I found my herbalist!

So I’m currently holding the belief that “If this guy can’t help me, no one can.”  He seems to be just what I’m looking for: has worked with chronic illness including autoimmune illnesses including Ulcerative Colitis, has worked with individuals who have sought herbal and acupuncture treatment in the past but have not found someone who can treat their unique case, has been referred clients from other doctors including Kaiser, is nice, seemingly caring (I’ve only met him once, don’t want to be naive but I am optimistic), listens to me, explains concepts to me and his office is only 5 miles from my house. 

I was so nervous, or rather excited (probably a little of both) to go see him yesterday.  I was barely productive all day, I just wanted to see him to see if he could be the one.  I know I’m being a bit dramatic here but that’s really how I felt.  I flashed back to the other herbalist and how I had to return the following day due to being too upset for him to get an accurate reading on my pulse, so I took deep breaths on drive to this new herbalist.  However, in his office, I couldn’t stop sweating, probably due to being so excited and nervous (my husband confirmed that it was quite warm and a bit “stuffy”, but I had sweat right through my dress).  I gave him a thorough history of my battles with and various treatments for Colitis over the past 15 years.  He sat and quietly listened to my stories, jotting down notes, asking (what seemed to me like) very relevant questions.  He seemed particularly intrigued by my night sweats (I guess I thought it was normal to turn into a human furnace at night).  My husband confirmed that I often soak right through the sheets at night (okay, so probably not so normal).  The herbalist mentioned something about “latent heat” which I later looked up.  The explanation was fairly complex and a bit difficult to understand.  This site seemed to explain it in somewhat layman’s terms http://www.acupuncture-points.org/latent-heat.html

After going over my illness history, he had me lay on the patient’s table and placed several needles in my belly (after poking around to have me point out the more tender areas), my legs and my wrists.  He first took my pulse on my left wrist (acupuncturists and herbalists often do this,  my understanding is we have different kinds of pulses that represent different meridians http://www.yinyanghouse.com/theory/chinese/pulse_diagnosis).  I tend to have a bit of a “rapid” pulse.  The points he hit with the needles were interesting.  I don’t know if you have ever experienced acupuncture, but I do recommend it.  There were two points on my belly where, once the needles were in, the best way I can describe it is, I felt like my upper large intestine or some part of that section of my belly was getting a little, gentle hug, like it was being held gently in place (in a good way).  When receiving acupuncture, I often have feelings of being very heavy or floating.  The floating sensation was explained to me by one acupuncturist as my body letting go of something (like the tension or pain).  I’m not sure about the heavy feeling.  I enjoy all the sensations (except for the pinching, intense ones that acupuncturists explain as hitting a “stuck” point and releasing some meridian flow or something, I’m making that last part up, but that’s kind of how I imagine it).

I made another appointment for Friday during which the doctor said he will discuss treatment and diet with me.  He did recommend I not train for another triathlon (I’m raising money for Crohn’s and Colitis through Team Challenge by training and competing in a triathlon) as I need to focus on strengthening myself internally and not externally.  I’m okay with that; this tri training has been intense (yet super fun!).  I’ll keep you all posted on how things go with this doctor.  I really do hope he can help me.  I like that he’s honest and kind.  I asked him, “So, can you help me to be healthy and get off my medication and stay in remission and have kids?”.  He smiled in response and said, “I will do the best I can, though I can’t make any promises.”  He said that he is definitely in support of the kids piece as he has 4 of his own:)  Wish me luck!

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