Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Masochism or Machismo?

You guys are big, fat, lying, poopy-head liars!

When I use the collective “you,” I am not referring to all of you. Or even most of you. But some of you are definitely guilty of some major fibbing. If not outright lying, you definitely misrepresented the facts. You know who you are. And I know where you live.

Acupuncture is ahhhhhh-mazing!
OMG, you’ll love it soooooo much!
You can’t even feel the needles.
It’s sooooooo relaxing. You will be amazed.

So I went to acupuncture this afternoon, and I am still waiting for the ahhhhhh-mazing to kick in. It wasn’t horrible, per se. But I can’t really say that I enjoyed it. Honestly, I am not entirely sure how I feel about it just yet.

That said, however, there’s a teensy tiny chance that my disillusionment may be more my fault than yours. (Though I prefer to blame you.)

First and foremost, I convinced myself that my acupuncturist would be Mr. Miyagi from Karate Kid fame. This may be slightly racist – I’m not completely sure – but I was looking forward to waxing on and waxing off. I mean, how cool would that be? Mr. Miyagi poking me with sharp needles while whispering in my ear, “First learn stand, then learn fly. Nature rule Daniel son, not mine.” My name’s not Daniel, but I could be convinced to answer to Dani. Anything for Mr. Miyagi.

Okay, I didn’t really expect it to be Mr. Miyagi. A girl can dream, of course. But if my acupuncturist wasn’t going to be Mr. Miyagi, I had a definite “type” in mind. He would be tall. Probably bearded. A man bun would be perfectly, sloppily balanced on top of his head. There would probably be quinoa involved….somehow. And maybe kale. A bicycle would likely be propped up in the corner. He’d smell of baking soda deodorant and craft beer. You know…the type who would be into alternative medicine and Eastern philosophy.

Imagine my surprise when a tiny middle-aged Asian woman walked in. I hate to say it, but her complete normalness was a bit of a disappointment after my man-bun/quinoa/craft beer fantasy. But she was perfectly pleasant, so I recovered quickly.

That is, until she pulled the needles out from under her sinister cloak of doom. Yes, the needles are narrow. Yes, the tips are tiny. But those mothers sting like a bitch! Whoever told me that you can’t feel the needles at all obviously has 1.) A sadistic sense of humor, or 2. Irreparable nerve damage. Since I consider this person a dear friend, I am going to call it irreparable nerve damage and hope she accepts my condolences.

So the needles stung going in. That was no fun. I won’t sugar-coat it, the needles sucked. But then to make matters worse, the acupuncturist (who smelled of lavender and not beer) did not immediately remove the needles. As a matter of fact, she just left the room. Just walked right out the door. There I lay on my back on the exam table like a pleasantly plump Edward Scissorhands. Unable to move. Unable to flex my toes. (Flexing my toes is a weirdly big deal to me.) Unable to scratch my nose for fear of piercing my left nostril. All alone.

For Twenty. Freaking. Minutes.

Nothing to do. Nothing to look at. No one to talk to. All alone with my thoughts. Inside my own head is a dangerous place to be at the best of times. But when I have twenty needles protruding from my hands and knees and feet and ears (my EARS, for heaven’s sake!), it is downright dangerous.

It was not relaxing. It was not peaceful. I did not enter a Zen-like meditative state. Instead, I lay there for twenty minutes relentlessly tapping my fingers on the table while seriously considering the social and medical ramifications of running, screaming from the room with needles poking out of my kneecaps.

I might be a wee bit high strung.

Eventually, the needles were removed and I left the office smelling of mint from both the oil the acupuncturist rubbed on my feet and legs afterwards and the two giant adhesive pads (?) that I was told to leave stuck to my ample hips for 24 hours. I assume they are pain pads of some sort, though I did not receive an explanation and was in no mood for extended conversation at that point anyway.

I have at least three more appointments scheduled at this point – once a week for the next three weeks. I haven’t decided yet if my masochistic streak runs deep enough to eventually enjoy acupuncture or if I will simply grin and bear it on the off chance that it may provide me with some relief from my constant joint pain. Those are the only two options, as far as I see it. Masochism or machismo.

There is a really good chance I may not be the ideal candidate for Eastern medicine.


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