I am responding to your study of Dr. Yee Wing Tong, M.D.
Medicare has paid hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars to various doctors and hospitals, and even to one hospice in Norwalk, CA due to my illness of Osler-Webber Rondue and related illnesses. The doctors at Kaiser Hospital in Bellflower after many tests and surgeries and a very long time in I.C.U. told my parents and myself that I was going to die, and the best place for me was in a hospice so they transferred me by ambulance there. After I felt a little better my parents and I talked. I told my Dr. Alie, head of hematology and oncology that I was not ready to die and that I wanted to leave the hospice, he said he thought that it was a very stupid thing to do, and after a lot of talking he said that I would have to sign a form stating that it was against medical advice, before I could leave! Then about 2 months later I had what the doctors said was an abscess on my left upper leg. After tests and the scheduled surgery the orthopedic surgeon Dr. John Chew said I would be in the hospital for a day or two. I spent 47 days in the hospital, saw 4 different doctors, more tests and surgeries, all at Medicare expense! Now I find a great doctor and his treatments work. You call it unconventional, but it works. I would recommend him to anyone that has a real problem and wants to get better. I would appreciate you not bothering me again. I am very lucky I found Dr. Tong. He never shies away from a problem.
This morning at 9:13 AM, January 6th 1993. Mr. David Jacobs from the Medicare Integrity unit came to my house, without an appointment, he asked me many questions about my doctor. Evidently he was not satisfied with my answers and then he started to tell me what to say. I refused and asked him to leave. He then told me that he could have my Medicare benefits suspended if I refuse to cooperate in his investigation! He said the treatments are unconventional and relief is very short at best.
Dear Dr. Tong:
You can see by this letterhead that I am a long way from home. I came to see you because of the excruciating pain in my back, resulting from Scoliosis. I was at the end of my wits in seeking relief.
I contracted polio in July of 1950. I resided then, as now, in Brownfield, Texas. When the polio was diagnosed I was sent by my local Doctor to the West Texas Polio Clinic in Plainview, Texas. I was at one time completely paralyzed in all of my limbs. I spent a month in an iron lung. I recovered sufficiently to be able to walk; however my right arm was completely useless, and my left leg very weak and unstable. I was almost unable to use my left leg at that time. I was discharged from the polio center in Plainview. In an effort to obtain some sort of help for my physical condition I went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. I did not receive any help, or a promise of any help there.
Subsequently I contacted a Dr. Duncan McKeever in Houston, Texas, and he performed several surgical procedures, which did help me to walk better. I was able, with help, to raise my two children (a boy 6, and a girl 3) at the time when my polio illness struck me down, and was able (with help) to live a fairly normal life.
My physical abilities did go downhill later, and in September of 1985 I began to have bad back pain, diagnosed later as an offshoot of the scoliosis, a result of the polio illness. I continued to have increasing pain in my back.
I then contacted the orthopedic section of the Texas Tech University Medical School in Lubbock, Texas. They referred me to the pain center of that school. The head of that center, Dr. Gabor Racz, treated me with facet blocks from the time of referral (1989) and was successful in giving me several periods of fairly good pain relief. These injections helped my back pain until the Spring of 1991, and beginning from that time (Spring of 1991) until October of 1991 a series of Four (4) such treatments failed to give any relief. By this tine the pain was so unbearable that I began to search for some relief in the medical community.
I contacted a Dr. Regan with the Texas Back Institute in Dallas, Texas, and after an examination suggested a surgical procedure to me. I decided to seek another opinion, and was examined by a Dr. Leon Lawson with the Carrell Clinic in Dallas, Texas, and his recommendation was “no surgery under any circumstances at this time.”
I then went to see, and was examined by Dr. Dickson, Baylor Medical Orthopedic Section Head, who would not make any recommendation that surgery would help relieve my pain.
At this point my back pain was so bad it was almost unbearable. I was almost frantic for relief. I was confused at the results of my search for relief.
An attorney friend of my husband’s, a Mr. Steve Haley of Seminole, Texas, had told my husband of his experience in receiving relief from back pain by you several years ago. I then called your office and was able to talk with you. As a result of that conversation we came to California to see you. I was examined and treated by your methods from February 21, 1992 to March 30, 1992. As a result I have received relief to approximately 50% to 60%. I find my life hearable at this point by taking a mild pain relief medication. Before nothing would relieve the excruciating pain.
I have now returned for further treatment and anticipate a more thorough relief from the current treatment. No one else has ever even offered to give me any relief from what was an unbearable, excruciating pain in my lower back.
After further treatment, I now feel my pain relief to be about 70-80% relieved.
LEUKOPENIA, CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME, FAILED SINUS SURGERIES
In May of 1983 I came down with a strange illness. One day I was in tremendous physical and mental health-strong as a bull–and the next morning I was so weak I couldn’t function at all. The symptoms were migraine headaches, numbness of the head, severe dizziness, photophobia, nausea, vomiting, memory loss, lack of concentration, a sense of not where I was, severe pain throughout my body, fainting spells, severe anxiety attacks, severe fatigue, and then depression came along.
I had seen a total of 24 doctors from family doctors to ENT doctors, neurological doctors, gastroentological doctors, the UCLA Pain Clinic, and psychological doctors. Not one of them could diagnose this ailment. There were 5 doctors who believed it was a psychological problem but I knew otherwise. In these 9 years I had 10 surgery procedures which didn’t seem to help.
In 1986 I saw one ENT doctor who also thought it was a psychological problem. After five unsuccessful left sinus surgeries, the doctor who performed the surgeries wanted me to see the ENT doctor I had seen in 1986. I agreed to see him once again, and he diagnosed me with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and severe Fibromyalgia. I believed this doctor would not have diagnosed me with CFS if he did not come down with it himself. In October of 1991 I was invited to a support group meeting in Los Angeles. On this “godsend” day Dr. Yee Wing Tong was lecturing on CFS. After the lecture I talked to him and to some of the people who he had treated for this strange illness. They encouraged me to make an appointment. I first saw Dr. Tong on October 31 and I currently still see him. His healing process was relatively slow in the beginning, but in the month of June of the following year, I have seen much improvement of my whole being physically, mentally, and spiritually. I truly believe that I will beat this disease with Dr. Tong’s treatments in time. In my previous blood workup CBC and other tests, my white blood count was dangerously low-so low that is was then diagnosed with the benign form of lymphoma. The last test’s white blood count was in the normal range with no diagnosis of lymphoma. Without Dr. Tong’s treatments I would be spending a lot of my day in bed being like a vegetable, so tired and very sick.
I thank the Lord for sending me to that support group meeting. May God continue to bless Dr. Tong and his wonderful staff. His work must continue.
Fibromyalgia, Hashimotos, Migraines
This letter is in response to your review of my treatment by Dr. Y.W. Tong. I went to Dr. Tong because I was in constant pain. For over then years, I was having debilitating migraines, muscle spasms and unable to sleep because of pervasive pain. I have been diagnosed by my physicians with Hashimotos and Fibromyalgia. I have had thyroid surgery in 1985 (my antibodies are still test high).
In order to alleviate my pain I have tried muscle relaxers, tranquilizers, pain medications, chiropractic and orthopedic doctors, and physical therapy with the usual side-effects and little in lasting results or pain relief. My condition was not improving. My life was controlled by pain. I was not able to continue any exercise without pain and bruising. I was going to a chiropractor and/or physical therapy every week. I have had orthopedic surgery on my foot in order to alleviate pain. It was ineffective. My right knee was going to be next. In addition, the medications I tried gave poor results, plus adverse side-effects involving poor kidney function. The costs were getting prohibitive.
After my first treatment with Dr. Tong, (anesthetic injections into trigger-points) my muscle spasms stopped. I was able to sleep without interruption from pain or spasms. In continuing the therapy, my migraines became further apart, less intense, and shorter in duration. Instead of a debilitating migraine every week, I now go for several months without a symptom. An additional benefit is that my bruising has noticeably lessened, my kidney function improved, as my other doctors have observed, as well as improvements in circulation and healing. Overall, my pain is relieved from Dr. Tong’s treatments.
Furthermore, because of my treatment by Dr. Tong I have discontinued physical and chiropractic therapy and don’t feel the need for knee surgery. I have also had major changes in medications. I no longer take Naprosyn, Voltaren, Flexeril, Fiorinal, Midrin, Ergostat, Ceftin, Vicodin; decreased are estrogens, synthroid and capoten.
Other therapeutic measures have been grossly inadequate for controlling my pain, muscle spasms and inflammation. No other therapy has allowed my pain-free rest, enabling me to heal and keeping me from getting progressively worse. I am able to moderately exercise and not experience the extreme pain and discomfort I had prior to my treatments.
I feel that not continuing this therapy would adversely affect the quality of life and interrupt my improvement. My primary care physicians will confirm this as well. I am enclosing a synopsis of an article from the American Academy of Pain Management (94), to that further explains the benefits of Dr. Tong’s treatments.
Due to the relief from pain and stress I have been able to achieve through this therapy, it is my request that your consideration be favorable in your assessment of my case. If you need a more detailed medical history please let me know.
TORTICOLLIS TORSION DYSTONIA, HEART PROBLEMS
Dear Dr. Tong:
This letter is in response to your statement that my case is one that will be reviewed by Medicare evaluators. This letter is to explain from a patients point-of-view what your treatment has done to restore more function to me.
In my thirty years of practice as an Occupational Therapist, I specialized in working to re-establish motion with stroke patients and in this pursuit explored many techniques to relieve pain. The neurological condition I have, has many neurological factors as seen in CVA stroke patients. The medical profession offered only one established medication for my diagnosed condition. The neurologists stated they would work with me on anything found in medical literature that might help. This condition is most unusual, because of the reverberating tendon bone pain that has little reference literature.
My tendon bone pain begins only after awakening from sleep. Sleep induces the paroxysmal torsion dystonia and only then does the tendon bone pain begin.
You have intervened in this unusual reverberating tendon bone pain. You decreased the dystonia and therefore the tendon bone pain. The damage done by these neurological forces has been relieved by you that I am able to see increased ability to function in my daily life. In addition, my heart problems that developed according to my cardiologist from continuous low grade pain has been successfully treated by you so that the beat is now normal with no medication, and no further narrowing of the carotid arteries.
The cost of my weekly trip to you is great on my limited fixed income. The trip requires an extra day. It averages eight hours depending on the timeliness of the buses, Coaster, and train. The relief and gains that I have received from your treatment has made the trip and my financial allocation worthwhile.
The gains that I have made have been noticed by persons who have seen me before and after your care. The surprise that is expressed by others include remarks that involve the release of the stressed face muscles, posture, walk, and speech.
The annals of medicine have nothing to offer equivalent to those benefits of your treatments. The traditional VA medical community rejected treating my symptoms so that the condition progressed to being irreversible. Their private neurologist worked then with strong drugs to reverse the process and encouraged me to explore alternative care.
My vascular surgeon has been amazed at the decrease in his 1991 by-pass surgery scarring since you began your treatment. Those surface scar improvements are visual testimony of the interval scarring that is decreasing. The right ankle is noticeably improved. The medical specialist tests of carotid Doppler study, EKG and treadmill tests are further evidence to the internal gains.
The meniscus tear of the right knee diagnosed in 1990 started during sleep torsion dystonia. It is healing under your treatment so that surgery should be unnecessary. The external rotation of the fully extended leg of the sleep torsion began in 1984 has discontinued during your treatment. The damage to the plantar fascia from this tortuous extension required a prosthetic arch support. The fasciitis of the right foot is normalizing under your continuing care. The complication of the vein problem over the top of the first metatarsal bone makes it imperative that my arches be strong since orthopedic type shoes can not be worn.
Cortical brain activity has improved under your treatment in that my language skills are more available to me, my visual tracking for reading has improved, and writing is more fluent. Much of the improvement I relate to the decrease in the residual daytime pain that has come about from your treatment methods.
The rotation of the spine in sleep and the residual daytime tendon bone pain has decreased under yourcare. The previous damage of the vertebra is well established in x-rays and bone scan subluxation of C4,5, and 6, TS, lateral scoliosis from T10 to L3,4, and 5; and stenosis at L4 and 5. The torsion is not controlled yet so that I am in jeopardy each night I sleep. That risk I reduce by sleeping in the modified recliner chair part of the night.
Dr. Tong, you said if I had been able to come three times a week from the start, I would have had faster gains. I could not afford the travel on this limited fixed income. The benefits have accrued slowly, and I am thankful for each correction of tone that occurs by the treatment that you give. Your treatments have prevented a second heart surgery, and provided relief of constant pain.
I would be happy to be available to further any understanding of my status that the Medicare evaluators wishes regarding my perception of the benefits received from your treatment and the money it has saved Medicare.
HIATAL HERNIA, NEUROMA, CHRONIC FATIGUE
I thank God for a meeting of Dr. Tong and my youngest son in Acupuncture Herb class. My son was so impressed with Dr. Tong that he encouraged me to seek treatment with him last summer by giving me a copy of the Dr.’s newsletter.
At the time I belonged to an H.M.O. which did not accept Acupuncture anymore, although they had at one time if they were an M.D. I knew Dr. Tong was an M.D. and had called my H.M.O. about, and they would not accept. Then I turned 65 this past year and inquired about Medicare’s acceptance and was told it was O.K. I was familiar with acupuncture, but not Dr. Tong’s nerve block. By this time I had become so depressed with pain and medications that friends thought I vas being anti-social. They were concerned, as was my family. I had told my Allergist, who was treating me for environmental allergies and tested me for food allergies, that I thought everyone should die at 65. He thought I was kidding, I’m sure. He was so amazed at the change in me when I visited him after 2 treatments with Dr. Tong that he encouraged me to go on.
In order to get me there my son had driven up from Capistrano, I’m sure he thought I would back out, and taken me himself for the 1st treatment. Up to this time I had been taking various medications for pain and spasms that I really did not feel safe driving at busy times of day, and my activities were very curtailed, except for the essentials of groceries etc. I was very impressed with Dr.’s staff and their efficiency and friendliness. Then when I met Dr. Tong, with his ready smile, I was immediately impressed and at ease. He began by diagnosing a 33 yr. old chronic ailment which I felt was a “pinched nerve” from the removal of a non-malignant breast tumor surgery. It had been diagnosed by our Family Dr. and my GYN as related pain from a hiatal or diaphragmatic hernia, which was found in XRAY. Dr. Tong injected the area with his NERVE BLOCK, and miraculously the spasms left. At that point I had reached the point of taking antiacids which were prescription, but the spasms had persisted, and I had to take medication for that, and for sleeping, and was on a limited diet for the hernia and the food allergies.
At the age of 45 I had undergone an emergency hysterectomy followed by abscess and Vein Stripping, which vas not very successful, had become used to drinking hot water for breakfast and only water with my meals, and was very tired of hospitals.
Then began a syndrome of Neuromas in my left foot, accompanied by inflammation in the neck area following a fall down a stairway and over a few things during which I had suffered a fracture in the left foot. That was diagnosed as hairline. Then came the cortisone injections and medication and exercises in the shower–I finally got into the Jacuzzi and steam bit with the chronic pain persisting. That is when I went to a chiropractor whose treatment was long and drawn out because it resulted in irritating the hernia and pinched nerve and I was put on his “stretching machine”.
Then it was back to the Family Dr. for a diagnosis of the Neuroma in the left foot and referral to a Foot orthopedic Surgeon, the cortisone try again, and finally more surgery, followed by Staph infections for a year, crutches, and back to the arthritis syndrome, along with irritation of the stomach. I just did not realize the pain connected with foot surgery, but I could walk again and do some gardening and drive. Then came another neuroma for which the cortisone was not tried again, but the podiatrist that I went to made a special insert for my shoe with a metatarcil support built in. It finally came to more surgery because the pain was unbearable–this time in his office with local anesthesia. This was much easier, but still the after effect of being off my feet or on crutches led back to the arthritis syndrome, Physical Therapy, Jacuzzi, until my GYN said that I had High Blood Pressure and couldn’t use the Jacuzzi; at which time I went back to the hydrocolater which you boil and use for a warm wrap –by this time my back was irritated from the showers.
Through an accidental treatment of what I thought might be a callous on the bottom of the same left foot, I brought it to Dr. Tong’s attention while he was treating me for my other “problems”. It appears to be another Neuroma, and Dr. Tong and I both agree–“No more surgery” Dr. Tong says “I will be dancing again–just to be able to not go through that whole surgery, P.T. arthritis syndrome again makes me think of dancing. All this thanks also to his Herb “pills”, I have been off of the heavy pain and stomach medications occasionally Tylenol or Ascriptin, sleeping much better, have a better diet etc — still taking my Estrogen and my favorite vitamins. and, you believe that I am typing this myself, all due, I’m sure to the Dr.’s NERVE BLOCK, and his excellent acupuncturist—Dr. Qi.
I still know there were a lot of prayers which led me this way, so God Bless YOU, DR. TONG, MEDICARE, AND MY YOUNGEST SON for making this all possible.