Saturday, January 17, 2015
If my foot isn’t healthy enough for us to go to Asia on Tuesday (see yesterday’s post if those words make no sense to you), it won’t be for lack of trying.
Friday night was a disaster. I tried to help Jen research some things for our trip, but the pain was such that I could not concentrate and retired to an Epsom salt foot soak and then bed. I felt terrible about abandoning the planning session, but the pain, even while prone on the couch, was intense—like being hit in the foot with a giant hammer that was made out of the trophy assemblage of lesser hammers it had bested. I went to bed with the sincere hope that Saturday would be a turnaround day.
I got up Saturday, feeling well-rested. Took my meds, drank a lot of cherry juice and carrot juice, which are supposed to help, gulped down water, avoided meat and cheese and booze, took oregano oil supplements and rested most of the day, only leaving the house for acupuncture.
It was my first time doing acupuncture. Acupuncture, for those of you who don’t trade medical advice at Whole Foods, is the stimulation of specific points along the skin using thin needles. I went to one who came highly recommended. She was great.
She asked me some questions about my health. I answered honestly. She asked to see my tongue. I stuck it out. (Whatever heals my wheel, man.) I laid down on a cushioned massage table with my pant legs rolled up. After washing her hands she stuck a few dozen pins at strategic points in my ears, hands, legs and feet. None of them hurt more than a pinch. She checked my tongue repeatedly. Each time I stuck it out I secretly hoped she found my tongue impressive, the kind of tongue she could brag about to her acupuncturist friends. “You should have seen this guy I had on Saturday,” I pictured her saying. “He had the Michael Jordan of tongues.” Then the other acupuncturists would stare into their glasses of wine jealously.
When she was done pinning me and inspecting my tongue, she turned down the lights. Something about the combination of enduring the novel trauma (microscopic as it was) of being pricked repeatedly and then the lights going down set my body in a deep, comfortable ease. I relaxed, nodding off for a few minutes here and there. I laid on the table, undisturbed, for between 20-30 minutes. When the lights came back on I felt rested. I can see why people do it. You feel good afterwards.
I didn’t see or feel any immediate results, but I didn’t expect there to be any. I see acupuncture as another of the things that is going to help—not the single thing that will make it all better.
My acupuncturist wondered if the problem might be my tendon and recommended that I have tendon pho for lunch. I grabbed some on the way home. When you suffer a non-life-threatening injury, everyone has advice, confirming what I have long believed–that most people want to be helpful and useful and we are not, on the whole, an awful species. We’re more nurse than criminal, most of us. Last night my mom called and rattled off about a half-dozen home remedies for gout and bursitis. People have been sending me tips on Facebook and sending my wife texts. My wife took our dog outside this morning, and when a neighbor asked how my foot was, an Orthodox Jew who happened to be walking by at that exact moment recommended I take a certain medicine without breaking stride.
As of Saturday night, my mobility is the same as 24 hours ago. I’m still wearing a walking boot and moving slowly. I’ll have another update tomorrow.