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On Pins & Needles, Parts 6 & 7

Tomato Continuing my saga of being poked with sharp pointy things...

I had my 6th acupuncture treatment on this past Monday, and my 7th yesterday.  Monday's session treated mucus (again), hormones, and parietal lobe.  Wednesday's session treated mucus (yes, a third time), and fungus.  (Very glamorous, this last session.)

On Monday I told him that I had been having bad headaches along the sides of my head for the past week; he nodded and said, "temple headache".  So he treated "parietal lobe" at that session - which means he gave me a liquid-filled vial labeled "parietal lobe", and added three extra needles: one about halfway up on the outside of each calf, and one smack in the middle of my eyebrows. Later I had to wonder exactly what was in that liquid-filled vial - if they give you a little bit of the allergen to increase immunity, was I holding 'Essence of Parietal Lobe', with little bits of brain floating around in it?  And whose parietal lobe would it be?  I hope they chose someone really smart.

I still had an awful headache for the rest of Monday following the treatment, but it eased up on Tuesday, and was only mildly annoying yesterday.  Certainly much more manageable than it was.  I have no idea if the onset of the headache is related to the acupuncture treatments - the doctor didn't indicate one way or the other.

When I started treatments. I anticipated about three treatments, four at the outside.  At seven treatments now, with little to show for it, I keep feeling like I'm just throwing money away, with no guarantee that there's going to be any vast improvement, and no indication of how much longer it could take.  So yesterday morning I told him this would be the last treatment, at least for a while.  He tested me for everything he has treated: vitamin C, grass mix, tree mix, mold, dust, (rag)weed, flower mix, hormones, histamine, parietal lobe, and mucus (eeeueew!)  I passed everything but mucus.  He also tested me for fungus, which he hadn't tested before.  When I didn't "pass", he said, "Ah!  Fungus!  That can take several treatments to get rid of."  And I thought, why didn't he test that earlier on, then?!  My husband's skepticism crept in, and had me thinking that I just told this guy I was going to stop treatments, and he "discovers" another allergen that still needs additional treatment.  How convenient.  (and fishy).

Continue reading "On Pins & Needles, Parts 6 & 7" »

On Pins & Needles, Parts 2-5

You may remember a post I made a couple of weeks ago, describing my first acupuncture appointment: On Pins & Needles.  I realize you are probably waiting with bated breath (dare I say...on pins and needles??) for an update.

I've had four more treatments since then, pretty much like the first one - 8 needles, and two vials of liquid allergens.  He treated different allergens each time:
1st visit - Vitamin C
2nd visit - tree pollen & mold
3rd visit - grass pollen & dust
4th visit - grass pollen (again), histamine, & weed (ragweed, I'm assuming)
5th visit - flower mix & mucus (eeeewwww!)

To report back with answers to questions I had the first time around - I haven't asked about how the allergens produce a decreased muscular response.  But I did ask about Vitamin C - he confirmed that my body had problems processing Vitamin C, and that is common with people who have "autoimmune problems", which includes allergies.  On my 2nd visit I "passed" the Vitamin C test, so now my chi is in tune with processing Vitamin C.  And since he treated mucus this morning (again, euuuuw!), that means my body has a problem processing mucus.  Lovely.

To be honest, I didn't really feel any different, and still don't really, even five appointments later.  He keeps asking me how I feel, and I'm like, uh, not really any different.  I have been taking Claritin D through it all, but decided to try not taking it this past Saturday.  I made it through the whole day just fine, but started getting a headache and sneezing in the evening, then woke up about 2am with a terrible allergy attack - I felt like I was drowning in snot (sorry, not a lovely visual, but there you are.)  I got up and took some Claritin and a Benedryl and laid on the couch for about an hour and a half before stumbling back up to bed. 

I mentioned this to the doctor at this morning's appointment, and he seemed a bit perplexed.  He proceeded to test me for everything he's treated, and I passed everything.  So today he treated flower mix and mucus, and added a couple more needles up by my brow/sinus area.  I have a bit of a sinus headache this evening, so maybe that's a result?

My skeptical husband made me ask today how many more appointments the doctor expected I would need to be "cured" - the doctor smiled when I asked (phrased just that way), saying that husbands are supposed to be skeptical.  Then the doctor said it should take just one more visit.  I told my husband that, and he said, "Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.  Just *one* more."

I really wish I had better results to report.  I'd love it if this worked - I mean, how can I really be part of the, like, 3% that don't find relief through acupuncture?  Sigh - we'll see.  I'll keep ya posted!

Book of Me ideas: The Design Experiment

I recently stumbled across The Design Experiment., a blog that offers challenges that would work very nicely to inspire Book of Me pages.

We are The Design Experiment! We are a challenge site with creative journaling prompts, that are meant to provoke thought, and delve deep inside you. We are committed to bringing you real and raw challenges.

We are a group of fun girls who love to create art and get messy.

Some recent challenges:

  • We challenge you to remember a time when you had super-human strength, either physically or emotionally. Think back to this time, how did you feel? How do you feel know? How has this changed you?

  • If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self? What would you want to know to get you through the years?

Take a moment to check out the blog - the layouts are just as inspiring as the prompts!

Review: Designing with Type (by proxy)

Designing with TypeI stumbled across good review of Autumn Leaves' Designing with Type on the IdeaBooks4u blog.  I was really impressed with the layouts done by the IB4U design team, inspired by the book.  Just gorgeous eye candy - combining all the different fonts.

The IB4U blog post hints at the creative prompts offered in the book - fontaholic that I am, I will probably *have* to check out this book!  Seeing the various options for jumbo numbers on a page got my scrap mojo goin'!

April = Book of Me Month at Fiskarscraft Blog

April is Book of Me Month on the Australian/New Zealand Fiskars Ambassadors blog.

We're going to be putting up prompts each day (maybe even more than once a day, so keep on your toes!), to help you along. We're even going to be designing pages and projects to go along with these prompts so you can get visually inspired too.

And they've been good to their word - they've posted 2-3 Book of Me prompts every day in April so far!  Some prompts that they've offered:

  • What school/s did you go to? What do you remember about them? Why did you go there? Would you change anything about your time there?
  • Do you remember having a best friend when you were little? One that was the next door neighbour maybe? Or what about your first school friend?
  • What games did you play as a child?
  • What did you and your siblings fight about?'
  • What was happening in the world the year you were born?

For easy reference, you can check out all posts tagged in the Book of Me category.

On Pins & Needles

Hellraiserpinheadc10040177 So I had an acupuncture treatment this morning - my first ever.  And at this point, let's just say I'm withholding judgement.  I talked to a woman last week who was seeing this same doctor for treatment for seasonal allergies, and she said she was almost completely "cured".  Considering we're spending $60 a month on Claritin-D, I figured I'd give it a try.

The little booklet they gave me said that acupuncture stimulates the flow of Chi - "any misdirection, blockage, or other derangement of the amount, flow, or balance of Chi may result in pain, dysfunction, and ill health."  The doctor described acupuncture as "reprogramming" your nervous system to process correctly, kind of like rebooting a computer to function like it's supposed to.  Sounds pretty new-age-y, but 5000 years of documented results have to count for something.  The process this doctor (a licensed chiropractor) uses is Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET).

I told him I'd had allergic rhinitis/seasonal (year-round) allergies since childhood.  For his evaluation/to confirm diagnosis, he had me lay down on the exam table, and handed me a series of small glass vials, each filled with a different liquid.  While holding the vial in my right hand, he had me press my left pinky to my thumb, and resist while he tried to pull them apart.  If I had a strong resist response, I didn't have a problem with that element (in the glass vial).  If he could pull my fingers apart, I...I don't know...had a problem processing that element.  (I didn't quite get exactly what that the decreased response indicated - something about electromagnetic fields - I have that on my list of questions to ask.) Since I was there for allergy treatment, the first element he tested was Vitamin C, which I thought was interesting.  But I guess that's related to the immune system, so it kind of makes sense.  He could pull my fingers apart, so I had a "problem" with Vitamin C, whatever that means.  Then he tested a number of other vitamins, but didn't mention any problems with any of them.  I don't actually know exactly what all he tested.

He asked me if I'd ever had traditional allergy testing.  When I indicated I had, he asked what I tested allergic to.  I told him grass, pollen, trees, ragweed, dust, mold, and cats.  So he tested each of those elements, and each time could pull my fingers apart. He tested maybe thirty vials total. The fact that he "confirmed" what I already knew I was allergic to raised a skeptical flag for me, but like I said, I'm withholding final judgement.

After the diagnostic process, he said he would treat me this time for Vitamin C, then I would come back for other treatments - one or two allergens per treatment.  They bill per treatment session, not by allergen - $60 a session.  It's not covered by insurance, but we can submit it for flex spending account reimbursement.  I figured out that if it allows me to stop taking Claritin for eight months, it would be worth it, financially.  I told the kids that I was willing to be the guinea pig, and if it works for me, they're next.  Their response was...not enthusiastic.  Go figure.

So then the doctor proceeded to insert the needles...

Continue reading "On Pins & Needles" »