I had another physiotherapy appointment tonight for my left hand. Poor leftie, because she doesn’t have enough to worry about while living perpetually in the shadow of her much more popular sister, has not recovered from surgery as hoped. While the incision itself has closed up and long since stopped threatening to pop open, the hand itself remains swollen and awkward. I’m also having significant pain around and between my metacarpals: those are the bones in the palm of my hand. The incision also burns regularly. Typing is awkward, much more so at work on the yucky work keyboard than at home on my beloved MacBook.
For the last few appointments my physiotherapist has promoted acupuncture as a potential solution to my lingering pain and swelling. I shot her down every time. You can’t tell me anything containing the word “puncture” is a good idea. Puncture means someone makes a hole. Generally creating additional holes in people is a bad plan. After last week, when I was really struggling to accomplish my work and chores around the dollhouse, she pushed the issue a little further. Finally, I agreed to try the acupuncture at our next appointment if my poor paw didn’t feel better.
Today was that appointment. Despite ordering my left hand to improve, begging it to stop hurting, and promising it a sparkly new nail polish if it smartened the heck up, things were no better. My physiotherapist reminded me of our agreement, and I had no choice but to hold still while she impaled me. (Actually, I did have a choice. She didn’t sit on me and stab me with needles, but I am desperate for some improvement here).
I’m not going to rant and rave about how painful acupuncture is. The needle by my thumb was briefly a 0.5 on a pain scale of 1 to 10. The needle on the other side was about a 3 right when she tapped it in there: just a quick “yow!” and life went on. It’s possible the pain was dulled by my sudden dizziness, too. I spent my first minute as a pin cushion taking deep breaths and willing the room to stop swirling. Things probably would have been better if the needles were in my back or my ankle or somewhere else I couldn’t see rather than propped on the table in front of me. I just tried diligently to read my e-book and stay vertical. There was a bell on the chair beside me just in case I thought I might pass out. I guess the idea was for me to hit it with my face on my slump to the carpet.
I know I there was no risk to my life. It’s not as though my physiotherapist said, “I think we could achieve better results with the venom of killer bees” or “amputation seems like the most relevant option at this point, and I just had my hacksaw sharpened.” This is a respected, safe, and purportedly effective medical treatment. Still, I’m such a baby about needles that I felt skeeved out during the whole procedure. Acupuncture doesn’t involve a person being quickly poked with needles; it requires the
victim patient to remain still and calm for a period of time while the needles stuck into her body work their prickly magic.
After ten minutes, the needles came out. I would tell you I was so happy to see them go, but I was doing my best to ignore the metal sticking out of my flesh. The ceiling of the physiotherapy office is very clean. I don’t know yet if there is any improvement from all this alternative healing, but my fingers are crossed that it works and it works quickly. I don’t know if I can suck it up for too many repeats of this process.
Why doesn’t physiotherapy involve chocolate? I guarantee a cocoa therapy treatment could cure what ails me, or at least distract me from the ick factor.
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