This true story was written 10 years ago. I think it is still relevant. Because it is so long, I am posting it in 3 sections. Here is the final installment.

It’s Sunday afternoon, but I call my oral-facial myologist friend at her at home anyway.

She is wonderfully supportive. “Acupuncture? Of course! This is whom you should call. Don’t start prednisone until after you talk to him. Use an ice pack now. Frozen peas work well. Call him now and tell him it is an emergency. Start treatment as soon as possible.”

Reaching the acupuncturist isn’t as easy as it sounds. Another physician with the same name returns my call, tells me he is not the specialist I am looking for, but urges me to start the medication immediately.

I decide that I can wait a few more hours to make that decision, and reach the acupuncturist‘s office on Monday morning. He can’t fit me in until tomorrow, but relays through his assistant, to keep using the ice packs and to not use the prednisone.

Tuesday, New Years Eve, I apprehensively start treatment. The doctor says that we will know whether this method will be effective for me by my fourth session, and explains what will happen in the next few minutes.

The treatment isn’t nearly as uncomfortable as I expect it to be. When I sneak a peak at all the needles, I wish I hadn’t, but manage to put myself into a deeply relaxed state and visualize my face working normally again.

Sandy checks with me daily. I can’t eat very well, and develop a method of keeping food away from the affected side of my mouth. She knows, and tells me I must use my hand to make my jaw muscles move. Ugh! OK, I will.

I hate having to wear my glasses instead of my contact lenses, and feel wooden and uncomfortable talking to my clients. I check in the mirror, and notice that my face only looks a little lopsided unless I try to smile. With the glasses it is not too noticeable that my right eye does not blink.

I keep trying to remember my conversation with Dianna, and rereading the affirmations in my journal. My daughter helps me create a new list of my accomplishments. She encourages me to write “I am a fascinating, interesting, inspiring, exciting woman.” I can write it, but saying it aloud is far more difficult. Am I really those things? Well, sometimes….

Another acupuncture treatment on Friday and by Sunday, I notice that it is a little easier to eat. I still can’t close my eye, but I am hopeful. On Friday, January 10, I have my fourth and last acupuncture treatment.

Two weeks after the initial symptoms occurred, I am almost well!

Would I have recovered without treatment? Probably. Would I have recovered so quickly? Not likely — even my acupuncturist is surprised. What made the difference? I don’t know whether the emotional and spiritual work or the acupuncture did the trick, and there is no way to find out. Would I be willing to try just one at a time in a similar circumstance? No way!

Who is responsible for healing?

Two weeks later, I ask a caring and competent physician friend how the medical community can justify treating people the way I was initially treated: told to use powerful drugs of dubious effectiveness, with no information about alternatives or what I could do to help myself.

She replies that I am in a tiny minority, perhaps five percent of patients, who are willing to assume responsibility for their own health care.

Supporting my clients to find the resources for they need, for their own emotional and physical healing, has always been an important part of my work. When someone tells me that something is impossible, I do not simply accept it. Other resources are probably available, and I want to learn what they are.

My friend who was told after a serious auto accident that she would never again walk without a limp inspires me. She said, “Thank you, that is not true for me,” and found the resources she needed to heal herself completely.

10 years have passed and I am thankful that this problem has never recurred.

Is this you? “I don’t need therapy, but I could use some advice about…”
[tags]Personal Growth, Relationships, Self Help, Self-Improvement[/tags]