Essential or Palliative Care?
At HeCares we proudly render the best care we can, be it essential or palliative. As medical care providers, we are not the ultimate judge for whether the care we provide is essential or palliative. Actually the care we often thought to be palliative turned out to be so essential to those patients and their loved ones. Here is one of the cases that I'd like to share with my team, patients, friends, and especially those nurses and doctors who are referring patients to us. I am so happy to hear that the medicine and the way I practice it meant so much to someone like Ann and her loved ones.
The advantage of each medicine
A forty-two year old male Chinese called one Saturday evening for an URGENT appointment at 9 pm. He fell off his bike and injured his right shoulder two days ago during a heavy rain. Emergency doctor suggested surgery after reviewing his X-Rays.
Being a Chinese, not readily accepting invasive medical care, he was looking for a second opinion even though he was scheduled for surgery on the following Tuesday. He was brought in by his wife as he could not drive due to pain and dysfunction of his right shoulder. Upon physical examination, his right shoulder AC joint was visibly deformed. X-Rays clearly indicated a grade III AC joint separation. I explained to him that an unrepaired AC separation at this level would leave this shoulder in dysfunction and result in further issues of rotator cuff and neck in the future. I also told him that acupuncture and physical therapy would be very beneficial for a speedy recovery.
Patient called three weeks later saying his shoulder was still in pain due to infection and scar tissues. Now is the turn for acupuncture! His pain rapidly decreased and the range of motion greatly improved after only three visits. Acupuncture also helped clear up the residual infection.
Take advantage of the right medicine!
Frank He, L. Ac., QME
Father, mentor, friend...
There are many good reasons for me to spend two weeks every year in my village instead of in a seemingly more beautiful place somewhere else in the world.
When driving on the clean and well-maintained highways in the western world, I often miss the dirty and bumpy country roads in my village, which is where I came from. After eating some of the best orgnaic foods that I could afford in America, I still miss everthing I used to eat as a kid, even though not everything was organic. While treating patients in Silicon Valley who spend a fortune for better health, I miss seeing those in my village who have just began to realize that a bottle of Kirkland Fish Oil is far better than a pack of Marlboro... Furthermore, I enjoy visiting my father whom I've always admired and learned from.
Even at age 80, my father always demonstrates that he is still in good shape by jumping up and grabbing onto his self-made monkey bar and doing exercises that many people wouldn't think he had the strength to do. My children would also try after him and were often amazed by their grandpa. He still drinks and smokes just to celebrate another good day of hardwork and to keep himself in high spirits. Compared to others of his age, my father seems like a superman whose appetite has never decreased and he has been doing the same amount of work on the farm for over twenty years. I also recently found out that he has been farming two extra acres abandoned by a neighbor, meanwhile, all his other peers have already given up farming.
I often proudly count the many hats he wears...a builder who built sturdy houses for our family and many others in the village; an artist of Chinese calligraphy who writes banners for Chinese New Year; a Feng Shui practitioner who set my path to the western world when he built our first house 40 years ago; a song writer and singer who performs at birthday and wedding parties; a butcher who used to serve meat to a third of the population in town; a chef who served hundreds of people at celebrations; last but not the least, a true famer who does everything by hand without using modern machines.
Every time I spend a few days with my father I feel stronger, both physically and spiritually. It was such a great moment in life- being in his presence, drinking a couple of beers, eating home grown fuits and vegetables, picking weeds on the corn field under the sunshine, and talking about how he set the record in his twenties of eating 6 foot-long steamed buns (weighing in at about 7 pounds!) after throwing five guys to the ground in wrestling...
He is amazing! I look forward to being amazed by my dad again this summer and bringing back more stories to share with my patients and friends :)
Written by Frank He
Edited by Anna He
A few years ago, my son asked me why the newly planted trees around my office were tied to a couple of sticks. I told him that the young trees without support may break due to strong winds. The harness around the trees were very sturdy and often left a mark on the trees. I also said it may look painful for the trees to be "restricted". However, that's what I called "tough love".
Recently a few teenage patients came to see us for back pain or simply scoliosis. There are also adults who have the same problem, however, that's not what we want to address in this blog. It's sad to see young patients quietly develop this problem which will surely affect the quality of their later life. Of course, acupuncture, massage, yoga, exercise, correcting harness, etc could help these young patients but it would take time. In some severe cases, major surgeries are recommended as the last straw.
Many factors contribute to scoliosis. However, the lack of parental supervision on postures could be the major one. Parents nowadays are trying to provide the best they could: food, clothes, smart phones, computers, cars, you name it. However, parents' love is still not complete if you've never paid enough attention to how your children sit, stand, or walk. It's understandable that few teenagers want to hear anything, especially corrections, from their parents. But you still have to say it and repeat until they correct it. When I yelled to my kids with "sit straight" or "tie your shoes laces", I meant to see immediate corrections. They know I AM A TOUGH DAD!
Teenage patients never knew how much the tough love means to them until their parents have to shuttle them to doctors and pay for those expensive visits.
Parents, watch your kids! Kids, listen to your parents!
Frank He, L. Ac., QME
Acupuncture Specialists at Integrative Medicine Center