The Story of DOS (October 14, 2014)
To clarify here a bit, I'm talking about a cat, not the computer interface. DOS was an extraordinarily friendly brown tabby cat who lived with me for many years. You might have met him hanging around my former office, trying to wheedle a little extra petting from the patients. When I temporarily moved out west to get a master's degree in acupuncture and oriental medicine, he left Nashville with me but since I couldn't keep him with me (I was living in one rented room after another with all kinds of California crazies, but that's another story) he actually stayed with my elderly widowed mother, who adored him and prized his company.
One day he couldn’t get up from his little cat bed -- his back legs had suddenly stopped working. Meowing frantically, my mother carried him to the vet (DOS was doing the meowing, sorry, not my mom), where she was told that he had neuropathy in his back legs and that nothing could be done about it.
Although I was just a lowly student and still very nervous about sticking anyone or anything with needles, I figured we had nothing to lose. So I totally winged it with what knowledge I had and gave him an acupuncture treatment. Immediately after his first treatment he got up rather unsteadily and wobbled around for a few hours until his legs got the idea again. He was fine for about three weeks after that, and when the weakness came back I gave him another treatment and he was ok again for a while.
He had no other health issues than the slow decline from kidney failure that occurs in most elderly cats, and although the acupuncture worked less well as time passed, he was always able to get around well enough to get to the litterbox on his own, an essential ability for any cat. When we finally had him put to sleep it was well over a year after that first episode and it was for a condition unrelated to his leg weakness.
For most of us, our first impulse is to seek conventional medical treatment. Then when that fails we seek alternatives and are often vilified for doing so, as though it would be better just to give up. I think that anyone who finds him or herself in that particular place should think FIRST of Chinese medicine, because of its long history of efficacy and its sheer power, and I think that DOS (and my mother, who passed away earlier this year) would agree with me.
--dr. diane holmes
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