Monday, May 31, 2010

Acupuncture, Part II

Okay, so Dr. X didn't work out.  Back out here, struggling to maintain an open mind re: acupuncture, I pulled out my list of certified Alberta acupuncturists who are also MD's, map-quested them, made a few inquiries, and phoned for an appointment with Dr. Y - a Canadian-born and raised MD less than three hours away who had spent a full year becoming certified in China, and had been shortlisted by Dr. X.  He practiced both conventional western medicine and acupuncture.  Sure his office wasn't fancy, in fact it was right next to an industrial area, but hey - maybe he's just the down-to-earth type, thought I.  His extensive medical history (and lack of luxury sport cars in the parking lot and bored, wealthy housewives in the reception area) made me feel immediately more comfortable.  Nice guy, no "Dr. Y is wonderful" repeated by rote by a staff member, no palmistry.  So far, so good.  I told my story and Y thought he might be able to offer relief for my back pain, using acupuncture points on my head - on my head!  (Mostly ears, that is, but there were a couple above the nose between my eyes too.)  No electrical stimulation this time, and only $45 per quarter hour.  "Let's do it", I said.  Well, for the uninformed, ears are largely made of cartilage under that normal-looking exterior.  And needles stuck in cartilage cause: a) pain, and b) bleeding.  A more painful quarter of an hour I can't recall since having appendicitis at age 11.  I bled like a stuck pig.  Thanks, Dr. Y, but I'll stick with back pain.