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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Surviving Acupuncture: Thoughts from a conservative white girl

In case you were wondering, acupuncture is still going well. It has now become a part of my weekly routine, and as a result, I think it is getting easier for me to relax each time... and forget that I am lying on a table with needles sticking out of various body parts.

I have now been to 5 appointments, and for the past 4, I have gotten the ol' needle in the top of the skull every time. Surprisingly, it really doesn't hurt, but usually it makes the top of my head itch for the remainder of the day. She also always puts one in each wrist, which in turn makes my left arm (only) fall asleep. I made a comment about how I thought it was strange that it didn't happen on my right side, but she said that is normal because the left side of your body controls your Yin (versus your Yang, duh). It makes me laugh when she responds to my questions/observations like that, as if the answer is completely logical and makes total sense.

What also makes me laugh are the foods she suggests that I eat. During my first visit, as I expected, she gave me a list of fairly common sense dietary guidelines... choose wheat rather than white, avoid red meat, avoid alcohol, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, etc. What I did not expect, however, was that she would give me very specific (and very unusual) food suggestions in each subsequent visit.

So far, I have been specifically instructed to eat more broccoli, cauliflower, walnuts, and pineapple. And it's not like it even comes up naturally in the conversation- but rather, she will finish sticking the needles in, tell me to relax, and then say, "Oh, and make sure to eat lots of pineapple this weekend. I'll be back in 20 minutes," before leaving the room. Um. Ok?

(And on that note, short of eating walnuts as a snack (no thanks) or baking them into brownies (which I don't think counts as "healthy"), how else am I supposed to add them into my diet?!)

Anyway, I have warned her that I am a picky eater, and thankfully she doesn't seem to mind that, because when I informed her with the maturity of a 5-year-old that I don't really like pineapples, she suggested I have a virgin pina colada instead. Now THAT is medical advice I like to hear.

And on the topic of dietary issues, interestingly enough, she brought up the idea of me possibly going off of the Metformin, aka: the bane of my existence since September 2010. You remember- the one that indirectly caused me to vomit profusely for the first time in 10 years? Yes, that one.

When I first started taking the medicine last year, I was in a fairly constant state of nausea for the first couple of months. But after a while, I got used to it, and even though my stomach still felt unsettled most of the time, it didn't seem to be affecting me quite like it used to (thank the good Lord).

However, after my second visit to the acupuncturist, I noticed that the nausea was back. I mentioned it to her, and she did say that it made sense for my body to be more sensitive to the medicine now that it's being "realigned," but she didn't see any issue with me continuing to take it, and even said that a lot of her PCOS patients continue taking it in conjunction with the acupuncture. (And as a side note, she then put some needles into my feet, explaining that it would help to tame the nausea... again, makes perfect sense, right?)

On my last visit, though, the very first thing she asked was if I had ever considered stopping taking the Metformin. She said that she had another patient recently that was non-typical PCOS (meaning not overweight, covered in excess body hair, or suffering from any of the other unfortunate side effects rather than having ovaries covered in cysts) that had actually stopped taking the Metformin and got pregnant 2 months later.

Now it is important to note that she wasn't suggesting going off of the Metformin was the only reason that patient got pregnant, and she also clarified that she wasn't telling me to go off of it- just asking me to think about it because it was possible that the medicine was doing more harm (nausea, discomfort, etc.) than good (helping me get pregnant).

It took me approximately 5 seconds to think it over before I shoved that Metformin bottle in the back of the medicine cabinet, (hopefully) never to be seen again. If you're lucky, this means there will an increase in DQ blizzard consumption (and therefore blog posts) in my future because that dumb medicine won't be in my system to ruin it for me... of course, I might have to get them to concoct a blizzard with pineapples and walnuts mixed in, but that's neither here nor there.

And before I wrap up this glimpse into my new acupuncture-packed life, I also need to tell you about the music. Yes, there's music... not entirely unlike this special jam. During the first session, as soon as she turned on the music, I had to concentrate very hard on not laughing (I do not do well with forced relaxation, FYI). I have somewhat gotten used to it by now, however, and even though the chanting part on one of her "playlists" kind of weirds me out, I now enjoy the naptime soundtrack.

At yesterday's appointment, however, the ice cream man apparently decided to make a delivery to the construction crew working next door, so you can imagine my surprise when I heard this* come on in the middle of my session. I like to call what resulted the "tranquility remix." Who knows- maybe there's a market out there for this type of music and I need to look into it further?

I didn't mention it to my acupuncturist, because I didn't want her to feel bad and think that the ice cream man had ruined my relaxation. And on that note, if she really does feel strongly about the music making the experience, she probably wouldn't be too thrilled to learn that after my appointment, I hopped into my car (still in a coma-like state very similar to how you feel after leaving a massage) and was promptly greeted by The Black Eyed Peas singing "Boom Boom Pow." Oops.

I'll be sure to bring back more tales of my adventures with Needle Lady soon. In the meantime, enjoy your weekend!

*When I searched "ice cream truck music" and pressed play on this track, Buster and Noah came running. Pretty amusing!


The Blogivers said...

Davis started wiggling when I played the ice cream music - does that mean he is a dog?

Brittany Sciba said...

YAY for getting off Metformin!! Love you! :)

Erika said...

I like this!! You could maybe mix walnuts in with some trail mix or something? Put 'em in your pancakes on Saturdays?

Leah said...

thanks for sharing! that is so interesting. :)

Brittnie said...

I totally remember being freaked out at my 1st appointment when my acupuncturist put needles in my forehead and top of my head. So crazy.... but I love it! I fall asleep every time and somehow wake up just as the music is shutting off.

I remember reading specifically about pineapples in The Infertility Cure. Maybe you can make a pineapple smoothie and add some other fruit to offset the taste?

Glad you are confident about going off the medication. Good luck... love the Needle Lady updates! Have a great weekend.

Katy said...

As for the walnuts...Not sure how you feel about salads but I have a spinach salad almost every night that I fill with some kind of fruit (strawberries and oranges are my favorites), Craisins and walnuts. It is really yummy and the sweet fruit and Craisins takes away from the gross spinich! I usually hate salad, so this is pretty much the only way I will eat it. I fill it with walnuts for a little protien!

Matt Bates said...

I am going to get my needle fix tomorrow so I hope it goes as good as your trips. Erika will blog about my experience.