Tuesday, November 13


On Monday morning I dropped in on the Integrated Care Division for my first acupuncture appointment. I have never looked into, or done any research on what acupuncture is or does. So I was fairly oblivious as to what was going to happen.

I signed in and they had me fill out paperwork and pay for the event. Then they called me back to another room and there was a table. I sat there for a bit and then a little Chinese woman (Dr. Lui? Liu? Lu?) came in and started talking to me. Her accent was really, really thick. (I told Lisa, who doesn't do too well with accents, that she would not have understood the Dr.) She asked where the pain was and what else I had been sent there for. I told her generally where the pain is located and my goal was to get off the painkillers I was on plus the anti-nausea meds as well. She nodded and then had me lay down on the table.

She had a small metal probe that she used to poke me in several places from my ears, to my elbow, to my shin and my toes. When she poked me it generally hurt right away, or, it not, she'd shift it one way or another and then suddenly pain would explode from the location. Then she'd mark the spot with a marker. Then came the "fun" part.

She showed me the needles. Little tiny metal shards with larger plastic heads. She pulled them out of the sterile packaging and proceeded to plunge them into my body where the marks were. Two in each ear, one in each wrist, on in my right elbow, one in each shin, and then one in each big-toe. She'd push in the needle until my body jerked like someone was pulling on my muscles from the inside, and then she'd tap the top of the needle several times, and I'd jerk again in pain.

Then she left for twenty minutes.

I spent the first ten minutes lying there in the semi-darkened room trying to calm down enough to unclench my teeth. Then she returned and pulled out the needles, doing some little jerk twist at the end that kind of hurt. Most of the needle spots I didn't feel again, but the ones on my shins hurt for the rest of the day.

After she pulled out the needles she grabbed a cluster of stickers that looked like little tiny band-aide squares with black rocks stuck to the middle. She then applied these to my ears in the place(s) where the needles were and she told me I need to squeeze those spots 5-7 times a day. If it doesn't hurt it isn't working. Well, the rock stickers hurt almost all the time so when I go to squeeze those spots it ultimately almost becomes unbearable for the minute I have my hand clamped to my ear. Part of my wonders if this is going to do anything, or if it just keeps my mind off the other pain by supplying me with bigger pain somewhere else.

I have another appointment on Wednesday. We'll see if this starts to do anything.

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