WALTON NATHEALING CENTRE
車衞東中醫針灸治療養身中心
Dr. Walton Che
車衛東髙級中醫師
              
                                 Testimonial from a patient with Pulmonary Hypertension


I am a 32 year old mother of a two year old girl. Until a couple of years ago, I lived a fairly ordinary life.
Sure, I was less active after the birth of my daughter, but I figured it was just regular post partum. One
day in November 2009 I could not keep up walking with my mother. She was pushing the baby, stroller,
groceries and bags, but I was the one with the heart pounding gasping for breath. I realized something
was wrong. After dozens of medical tests and procedures I was diagnosed in February 2010 with severe
Idiopathic Arterial Pulmonary Hypertension, a rare disorder of narrowing of the pulmonary arteries. It
causes strain on the heart as it tries to pump blood through tightened blood vessels in the lungs. Western
medicine has no cure for the disease and most PH patients die within 2-5 years, usually of heart failure.
The cause of my condition is unknown.

Throughout the course of 2010 my condition declined despite having started treatment on Bosentan, a
$4000/month designer drug. I would suffer from exhaustion in the evenings, have digestive issues, spells
of lightheadedness and had four trips to the E.R. I was starting to occasionally have trouble walking on
level ground.

In September 2010 a family trip landed me in the hospital again. I was started on Sidenafil, a second oral
medication (a.k.a. Viagra, a common treatment for PH). I was running out of options as I had tried all the
oral medications. If Sidenifil didn’t work for me, I would need to consider invasive IV medications such
as Flolan, the current gold standard for PH treatment, which involved implanting an open IV line to the
heart and wearing a pump 24/7 to constantly supply the drug to my bloodstream.

Shortly after my hospital admission, I started seeing Dr. Che. I was having trouble getting in and out of
the car. An echocardiogram showed that my pulmonary pressures were at RVSP = 83 mms/Hg, close to
three times the normal limit. During my first session, Dr. Che performed acupuncture. During the
treatment, inexplicably I felt an egg sized lump form in my chest at the base of my throat, and then
disappear. Dr. Che said the lump was a blockage of Chi that was cleared by his treatment. Amazingly,
after about 2 weeks of treatment, I had improved to the point where I could walk around the block
carrying two bags of groceries without symptoms!

Through the winter, I continued to see Dr. Che three times a week in addition to my Western.medications.
I took Chinese herbs twice each day and had acupuncture treatments three times a week. Along with his
treatment of my Pulmonary Hypertension, Dr. Che treated numerous minor discomforts such as sore
throat, plugged sinuses and back pain. Often I felt the results immediately after the acupuncture treatment.
His natural approach was greatly appreciated as I couldn’t take many cold medicines due to interactions
with my Western drugs.

In February 2011, I was tested again and my RVSP had improved to 69 mms/Hg. My heart function had
returned to normal and my heart was remodeling itself to a normal size and shape. My PH was
downgraded from severe to moderate. I could go shopping in the evenings again, cook and do light chores
again and I was recently able to return to work part time. Although I still have a way to go before I can do
sports and hiking again, I look forward to continuing to improve in the coming months. I was impressed
at how Dr. Che was able to combine TCM treatment with my Western treatments and I am grateful to
have my life back and hope for the future.
                                                                                                                          

                                                                                         W.L

[Update Oct 16, 2011 ]



It’s been a little over a year since I first started seeing Dr. Che and although I am still far from normal, I
have made much progress.

On July 19, 2011 I was tested again at the hospital. My RVSP had improved to 65 mm/Hg. My heart
function was still normal. I could walk 550m in the 6 minute walk test (a measure of how far you can
walk in 6 minutes), an improvement of 10% over my previous score and past the normal threshold of
500m.

In addition to this, over the past 6 months, Dr. Che has been treating my hypothyroidism.

I was examined by an endocrinologist on March 30, 2011 and was diagnosed with autoimmune thyroiditis
because of a strongly positive anti-TPO antibody, thyroid ultrasound results and history of primary
hypothyroidism. I was put on levothyroxine shortly during my pregnancy in mid 2008 and was told I
would need to take the drug for the rest of my life. My dosage started at 50 mcg a day and increased
gradually over a period of 3 years to a maximum dosage of 100 mcg a day.

Over the next 6 months, Dr. Che treated my hypothyroidism with acupuncture and Chinese herbs. His
first accomplishment was getting my TSH level within the normal threshold for the first time since I was
first diagnosed. Then slowly, while being monitored by monthly TSH blood tests, I reduced the dosage of
my levothyroxine, from 100mcg, to 75 mcg, then 50mcg, then 25 mcg and finally stopped the medication
completely. I have currently been off the medication for 2 months. My blood work is not yet back in the
normal range, but it has never dropped out of the range of clinical hypothyroidism and my levels have been
creeping towards normal every month.

My GP says she has no idea how the acupuncture and herbs work, but to continue it because whatever I’
m doing seems to be working. She said she was surprised to see how my bloodwork has been improving
every month because she knows of nothing in western medicine that can “cure” a person of
hypothyrodism.

I do think it will take some time to unravel all my health problems, but I am steadily making progress. Last
year, I was near death and was in the ER four times. This year, I still occasionally experience symptoms,
but am happy to report I haven’t been to the ER once in 2011. Last year, I only had invasive IV
medications to look forward to and a lung transplant (if I was able to survive long enough to receive it).
This year I’ve come off of one of my four medications and look forward to getting
better.                                                                          
                                                                                                        
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