I think I'm turning into the sort of patient that the average doctor considers a pain in the neck. I'm not a hypochondriac, and I'm not showing up at my appointments with 20 pages of webpage printouts about unproven treatments, and I don't go in saying "I want medication X, and I want it now." But I am becoming someone who knows her body, pays attention to it, and has begun to figure out what works for me and what doesn't, and is willing to say "No, I'm not going to do that."
The next time I need a referral to Physical Therapy (and it would be PERFECTLY FINE WITH ME if I never need another one), I'm going to push to get the right physical therapist for me — which is going to be a therapist who has experience working with acupuncture as a complementary modality.
The therapist I got assigned to has zero experience with acupuncture, and the treatments she has been recommending directly contradict what my acupuncturist
has told me.
PT says "use icepacks, several times a day." Joel says "in TCM terms, this results from an excess of cold and damp, so keep it warm and dry." (And as I mentioned earlier
, he's said that ice should not (not not NOT) be used after the first 24 hours following an injury.
PT says "do these stretches, several times a day." Joel says "you can't stretch this out, work it out, or walk it off. You need to REST. Go HOME, lie DOWN, and DON'T MOVE."
So when I went to my second PT appointment, what I had to report was that no, I hadn't been doing any of the things she wanted me to. I wasn't using ice, I was using a heating pad. I wasn't stretching, I was on as-close-to-bed-rest-as-I-can-manage. I have a feeling that I made it onto her mental list of "non-compliant patients", and I just want to say to her "It's not that I'm NON-compliant, I'm just complying with a different modality whose recommendations happen to contradict yours. Furthermore, I've been seeing that practitioner on and off for about five years now for various things and have experienced significant relief and improvement from the treatment. I've seen you twice now, and felt noticeably WORSE after the treatment."
So I cancelled the appointment I had scheduled for tomorrow. It just didn't seem to make sense — I'd have to take time off from work (either by burning sick leave or making the time up later), schlep up to Oakland Kaiser, and fork over the $15 co-pay, just to tell her "The only one of your recommendations I've followed is the ibuprofen; I haven't been stretching or using ice; and the pain is significantly reduced and is continuing to improve. Thanks for... um... Well, have a nice day."
I mean, $15 will pay for 1/4 of an acupuncture session or two bottles of Zheng Gu Shui
— and those actually help.