Thursday, February 12, 2009

February 6, 2009 - Hocus Pocus

I'm posting this late because I've been agonizing over what to call the blog. Finally today, I just decided to pick something because clearly I was NOT going to come up with the clever and witty name I was hoping for.

Here is Friday's post:

I met with the acupuncturist for the first time today. She came on very high recommendation from my massage therapist. Apparently she is THE fertility acupuncturist to go to in this area. (I live in Southern New England.) What I did not know, was that she actually knew H as a child and was best friends with H’s parents’ neighbor. So, I instantly felt a little more at ease and less like I was about to be taken for a ride. I mean let’s face it, Chinese medicine has been around forever. But… it’s kind of a newly accepted thing around here. I think most people are a bit weary and think that you’re seeing some kind of witch doctor. H did point out that nearly every time you see a picture of the oldest person in the world – they are usually Asian and that perhaps there is something to these magic herbs and needles. As much as I want this to work, there is a little piece of me that is absolutely convinced that I might as well take my money and flush it down the toilet or at least buy an IPOD so that I can stop carrying around my 20 pound book of CD’s. (And stop showing my age!)

The appointment lasted for a little over 3 hours… so I at least got my ($150.00) money’s worth in time spent! She took her time and answered all of my questions. We also talked in depth about the history of my cycle and my other health issues. It also included my first ever acupuncture treatment. Which was… in a word – weird. It doesn’t hurt. It’s just… weird. Most of the needles I didn’t even feel go in. There were a couple where I felt like a tap kind of… but it felt nothing like getting a shot, or getting your finger pricked, or getting blood drawn. Not at all. So if you’re needle shy… try not to be of this because it’s nothing like anything you’ve ever had done.

She put some in both of my legs – like around the shins and calf I think. (I couldn’t really tell what she was doing.) Then, she put a couple in my wrists and hands and a few in my belly a little below my belly button. Then I was left to marinate. Mostly, I was supposed to meditate, but I couldn’t concentrate. All I wanted to do was get up and dance around. She did put on soothing music, but I was so keyed up from the excitement/nervousness of the visit, that there was no way I was going to have any kind of zen experience.

30 minutes (DAYS) later she came back and pulled them out. There was no bleeding or anything and I didn’t really feel any different. Well, I did feel a little light headed from laying there. I guess I got up too fast.

They have a generic sort of treatment that they do in phases which is cheaper and which they keep in house. I eavesdropped a little on the girl that was leaving when I came in – and this is the treatment she was given. She walked out of there for $155.00 and I think it included acupuncture which is typically $100.00. I was pretty psyched figuring it’d probably cost me about $200.00. ($150.00 for the visit and $50.00 for the magic herbs.)

Obviously, what I didn’t know was anything about her medical history. Mine is long and complicated. Hers must not have been. This means that it was not likely or probable that the generic herbal treatment would work for me because I have too many issues. Instead, I would be prescribed a custom 4 phase system of herbs. Each to correspond to one phase of my cycle -- the bleeding phase, luteal phase, ovulatory phase, and whatever the pre bleeding phase is according to Chinese medicine – something to encourage implantation or something. Cost for a 3 month supply $280.00. Of course. And they don’t take credit cards. L Patricia was very kind and offered to let me pay in installments.

Before I left the house this morning, I figured that I had $300.00 usable for today – balance owed $130.00. So, I wrote a check for $300.00 and went on my way. I was told to let Patricia know when my period started. It just happened that I was on my last birth control pill, so I knew it would be soon. Perfect timing really. We decided together that I would not start a new pack of birth control pills and that I would also discontinue the Metformin. I have IBS and the Metformin only aggravates it.

Patricia spent the weekend going over my inches thick medical chart and compiling my proper combination of herbs. I spoke with her today and the magic herbs should be in on Friday. I was told that I would need to buy some OPK’s (Ovulation Predictor Kits – sticks you pee on and they tell you whether or not you’re about to ovulate) and she gave me a website where you can buy them for super cheap.

On the first day of my period, I was instructed to start charting my basal temperature upon waking and before getting out of bed every morning. I’m still unclear as to where I am supposed to be sticking the thermometer. My friend Monica swears it should be in the mouth (and she had a very good laugh at my expense), but I have read that it is more accurate if taken from the hoo hoo. Does anyone really know? I feel dumb and a little embarrassed and I REALLY don’t want to ask Patricia. I am hoping that the thermometer will come with instructions. I of course looked online, but everyone has an opinion and no one seems to agree. Most people though, don’t even say where to take it from! Does that mean I am to assume I should continue taking it orally?

Oh and my ** favorite ** part… I need to monitor my cervical mucus daily. The description of each of the conditions was enough to make me throw up in my mouth. I shall of course share them with you:

1. Eggwhite
Slippery, Will Usually Stretch
Lube, Wet or Humid Feeling

2. Creamy
Lotiony, Milky, Smooth
Usually White or Yellow
Wet, Moist or Cold Feeling

3. Sticky
Pasty, Crumbly, Opaque
Dry or Sticky Feeling

Okay, I need to repeat to what my friend Gina said upon reading the last description:

“Excuse me crumbly?? I used to think that the worst thing that could come out of there was a BABY – that is DEFINITELY second now.”

It’s all very horrifying... and do not fret I will not be giving daily secretion updates – no matter how many times you ask. I was thinking though, that it’s a shame that I’m not still in high school… this would be an excellent Science Fair Project.

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