This was the case for an elderly patient who had a fall. He was out in front of his house, when he went to help a lizard into the bushes. Then when he turned around to head back inside, he tripped and fell, injuring his face, arm and chest. Had he gone to urgent care or the ER, he would have been there for hours, possibly surrounded by infected patients, and likely have walked away with a bill for several thousand dollars.
Instead he called us for urgent care, and I was able to make a house call shortly after his fall. It looked like quite a daunting case. He’s 89 years old, was on blood thinners, and it took awhile for the bleeding to stop. His face had two large cuts, which had bled on his shirt and bed. He was having chest pain that traveled down his left arm, and difficulty breathing. He had multiple, large bruises on his face and arm. There were a lot of things we were worried about, especially someone his age. It could be broken bones, a concussion, and maybe enough shock to cause a heart attack!
I immediately began the physical examination, and was fortunately able to exclude many of the worst-case scenarios. He was conscious and clear headed, his pupils and eyes movements were normal, and he showed no signs of concussion. Great start. His chest pain was all in the superficial soft tissue of his chest and arm, and it was sharp pain local pain, not the crushing indistinct pain expected from a heart problem. Even better. I encouraged him to very slowly inhale until his ribs expanded, no pain. I was then able to gently touch his ribs while he inhaled. All the pain was in the muscles, not the bones. So there was a good chance he hadn’t even brokena rib (though I told him he should get an X-ray just in case). We were all grateful, it seemed it wasn’t nearly as serious as we first feared.
I then moved on to treatment. Using the meridians of Chinese medicine, I was able to find two points (SJ 5 and 6) in his arm that relieved his chest pain. He could breathe easier from the first needle! Then I added a few more to promote healing in his face and chest, and let him rest. After just 15 minutes, he was feeling well enough, he got up and went to the restroom without any assistance, when just 30 minutes before he had barely been able to move.
I scheduled a follow up visit with him, and was going to make it another house call. But, he was feeling so much better, he changed it to an office visit! At a follow up visit 5 days later, he was nearly back to normal. He was feeling so much better, he forgot to get the chest X-ray! The bruising had cleared up, and the large cuts on his face had almost completely healed. I really admired his spirit, and he was determined to get better, and not let a fall keep him down. And we were all grateful that it hadn’t been more serious.
We were also grateful that at the height of the pandemic, we were able to provide him care without taking time from the doctors and nurses treating covid patients, and we were able to prevent him from waiting in crowded urgent care or ER where he might have been exposed. He was also very grateful for the price, a fraction of what urgent care would have.
We’re here for you, pandemic or no. June we resume normal operations. Pandemic or no, urgent care, house call or office visit, our team is here for you!
David Dick, L. Ac., DAOM