Acupuncture-The Other White Meat
Don’t ask me where that title came from. It popped into my head out of nowhere and insists on staying there, so stay it will.
So, it has been one week since I restarted Acupuncture treatments in earnest, and have hesitated posting about them because I keep waiting for the setback to happen. But, I suppose it’s time to tell my story.
My first experience with Acupuncture came about 5 weeks ago, when I was better, but not really. I had plateaued in my recovery, my insurance company had kicked me out of PT, and I was managing to get through my days with gritted teeth. I had even begun to walk a bit more, and felt that I was climbing at a snails pace toward betterness. That’s when I went to Acupuncture the first time. I told you all about it in this post. The very next day, I experienced my massive setback which led to the MRI and pain meds, yadda yadda yadda.
So here I was, four weeks later, and reentering the realm of Acupuncture as recommended by my Doctor. Meds have kept me functional, but no one, including my PT, seemed to be able to understand why I wasn’t improving. So off to the Needle Man I went last Tuesday, frightened to death of another setback, but very nearly at the end of my proverbial rope. I explained what had happened to me last time I had a treatment. He cringed a little and said, “Yeah…I think I did that to you.” He had warned me at that first appointment that things might get worse before they improved, however, being a skeptic, I really thought my setback had everything to do with my overdoing it, not with those little pins he had stuck in me. Apparently there is something called a “Healing Crisis.” You can read about it here. This is what I believe happened to me. And of course, in my panic, I left Acupuncture behind (not thinking I could even SIT through an hour long treatment) and went the way of pain meds and more tests.
So, after explaining that the same thing could happen again, but should it, I was to return to him immediately for more treatments, we forged ahead with my first of a series of treatments last Tuesday. Pins in, I tried to relax. Within ten minutes my body started twitching. First a little twitch in the bottom of my foot where the nerve usually shoots out. Then my thigh, then my other calf, then my butt cheek…then my face cheek, then my stomach…soon I felt like every muscle in my body was twitching. It was a tad unsettling, but my Needle Man assured me it was a VERY good sign.
I woke up Wednesday with the usual stiffness and shooting nerve pain, nothing worse, and by Noon it left me. It did not come back. Not that day. Not Thursday. Not Friday. I had another treatment Friday. I wanted to kiss his feet! More twitching, though less than the time before.
The nerve pain did not return Saturday, nor through the day Sunday. I even dropped my afternoon doses of pain meds Saturday and Sunday, did a little shopping, did a little vacuuming, pretended for the weekend that I was a normal person. And the pain returned Sunday night full on.
I was discouraged, but not surprised. I woke Monday with a quiet settled nerve once again. At this, I WAS surprised.
Then Monday’s treatment…he says my body is re-learning how to heal itself. And he says flare-ups will happen throughout the process but each flare-up should be less intense and last a shorter amount of time. He likened it to a Rubiks Cube. The first time is extremely difficult, nearly impossible. But each successive attempt is easier and easier. Your body recognizes the problem, says, “I’ve seen this before—I know how to deal with this.” And it does.
Today is Tuesday, and I am virtually pain free. Every now and then the bottom of my foot wants to pinch, but I am taking it as a little reminder not to vacuum. Maybe next week I will make an attempt to wean off those pain meds again.
The skeptic in me keeps waiting for the treatment failure…for the day I can say, “See…it didn’t work.”
But the new believer in me is amazed at this wonder treatment that has begun to give me my life back, and has me wanting to run out and begin Acupuncturist Training so I can bring this miracle to the masses.
I will keep you posted. In the meantime, I am off to continue balancing my Qi, one day at a time.