How Is A 91 Years Old Veteran Still Healthy Mentally And Physically?
Mr. Woolfgang was born in the Boston area. He joined the military after World War II when he was 17 years old. His job was to drive around visiting Japanese scientists’ right after the United States of America occupied Japan. He was so brave that he did not even carry a gun. He served for one year right after World War II, then came back to Boston College to finish his engineering degree for free. After he graduated from Boston College, he joined the United States Air Force and flew jets and commercial airplanes for over 15 years. He never had depression, anxiety or panic attack. He drank two cups of coffee during the day and was able to stay calm even when he had to jump out of the airplane in Rhode Island once after the airplane engine developed some problems. When he first got out of the airplane, his parachute did not open. He stayed very calm, went through the procedure on how to operate the parachute, and was able to land in the Atlantic Ocean successfully. He later told his acupuncturist that he did not drink any coffee that morning, which made him even calmer. He was not a very healthy eater when he was young, but he never over-indulged in anything because of his military training. He goes to bed early and gets up early. He loves a high salt and sugar diet and his two cups of coffee in the morning. He had been quite healthy until he reached 80 years old.
At the age of 80 years old, he was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AF) and osteoarthritis in Newton Wellesley Hospital. His cardiologist prescribed a beta blocker, blood thinner and high blood pressure medication as a routine treatment for AF. He took the medications for a few months; his heart rate became slower but still irregular. He gradually noticed that his right knee pain got worse and both his hands became more swollen. His hands were less swollen in the morning before he started taking the medications. His fingers could not straighten up by the late afternoon, due to swelling in his hand joints. Once, while he was waiting for his arthritis specialist in Needham clinic, one of the patients in the waiting room recommended that he visit an acupuncturist in Needham. He has been an open-minded pilot and always willing to try something new. Although he lives far away from Needham, in downtown Boston, he was determined to reduce his knee pain and maintain his good health so that he can take care of his wife and serve his church.
He started acupuncture at the age of 80 years old to reduce his right knee pain. He came to our clinic in Needham for 10 times once a week, and his knee pain got much better. He only had stiffness when he went up and down stairs. Then his acupuncturist in Needham decided to help him with AF with his once a month acupuncture visit in Needham. He was told to cut down his coffee to one cup or decaffeinated coffee. Initially, he said that his cardiologist did not think AF is related with coffee. His acupuncturist gave him two choices: continue to drink coffee, then install a pacemaker with blood thinner forever or change his habit and avoid the pacemaker. Mr. Woolfgan decided to change and started drinking decaffeinated coffee when he turned to 87 years old. After a few months of acupuncture treatments in Needham, his heart rate became very regular and dropped to 50. When he went back to his cardiologist in Newton Wellesley Hospital, he was told that he could stop his blood thinner and cut down his beta-blocker dosage to half so his heart rate could stay between 60 and 70. His cardiologist told Mr. Woofgan that he is the only patient who was able to stop the blood thinner during his over 30 year of practice. Mr. Woolfgan noticed that once he cut down his beta blocker, his hand swelling was much less. He was able to grab his golf club much better, and his wrist pain level was reduced dramatically.
At the age of 86, Mr. Woolfgan decided to have knee replacement surgery even though he had no knee pain, only stiffness when he went up and down the stairs. He was told by his orthopedic surgeon in Boston Medical Center that his artificial knee would make him walk better. His acupuncturist in Needham told him that, if you have no knee pain and are able to walk around without pain, please do not have knee surgery. He strongly believed his famous orthopedic surgeon in Boston and had knee surgery done at the age of 87. After his knee surgery, his right knee was swollen like a balloon and formed an angle that he could hardly bend. His orthopedic surgeon had to inject anesthetic, then two nurses had to hold his leg to straighten up his right knee. The pain was excruciating during the procedure, and he almost passed out. The angle of his right knee was reduced after this painful procedure, and his brain became super-sensitive to any kind of pain after this brutal procedure. However, because he is a tough man, he continued with his acupuncture treatment in Needham and went to the gym every day to exercise his leg muscles. The knee pain eventually went away, but the right knee still cannot straighten up completely. When his acupuncturist asked him if he wants to have another knee replacement in his left knee, the answer is no.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Woolfgan and his wife were locked up in his independent living place in downtown Boston, so he stopped acupuncture treatment in Needham for three months. As soon as the lock down order was released, he came back to his acupuncture treatment once a month. Now that he is almost 92 years old, he still has a sharp memory and can walk without a cane. He is six feet four inches tall and has not shrunk one single inch. Recently, he developed dizziness when he got up too fast or stood singing in the church. His acupuncturist told him to ask his cardiologist in Boston to adjust his medication. He cut down his beta blocker further, and his dizziness went away. Slight changes he made when he reached 90 years old included going back to his regular coffee sometimes. His heart rate stayed around 60, but the irregular heartbeats came back whenever he drank regular coffee. His acupuncturist can always tell if he has drunk decaffeinated or regular coffee. He also started drinking tea and more water because he had two surgeries to remove a malignant tumor in his bladder. His acupuncturist told him that, if he did not want to have a third surgery for his bladder, he should drink more water to cleanse his bladder.
In this case, Mr. Woolfgan was able to change his 80-year habit of drinking regular coffee that could have resulted in his need to have pace maker. The surgery is always risky because, when you cut open the skin and muscles for a 90-years-old person, his immune function will be compromised, so that he can develop various kinds of other diseases. Our 91-years-old veteran has been very disciplined and has been able to exercise and sleep regularly. That is why he is healthy mentally and physically. Furthermore, Mr. Woolfgan still has fairly good vision without macular degeneration or glaucoma at his age because he was never a fan of eating too much nuts and spicy food, and he cut down his salt and sugar intake after his acupuncturist recommended him to do so.