Thursday, June 09, 2011
Today I went to see the new doctor, who's also a medical acupuncturist. (He told me that in fact, the insurance companies are pulling him off primary-care panels and listing him as a specialist, which means that I should list his nurse-practitioner as my primary-care person.) I like him a lot. He took notes and checked my records on a laptop, but made plenty of eye contact. When I told him why I wanted acupuncture -- for sinus and gastric issues, two of the conditions for which the World Health Organization recommends acupuncture -- he promptly asked for the history on both. When he found out that I'm not taking an acid blocker because I'm nervous about osteoporosis, he said, "The risk of not taking the pills is greater than the risk of taking them," and then he told me that not all of them interfere with calcium absorbtion at the same level. He said that Zantac is pretty benign that way, especially if I also take both calcium and Vitamin D -- which I already do -- so I'm back on that as of this evening.
After he took my medical history, he asked me what I do for a living, and then what I do for fun. As he was positioning the needles for the acupuncture, he said, "So, do you feel as if you've been able to do what you've wanted with your life?"
Nobody's ever asked me that broad a question: not psychologists, let alone any kind of internist. I was very impressed. This guy seems to have a firm grasp on both Western and Eastern medicine, is comfortable using both, and also pays attention to the Whole Person. My only quibble is that his voice is so soft that I often can't hear him, but I'll just have to ask him to speak up. (He works out of a medical spa, which has a very cushy waiting room with aromatherapy and soothing music and deep, fluffy chairs: it feels like the lobby of a high-end hotel. That's different from my usual experience, too, as was the fact that he came out to get me himself and conducted the entire visit without a nurse.)
The acupuncture was fine. He's very deft at needle insertion and was very solicitous about whether I was comfortable, putting a pillow under my knees and covering my feet with a blanket because they were a bit chilly. I'm going back for another acupuncture session in three weeks. I don't notice any effects from it yet, but I think it takes a while.
So that went well, I think. I also found the office much more easily on this second visit!
On a less happy note, this evening I facilitated a Literature & Medicine session at the VA and learned from some fellow knitters there that my favorite yarn shop is closing. This is really terrible news, and I hadn't even known about it. Evidently everything's half price, so I'm going to go over there tomorrow morning and load up on whatever's left (I still have part of a gift certificate my sister gave me for my birthday, but I'm sure I'll go over that).