Monday, August 24, 2009

Acupuncture and Heart Breakers

I had acupuncture for the first time today. I have NO IDEA why I waited so long. Ok...I do...fear it would hurt. But I wish I'd done it sooner.

When Luca was almost a year old and learning to walk, I tweaked my back so badly I could not stand upright and changing positions was near impossible. I tried a therapeutic massage to no avail. My Dr did an exam and proclaimed it 'back pain of unspecified origin' (Um...I came to YOU to SPECIFY the ORIGIN, asshole) and sent me away with Somas and pain meds, which did nothing but make me sleepy and dizzy. Eventually the pain went away.

It's flirted with coming back since, but I've always been able to take it easy and thwart a full-fledged return. Until I had a toddler and an infant. And then it snuck back up on me like the bitch it is.

It started Friday when I noticed my hips felt sore when I would stand from a sitting position. By Saturday, it hurt to sit through the movie (District 9, good but not great because I guess I suck at ci-fi appreciation). By Sunday morning, I couldn't stand upright and my ribs were torqued at such an angle that my left boob was over my right foot. Go ahead; picture it. I dare you. Add to this the "UNNNN-GAH-ARRRUN!" I had to do to sit down or stand up and the Quasimodo hunch and you have on HOT mental image.

I let Darrick pop my back and rub the muscles. We tried his T.E.N.S. machine which he had for post shoulder surgery physical therapy. I caved and took a pain pill (5 oz of liquid gold down the drain b/c Romo reacts to it in my milk, 1.5 hour nap on the couch, 3+ hours of fuzzy fatigue, back still wrenched in pain). I tried Icy Hot, hot baths, ice packs, lying on my side, standing, stretching, relaxing...nothing made it better.

So this morning I made an appointment for acupuncture. Everyone was suggesting chiropractic care, but for some reason (mom who's an RN probably) that kind of scares me. So I decided instead to try what I considered to be a less invasive option (read: no spinal manipulation).

I am SO GLAD I DID. Oh my god...Acupuncture? It's me. Katie. Where you been all my life, gorgeous? Let's never be apart so long again, ok?

I went to the Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture (PIHMA) and had a consult and the acupuncture therapy. It didn't hurt at all, but it did work. I went from not being able to stand straight to getting off the table and standing completely upright. They did needles in my lower back and back of my knee, but the REAL magic was the pressure points in my ankles, especially the left ankle. She put that needle in and a little jolt shot up my outer thigh and into my back, where it tightened for a second and then released. It felt like heaven. After the acupuncture she tried cupping, which did hurt a bit, but after the pulling sensation of the cups being suctioned on, it mostly felt hot and tight on my back. But when she released the cups after 5-10 minutes, it felt EVEN BETTER.

I'm a convert. Sign me up.


Luca's favorite phrase to say right now is, "Can Luca break Mama's heart?". Apparently I said this to her once when she said something, well, heartbreaking, and it stuck. It's used when she's being edibly adorable, and you just want to either dress her in a bonnet and pettiskirt and watch her twirl or sit in a corner and cry over the sweetness.

I was feeling particularly emotional this evening. Maybe it's the fatigue, perhaps the acupuncture and cupping released my emotional chi...whatever the cause Luca was just TOO MUCH for me tonight. In a good way. Darrick had parent-teacher night tonight so we went to our friend Kristin's house to say hi. And, honestly, I was exhausted and longing for the distraction and tiring effects a mini playdate is guaranteed to have on the kids. Kristin has a daughter, Melody, who is 3 months older than Luca and a son, Miles, who's a month older than Rohan. Luca is IN LOVE with Kristin, to the point where, at home when it's been WEEKS since her last Kristin run-in, she often brings me a picture she colored and asks, "Can it be for Kiss-tin?".

Anyhow, we went...we played...we left when it became obvious Rohan was exhausted and Miles wouldn't breastfeed with an audience.

On the way home, I asked Luca if she had fun.

"Yes, Mama. Yuca yuvs Kiss-tin."
"Mama loves Kristin too, Luca. And Melody. And Miles."
"No, YUca yuvs Meldie."
"You love Melody too? Oh, that is SO nice."
"Meldie's Yuca's best fwend."
"She is."
"But mama?"
"Yeah babycakes?"
"Madison is Yuca's best fwend too!" (Madison is our friend's daughter who just joined Luca's in home daycare)
"Oh. That is so nice, Luca." :::starting to tear up at cuteness of 2 year old calling another little girl her best friend:::
"S'ok, Mama. No cwying, Mama."
::::realizing I'm sniffling::: "You make me very happy Luca."
"Can Yuca bweak mama's heart?"
::::sniffles turn into vision-blurring tears::::
"S'ok, mama. Mama can be Yuca's best fwend too!"

Yuca and Melddie

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