Monday, August 13, 2007

Me & Dr. Chen

I see an acupuncturist, actually a practitioner of Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture. I take tiny ball-bearing like pills three times a day and when someone asks, what is that – I say “I have no idea” then I toss back a handful. I take them because I have unshakeable faith in Dr. Chen.

Once a week I drive across town and lie on a table while this tiny, immaculately dressed Chinese woman sticks needles in me… and I look forward to it.

Dr. Chen is treating me for hot flashes and night sweats and these have, for the most part, disappeared. I sleep through the night. I no longer wake up with a puddle of sweat on my chest.

I tried lots of over-the-counter remedies for these annoying peri-menopause symptoms and some of them helped for a while and then they stopped working. I tried a low dose birth control pill that made me sick as a dog. I am hoping to stay away from hormone replacement therapy as long as I can. There’s a history of breast cancer in my family and I am just ornery enough to think I’d like to tough it out without Big Pharmaceutical.

Although, I will never say never. I have seen the ugly side of peri-menopause, heavy periods, mood swings, sweats, flashes and irritability. I have lay in bed at night seething because my poor sweet husband was breathing too loud! If this stops working I will swill
Premarin before I turn mean and angry.

But for now, Dr. Chen is my new best friend. After the application of the tiny strategically placed needles, Dr. Chen dims the lights – and this is the best part – leaves me in this quiet darkened room for half an hour of silent midday bliss. I leave the office a little buzzed and somewhat lighter. I love Dr. Chen. She gave me my happy, well rested self back, and I can’t thank her enough.

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