Thursday, January 9, 2014

Hong Kong: Acupuncture visit

I think I tend to blog when I have something positive or victorious to announce. There are a ton of shitty days/times in between, such as the last few days.

Before, when I was in HK, I regularly ran a trail near my parent's home. It is pretty steep, a ton of steps...for a good while after my accident I didn't even fathom the possibility of being able to walk it again. I decided to give it a go on Thursday morning. It started off a bit rough because of all the stairs. I was glad not that many people were around to be waiting behind me as I plodded up the steps. But, I did it, and when I got back home I burst into tears, in a good way. I tried to express to my parents what being able to walk that loop meant to me; they didn't really understand. When I said that I was glad not many people were around to be waiting behind me, my Dad scolded me for caring about what other people think. I'm the sensitive one in the family :-/

So that was pretty momentous and I felt quite elated afterwards. However, as the day progressed, I’m not sure why, but I developed a sensation/pain in my left foot. It basically feels like I’m lugging around a lead brick and it makes walking very painful. Not in a muscular-skeletal painful kind of way…it is hard to describe. When my mobility is impaired, I get very down.

I am, by nature, rather skeptical. I am even more skeptical of things I do not understand, such as acupuncture. But, given the state of my foot, I was willing to give it a go. 

The treatment room. I think it is pretty cool that you can go from incredible luxury to Soviet-style in HK.

Some people have the impression acupuncture is relaxing. Let me tell you, it can hurt like hell. My Chinese is pretty crappy, and my Dad’s isn’t super either. So the two of us trying to explain my medical conditions to the acupuncturist would be slightly comical…were it not for the medical issues at hand. I am quite open to acupuncture for things like the tendinitis in my elbow; but for nervous system issues I’m a bit more, well, nervous.

I’m more of a suffer in silence kind of person, and have a high threshold for pain. In contrast, the woman next to me sounded like she was in labour. But I was streaming tears as I became a human pin-cushion and had these fat needles hooked up to electrodes and an electric current. This causes the needles to oscillate. At some point while I was lying there, there was the smell of burning/incense; I was thinking, I really hope that isn't my flesh burning. These treatments take awhile to take effect, I think, so I’m not expecting any amazing results any time soon. I’ll probably be going in every alternate day for the remainder of my stay in Hong Kong. I don’t mind enduring pain if I know that there will be a payoff at the end, but with acupuncture, I’m not so sure.

Every doctor's office needs a "Multi-purpose Health Device, complete with a cluster-f*ck of leads for reassurance.
It was hard having my Dad there. I realise my Dad will try to look for hope wherever he can, but it is really annoying/disheartening when he thinks that seeing needles oscillate is a sign that somehow, my leg is fine. He has no comprehension of the extent of my injuries. He thinks I just have a weak leg. I can't really tell him about my physical issues because he ends up blaming me and my activities for my pain. We have a pretty intense relationship - good and bad. We love each other to pieces, but people have unhealthy/ineffective ways of conveying their love for others. It's hard being around him because he blames me for climbing and my accident. He thinks I'm too stubborn. I told him if I wasn't a stubborn fuck (I used other words) I wouldn't be out of a wheelchair and leg-brace. He thinks that if I wasn't a stubborn fuck, I wouldn't have had this accident. I'm trying to see things from his point of view, but it is difficult being around someone who is so disapproving of everything I do. Anyway, negotiating this relationship and interaction has been quite draining.

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