pain level went from a 9 to off the charts. I remember one day crying for hours from pain after a sneeze destroyed me. My new neurologist would end up putting me on several cocktails of medications to combat the pain and eventually implant a neurostimulator going from my chest to the back of my head. This stimulator requires daily charging while vibrating the back of my head to combat the 24/7 pain I’m in. I have now lived with this machine under my skin for 5 years. And even with it on and all of the meds I’m on they only manage to get my pain level down to about a 6. I have even risked a spinal blood patch (removing spinal fluid, adding some of your own blood, and then reinserting it) which can cause a leak in the hopes of stopping the pain. When acupuncture was first mentioned I didn’t give it much thought. I had received it for my lower back a few times and it never did anything for me. I was not a believer.
Once again, I was ready to try anything so I figured what could it hurt. This is when I met Dr. Ling. The first time we meet, while he had few needles on my neck and head over an hour of work, I cried tears of joy as I experienced no pain for the first time in over 6 years in the back of my head. I didn’t even recognize it at first as it had been so long. Unfortunately, I am still the exception when it comes to treatments. The relief was short lived, however, with each treatment for me the amount of pain I was in gradually reduced and stayed at lower levels.
I have been able to reduce the amount of medication I’m on. While the stimulator is still on continuously the intensity is much lower. I’m no longer living my life in my recliner. I’m able to get up and perform light tasks around the house again. Thanks to moving again, over the last three and a half years I have lost just over 100 pounds. Most days I’m at a 3 or 4 on the pain scale which in my world is sort of tolerable. If I move to much it will get back up to 6-8 and I’ve only hit 10’s a few times a year instead of every few days. In general, I can rest or call it day to get the pain back down till my next treatment. That hour on the table when Dr. Ling takes my pain away is……. well, I simply haven’t been able to justly describe it.
The bottom line is, Dr. Ling flat out gave me a life back. He and his wife have been an absolute blessing in my life that I would do anything for had I the opportunity to.