Trying new things
Never pass up a chance to enjoy a new experience — especially as you age.
Recently I developed a rotator cuff issue after leading a horse from a far corner of the pasture back to the corral. Peaches, the old mare, is as gentle as a pet lamb, but unfortunately tends to reach for a bite of grass whenever she feels the urge, which is often. The result of the constant yanking caused damage to my right rotator cuff. (When one has reached the age of older-than-dirt, damage to most any part of one’s person is easily acquired).
A friend claimed an acupuncturist had done wonders for pinched nerves in her neck. (Nerves in the friend’s neck, not the acupuncturist’s.)
So, I made an appointment.
At the acupuncturist’s office, the doctor handed me the usual forms to fill out with questions such as do I have, or have I ever had any of assorted diseases, surgeries, family history of disease and could I be pregnant. (I really, really wanted to write: Doubt I could be pregnant but … would like to try. Know anybody? Somehow, I got a grip and refrained from penning that bit of wise-cracking.)
Next, I was invited to enter the “treatment” room where the doctor asked more health-history questions such as was I engaged in regular exercise or other physical activity. (I wanted to say that I jogged, did broad-jumps and sky-dived, but I merely replied, “I’m 90, what do you think (she laughed)?
Interrogation over, doc then invited me to get on the treatment table. I couldn’t. Table tall. Me short.
So, doc unscrewed bolts on the legs and lowered the table. I clambered on. She instructed me to lie flat on my back and asked did I want a single pillow or a double one behind my head?
“Let’s start with two,” I answered. “If too much, I’ll change to one.”
The session started with doc inserting a couple of needles into the top of my head. I couldn’t resist. I opened my mouth and said, “I’m a writer. Will I still be able to write after getting needles stuck onto my skull?” She kindly reassured me on that score.
Let me declare that the needle-poking really does NOT hurt. There’s a tiny whiff of air and a painless prick as the needle invades the skin. (Think of a grain-of-sand-size pigmy puckering up and blowing a thinner-than-a-hair dart into your epidermis.)
Doc inserted needles in arms, legs and both hands. She announced she would leave the room while I was to remain flat on my back and lie completely still for 20 minutes. She further advised that though she would leave me alone, if I got stir-crazy or any part of my person started to hurt or feel discomfort, I should call out.
“Not a problem,” I said somewhat smugly. “I brought a crossword puzzle with me.”
Doc hurried to advise me not to use my hands, as doing so might cause pain or discomfort. “Okay,” I said, “No problem. I’ll just take a nap.”
She left. The pillows behind my neck had forced my head to an unpleasant angle. I tugged at a pillow. That’s when I discovered I was not propped up with two pillows, but merely one — bent double. When I pulled, the dang thing fell on the floor.
Raising my voice, I called out. No response. So, I sucked it up and just lay there, waiting for time to pass.
Eventually Doc returned, saw the pillow gracing the floor and asked why hadn’t I called? Then she extracted all the needles. At least I hope she did. I hadn’t kept count, but I hoped she had done so. Once needle free, I slid off the table.
“You’re all finished,” she informed me. “I’ll be out front.”
I put myself back together and shuffled out to the desk.
Doc asked if I now felt better? I said, “Better than what?”
She explained: “Do you feel less pain or discomfort now than before treatment?”
“Well,” I said, “I didn’t have any pain or discomfort before. So, I guess I feel mostly the same.”
Doc then “discussed” my “next” appointment.
Will I make another appointment? Of course not. But as mentioned above, never pass up a chance to engage in a new experience. You never know from whence your next column will come. ❖