First they took my insurance, then copied my driver's license. Next came the request to see ALL my meds, which, of course, I had refused to bring. I do have a nice computer print-out though and this I produced for them to make more copies of, even after I told them to keep it.
The happy receptionist thrust an 11 page intake form at me. I knew it was coming and had been given some complicated instructions about how to find it on the web, but they were too involved and I didn't want to waste my printer ink on 11 pages of my own health history.
The questions were detailed and asked a lot of things about pain and problems and health goals. Next came the pages for activities, pleasurable, necessary, and sexual. The form provided me four lines to explain my emotional, verbal, or sexual traumas which caused me to become silly -- four lines? I wrote. "Your must be kidding me." Nobody followed up on that remark. Finally came the dietary questions about what I liked to eat, what I did eat, and what I'd eaten that day. "Nothing for today" was the reply which actually was commented on in the exam; ice cream and Cheetos were last night's dinner.
The appointment ran late and I had arrived 45 minutes early to make sure I could complete the intake form(s). I was becoming impatient when finally I was called into an examination room and soon after the doctor, herself, appeared. She apologized for the tardiness -- the intern I was scheduled to see had been called to the hospital to admit a patient. Would she do? She would do fine.
|Dr. Gazala Parvin, Medical Director|
"Well, clearly, you need to sleep. That is what we are going to work on immediately and we may improve pain levels and other problems along the way. I will propose a "healing" plan and we can decide if you want to follow it."
We had begun. First she examined my body. I thought my pain levels were one to naught, but once she began the probing they accelerated quickly. She was a tiny, slim, fragile looking thing and she had me "woofing and panting" within minutes.
Acupuncture was to start immediately. I had seen it performed in the movies but the actual process is nothing like that. A total of 10 very sharp needles were inserted -- two in my right arm, three in my left. Immediately it felt like my right arm had swollen into a huge, hot mass of tissue. It didn't hurt -- it was just very strange. You do feel the needles being inserted but she had be intake breath at every insertion.
Two more needles went into my right leg -- the one in the knee actually did cause "pressure" -- a very weird heaviness descended on the entire leg. Three more went to the left leg. I had started out with cold feet but quickly the left foot warmed up and felt lovely and warm -- while the right foot remained cold and clammy.
"You are clearly blocked on your right side," the doctor muttered as she turned out the lights and left me on the table for 20 minutes to "concentrate on your inner core."
I would have said that 20 minutes on a doctor's exam table would have sent me "nuts" but it didn't. I actually felt "quiet" -- the only way I can describe what those 20 minutes were like. I didn't squirm or try to write blog entries in my head -- I just "was."
Soon the lights came back on and I was sitting on the patient chair, reviewing the diet I should follow for the next two weeks before my next appointment. Also I was scheduled for two massages, one tomorrow and one for next week. We practiced a routine that I must do three times for each area of my body before sleep or whenever I wake up from sleep. Supplements were advised to go along with my diet and more blood work was required.
I left light-headed and feeling more relaxed than I had in some time. Alternative treatment from the Center for Integrative Therapy might actually be a good thing. I went in skeptical but I feeling pretty "relaxed" about the treatment now. I think I'll go take that hot bath that was suggested when I left the center's office.