So far my Fabulosity Meter has not flickered to life once during this cruise.
Something has to be done
I wonder what Patsy would do under these circumstances. She would shop, of course, but “you can never have too many hats, bags or shoes” doesn’t seem to fit the bill. She would have another “stoli-boli”, but I certainly don’t need more alcohol. She would be “thin and gorgeous”, but both of those are seemingly beyond reach. But there is the spa……………!
As I enter the spa I get sidetracked by an advert for acupuncture. They are advertising a 15 minute free consultation. The offer also lists ailments that can be cured and there, at the top of the list is tennis elbow which I happen to be suffering from at the moment. I have never had acupuncture and a free consultation seems like the perfect introduction.
I am greeted by Jennifer, a beautiful young Asian woman with a wicked sense of humour and a keen appreciation of my sarcasm. By the end of the 15 minutes consultation we are firm friends, which is probably why I signed up for three sessions at a cost of $450.
She wants to know what ailments I have. I tell her about my tennis elbow and my tennis ankle. She wants to know if I am interested in weight management.
One look at me and she wants to know if I am interested in weight management!
I tell her I have no trouble managing my weight , it’s losing weight that I can’t manage .
“How much weight would you like to lose”, she asks
“30 lbs”, I reply
She asks me to stick my tongue out. She takes one look and says “Yuck”
She asks to look at it again, as though it was so unbelievable the first time she has to take another look.
“Your body is full of sludge “ she says.
Thank you!! You needed to look at my tongue to tell me that
She tells me my body is like a river, and over the years as the water flows through it, sludge begins to buildup. The sludge has REALLY built up in my river
Chinese medicine is all about digestion. Acupuncture will not only get rid of the pain in my wrist and ankle, but will also remove all the sludge, which in turn will cause me to lose weight. I am sold – I haven’t had one needle stuck in me and Jennifer already ranks way higher than my Doctor who, when I tell him about my aches and pains, just gives me pain pills and tells me it is an age thing. Plus he is not beautiful, has no sense of humour and doesn’t appreciate my sarcasm. Maybe I can take Jennifer home with me
The next afternoon I arrive for my first session. Jennifer has me lie down on something like a massage table. Before she can start I let her know that I am terrified of needles and I am liable to start screaming.
“I’ll wear ear plugs” she says
What a girl!
She shows me that these needles are much slimmer, “fourteen times thinner than the needle your doctor uses”
Yes, but he just sticks it in once
I tell her I am a little concerned that the rolling of the boat might affect her aim with the needles.
She assures me that she doesn’t throw them like darts
She really is terrific
Jennifer begins by sticking needles down my left leg.
I remind her that the pain is in my right elbow. She explains that sticking needles in my left leg will in fact cure my right elbow, and asks me to move my right elbow. “The pain should be gone” she says
She sticks more needles in my left arm, and then in my right leg. I feel like a pin cushion.
Finally she says she has run out of needles.
“OK, now I am going to turn the lights out and leave you to rest” Jennifer says.
You’re going to leave me to rest!! With all these needles sticking out of me!
“I will check back with you in 15 minutes” she says as she closes the door behind her.
I never knew 15 minutes could take so long. I dare not move for fear of rolling onto one of the needles. I lie there, trying to relax, eyes staring into the darkness, counting the seconds until she returns.
After a lifetime, she returns
“How are you doing” she asks
You mean other than having 30 needles stuck in me for the last 15 minutes
“OK”, I say, assuming that the torture is about to end.
“Great” she says. “I ‘ll come back in 30 minutes”.
I said I was doing OK, not that you could leave me
But she has already closed the door and her mind to my screams.
When she returns, she quickly removes all the needles. She explains to me that one effect of the acupuncture will be that I will not be as hungry as usual this evening.
Well what a wonderful piece of intuition that is. We are on a cruise ship. Hunger is a thing of the past!
She also explains that the sludge will start passing through my body, and in the morning, when I go to the bathroom, the results will be impressive if somewhat alarming. When I explain this to Gordon he worries that our cabin is a rather small space for such bodily functions to take place, and asks if he can leave the cabin before my morning ablutions.
The next session is the following afternoon. Jennifer still looks great and still has her sense of humour, while mine might be slipping away.
She asks how I am feeling.
I tell her
I was ravenous last night for the first time since joining the ship
I was unable to go to the bathroom this morning
My elbow still hurts
And I haven’t lost 30 lbs
She is clearly puzzled and announces that she will try something else this time. She proceeds to stick about twenty needles in my elbow, despite the fact that this is one of the very few parts of my body where there is virtually no flesh for a needle to be stuck.
“OW!”, I say, trying to keep calm, “that one hurt”
“GOOD”, she says, with a maniacal laugh
I love this woman!
She leaves me for my “relaxation period” again, assuring me that now I know what to expect I will probably go to sleep.
She returns after what seemed like a few moments, but was in fact 45 minutes.
“You probably feel like jello” she says.
“Why”, I reply “do I look like jello”
“That’s not what I said, but now you mention it……..”
Isn’t she great!
The next day is the final session.
She asks me how I feel
I tell her
I have been to the bathroom
But my arm still hurts
and I haven’t lost 30 lbs
Jennifer is clearly puzzled. She wonders if there is something more seriously wrong with my elbow and starts probing it with her fingers. She says she is checking the tendons that go from the elbow to my muscles.
“Can you feel my muscles”, I ask
“You’re the buffest patient I have ever had”, she replies.
God, I love this woman
Then she giggles
“There is only one place left to try” she says
Foolishly I ask her where that is.
“Your ears and head” she says
She proceeds to stick needles in my ear. When she is done she says it is time for my rest. I tell her I am terrified.
“What happens if I fall asleep and my head lolls to one side?” I ask
“It’s better if it doesn’t “ she replies. “The needles could go though your ear and into your head”
“Do you talk to all your patients like this”, I ask
“Only the crazy ones”
If only I was thirty years younger and straight
The next day I see her in the spa. She asks me how I feel.
I tell her.
My ankle is much better
My wrist is better this morning too
But I still haven’t lost thirty pounds
What would Patsy say?
My Mother would have loved you as a talking pin cushion. Great stuff Andrew love it keep writing as well as eating please or it will be thirty five pounds to lose. Still we all know she has not run out of places yet? to put needles.
I love the needles story! I am just as crazy as Jennifer. I did all that in San Francisco in the old days. You writing is fascinating. You bring me into your trip. Thank you so much.Odilo
Stick with the needles and the chinese philosophy about health. It works. Bob, my husband will attest to it. Love your sense of humor and your writing. Keep us going in the otherwise dull every day living.Thanks, Helen Gerry
Knowing you and needles I am surprised you went through with it. Has your 'needlephobia' gone too now?
Patsy would say: "Bring on the Stoli Boli and hand me a scalpel!" lol There was plenty of raving about your blog at the DHH lunch yesterday. Keep 'em coming!
You are absolutely hilarious. When is the book coming out?
Am loving the dialogue – I agree a book is a must!Looking forward to next installment.
Desludge by Jennifer: $450Desludge by Fleet enema: $2.49Reading the blog: priceless