Odysses Pg 2

 A Wild-Goose Chase -- cont'd

(f) With a Traditional & Complementary Medicine (T&CM) Centre

 

After my last failed attempt to find a solution to my problem, I began to reflect over it. From all tests carried out so far, the only flaw in my head seemed to be the Mastoid bone of my right ear where fluid was seen in its air cells. I presumed that this could be due to the adverse effects of scuba diving accumulated over the years particularly when my right eardrum was perforated at the learning stage and a couple of times when the ear was infected after the drives. If that was the correct assumption, the last diving expedition in Pulau Weh could have triggered off my dizziness problem.

The fluid-filled air cells of my right Mastoid bone led me to believe that it could cause imbalance in my inner ears resulting in dizzy vision when walking in the open. If that was the case, then the only alternative was to seek acupuncture treatment from a Chinese physician or sinseh.

In all my life, I can not recall the occasion when I had to seek treatment from a Chinese sinseh. But I have used some Chinese ointments for muscular/joint ache or stiffness. Acupuncture is something new to me though I have read about it and am aware of its benefits in relieving pain and for therapeutic purposes. This ancient Chinese science of acupuncture is a technique of inserting and manipulating fine needles into specific points on the body to unlock or rebalance the Qi, a vital energy that flows through our body via channels known as meridians. But there is no scientific evidence to support the notion of Qi. 

When a friend of mine who is a GP heard about my problem and intention, he gave me a contact of a T&CM Centre in KL where one of his friends was successfully treated by acupuncture for some ailment.

My first visit to this T&CM Centre was on 4th April. I was quite impressed with the set-up of this Centre which has quite a few sinseh from Taiwan and China.  

After registration, I was led to see the head of the Centre. I explained (in Mandarin) to him my problem, starting with my ear infection and now with vision defect. After feeling my pulse of both my wrists, he let me to an adjacent room to see another Chinese T&CM physician Ti. I again explained (in Mandarin) to Ti my problem and he took my pulse of both my wrists. He told me that there was an imbalance of my Qi due to my ear infection. To me, it was a logical conclusion and I was happy that I had finally come to the right place for treatment. Ti let me to his adjacent room and asked me to lie down on a bed for acupuncture treatment. He used tiny needles and inserted them in various positions on my forehead and face close to my ears. About a dozen needles were used.

In all my life, I dislike going for any injections and if I had to, I would look elsewhere, close my eyes but still feel very tense. Ti told me to relax so that it would be less painful; but at certain locations, no matter how much I could relax, it still felt very painful. The needles would be left in their positions for half an hour before they were removed by Ti. During the period when the needles were left in their positions, I felt warm in my whole head and thought that the acupuncture was doing its work. After the acupuncture, I was given some medications which consisted of a Chinese herbal solution in small plastic bottles and some tablets.

I was asked to come back for further treatment after I had consumed all the prescribed medications. Under this arrangement, I would see Ti twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays.

After undergoing three weeks of acupuncture treatment and taking all the prescribed Chinese medications there was no sign of improvement to my vision problem. On my seventh visit to the T&CM Centre, Ti told me that my ears were not the cause of my imbalance. He emphatically told me, “Your eyes are the main cause of your problem.”

From that day onwards, acupuncture treatment was concentrated on my eyes and different medications were prescribed. I felt a slight improvement in my dizziness but my distant vision was still poor especially after reading or working on my computer.

After another three weeks of diligently going to see Ti, I began to lose confidence in the treatment I was receiving. But every time after Ti had felt my pulse he would remark, “You are ‘pandai’” which was meant to be “You are alright”. But I would also question him. “If I am ‘pandai’, why do I have to have more acupuncture and take more medications?” He replied, “One more time.” I was also beginning to have doubts about the prescribed medications I had been taking and I questioned him, “Why I need to take medication if my vision problem is only related to my eyes?” And his reply was, “Your digestive system is weak and the prescribed medications are to strengthen it.” Many times he told me that my liver needed strengthening and I had to reduce the consumption of alcohol, spicy and oil-fried foods. And as a naïve patient I took his advice as the gospel truth.   

At all times it was my belief that this ancient science of acupuncture was a safe and effective aid of helpless sufferers. Even if acupuncture is just a placebo treatment, which is the psychological impact of believing that this treatment can offer benefit to the believers, some people will still feel that this alone justifies its use. Though personally I expect acupuncture is more of a treatment than just a placebo effect, the quid pro quo for my staunch belief was totally naught. Maybe it was not the science of acupuncture but the person who practices it: his ulterior motive is not for healing purposes but for monetary gains.

I was beginning to lose confidence in undergoing more acupuncture treatment and taking Chinese medications for my vision problem after more than a dozen visits to T&CM Centre and my condition remained substantially unchanged.  My last visit was on 27th May.

During the period from early April to end of May, I also took the opportunity to seek treatment from two other sources.

(g) With Prof Lim of Eye Clinic Singapura

 

When Ti discovered that my dizziness and vision problems was due to my eyes, I decided to go for an eye checkup with the eye specialist, Prof Arthur Lim, who performed the artificial lens implant operations for my both eyes about twenty years ago. The first successful implant was carried out on my right eye in Mt. Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore on 27th August 1987, while that of my left eye was on 9th June 1989. After I had fully recovered from the successful operations I did not see Prof Lim anymore because I had no problem with my vision.

Checking through the Internet I was happy that Prof Lim, now 74 years old, was still in service though his setup has moved to Gleneagles Hospital. I made an appointment to see him on 23rd April 2008.

I was very pleased that he was still friendly in his approach in dealing with me and spent some of his precious time with me on some pleasant discourse. After going through the reports of various tests conducted by his assistants, he confidently told me, “You don’t have to worry about your two lens implants as they would last until you are over the age of 100!” But he expressed his concern about my two eye bags and suggested that I should undergo a simple surgery to remove them. When I asked him whether the two eye bags would interfere with my vision, he replied in the negative but contended that “You would look younger without them!”

He has written quite a number of books and I was pleased that he presented two of them to me. His assistant also handed me a new prescription for my new glasses.

When I returned home, I went to my usual optometrist in PJ to make my new glasses. I decided to make one for reading and one for outdoor activities. When I received my new glasses, I was comfortable with my reading ones but was uncomfortable with the others which I subsequently discarded.

With no improvement to my dizziness and vision problem, I continued going to TCM Centre for treatment.

 

(h) Bioresonance Checking

 

An old friend of over fifty years, Kiang, came to our house in the evening of 25th May. He had sent his wife to a house nearby for bone cancer treatment by bioresonance therapy.  The treatment was carried by Kiang’s son-in-law and his mother in their house. Each treatment would take about three hours and so Kiang had time to spare and came to our house for a chat. Kiang briefly told me how a sickness could be diagnosed and treated by an electronic instrument. I was curious about the process and as all the tests carried by Western medical practitioners could not identify the cause of my dizziness and vision problem, I suggested to Kiang that I wanted to try it out. Kiang then led the way and my wife and I followed him to the house which is only about a kilometer away from ours.

The instrument used is a small electronic gadget with a meter, switches and two leads. One lead is held by the patient and the other connected to a test probe. The operator will press the test probe onto acupuncture points on the patient’s hands, feet and ears to make electrical measurements. Each acupuncture point is related to an organ in our body and the strength of its electrical measurement is shown in the meter. A strong signal will indicate that the organ concerned is healthy and a weak one is the reverse.

All tests carried on me indicated that only my eye muscles, liver and pancreas were not too strong. Using the same gadget, the appropriate medications can also be identified. I was then recommended to take some medications to improve the health of my weaker organs.

I was pleased with the tests because my current problem was only related to my eyes and not my brain or ears. However, I was concerned with the status of my liver and pancreas. I did not consume the prescribed medications because I was still taking the Chinese medicines.     

(i) Second Encounter with my family GP

 

I brooded over the results of my bioresonance test and contemplated what to do next. I browsed over my previous blood tests (the last was done on 22nd October 2007) and noticed that all my liver function tests were all well within the acceptable limits. So I decided to do a fresh blood test to check on the health of my liver and the reliability of my bioresonance checking. On the morning of 27th May I went to my GP’s clinic to have my blood sample taken for analysis.  

The next day, 28th May, my blood analysis report was ready and I went in the afternoon to my family GP’s clinic to collect the test report. But I was told by the receptionist to see the doctor about my blood test results. When my GP showed me the report, I was shocked to see that two of the parameters of my liver function tests were well over the accepted limits. They were SGOT/AST and SGPT/ALT. My GP informed me that the high levels of these two parameters indicated that my liver was damaged. And he recommended that I should go to have Ultrasound taken for my liver, gall bladder and pancreas. Appointment was immediately made to undergo the test at the Damansara Specialist Hospital on 29th May.

In the mean time I checked with the Internet to understand more about the significance of AST and ALT. From the Internet I was given to understand that the high levels of AST and ALT are due to enzymes released by dying liver cells due to viral hepatitis or overdose of some medicines. On that understanding I stopped taking the Chinese medications immediately.

The Ultrasound was done and the test report showed that my liver and pancreas were in good health except that there were some gall stones in my gall bladder. When I showed the report to my GP, I tried to engage him in discussing my liver problem to find out the cause of it. I started by narrating to him my recent exposure to acupuncture and Chinese medications. His curt remark was, “It’s all rubbish!” I didn’t know whether it was rubbish to seek Chinese medical treatment and take the Chinese medication or I was talking rubbish. He then started to prescribe medicines for me and said that I should take them for a period of two months. I was visibly annoyed by his action – how did one know the remedy of an ailment if he did not know the cause of it. I immediately walked out of his office and promised that this would be my last visit to his clinic!

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