“As a child I had always been a rather clumsy one. Every so often I would trip over myself. Other than the occasional fall, I lived a pretty normal life growing up. Although bad in sports, I had no problem playing badminton. I could jog, I went for National Service, I had fun. Nobody suspected anything – I was just thought to be clumsy, that’s all. Life was normal well into early adulthood. Like most young adults I graduated from university, got a job, and was looking forward to living life to its fullest.
A few months before turning 30, however, I was suddenly falling down more often than usual. I was falling down a few times a month. I had thought that it was due to my weakened ankles from all the random falling and spraining since childhood – nothing foot and ankle surgery wouldn’t be able to correct. I went to a GP for a start. He did some physical examinations, observed my gait, and finally referred me to a neurologist. Long story short, after a series of tests and examinations by a neurologist, I was diagnosed with CMT, short for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
CMT is a group of inherited disorders that cause nerve damage mainly to the peripheral nerves, in the arms and legs. Symptoms include weakness in the legs, ankles and feet, curled toes and difficulty lifting the foot at the ankle (footdrop), causing decreased ability to run and frequent tripping or falling. It is sometimes accompanied by pain, although the severity of pain varies from person to person. CMT is also progressive, meaning it gets worse with time. As CMT is a genetic condition, I was reminded each time I visited the neurologist that there is no cure. I was not prescribed any treatment nor medication following the diagnosis. Though I was supposed to go for periodical follow-up consultations, eventually I stopped going. Since then my condition gradually deteriorated. Walking became increasingly difficult and my hands gradually lost strength. It was the lowest point of my life.
It was at that time that an ex-colleague of mine who got to know of my plight recommended me to HAN Neuro Acupuncture & Herbal Specialists. She and her family has had good experience with treatment for various conditions at HAN Neuro Specialists, so she thought that I would benefit from giving acupuncture a try.
Under the leadership of Miss Tham, HAN Neuro Specialists consist of a group of young professionals who are passionate in what they do and who genuinely care about the wellbeing of their patients. Since undergoing treatment at HAN Neuro Specialists, I am able to regain some sense of stability when walking.
Where I previously had really bad footdrop, I am now increasingly able to lift my feet at the ankle. I fall down significantly fewer times, and instances of pain have become a somewhat rare occurrence. Throughout it all, Miss Tham reassured me constantly that my condition can be treated. That reassurance means a lot and gives hope to someone who has been told again and again that “Nothing can be done, there is no cure for CMT”. Although full recovery may still be a ways away, I am confident that under Miss Tham’s care my condition will only get better. Above it all, treatment at HAN Neuro Specialists has made CMT more manageable for me. I am now hopeful that the day will come when I can finally run and play badminton again.