Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Needling the Cat

It's been six weeks since I started having acupuncture to help improve my kidney function.  I know.  Disgusting.  But, we took photos so that I could (1) document results - if there were any, as I had my doubts in the very beginning, and (2) so you could see what it's like.

My ankles were pretty swollen from the edema (I could hardly wear shoes this summer because they were so uncomfortable)... as well as from scar tissue due to ankle surgery on my left ankle when I missed a few stairs in 1996, as well as damage done when I had a severe sprain on my right ankle when I missed a few stairs in 2007.  Keep me away from stairs, I guess!

About the same time that I started the acupuncture, I also started taking some Chinese herbs because dandelion leaf tincture didn't work as well.  I also stopped eating any kind of animal protein (meat, milk, eggs, cheese... you get the picture).  So, it was really kind of crazy for a few weeks until I established a repertoire of new recipe ideas (my favorite website is 101cookbooks.com, and a few others that I don't go to nearly as often) and staples in the kitchen so that I would be prepared when I got hungry.  Or "hangry" as I learned from someone else on the internet - I don't know if it was a typo that she made, but it certainly is appropriate.  Anyway, this new eating plan has been kind of interesting, and fun, but another story.  I'm not bothered at all by not eating animal products - I like what I'm eating these days; but I still have to cook for someone who can eat whatever he wants, and another who is fairly picky.  OK.  Maybe very picky.

Anyway, I think this photo is the one we took to show the "before".  Week 1, Treatment 1.

The first needles were placed in my lower back, along the spine - I think a direct attack for the kidneys.

Then, arms, hands, legs and ankles... from my POV...

And from Phil's POV...

And this is what it looks like as the needles are going in...

Voodoo?  That's what it looks like, huh? 

When the needles are inserted, some of them sting quite a bit.  Some of them send strange nerve kind of sensations to other parts of the body... most of the needles stay in about 15 minutes or so... some of them come out right away because I can't stand it any longer! The needles in the scar on my left ankle hurt the most... and sometimes when the needles come out, there is blood... won't show you the photos - it's not a lot, just a few drops.

The results?

The creatinine levels in my blood test were too high before my first treatment and using the herbs.  But, after four weeks and four treatments, my creatinine levels decreased by 10%.  In another couple of weeks I'll have another blood test to see if there has been any more improvement.

For now, my ankles don't swell as quickly after treatments, which is nice.  In a few more weeks, I'll document progress on my ankles and blood tests again.  Watch for more updates!

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