I still have endometriosis. But this time, no gory deets.
I will, however, share my experience of my first visit with an acupuncturist.
I saw a specialist a couple weeks ago to inquire about getting a laparoscopic surgery to remove all my shitty insides. He said I may be jumping the gun and to hold off for a bit. Which was kind of fine with me because I wasn't exactly chomping at the bit to have a tube rammed down my throat, while they stick Hoover accoutrement through my abdomen.
But in the meantime, I wanted to do something about my ongoing pain/ exhaustion/ general lackluster feeling. And I wanted to try something different from my usual Tylenol/ hot pack combo.
My friend Rachel had recommended an acupuncturist whom she'd heard great things about, who happened to specialize in conditions like mine. Since I didn't have anything to lose except some uterine lining (Hey-O! Snuck that one in there!), I gave him a call.
I had no idea what to expect and was a little nervous when it came down to the thought of actually paying someone to turn me into a pin-cushion.
Today was my visit.
The doctor I met with was very nice and soothing. He asked me a bunch of questions and listened to my answers, instead of rushing me out the door like some of the previous doctors I've had. After about 15 minutes of chatting, he handed me a gown and told me to change down to my undergarments and gown. I had no idea this is how shit went down at an acupuncture visit and I was glad I'd made sure to shave my legs that morning.
While I was lying on the exam table, in my hospital gown tied in back, I realized why his office was heated like a disco inferno. It's because people pretty much get naked. And if they're anything like me, their knees are knocking out of nervousness and their hands are clammy and their feet are so cold they're about to amputate themselves.
When he came back in, he pressed on some spots on my tummy. A few spots in particular were so uncomfortable they caused me to flex my rock hard abs. He made note.
Then he brought out the needles.
He started with my lower left arm, rubbing up and down with some pressure. Maybe I'm such a weakling that when I'm just touched it hurts, or maybe the pressure was his trick to not get my to notice that he was putting in a needle. Either way, I didn't feel a thing.
Before I go any further, let me first say that these needles are tiny. They actually look more like fishing wire. They shouldn't even be called needles. Unless they're in your shin and you accidentally flex your foot. In which case, they hurt like a son of a bitch. More on that to come.
He continued on. Two on my left arm. Two on my right arm. One near each knee. One in each shin. And I think two in each foot.
The only one I felt was the left shin. That one pinched a little.
After they were all in, the doctor said we were going to do moxibustion. He explained that it's the burning of moxa, or mugwart, to stimulate blood flow to the desired acupuncture areas. He then used a blow torch to light each little moxa thing and stick them close to the acupuncture areas on my legs. As they burned they smelled like a cross between incense and weed.
At first, I didn't feel anything. And after maybe about 30 seconds it started to heat up. And then quickly after that it started to burn. As each one started to burn, I named which location was done cooking and the doctor removed it. We did three rounds of this.
Then he left me in the room for about 10 minutes with the just the acupuncture needles in me. I was fine with it because I couldn't feel them anyway and aside from that, he'd put a heat lamp right next to my feet and it was making me go all sleeptime. Also, there was soothing music on and I was pretending I was at the spa.
At some point during my relax sesh, I made the mistake of wanting to get closer to the heat. So I FLEXED my left foot closer to the lamp.
Did I mention it was a mistake...?
A pain that can best be described as "giant hypodermic needle being stabbed into your shin by an evil crackhead nurse" went shooting up and down from the acupuncture site. My keen observations told me I shouldn't have fucking done that, so I relaxed my foot and laid completely fucking still for the rest of the visit.
When the doctor came back in, he removed all of the needles. -Which was just as easy as when he put them all in. He brought with him a little bag of Chinese medicine that looked exactly like Biscuit's doggy kibble.
The instructions were to take 12 pills, 3 times a day.
That's 36 pills per day.
I took my first set of twelve at lunch time and thankfully I didn't die.
I have another appointment with my new best acupuncturist friend next weekend.
I'll keep you posted.