I suggested he discuss the option of acupuncture with his medical team and offer me a courtesy privilege to treat him at the hospital. After dinner I received a call with his medical teams willingness to proceed, and set up a visit for 8 pm that very evening. Feeling a bit nervous, I reviewed once more time my textbook in regard to the Muscle Channels of Stomach and Liver before leaving home. Upon arrival, I realized the severity of his case. To be honest, I really did not know if acupuncture would work for his condition. However, like all acupuncture treatments, it would not hurt to try. The worst case scenario, this gentleman would have to proceed with his already planned surgery the next day.
The following early morning I received a text message from my patient saying the doctors were very impressed at the progress. They had decided to followup with another ultrasound and based on the findings canceled his surgery. The most exciting news was he was likely to be released from the hospital in the early afternoon the same day. I recommended he come to my clinic first thing before returning home. Seeing at least 30% improvement, I was quite impressed with the progress and said to myself-Wow acupuncture works! He was seen again on the following Monday and Friday by which time he showed 70% improvement.
This story is not so much about bragging on how miraculous acupuncture is. The most fulfilling thing is that I am proud of my English vocabulary and medical terminology. I assumed many people in the medical field were unfamiliar with the condition of Priapism. After asking everyone on my team my concerns were substantiated, no one knew the term. I have always encouraged my team and my students to continue to expand their working knowledge of conditions and terminology. One may say Priapism is not a fair term to judge their knowledge. In this case my new patient was so happy and appreciative of my care that now he asked me to treat his SLAP tear and BPH. We later realized the medicine he was taking for BPH has a rare side effect-prolonged erection.
This case reminds me of many stories from my former interns who received referrals from medical doctors for acupuncture but did not know what conditions they were supposed to know such PFPS, RSD/CRPS, SAPHO, etc. This case again proves knowledge is the source of power and confidence. And knowledge means opportunities!
Frank He, L. Ac., DAOM, QME