Sunday, July 17, 2011

Accupuncture for Stargardt's?

Since last September, I've been in Asia receiving accunpuncture treatments. Although there has been some setbacks inbetween, I've had close to half a year's worth of weekly treatments.

Why Accupuncture? I have a friend with some eye condition who has indicated this particular doctor specializes in accupuncture for eyes, often helping to stimulate nerves and has had some results in lowering perscription. Although the thought of having needles in my head and around my eyes is difficult to digest, but I figured it might be the only way to help reduce my growing perscription.

The Treament Process. Weekly sessions with each session totalling about 14 needles in both the top of the head and around the eyes. Accupuncture is based on Chinese Medicine's philosophy of stimulating specific spots which is related to a certain body part. The idea is to increase blood flow to that area and allow the body to recover or rejuvanate itself.

My Thoughts. The accupuncture sessions has been trully energy consuming both in body and spirit. The physical pain of having needles in your head is tolerable but still fairly evident. Especially when it comes down to the four needles cloest to your eyes. It feels like the needles were placed deep within the muscles around the eyes and at time s I was afraid if I move my eyes too much it might go into the eye (I think that was more fear than reality) After the needles were inserted, you wait about half hour before taking them out. The physical pain comes from the skin because the skin on your face tends to be more soft and sensitive. In addition, the tiniest movement in your muscles sends sharp pain in the muscle. On days where i have sniffles and allergies, the throbbing pain becomes even more evident. (felt as if i was having trouble getting oxygen to my head) After each session, there is always an unexplanable tiredness that follows, rest and drinking lots of water is recommended.

The mental state of mind was evne more overwhelming than the physical pain of these accupuncture sessions. The hope of improved vision, the sight of other young children being brought by their parents. The unfairness of this world and the desperation of having Stargardt's Disease. Being in that bed is a constant reminder of my condition.

My Results. The only thing I really felt was after each session, my eyes seems to be clearer when looking farther, things seem brighter. But my perscription still remain the same.

I don't relaly know what to think. At this moment I've decided to halt the treatments because I feel it is not worth the pain. Although the real struggle comes when there's is a undying thought that tells you "perhaps you didn't try hard enough or long enough to see a difference" There are some patients there who has received treaments for years, yet I'm not sure what the real results are. But what I've concluded is, if I can't believe that it's going to make a difference, then it would be even harder for the treatments to have real impact.

The pain that accupuncture brings is more than just a physical nature. It brings out hte darkest side of the disease and no matter how much I tell myself, I still feel a mix of anger and sadness.

Maybe one day there might be a cure. But until then I see accupuncture as a way to relieve tension but not as a solution to eye conditions.

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