Next, this same young man who had gotten ill in his early teens – the inspiration for the Autoimmune Families Community – regained his health, hard-won, through a healing-based approach that included acupuncture, healthy diet, key supplemental support, sustained determination, and stunning resiliency. He regained his strength, muscle mass, and stamina. He made co-captain of his baseball team, for whom he was now the starting pitcher. Then he got struck by a line-drive return of his fastball – a blow at over 100 mph directly into his skull. He suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that nearly killed him twice, since the first surgeon made the wrong call and sent him home, despite an increasing hematoma. After a grand mal seizure and post-seizure trauma that nearly killed him a second time, a different surgeon removed the hematoma, and the healing process of the remaining skull fracture and serious contusion could now begin. He was given a long-term prognosis of probable full recovery, along with a prescription to give it “time.” Yet we knew we needed more than just time on our side. Our acupuncturist was able to come into the hospital and start his treatment right away. That early intervention, coupled with what we’d already learned from our functional medicine education and could apply from that protocol, enabled us to engage support right away to help him recover and start to rebuild his life. Again.
Unlike most people with autoimmune disease who suffer a TBI, he did not go into a flare.
Three months later, this same young man headed off to college. I’m not going to claim that was easy, nor that he felt fully like himself, nor that he was able to move forward solely on the basis of his acupuncture treatments. But we do know that acupuncture played a role in his healing process, and helped enable him to go forward with his life. The neurologists were impressed with the speed of his improvement. And they should be. He continues forward even now. His journey of recovery from the TBI isn’t over, nor is it with his autoimmune disease. But he’s living his life, learning to manage his health independently, and experiencing joy. Wow. All hands to the pump when that’s possible, and acupuncture is absolutely one of those hands in our very real experience.