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Jan
16

Ode to the Needle

One of my unspoken resolutions for 2014 was to tackle these migraines.

Why unspoken? Because announcing my goals tends to have the opposite effect for me that it does for others…rather than hold me accountable, my spoken resolutions cause me to rebel against them completely. I think I subconsciously start believing that I don’t have to just because I told someone else I would. Picture my inner toddler stomping her feet. 😉

Anyhoo, I did silently resolve that enough was enough with my headaches and something had to change. I ended the year in a pharmaceutical standstill. I had maxed out my prophylactic med dosage, switched to a new rescue med and was taking the maximum number of “extreme” rescue meds I could every month. I had PRN meds for mild headaches (Aleve) and extreme anxiety (Xanax – thanks, grad school), had started a new supplement to help my mood/anxiety levels, and was still calling out from work at least once a week. Basically, my bathroom now resembles a pharmacy. It ain’t pretty, nor do I want to depend on meds for the rest of my life.

Enter the needle. The acupuncture needle, specifically.

acupuncture

(Source)

Unlike my last employer-sponsored health insurance, my new benefits do not cover a lot of the complementary treatments I was previously exploring for stress and pain management. But my health savings account does reimburse for it. So I decided to max out my savings account contributions this year in the hope that I could afford returning to acupuncture.

Last week was my first appointment. It.Was.Glorious.

I sat up at the end of my appointment and my head throbbed for about five minutes. Then the headache went away completely for over 24 hours. For the first time in weeks, I was able to work all three of my shifts. When I did have them, my headaches were milder and went away more quickly when I treated them with meds. I finally felt like I could participate in my life again. Good timing too, because the new semester just kicked off.

I went back this afternoon and the same thing happened. Slight headache during and after the treatment. And now I am clear and pain-free (knock on wood). I’ve always been a believer, but these small victories make me want to holler from the rooftops that acupuncture is sent from heaven to put our tired, angry, painful bodies back together. I exaggerate not.

It is worth every penny to feel human again.

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