Friday, July 20, 2007

Get to the point!

This is my friend, Spike. Every other day, we have a date.

Grabbing his end between my thumb and my index finger (oo-er!), I tap his spikey head over the skin on my shin, until pretty little droplets of blood appear. Sometimes, tapping doesn't do it, and I have to wack it. (Why does this sound so dirty?!)

It's all part of my acupunture treatment for my psoriasis. Ugh. Everytime I say "my psoriasis", I know I sound like an old lady. I always think of this old witch-type lady who was on Woody Woodpecker (my favorite cartoon when I was a child, because that was the only one we had on tape aside from Jungle Book, another fav!), who would concoct a brew saying, "This is all I need to cure my lumbaaaago!". I had no idea what Lumbago was, still don't; but I was pretty sure that if someone had embraced their affliction enough to call it "my _____", they were old... and um, witchy.

Anyway, the theory is that underneath MY psoriasis patch, there's a bunch of stagnant blood -- apparently, your spleen is good for something after all (who knew?); it replenishes and retones your blood. Mine has decided to take a few years off. Apologies to the squeamish. I have to puncture the skin every other day in order to let some of this bad blood go and make my body take notice of it. It's kinda like a mild form of leeching.

As part of my witchy treatment of course, I have to boil my own brew of Chinese herbs. They taste exactly the way you'd think -- herby, earthy, a little sweet, but oh they smell pretty terrible when they're boiling: kinda like sour burning sage and old salad greens. They're so alien-looking, I love looking at them. Take a gander:

I also get acupuncture every other week. They stick needles in my head, my forehead, my tummy, my wrists (these hurt the most! oo!) and along my legs. The three-pronged approach seems to be working, slowly. And I'll take it. I've been to two dermatologists (one of them is Tim Robbins dermie, and the other is Hilary Swank's!), but neither of them had a clue as to how to fix me, other than injecting me with cortisone. I've always wanted to believe that the "old cultures" knew what they were doing, applying leeches or sticking needles in people's bodies or contorting your body in weird positions (yoga). Maybe that's because there isn't much that my people are doing right these days, or maybe it's a holdover of my dad's drunken lecturing about how the East was going to rise (drunken or no, he totally called the rise of the Chinese and Indian economies!). In some way it's reassuring to know that those old folks, people who were probably called witches in their day, had more of a clue than these guys do today. And isn't it kinda cool to be drinking the same kind of formulas, moving in the same poses, submitting to the same needling, that has been done for centuries?

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