On pins and needles

OK, so I wasn’t really on pins and needles, but I needed a catchy title. ;)

I went for my first acupuncture appointment on Monday. I read up a bit on acupuncture beforehand so I had an idea what to expect, but the doctor (an MD who practices in natural medicine and acupuncture) did a wonderful job of explaining things to me as well.

After we talked a bit about what I was there to see her for – liver support to prevent a recurrence of HELLP syndrome, heartburn (which I’ve been having a lot of lately), and stress, she had me lie on the table with supports under my back and legs (since I am pregnant) so I was sitting more in a V than flat on my back. She felt my pulses in my wrists and explained that in Chinese medicine they listen to a lot more than just how many beats per minute. She also explained that what acupuncture does is balance the Qi (“Chee”) or energy force in the body. She said that because I was pregnant, she would avoid using some of the common acu-points because we do NOT want to move Qi down through my pelvis at this time. She said if I was at term and baby wasn’t coming, then that’s when they use the acupuncture to move the Qi through the pelvis, but certainly not at this point in my pregnancy. That was interesting to know.

Then she wiped with alcohol the spots on my body where the needles (which are sterile and disposable and very, very thin) would go in, and began inserting them. She put a couple in my feet, one in each ankle and knee (on the sides), one in my chest (for the heartburn – which she said is “rebellious Qi going in the wrong direction”), a couple in my neck and about four in each ear. The ears contain a spot for each part of the body, so in my ears she treated my nervous system, liver, kidneys and lungs.

It was pretty cool. I felt a slight pinch with a couple of the needles going in (which is what she said to expect), but didn’t even feel most of them being inserted. By the way, the depth of the insertions varies from 6 to 12 millimeters into the muscle tissue, so they aren’t going in far AT ALL. And once they were in, I could no longer feel them (which is to be expected – there should be no pain involved) and really just felt relaxed.

She left me alone with the needles in for 20 minutes, and said although there’s nothing specific I needed to do to help with the treatment, if I wanted to do some meditation or visualization involving boosting my immune system, I could. Mostly I just closed my eyes and practiced my relaxation breathing (for Hypnobirthing), while focusing on having a healthy body. Baby boy was moving around a lot for the first 10 minutes or so, but then he settled down. I could see how it’d be really easy to just fall asleep while the needles are in because it is quite relaxing.

After the 20 minutes were up, she came back in and asked me how I was feeling. Then removed each of the needles.

She said she’d like to see me every week, though I may only go every other week since Jody has to take time off from work to watch Ava while I go.

Anyway, it was an interesting and good experience. Let me know if any of you have any questions. I do recommend that anyone who is wanting to go while pregnant make sure their acupuncturist has treated pregnant women in the past so they avoid the acu-points that move Qi through the pelvis. Don’t want any of these babies coming before they are fully cooked. ;)

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In other news, the case of the missing funds has been solved. Hooray! I know I should balance my ledger every month, but (eep!) I haven’t been. So I pulled out our bank statements for the past two months and found about six items I’d never deducted from the ledger. A-ha! The lightbulb goes on! Sucks that we are out that money, but I’m glad that I know why now.
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Yesterday afternoon, since Jody had the day off, he, Ava and I drove up to “Ned” (Nederland) in the mountains. It was beautiful up there. We went to the park that we always go to when visiting Ned and Ava had a grand old time on the playground, looking at the fish pond and checking out the dam and reservoir. It was a fun afternoon and nice to get out into nature.

Tomorrow Ava and I have an API meeting to attend in the morning. And on Thursday, Jody’s work (Google) is having a family picnic at a local reservoir (or lake to those of you who don’t live in CO). That should be fun. :)

Don’t ya just hate it when…

You can’t get your checkbook to balance and you are off by a LARGE amount and not in your favor (of course!)???
Since Jody wiped out my computer last week, he didn’t have time to reinstall ALL of the programs that I use regularly, just the majority of them. As a result, I haven’t had Xcel on my computer for a week or so, and I hadn’t updated our checkbook ledger for a little while before that.
So, here I sit, trying to play catch up and get it all to balance now and I’m off by what started off as over $300, though now I’ve got it whittled down to $226, but I can’t figure out anything else to subtract! Arg! It’s so frustrating.
I am usually quite good about staying on top of these things. If I’m off a bit, it’s never by much and I usually can figure it out, which is why this is making me want to tear my hair out. Blah. Maybe if I let it sit for a while and come back to it, it will jump out at me. :)

Anyway, we’re having a pretty lazy weekend around here, which has been nice for all. The Lupus Foundation never came to pick up our bags and bags of donations on Friday, so we took them to a local charity in town yesterday. Honestly, that’s what I had hoped to do before the LF called to schedule the pick up anyway (though I was excited to have someone coming to get them rather than us having to cart them somewhere), so I’m glad it all worked out the way it did. We also dropped off some cardboard at the recycling center. It might sound cheesy, but it always warms my heart to go there and see so many other people recycling their things as well. Call me a sentimental (i.e. hormonal) sap, but I got teary-eyed thinking about it yesterday. ;)
After that, we went to the Super Target across town (since they closed “our” Target down while they build a Super Target in it’s place) to pick up dog food and a few other things.

We were actually supposed to go camping this weekend with two other families, but we backed out a couple weeks ago thinking it would be too much for us to do right after Jody’s trip and the week before we go to MI. I’m glad we decided that then, because one of my friends got sick (the one who’s cabin we were all supposed to stay at), so they didn’t end up going anyway.

Jody has the day off tomorrow and I have my first acupuncture appointment. I’m SOOOOO looking forward to it. I’ve never been before, but I know people who have and who swear it helps them a lot. My midwife suggested acupuncture (and possibly Chinese herbs) as a preventative measure to treat my liver proactively so that I don’t develop HELLP syndrome again with this pregnancy. I’m highly in favor of anything I can do now to minimize my chances because I’d hate to have to go through that again. Anyway, since I found an acupuncturist who’s also an M.D. AND accepts insurance (hooray for a $10 copay), I plan to go semi-regularly and have her work on some other issues (physical and emotional) of mine as well as the HELLP issue. I’m sure I will be blogging about it to say how it all goes.

And ya wonder why I’m a cynic

Recently I’ve been reflecting on what a cynic I’ve become. I feel like money is the motivating force behind so many things these days and it sickens and frightens the hell out of me. It’s actually one of the reasons why I haven’t been comfortable enough with vaccinations to allow my daughter to receive any as of yet. I’m skeptical that there’s a need for the vaccinations for the majority of the population since research shows that the disease rates were declining on their own before any of the vaccinations were introduced. So why do I think they were introduced and why do they “require” that all children get vaccinated? Because (in my opinion) it’s all about making money!

So then today I read this article (below) that helps confirm my theory that money is such a driving force. It states that Merck & Co. (a pharmaceutical company that manufactures vaccinations) were aware that infants were receiving an elevated dose of mercury in vaccinations (up to 87 times higher than guidelines for the maximum daily consumption of mercury from fish), yet the shots were distributed anyway.

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“A memo from Merck & Co. shows that, nearly a decade before the first public disclosure, senior executives were concerned that infants were getting an elevated dose of mercury in vaccinations containing a widely used sterilizing agent.”
The complete article is here:
1991 Memo Warned of Mercury in Shots

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Is the health of our children not important? Mercury (thimerosal) is a POISON. From the California Poison Control System’s Web site (the comments in parentheses are mine):
“What are sources of organic mercury?

Organic mercury compounds are found in a variety of products. They are used medically as fungicides and antibacterials. The most common organic mercury compounds in the home may well be mercurochrome (merbromin) and merthiolate (thimerosal), two common antiseptics. Fortunately, small ingestions by children rarely cause major problems. (What about when you inject large doses into their muscles??!)

Organic mercury compounds (of which thimerosal is one) are very damaging. They are toxic by ingestion, inhalation, and skin and eye contact. (Again, what about muscle injections? If I don’t want to eat it, I wouldn’t think it would be good to be injected into the muscle and bloodstream, but that’s just me.) These mercury compounds can attack all body systems. They can cause nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite, weight loss, abdominal pain, diarrhea, kidney failure, skin burns and irritation, respiratory distress, swollen gums and mouth sores, drooling, numbness and tingling in the lips, mouth, tongue, hands and feet, tremors and incoordination, vision and hearing loss, memory loss, personality changes and headache. Allergic reactions can also occur.

Methyl-mercury, usually from contaminated food, is very dangerous to pregnant women. Methyl-mercury causes profound mental retardation, cerebral palsy, seizures, spasticity, tremors, and incoordination, along with eye and hearing damage in the unborn baby as a result of the mother’s exposure. Organic mercury passes into the breast milk as well.”
CPCS

So hell yeah I’m going to be up in arms when someone wants to inject something into my baby that contains a poison. It’s true that thimerosal (mercury) has been removed from vaccinations (though it still exists in trace amounts) in the past few years, but what about before that? And if they allowed high doses of mercury in the shots for 10+ years, who’s to say they didn’t allow (and don’t still allow) other toxins? Most people would be surprised to learn what goes into making a vaccine (I know I was floored), but I’ll save that for another day.

You can call me a cynic and I’ll readily admit to being one, but it’s things like that article that give me more than enough justification for it.