Thursday, June 10, 2010


I had acupuncture done today. And I just have to say... it was amazing.

It's no secret that I have anxiety. BAD anxiety. And after switching meds 3000 times, I told my doctor something else needed to be done. He suggested I try acupuncture. Five Element Acupuncture to be exact.

I was SO excited. It took a few weeks to get in to my doc (because the session is 2 HOURS!!!) so I was pumped when today arrived. ANYTHING to lessen my anxiety and I'm pumped. :)

My doc started off with asking me a zillion questions. I had a mini meltdown telling him about evvvverything. (I mean- we delved into Sean's death and other traumatic moments...) He asked, "What brings you the greatest joy?" And I answered, "My kids. My kids, Ryan... a day at the zoo with them. Just being with them." (kind of rambling...) Then he asked, whats a stressful situation for you? And I thought for a second, smiled and answered, "Ummm my kids. Yeah- that day at the zoo? That would be stressful." :)

Now- let me make it perfectly clear that my kids DO NOT MAKE ME STRESSED. I have anxiety- so having kids provokes a lot of it. For example- when Maeve is rolling on the floor of McDonald's (ummm yeah- that really just happened the other day) my mind isn't thinking "Oh that's gross." MY mind is thinking "OMG she's probably picking up thousands of germs and bacteria- what if one of those germs is one of those 'super-bugs' that invades your body and... Or what if someone stepped in dog poop, then traipsed across the McDonald's floor and now Maeve is going to get some horrible disease from fecal matter... " Yeah- you get the picture. My brain is constantly in hyper-mode. I can't slow it down. It is running through crazy scenarios and outrageous thoughts.

When I first brought Maeve home I didn't sleep. No- I mean, I really didn't sleep. And NOT because I was up nursing her. Oh yes, I was up nursing her, but in between nursing sessions I was watching her. Making sure her chest was rising and falling in perfect rhythm. I thought surely the second I took my eyes off of her, she'd stop breathing.

This cycle of thinking continued and eventually led to ummm... lets call it my mini-breakdown :) It wasn't a full out breakdown- it was more like I finally realized that my obsessive thoughts and anxiety were controlling me... and I wanted free.

Then began my journey into medications.

Zoloft. Ativan. Lexapro. Klonopin. Effexcor. Celexa. Xanax.

I did find a combo that worked (Lexapro & Klonopin) for awhile. But last month it kind of stopped working. I was needing to take my klonopin more and more (which is NOT a good thing) So back to my doc I went... begging for a different answer- something OTHER than medication. Because obviously, something just wasn't working.

He calmed me down... put me on a dose of prozac and began to tell me about acupuncture.

Now here I am today. I am currently taking 40mg of Prozac and feeling great. I take my klonopin as needed- usually .5mg or .25. AND I have now ventured into the world of acupuncture. I think I'm addicted.

I wasn't nervous about the needles at all. I was nervous it wouldn't work. That this would be yet another avenue of failure.

Dr. Bigelow told me not to expect much from the first session. He wanted me to get used to the needles. The session was more of a class- he spent a good hour just asking questions about my history and telling me all about Chinese medicine.

Pretty soon it was pokey time... He put one needle in each hand, one needle in each foot and one needle on my scalp. And I kid you not- I DID NOT feel a single poke. I felt pressure but it almost felt good- like that achy kind of pressure when you're muscles are sore from working out... very strange.

After the needles were in, he left me alone for 10 minutes- with strict instructions NOT TO MOVE. :) I was dying to take a pic w/ my blackberry but didn't want to dislodge a needle...

During my 10 minutes of having needles in me, I felt really loopy. Almost like my eyeballs were rolling around and around. And I felt waves of tingles in my hands and feet. You'd think it would be creepy or uncomfortable. Instead- I wanted to lay there all day with those needles stuck in me.

After the needles were removed, I scheduled 4 more appointments for treatment. I am so excited and hopeful that this may give me some relief. Doc said next treatment he will be using something called Moxa. Sounds interesting :)

As crazy as all this sounds (Chinese medicine and the 5 elements, etc.) I felt different leaving the office. I felt calm. Doc Bigelow told me not to get too excited because it usually takes several treatments to really feel something. But I am confident... (well as confident as a pessimistic person can be :) that this could be something good.

Anyways, I wish I had pics to show you. It's unlike me to experience something and NOT take a picture.

I will keep you updated on my journey through acupuncture! My goal is to be klonopin free!!! Wish me luck ;)

Oh- and a few people have asked who Sean is/was. Here's alink to a post I wrote about him- well there is a lot of other stuff jumbled into that post as well.. But there's a pic of him :)


Kase and Jules said...

SWEEEET Ash. I am glad you like it :) I have done it and have loved it as well :) Okay, I am sorry...but who is Sean?

Jessy Schoch said...

Good for you!! I hope this really works for you, how great it would be to have some other way to calm the anxiety other than medication..or both of course :) I'm very interested to see if this continues to work for you, maybe I'll give it a try!! Thanks for sharing!!

amj said...

will you eventually get more than 10 minutes with the needles? and i totally dont agree that you need more than one session to feel results. maybe longer term results but the effects are so immediate, just as you found out.
if you ever get a spot that does burn it only does for a second and you know that one was really needed and going to do your body a lot of good. how was your sleep and your dreaming last night? after i get my energy all flowing and unblocked i find my sleep is awesome and my dreams are usually pretty interesting....
and yes, do not move once they are in. i did once because of an itch and it made the needle move and get close to a nerve and it was terrible!!! so if you need something while you're in there alone just yell for someone. in fact, i bet your practitioner would take your photo for you :)
i'm so glad you're going down this road too--i think allopathic medicine has it's place but it's widely overused. once you open your mind to the alternative treatments, everything changes....for the better! :)
it's funny that anxiety is such an epidemic but it's totally a "disease" we've created with our minds. i mean, you cant isolate anxiety in the's just really interesting....

Angie B said...

omg those thoughts u have like i have similar one lol ridiculous things runningn thru my mind..anyways glad it went great for you!