I think I forgot to post about part 4. Part 4 was pretty uneventful. It was after the lay-offs, and I was still beyond stressed.
Part 5 is much better. Yesterday I went for my last acupuncture session of Phase One (once a week for five weeks). I was in an upbeat mood. Apparently my tongue looked better and my pulse felt better, and my gastronomic distress has subsided. Dr. F. pronounced me "improved" and said this time she would treat my front.
She stuck needles in the top of my head, my belly, my arms, my shins and my feet. This was a little more disconcerting than usual, because usually I can't see the needles. I closed my eyes and tried to visualize all the ickiness flowing out of me through those needle points. She also said I'd only have to take my herbs once a day. I haven't been taking herbs at all since I started taking cold meds (I don't know why I worry more about their reaction than my other medicine -- maybe since I'd told her about the other medicine and not the cold medicine), but as soon as I can go a day without Sudafed, I'm going to start.
In Western science, although my insurance provider agreed to cover as in-network 10 acupuncture visits, I have yet to get reimbursed for one of them. First, they said the codes were wrong. I fixed the codes and mailed them another receipt. Then, they said they couldn't read her handwriting and they didn't have the right tax ID number. I called her, and she said she'd have to call me back on Friday with a different tax ID number. Why Friday? She didn't have her tax ID number at her place of business and Thursdays are her rest day. I have to sort of appreciate her laid-back approach to insurance, though -- after all, she has told me not to worry about stuff. I suppose it is easier for her not to worry about insurance, though, as she has ALREADY BEEN PAID. Stay tuned to see if I'm able to rip almost $400 back from the bowels of corporate insurance for something they agreed in writing to cover almost three months ago. You and I both know it won't come without a fight. I, fortunately, have a high tolerance for writing multiple letters and making multiple calls. I know how much it costs a company when you call in, and I have no problem with calling three or four times a day if I'm really trying to get a point across.
So how do I feel about Eastern medicine now? I made an appointment for three weeks from now for a follow-up. While my back does still occasionally hurt, I'm able to soothe the pain with massage and a heating pad. I won't say it's cured me completely, but as long as I have a desk job, I think back pain is going to be an occupational hazard. I will say the difference between my pain before acupuncture and after acupuncture is shocking.
Interestingly, too, I'm calmer. I don't know if I can really attribute this to the acupuncture or the fact that my beloved has a new, more stable job, and I didn't get laid off. Those were two major stresses in my life that have rectified themselves in the past two months. But I do feel much more capable of handling life now. Maybe it's the acupuncture, maybe it's not, but who cares? WHAT HARM? I do know that I've trusted Dr. F. more than I do most of my Western doctors. I like the holistic approach to treatment. I like the idea of not just patching holes all the time. While I will certainly continue to go to Western doctors when I need them, I think the two types of medicine can certainly live in harmony in my life.