Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Acupuncture and Oncological Care - Or how to look like pinhead

Today I went to see the Acupuncturist for the first time. From the minute I spoke to her on the phone last week I had a good feeling about her, and it was just the same when I met her today. What a lovely lady!

First she took a full medical history, and then she looked at my tongue, and took my pulse. She said I have a strong, steady pulse, and this shows her I am a very strong person. She said that many people get told they have cancer and the fear of their diagnosis is what kills them, so it's important to stay positive in your mind. She also explained how acupuncture can help me. My body is like a country at war against terrorists, but my own army is unable to defeat them. So we've had to call in the Allies (chemotherapy) to help fight the rogue cells. Acupuncture is going to help my own army, or immune system, to fight the rogue the cells until they can do the job on their own, and keep my body in a balanced state. Cancerous cells spring up in our body all the time, but usually the immune system catches them immediately and disposes of them before they do any damage.

I was just pleased to be able to say that I felt my Chi (Qi) needed some re-aligning, without getting looked at as though I am a crazy person!

After our 40 mins or so chat, I had to lay on a table (one of those massage ones with a hole in it for your face) while she put some pins in me. I felt them going into my head, nape of neck, and various other places (on my back where the tumour is), but it wasn't painful. The one in my skull hurt a little but it only lasted a few seconds. And then I was left to 'relax' for half an hour with all these pins in me. I tried meditating and thinking 'peaceful' thoughts, and was surprised at how quickly the 30 minutes passed. The she removed the needles and gave me a massage with some lovely smelling stuff.

After the treatment she gave me some herbal medicine with a long set of instructions. It's a mushroom called Ling Zhi and it is going to help my little army (immune system) stay strong through chemotherapy.

She also said it tastes disgusting so to add honey to the infusion I make! Old Chinese Saying - The more bitter the medicine the better.

I have to go twice a week to sort out the pain, and then less, so will let you know what happens!

You can read some interesting articles about acupuncture here. I watched my father go from being crippled with two slipped discs in his back, to walking as normal after three treatments with acupuncture, so I'm already biased. I also, just in case you were wondering, have full permission/blessing/whatever you call it, from my cancer team.

I'm looking forward to making a brew with my mushroom, but not looking as forward to drinking it. It has the consistency of styrofoam. I do hope it isn't styrofoam!

After the medicine is made, I am to cook up the bits in a stir-fry, but no one else is allowed to eat it. As you can imagine, hubby and kids are devastated at this news.

I do hope the pain relieving aspect of it works, as the shoulder blade ache has returned, and my left arm is still disconcertingly numb while feeling as though it's been cheese grated at the same time - go figure. I would just like to sleep past 3.30 am for once - do you think they have a mushroom for that too?!!

Just as I was signing off from this blogpost, the extra wii-mote came for children (mail order of course) and now there is much whooping and screeching of delight going on in the Ratcliffe house-hold. I do love being alive!


Annieye said...

Hi Lisa, it's Annie

Just spent nearly an hour reading your blog. You're so brave. I just know you're going to make a full recovery and write that book when you're eighty (and by that time, a famous author).

Big hugs.

Lane said...

When I first clicked on your post, I thought that was a slice of brain.
Hopefully a mushroom will be more palatable.
Sounds like you've found an excellent therapist and the armies/allies explanation is fab.
You're doing so well Lisa and your positivity is just shining through:-)

SabineM said...

I thought it was a sliced organ too! I had to take a double take!
I have had some of those horribly tasting Chinese herbs! But hey, Chinese medicine has been around for thousands of years, and I BELIEVE IN IT!
Sounds like a good acupuncturist!

WE love Wiiiiiii here too!

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Hurrah for wonderful acupuncturists! Sounds like you got yourself a good 'un.

hesitant scribe said...

annie - I do hope I write the first book before I'm 80 (my supervisor will be reading this and having a heart-attack LOL

lane - brain?! I see what you mean now though. Wasn't quite so positive at 3 am this morning when pain in shoulder reached excrutiating levels!!!

sabinem - I haven't had the guts to boil it up yet... can't wait to taste it - er... yum ... yum... ???

zinnia - and all down to you! I owe you one!

Chilli said...

Just catching up with what you've been up tp whilst I've been working the last 5 days............... acupuncture sounds like it was fab but my, that mushroom looks errrr.....different.... you have to EAT it ? In a stir fry?!!! Good luck with that!!!!!

hesitant scribe said...

Hi Chilli - will show the mushroom up close and personal tomorrow xxx