On 19 February 2008, I was stopped at a traffic light at Granada and Clyde Morris in Ormond Beach, Florida. My car was “rear-ended” by a vehicle following me. The force of the collision thrust my car into the intersection. I remember hearing the crash and then finding my car in the intersection. I can only assume that I lost consciousness for a few seconds because I have no recollection of the move into the intersection. What follows is my “stream-of-consciousness” reconstruction of events in the best manner that my faulty octogenarian’s memory and checking my calendar and datebook allows.

When I attempted the exit of my car, I found that I could not move my legs. The strength of my feet and legs was tested several times that day, and by early evening, some strength had returned and I was able to resist the testing pressure. I spent the night at Halifax Medical Center and about 8:00 am was escorted for a walk, using a walker. My legs responded to my commands and by the time my escort and I had traversed the length and width of the hallway and back, I was walking without the assistance or aid of the walker. I was released to home at about 5:00 pm when my wife and daughter drove me home. I was a little sore and did ache. However, these aches subsided over the next few days.

Late June or early July 2008,
I am not clear as to the time with any precision, but it was about this time I began to find, on my lower legs and ankles, scabrous lesions and bright red spots on my arms and upper torso that ITCHED like I have never itched before. Two dermatologists were unable to give me any satisfaction with respect to a diagnosis. However, I did manage to get a prescription for desoxymetasone .05 which, when applied topically, did nothing to relieve the itch. I was referred to a neurosurgeon, who tested nerve conductivity by performing an electromyelogram. (That really smarts.) He ascertained that the weakness in my lower extremities and the scabrous lesions and itchy red spots were the consequences of what the doctor said was chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP for short). But there was more to my condition than that.

In September 2008, out of sheer angry frustration with the medical doctors with whom I had been dealing, I called and made an appointment with you. You agreed to see me and, after an extensive and intensive “new patient” interview, said that acupuncture “might” be able to help me. I started once a week sessions with you. Initially, I felt no respite from the itch, but I persevered.

While I had used the drug daily to relieve the itch, with my wife helping me with the spots I could not reach, I began to experience times when I did not require the application of the drug. The acupuncture treatments (contrary to conventional MD wisdom) seemed to be effective in relieving the itch. The lesions were still present but they did not itch as much. In early April 2009, you said that I would not need to return to see you for two weeks!! I had been given very little hope that I would ever be relieved of the itch, but in about five months’ treatment with you, an AP, I now use the drug once every ten days to two weeks. Only on rare occasions does my condition require the application of the drug. I will continue to treat with you with the full expectation of eventually being completely free of the itch. The scabrous lesions may well be permanent, but I can live with that.

I value your kind and clear instruction. Moreover, I appreciate your compassionate understanding.

Best wishes, Doug White, June 2009