Just a little prick.

I love tattoos. I’m kind of addicted. I have 6.

I hate any other needles, like having my blood drawn.

But I LOVE acupuncture. Granted, it’s not nearly the same as a tattoo or blood draw.

I have only had 2 sessions so far. My first was a month ago, my second was yesterday, my third is next week.

The first one we went over why I was there (not ovulating, fertility, the ectopic). She looked at my bbt chart, and checked my tongue. The tongue can tell them a lot about our health, but I’m not sure what specifically or what she was looking for. Be prepared to get detailed with your acupuncturist. We discussed my bowel movements.

I laid down on my back on a wonderful heated table with a heater on my ever frigid feet. She placed the needles in my feet, hands, abdomen, and one in my forehead. It sounded like she snapped them into my skin with a rubber band. It did not feel like that though. I didn’t watch so I can’t tell you how they are put in. I felt some of them go in, in the form of pressure or a sharp pinch. The pinch ones I could still feel briefly. Eventually I couldn’t feel any. She twisted or tweaked some as needed. Then she left me alone for a good half hour.

It took a little while to relax but not as long as I thought it would. Eventually I just melted away. A weird sensation I had was my arms felt like they disappeared. They didn’t fall asleep, it just felt like they had vanished. Like my arms were so relaxed that my muscles wouldn’t even twitch. Light as a feather. I think I may have dozed off a little too toward the end of my alone time.

She came back in, took out the needles, discussed how I felt, and that was it. There were 2 spots where I could tell I bled a little. Just a little pin prick type of bled. Not even a full drop escapes. Nothing to worry about.  I was super relaxed. Just as much or more than when I get a massage. Surprisingly. I got a head rush followed by a little headache afterwords. She told me to hydrate more and that it could just be my body detoxing. I didn’t get one after the second session so I’m guessing she was right. This one session did not make/help me ovulate, but I expected that. It did relax me and make me feel better overall. That feeling lasted a few days. I felt the need to rush less too.

Session 2. Again we discussed my health and recent bodily events in detail. I told her I had a HSG test the following day and wanted to make sure my tube wasn’t in a spasm for it. I’ve read acupuncture can help with tube spasms. It cannot however unblock a tube.

This time I laid on my stomach. Needles were placed in my feet, ankles, wrists, and low back. She wanted to increase blood flow to my uterus. She hooked up a machine to the needles in my back and it felt like a massage. It was like little electric currents running through. Pulsing. It kind of made me nervous but eventually I couldn’t feel it anymore. Again, I relaxed and was almost dozing off. 30 minutes of alone time and the needles were out.

She did put in needles to go though. Sounds weird I know. They are tiny needles like 1/4 of a thumb tac if that. They’re attached to a band aid type adhesive. They look like minuscule thumb tacs on a bandaid. She put one on each leg above the inner ankle to open up my cervix and prevent spasms for the HSG. I had instructions to gently press on them if I got nervous before the test, which I did. I showered with these on that night, and slept with them on. I was weirded out at first but got used to them and all was fine. After my HSG test I took them out.image

 

Not the best pic.  The square is the size of my pinky finger nail. Under the square band aid is the little needle.

I have no idea if my tube spasms or if it ever has. This was just a precaution to prevent it from spasming if I could help it. There’s no way I want to go through another HSG. So I can’t say for sure that the acupuncture did anything physically but I didn’t have a spasm. My cervix was open, at least enough to get the catheter in without pain. Seemingly, acupuncture did it’s job. But again at the very least, it relaxed me thoroughly when I needed it most. I’m going back next week for a session to encourage ovulation.

The downside is the cost. $60 per session. My insurance may cover some of these, I still have to check that out. Even if they do reimburse me, it’s still $60 upfront. To me that can be a big deal. Especially several times a month. I’m still paying off my ectopic surgery. But right now, it’s worth a shot.

It is certainly not going to hurt anything, so why not give it a try?

 

They made a balloon animal in your what?

HSG test = done!

Let me start by thanking all of you for telling me about your HSG experiences. I concluded after reading them that there was no way I could predict how my test would go. All I could do was pop a pill and prepare to get poked.

I don’t handle pain down there very well so I knew it would hurt. I kept telling myself that if I could get through hours of unmedicated pain from my tube rupture then I could handle 10 minutes more. No problem.

I took 800mg of ibuprofen 45 minutes before the test. Hubby drove me as I wasn’t sure what I’d feel like after the fact. Not going to lie, I was kind of nervous. The nerves were made worse by the facts that 1) my doctor couldn’t be there and 2) I had to go to the same place I had my first ultrasound at. As I mentioned in a previous post I wasn’t a huge fan of the techs there or they way they handled my situation. But I had 2 different women this time, both very nice and informative. They explained what would happen and before each step they reiterated it.

1) Speculum to open me up. Ok, no pain just awkward and pressure.

2) Washing the cervix 3 times with solution on a giant q-tip. Again, ok. I barely felt it.

3) Insertion of the catheter. Tech A described the catheter as a thin piece of spaghetti. Honestly the entry into the cervix was ok. But getting it placed kind of sucked. Pinchy, crampy pain. Then they had me slide back on the table, which pulled it out a bit. So getting it readjusted was again not fun. Slight break in pain until step 4.

4) Blowing up the balloon to open the cervix. Ouch! With all the pinching and cramping it felt like they were making a little balloon animal in my va-jay-jay. No, I didn’t get a little balloon doggy at the end of all this either. They might consider starting that. imageThis was very bad until the balloon was full. Then a brief break until step 5. Ok it wasn’t really a break, but the pain stopped increasing. I was told to practice Lamaze breathing and take big deep breaths. Easier said than done. I was told to relax and not fight it. My brain was telling me these things too but my body had other plans. I am not sure how I’ll handle giving birth if this little bit was so awful. (But I do hope I get the chance to find out!)

5) Dye. More increasing pain as my uterus filled up. I was watching everything happen on the screen, trying to take my mind off the pain. It didn’t really work. It felt like I had a very full bladder that I’d been holding for far too long plus a whole lot of cramping and pinching.

Then just like that it was over. Everything was deflated and removed in record speed, thankfully. I was laid out like I’d been hit by a bus, content not to move.

Results: My uterus looks good, no abnormalities seen. My lonely little tube is wide open! Hallelujah! Thank you for the positive thoughts! I know it doesn’t mean the cilia in the tube will work but it’s one less thing to worry about.

After the test I was expecting dye, not blood. 😦 Tech A said I may spot but it wouldn’t be like AF. So far it’s like a light AF but seems to be stopping now. I had some slight cramping after for a few hours but that seems to be stopping too. Also, I know some people had to take antibiotics for the HSG but they mentioned nothing about that to me.  Wondering why?

 

Next Chapter: Acupuncture