Having been through the mental ordeal that was Acupuncture Session 1 and the similarly nerve-wracking but uneventful Session 2, I showed up for Session 3 feeling like a seasoned old pro. I've got this, I gloated to no one but myself.
I assumed the patented "facedown, underpants up, hospital gown slightly askew" position on the table to receive my pokes. This time though, the needles didn't slide in quite so easily. The doctor had to tap, tap, tap, tap, tap to get them fully into my skin, almost as though I was closed off for the day and not accepting needly little visitors.
The last needle was destined for the top of my head. Dr. O had completed this task on two other occasions without incident and up until that point I was pleasantly surprised at how mild and bearable the whole process had been - aside from, you know, the forced relaxation afterward. When Dr. O slid the needle into my head this time, mild and bearable became burning and agonizing. All my stoicism went out the window and I yelped, “Yow yow yow, get that out of my head!”
I was cross-eyed with pain and tears rushed to my eyes. The point of entry burned well after she removed the needle, and I reeled from the shock of that one poke the whole time I was “relaxing.”
When Dr. O came back after my 20 minutes of waterfalls and Enya, she explained that sometimes if we're under a lot of stress, the needles don't go in as easily.
That would have been good to know before I came into this room stressed out! Now I have to be unstressed to get acupuncture? Do you know how stressful that is? Knowing stress will cause agonizing pain makes me stress about having stress. Acupuncture fail.
Then Dr. O said, almost as an afterthought, “Hmm, maybe I should have used the smaller needles.” There are smaller needles?! Yes, maybe you should have used the ones that don’t burn like the devil’s pitchfork.
Up next: Session 4