Sigh. Well, after flying down to San Diego and spending four hours under the incredible care and attention of Dr. Helen Hu and her associate, I’ve had discouraging news. I really have never felt in such experienced and confident hands and truly believe that Dr. Hu and Mr. Chen can help and have helped a lot of people including my referrer, but they had bad news for me. I knew from one of my first x-rays when I first was in pain that I have a deformity at the base of my spine (on the opposite side of my pain) and that this deformity is the possible catalyst of my pain. Over 44 years of living, I have compensated for this deformity and it finally caught up to me in the form of the bulging disc, degeneration and extreme muscle spasms. Basically, it’s too far gone and they don’t think I will ever be pain free. Not encouraging news.

Not surprising either. It has always astounded me that with every practitioner I have seen, they seem ultra-confident that with one to a few sessions, they should be able to help me work through my pain source and they always seem REALLY surprised when they don’t. It has definitely led me to believe that there’s no hope except major surgery (like putting in pins or something). I guess that’s true, so my new goal is to manage the pain and I will continue to work through that process on this sabbatical.

Dr. Hu was kind enough to give me a recommended action list including a detox diet to help me lose weight and strengthen my kidneys (she says that part of my chronic fatigue that I’ve experienced for years is because of “weak kidneys”). As already discovered, she said I should not hike, stand for long periods of time and to avoid excessive walking. She recommends yoga and swimming. Looks like I might have to cut my super-long hair. It’s always been a pain-in-the-ass for swimming. Gotta do what I gotta do!

More on acupuncture and this wonderful ancient Chinese practice called Tui Na when I get an interview with a practitioner!