Monthly Archives: March 2012
The last two nights I went to bed without taking a Stilnox – not quite at the time demanded by my evil doctor, but not too late either. Then today (or yesterday, as it is 3.25am) I cannot go to sleep at all. It got to about 2am (without a yawn) before I thought that I’d give up on a natural night’s sleep tonight and take a tablet – now where did I put that itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, one-and-only-one-left tablet…
Think sitcom dream sequence ripple effect across the screen:
Earlier on today, I was cleaning up my kitchen after it was covered in blue frosting and chocolate cake mix from my attempt at cupcakes, when I moved the super-duper, giant size tablet dosette. There, hidden behind the huge, white container, was a little white tablet – shit! one of the 15 or 16 (depending on the day) tablets that I take daily each morning had escaped. Quick mouthful of water and I forgot all about it.
Back to my computer for some internet surfing…I began feeling incredibly nauseous and my water bottle was empty. Up, I had to get, to get a refill from the tap. Ooooh…the house is moving. Suddenly, my surroundings become a carnival fun-house ride – the floor is undulating up and down, tipped from side to side, and forward and back, by my weight. This wasn’t just a feeling – I was literally falling over.
So, despite my best intentions, I was desperately in need of a nap and I took myself off to bed at 3.30pm.
At about 6.15, my brother called, waking me out of a very deep sleep, to let me know he was 15 minutes away from picking me up for my warm water class. Holy Cow!
The 32 degree (celsius) water felt cold against my skin. The water wasn’t lifting away the dead weight of fibromyalgia, like it did every other week. When we leaned against the side of the pool to cycle our legs, I would have fallen off my bike; my legs were moving so slowly. Laying back to float in the water, I almost returned to dreamland.
Now, at exactly 3.54am, I know why all that happened…AND I know why I can’t find that damn itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, one-and-only-one-left tablet…
It’s the last day of term at my Warm Water Class, so – of course, cupcakes…
But why in such a good mood? you might ask…
So, for those who have never had this experience (and I promise it’s a good one):
acupuncture: (Chinese: 针灸; pinyin: zhēnjiǔ) an alternative medicine methodology originating in ancient China that treats patients by manipulating thin, solid needles which have been inserted into acupuncture points in the skin (it does not hurt, guys – slight shock then, maybe, a feeling of uncomfortable-ness – and then the feeling disappears and you don’t feel anything!) According to Traditional Chinese medicine, stimulating these points can correct imbalances in the flow of qi through channels known as meridians. My acupuncturist decides which points to treat by observing and questioning me in order to make a diagnosis according to the tradition which he utilises. In TCM, there are four diagnostic methods:
- Inspection focuses on the face and particularly on the tongue, including analysis of the tongue size, shape, tension, color and coating, and the absence or presence of teeth marks around the edge.
- Auscultation and olfaction refer, respectively, to listening for particular sounds (such as wheezing) and attending to body odor.
- Inquiring focuses on the “seven inquiries”, which are: chills and fever; perspiration; appetite, thirst and taste; defecation and urination; pain; sleep; and menses and leukorrhea.
- Palpation includes feeling the body for tender A-shi points, and palpation of the left and right radial pulses at two levels of pressure (superficial and deep) and three positions Cun, Guan, Chi (immediately proximal to the wrist crease, and one and two fingers’ breadth proximally, usually palpitated with the index, middle and ring fingers).
cupping: an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin; practitioners believe this mobilizes blood flow in order to promote healing. Suction is created using heat (fire) or mechanical devices (hand or electrical pumps) – the heat is from the suction is not HOT, it is slightly warm. When the cup is removed, it feels like some-let out a facelift on your back (you need to visualise that!)
moxibustion – My acupuncturist accompanied his treatment of me with moxibustion, the burning of cone-shaped preparations of Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort), which he placed on my stomach (on top of my belly button) – although it sounds like it would smell terrible, it is actually quite relaxing. Traditionally moxibustion was used for chronic diseases.
The reason I’m telling you all of this is that studies have found acupuncture is helpful in treating the fatigue and anxiety commonly experienced by fibromyalgia patients.
And, after all the puncturing, sucking and using my body as an altar, I feel GREAT! So great that, when I walked past the florist, I HAD TO buy happy flowers.
Ok, I’m now off to continue learning some video making skills for the Fibromyalgia Awareness Day video competition!
- Paul Valery
I am seriously dedicated to maintaining this blog regularly but, today my brain is empty – maybe no thoughts can get through when it is surrounded by pain. This is Day 2 of feeling particularly delicate so I’m sitting in my cave, hoping to feel more robust later (as I have something I really want to do), trying to stretch out my aching body parts (a warm water swim would be great about now!), with cooling gel strips stuck to my cheeks, in the dark.
Anyway, after that little non-funded advertisement, I still am empty of any coherent thought that I think might be stimulating and I don’t seem to have any inspiring little quotes or funny self- deprecating cartoons hanging around, so I shall close the laptop, take some medication and, hopefully, go to sleep.
It will all be better when I wake up!