Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hosptal visit

I had a great experience today.

A patient I had seen a while back called me about her mother, who was in the hospital - readmitted after some post surgical complications. Namely, continued unexplained vomiting. As it was told to me, the doctors could not quite figure out why this was happening.

More to the point of this writing...the daughter contacted me today  before I went to treat her mom to give me a heads up that while my coming had been cleared with the hospital, her dad did not approve. I was warned that he might give me an earful.

Upon my arrival, he made a bee line to me and we took our conversation into the hall. I enjoyed our exchange greatly, and have great respect for this man.

He basically wanted me to know that he was not into any bullshit. I explained to him, as best I could in short order that I was not "new age" or some such, and that yes, what I did essentially was folk medicine, and that yes, while I could not explain how exactly acupuncture worked that there were numerous scientific explanations as to its mechanisms of action....and that in general acupuncture tends to be very restful and restorative at the very least for most people, and that in this case it may be very specifically helpful if the condition were in fact a disorder of function and not a physical anomaly such as a blockage, and that ear acupuncture specifically might provoke a vagal response and rectify the problem of his wife's rebellious stomach...He remained in part incredulous, but gave me his blessing to proceed at least in part because he perceived me as a practical man. Ah, the humanity.

It was a great opportunity to respectfully stand my ground, honor someone else's skepticism, and plainly and simply make an effort to alleviate the suffering of another being. I hope the treatment was helpful. At the end of the day there is no "alternative" medicine - there is only medicine that works and medicine that does not.

They were a pretty great bunch of people.We had a nice visit, chatted about this and that, and I went on my way.....grateful for the experience.