I am writing this letter to you in an attempt to detail my 3 year battle with, as of today, a still undiagnosed stomach ailment. My ordeal will be in some detail and in chronologically correct order. My sole reason for writing this letter is to inform the medical profession of its existence and treatments in the hope that it may help some one else that may come down with a similar malady.
Chapter I. Let’s start from the beginning. My stomach pain first appeared on April 14th, 2008. I remember this date because I was in a motel room in Richmond, VA watching the NCAA men’s basketball national championship. As the game progressed, my stomach started hurting, and became progressively worse. In an attempt to explain where the pain was located I will give this description. If you were to spread out your hand and place your pinky finger in your navel, the area of pain would encompass my hand. The pain level, on a scale of 1 to 10, was about a 5 to 6. The pain was steady and there was no cramping that you would expect with an upset stomach or food poisoning. About 12 AM I thought I may be having a heart attach so I had the front desk call the EMT’s. They arrived several minutes later and ran the usual tests to determine if I was having a heart attack. No heart attack, but I was in atrial fibrillation with a heart rate of 125 beats per minute. They determined that the heart rate was at the level that I needed medical attention, so off to the emergency room I went. I spent the night in the emergency room plugged up to a heart monitor. I continued to experience the stomach pain all night and was given a pill for nausea, which did no good. About 8 AM the pain subsided and the cardiologist on call gave me an injection to jump start my heart back into a normal rhythm. I went to see my cardiologist in Suffolk the next day and he determined I was in almost constant atrial fibrillation and put me on a drug called amioderone to control the irregular heartbeat and also put me on Coumadin to protect me from possible blood clots. He told me that the pain was caused by my atrial fibula ion and would go away. As it turned out two were in no way connected. The pain continued every day. It would come on about 1 to 5 PM every day. The same place in my stomach and at the same pain level and I would endure the pain into the night. I would usually spend the night in my easy chair, taking Rolaids and other antacids, to no avail. Do to lack of sleep I would finally fall asleep about 3 to 4 in the morning. I would wake the next morning with no pain, only to have it come back the next day. If anyone has seen the movie “Groundhog Day” staring Bill Murray…this had become my life.
Chapter II-The long road to a cure. I went to see my primary physician and he prescribed different medications like muscle relaxers, painkillers, antacids, and nausea pills, to name a few. Nothing worked…until I had my car accident on July 4th weekend. I ended up in Obici Hospital banged up but nothing broken. I was given Percocet, a narcotic,
for the pain. After spending 3 days in the hospital, I realized that my stomach pain had disappeared. I had not connected the dots, and the day I went home the pain came back. I ended back in the emergency room with severe stomach pain and was given more Percocet. Within an hour the pain was gone. Eureka! I had not found the cure, but now I did have a band aid. For the next 2 ½ years my pain came on every day, and every day I took a Percocet, which in about one hour killed the pain until it came back the next day. I didn’t like taking narcotics, but it was the only thing that saved my sanity. For the next 2 ½ years my life went down hill, my social life, my married life, and my career. My “disease” had totally consumed my life, almost to the point of being not worth living. The support of my wife, family, and friends was the only thing that kept me going.
Chapter 3-The medical road to recovery. After no positive results from any treatments prescribed by my primary care physician, he sent me to Tidewater gastrointerologists for treatment. It is now well into 2009. I think they did every medical test at their disposal, including, MRIs, cat scans, x- rays, endoscopy, and a barrage of tests to see how my digestive system was working. No smoking gun. All the tests came back negative. They finally surmised that my gall bladder needed to be removed and this would solve all of my problems. I had the gall bladder taken out…to no avail. finally, after exhausting all of their resources, they recommended that I go to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, one of the best diagnostic hospitals in the country. The doctor I saw was the head of the gastroenterology department. My first visit was in July. He put me on gluten free diets, changed my medications, performed an endoscopy and colonoscopy, and did several blood tests. I went to him once a month for the next 6 months and the last time I saw him was in December 2009. He admitted that he had done all the tests he could think of, to no avail. He was basically waving the white flag. This was the low point of my 3 year ordeal. I had resigned myself to the fact that I would have to live with this pain for the rest of my life. All the king’s doctors and all the king’s men couldn’t make me well again. My biggest fear was that my body would build up a tolerance to the Percocet and I would have no way of fending off the pain For the next 8 months my life was a living hell.
Chapter IV-the miracle. In August of 2010 my Sister-in-Law, who lives in Italy, suggested that I go see an acupuncturist. I thought about this for some time. Over the last 2 ½ years I had endured every possible test and operations, to no avail. I knew nothing about acupuncture, or how it worked, but my sister-in-law was seeing one that she swore by for treating her arthritis. Since I had exhausted all other options, I decided to give it a try. Lynn, this is where you come in. My first visit to you was on October 11, 2010. You came highly regarded, so I came to see you. You made a statement that it took a long time to acquire this pain, and it was a possibility it would take a long time to get rid of it. Understanding that there was a high probability that your treatment would also fail, I was pessimistic, to say the least. But I believed in you. After a couple of months of treatments, and several different procedures, none of them seemed to work. You told me to stick with you and not to get discouraged, so I did. Your last procedure, utilizing silver threads connecting the needles, has literally changed my life. First, one day with no pain. I thought it was a fluke, so I didn’t get too exited. Then 2 days in a
row, then 4 days, then an entire week!! I have now been pain free for more than 70 days. Lynn, I don’t know how it works, and I don’t really care. This much I can tell you…You have given my life back to me. I enjoy life again and I look forward to a long and fruitful retirement. Every one from my wife, my kids, and my friends, say I’m the old Paul Owen they used to know. Thank you Lynn, from the bottom of my heart.
I am a nurse schooled in Western Medicine (with no experience in herbs or acupuncture) who has suffered since my teenage years with back pain.
Physical therapy, surgery, nerve blocks and oral medicines have brought no lasting relief. Three months ago I came to Lynn depressed and desperate. My pain management physician’s help only went so far. But from the first treatment on, I have felt more alive and have regained an interest in living (my garden hasn’t been this tidy in years). No, I cannot explain how or why acupuncture has this effect. But, I can feel the result, much less pain, more energy, better sleep (deeper and longer) and more interest in food. So, thank you Lynn, from my family and myself.
For Mother’s Day 2007 my son and daughter in law gave me Lynn Almloff’s card and money toward my first visit. On the day that I finally called for an appointment (it took me a while to get up the nerve) the pain in my neck, back, and limbs (from several unrelated accidents) was almost too much to bear.
Ms. Almloff listened to me and the explained her treatment plan for me. Her calm strength, her expert knowledge and practice of acupuncture, and her caring, encouraging manner have helped me heal emotionally and physically.
My treatments have greatly reduced my pain level. I have been undergoing acupuncture treatments for about six months and the amount of time the pain relief lasts has increased with each visit. At first I would feel better for an hour or two. Gradually, that relief would last a day or more. Then, it stretched to a week. At this time, Lynn decreased my visits from once a week to two a month. The pain relief began lasting longer. I wonder, sometimes, how I handled that pain without acupuncture.
Lynn, your calm, professional demeanor and expert technique has helped me return to a level of activity I thought I wouldn’t see again. Thank you!
Sincerely & with Love,
When I began acupuncture and TCM treatment with Lynn Almloff I was suffering with fibromyalgia, chronic neck pain, sciatica, restless leg syndrome leading to sleep deprivation and chronic fatigue.
After 2.5 months of weekly treatment I was able to discontinue medications for sleep and restless leg syndrome. I now sleep well and no longer suffer with restless leg syndrome. As a result I have twice the amount of energy than when I began treatment.
I no longer suffer with chronic neck pain, unless I have done an activity to aggravate my neck. The sciatica has gone away.
I have found that by following Lynn’s recommended treatment plan that I have enjoyed great results. However, missing treatments has resulted in a few setbacks that are resolved when I get back on track with my treatment schedule.
Acupuncture has greatly improved my overall health. I have a sense of well being as well. I have learned from Lynn that the mind body and spirit are all connected and that the body cannot be treated alone.
I was desperate to get rid of tendinitis, so I tried everything from traditional medicine to physical therapy, massage, chiropractic and acupuncture. In that case, nothing ever worked except time. After a couple of years, it just went away on it’s own thankfully.
That said, I loved trying out acupuncture. I’m can’t swear by it given that was my only experience, and it seems like it may work for some things better than others. But it’s a cool therapy to consider if you can open your mind (and wallet) to it.
Lynn Almloff was knowledgeable and professional and took time to get a thorough medical history and make sure I understood the how acupuncture worked. Her office is very clean, quiet and soothing. The treatments were very relaxing (the needles are not painful). She usually inserts the needles and has you rest with them about a half hour. After the treatment, it felt like all my energy was zapped, and I was ultra relaxed. Sometimes, I would go home and sleep it off even more. Not sure if that’s typical, but that was my experience.
If you are up for trying this out, I would recommend Almloff Acupuncture
Dr. Almloff is a true professional. She is extremely knowledgeable not only about acupuncture, but about diet, nutrition, and lifestyle changes as part of a broader approach to health. I can honestly say that she has been a thousand times more positively impactful for my health issues over the past 4-5 years than ANY other provider I have seen. She has provided me with true non-narcotic, non-medication pain relief for a chronic, degenerative condition. That is so very tremendous for my life. I would recommend her to anyone, for almost any condition. She will let you know if she can help you (and believe me, she probably can!!). She has been a lifesaver for me!!!