The Quadruple Whammy Day

So I woke up yesterday morning and my blood sugar was 367.  Since it is supposed to be below 120, that was a really bad thing.  No point in reporting it to my primary or secondary doctors because they’ve gone silent on me.  Thanks a bunch, guys.  Physicians prescribing pharmaceuticals did the damage and other physicians won’t hang in there with me.

So I had breakfast—yogurt and Irish soda bread—and went to see the local acupuncturist.  I’ve been getting acupuncture for about fifteen years from a distant acupuncturist but he no longer is accessible.  I’m too sick to deal with the abuses of Medicaid transportation, trying to get through the plate glass door in my wheelchair when there’s no press plate, the long time in the waiting room, and the layers of bureaucracy behind the locked door.  Didn’t used to be that way, but the younger generation has relegated the physician to just practicing medicine, not setting or running policy.  It is no longer a user-friendly office and I don’t want to be there, so I go to the neighborhood guy.

He interviews me.  I explain that I’ve had a lot of acupuncture for things like pneumonia, tendonitis and depression, and that I respond well.  The man who used to do my acupuncture said there was one specific site under the left breast for the treatment of diabetes, but the acupuncture would have to be done every day.  This acupuncturist does not agree; I’m inclined to believe the previous fellow, who was very broadly trained—not to mention terrifically smart—and had at least a decade more experience.

We come to a point where the acupuncturist (I had to ask him to sit down so we could be at eye level; he was standing over me making me crane my neck backwards) is insisting that I have to work with him—repeatedly insisting.  What makes him think I’m not working with him?  The physician who I went to for all those long years and with all that success never berated me with this you-have-to-work-with-me stuff.  He just did his part and trusted me to do mine.  Finally I snap at the acupuncturist, “I’ve had acupuncture for a decade and responded well.  My glucose is 367 and I feel terrible.”  So he shuts up and sticks the needles in. 

He inserts about two dozen needles—top of the head, ears, hands, chest, knees and ankles—and then I rest quietly for half an hour (other man used to do an hour) to the tune of his artificially introduced waves and birdsong.  After he pulls the needles, he massages my shoulders and does a two-finger poke up and down my spine, which hurts terribly.  I cry out and he says he’ll go easier.  He does, but not much.  It still hurts awfully.  Then I pay him $75 cash and he recommends weekly appointments at $65.  I schedule for the next week.  There were times when I’d be pushed into my previous acupuncturist’s office in a wheelchair and come out dancing behind it.  Not today.  I still feel just as bad as when I went in.

I go home and check my blood sugar.  It’s 450.  I have lunch—half a calzone and one Toll House cookie—and go to my massage therapist.  Diana Sponsler is not some ham-handed therapist, more athlete than intellect, doing Swedish massage in which she vigorously digs her fingers into my muscles and aggressively kneads them.  Diana is certified in orthopedic massage, craniosacral therapy, lymphatic drainage and Reiki. 

I don’t understand all this stuff but (a) it is a lot like what the late Kathy Urshel used to do during the years I went to her; (b) when I question Diana she gives me answers that sound pretty solid, and (c) it works.  I’ve been going to her every other week for about a year and a half; now I’m going every day.  The day before, she’d had me lay face down and then sprinkled my spinal area with a whole bunch of essential oils.  I smelled pretty good.  So Diana does her thing while I doze and pray for healing, then she discharges me with colostrum. 

The previous day Diana had gone to her colleague and Reiki master who, she said, “Sensed my concern for you and I gave her some brief information, upon which she practically shouted that you should try Colostrum. It helped her return from the brink of death from cancer and mercury poisoning, and is apparently great for supporting immune systems (restoring she said) and for diabetics.”

My first reaction to anybody’s recommendation of anything to be taken internally is “Uh-h-h, no.”  Experience has taught me that I react as badly to nutrients or dietary supplements as I do to pharmaceuticals:  they all are strange substances that make my immune system stand up and fight.  People have repeatedly urged me to take things that “enhance” or “boost” the immune system.  Um, no thanks.  I don’t have a weak immune system that lets me down so that I get every cold and flu bug that comes around; I have a hypersensitive immune system that attacks not only cold and flu bugs but also shrimp, dogs, spring and the occasional tomato.  We don’t need to enhance or boost an immune system that is already boosted out of the known universe.

However, I do try to keep an open mind and words can never hurt me, so I go on the Internet and read up on colostrum, which is the really high quality stuff that comes from a mother’s nipples before her milk comes in.  (I surely do hope I can continue this tomorrow.)

About annecwoodlen

I am a tenth generation American, descended from a family that has been working a farm that was deeded to us by William Penn. The country has changed around us but we have held true. I stand in my grandmother’s kitchen, look down the valley to her brother’s farm and see my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Hannah standing on the porch. She is holding the baby, surrounded by four other children, and saying goodbye to her husband and oldest son who are going off to fight in the Revolutionary War. The war is twenty miles away and her husband will die fighting. We are not the Daughters of the American Revolution; we were its mothers. My father, Milton C. Woodlen, got his doctorate from Temple University in the 1940’s when—in his words—“a doctorate still meant something.” He became an education professor at West Chester State Teachers College, where my mother, Elizabeth Hope Copeland, had graduated. My mother raised four girls and one boy, of which I am the middle child. My parents are deceased and my siblings are estranged. My fiancé, Robert H. Dobrow, was a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps. In 1974, his plane crashed, his parachute did not open, and we buried him in a cemetery on Long Island. I could say a great deal about him, or nothing; there is no middle ground. I have loved other men; Bob was my soul mate. The single greatest determinate of who I am and what my life has been is that I inherited my father’s gene for bipolar disorder, type II. Associated with all bipolar disorders is executive dysfunction, a learning disability that interferes with the ability to sort and organize. Despite an I.Q. of 139, I failed twelve subjects and got expelled from high school and prep school. I attended Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College and got an associate’s degree after twenty-five years. I am nothing if not tenacious. Gifted with intelligence, constrained by disability, and compromised by depression, my employment was limited to entry level jobs. Being female in the 1960’s meant that I did office work—billing at the university library, calling out telegrams at Western Union, and filing papers at a law firm. During one decade, I worked at about a hundred different places as a temporary secretary. I worked for hospitals, banks, manufacturers and others, including the county government. I quit the District Attorney’s Office to manage a gas station; it was more honest work. After Bob’s death, I started taking antidepressants. Following doctor’s orders, I took them every day for twenty-six years. During that time, I attempted%2
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1 Response to The Quadruple Whammy Day

  1. Over the last 25 years, acupuncture in the U.S. has grown from a virtually unknown system of medicine to one used by millions to treat a wide range of conditions. Acupuncture is now widely used both as an adjunct to standard Western medicine and as an effective form of healthcare in its own right. In fact, its use with people living with HIV is one of the major causes of its growth and popularity in the West. Acupuncture is a great way to help relieve symptoms and boost the immune system.

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