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Posted on 12-08-2017
This is Jamie’s story. I am so excited to honor her journey of healing through acupuncture with her amazing testimonial. We met Jamie earlier this year, and she had quite the medical history. I admit, after her first visit I wasn’t sure if I would be able to help. But she came back, and we tried it again, and within a few weeks she came in with a BIG smile – because she was walking without crutches! I have enjoyed getting to know Jamie and her family through her care in our office. Read her story below with some pictures her mom provided to us. -Dr. Holly A. Tucker
"March 21, 2015 is when my whole life changed. I was your normal public schooled 7th grader who loved to play basketball."
"I was always a very aggressive player and as you know basket ball is a contact sport. I have fallen many times in basket ball but this one time was different. I fell on my left hip and another girl fell on top of me. It hurt but you know as they say “No pain, no gain” so I got up, slowly but I did get up and finish the game. A week later my hip was still hurting so my parents took me to the doctor. They did an x-ray and said that nothing was fractured so I must have just really bruised my hip and to give it time to heal. About my hip was still hurting very badly so we went to see an orthopedic doctor to see what they had to say. Even though I’m very tall for my age but because I’m only 13 I’m assigned to a pediatric doctor. He is very nice and encouraging and talks on my level. He seemed to think that I could have messed up my back and that may be why my hip was still hurting. So we ended up getting MRI’s of my back and hip done but both came back normal. I kept telling my parents that my hip still hurt and I was starting to have other symptoms like my left leg swelling, turning purple or almost black at times and it would get ice cold. After about 3 months of that I’m referred to another orthopedic but one that treats athletes. My pediatric orthopedic doctor gave us a “tentative” diagnosis of RSD but wanted a second opinion. So we went to see the orthopedic doctor that works on all the Lady Vol athletes. With just one visit with him he completely agreed with the diagnosis. RSD is Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome. This is known as a rare disorder of the sympathetic nervous system that is characterized by chronic, severe pain. This is not what we wanted to hear. As the doctor said this was hard to diagnosis and even harder to treat. I was started on medication to treat the nerve pain I was having but that whole time I was walking on crutches because I couldn’t put full weight on my left leg. One of the treatment plans to help with the pain was to do a Sympathetic Nerve Block. This is where they put me to sleep and inject my lower spine with two different shots."
First good day after the first Sympathetic Nerve Block shot.
"The first one worked and actually worked well. I could walk and was pretty much pain free for about 7 months. Then all of a sudden the pain had come back and it was hard to walk again. So we go back to the orthopedic doctor and they scheduled another Nerve block. This one failed. I was back on crutches and could hardly walk and was still in severe pain. About we tried another nerve block. That one was successful but only for a short time. After adjusting my medicine and trying new ones and having to reject them and a total of 4 nerve blocks, my parents asked to get me referred to Vanderbilt. In the mean time I was missing way too much school so instead of falling more behind we made the decision to pull me out of public school and start home schooling. We finally heard back from our referral and had an appointment with Vanderbilt but of course it was months away and we were put on the cancellation list."
The day Jamie came home with her wheelchair broke her mother's heart.
"With lots of prayers we got a call and they asked us to be there the day before Thanksgiving. We met with the doctors there and were told they agreed 100% that I had RSD. Again my meds are adjusted and switched yet I still didn't get much relief. There were times that I was on crutches for 3-4 months at a time. After doing water therapy, going back and forth to physical therapy at Vandy a therapist there suggested we try acupuncture."
Jamie attending her water therapy sessions.
"I’m not gonna lie I was dead set against it. I had enough of needles. Every doctor I went to wanted new blood work and after all those nerve blocks I was done with needles. My mom wouldn’t let me give up and made me go to acupuncture. She said there was a place very close to where we live and if we didn’t try it we would never know how it would work. I was just afraid of the needles. My first visit with Dr. Tucker didn’t go well. We found out quickly that you couldn’t needle my left leg. RSD makes your limb way more sensitive to pain. Dr. Tucker was only able to get one needle in and it hurt so bad that she had to take it right back out. My mom made me go for another visit a few days later. Dr. Tucker said that we could try to put the needles in my right leg and somehow that could help my left leg."
Jamie during a typical acupuncture session with Dr. Tucker.
"When I started going to see Dr. Tucker I was on crutches. About a week later I was walking without crutches. We now have a standing weekly appointment with Dr Tucker. I still have pain with my RSD. I still have “flair up’s” where all of a sudden my hip and leg will hurt so bad that I have trouble walking and end up having to use my crutches, wheelchair and shower chair. When this happens I will increase my visits to about 3 a week and Dr. Tucker, with the power of acupuncture (and my family with the power of prayer), can usually cause a flair-up to go away in about a week. That is so much better than going for months at a time in misery."
Jamie all smiles working on her school work.
"I’m now a normal driving 16 year-old who is home schooled and no longer behind. Right now I’m a whole year ahead and will be graduating early. I couldn’t be happier with the results of acupuncture."
Thank you so much, Jamie, for your testimonial. We admire your strength and dedication and are honored to be apart of this journey with you!
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