25. One day, 8 needles.

I’ve always been up for giving news things a go. Whether it be walking a marathon by moonlight for Cancer Research, learning to ride a Vespa or my somewhat brief snowboarding career which came to an abrupt end after an unfortunate incident with a ski lift …. nevertheless the motto ‘Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it’ holds a lot of weight with me.

And so I have applied the same logic to my MS. Don’t get me wrong, if someone told me that eating kangaroo testicles in an ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’ style would help, then I’m not saying I wouldn’t have my reservations … but if there is a chance of something helping then I am willing to give it a go … within reason of course 😉

And so it is that last week I went for my first acupuncture experience.

I may inject myself everyday now, but that doesn’t mean that I relished the prospect of having pins stuck into my body. The bit I didn’t like was the thought of having to lie there with them stuck in. What if the fire alarm went off and we had to evacuate the premises? What if a spider dropped down from the ceiling towards my face causing me to leap up from the bed? What would happen then eh?

These were the thoughts that crossed my mind as I drove to the appointment after work last Wednesday. That and how much it would hurt.

The acupuncture lady had come recommended by a friend so I had a rough idea what to expect. She was lovely and took a comprehensive history from me about what had happened to me, my symptoms and my diagnosis before she did anything else.

She took my pulse in both wrists and looked at my tongue which I thought was quite interesting if not a bit strange – what was she looking for? What did my tongue tell her about what was going on in my brain? I tried to relax as I lay on the bed. It was pretty difficult whilst dreading what I knew was about to happen. I questioned myself about why I was doing this voluntarily and not only that, why I was actually paying for it ….

The actual sticking-in of the needles was nowhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be. The acupuncture lady told me to take a deep breath then to breath out as she stuck the first one into my tummy. She explained that breathing out relaxes the muscles and so keeps any discomfort to a minimum. I have to say that there is definitely some truth to this. Only on Monday of this week I employed the same technique whilst having my lady-bits waxed and have to say it really took the sting out of things …

There were seven needles in total, in addition to the one I had already stuck in myself that morning. Three in my tummy and two in each leg. All in at the same time. As I lay there I had the same thoughts as I had on the journey … what if  there was a sudden earthquake? What would I do then? I couldn’t look down at myself, at the pins sticking out of me. Instead I looked up at the blue sky through the skylight above and tried to stop picturing myself as a voodoo doll with millions of needles sticking out …

After a while the acupuncture lady removed the pins one by one. I felt relieved in a funny kind of way; not that it had hurt but relieved that I could now move without fear of dislodging them.

That night I slept like I hadn’t slept in ages, although when I woke up the following day I felt shattered, even more so than usual, and achey all over.

Apparently it will take a few sessions for me to feel the benefits.

It’s weird really because I don’t actually know what the benefits will be. I just hope that I will feel, well, better somehow. And then who knows what will be next on the list … I’ve always fancied skydiving actually …


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