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Wednesday Update: 09/10/08

Happy Belated Birthday to Matt!!!! Yesterday was Matt’s 33rd birthday! We spent the evening in kind of an unusual way…but it was all good! Matt had his first acupuncture treatment with Jay (the acupuncturist…not his buddy…just to be clear!). We went at 5:30 and didn’t end up leaving there until 7:00! Things just move at their own pace at Jay’s office, and you can’t really rush this kind of treatment. I guess it’s just another way in which TCM is so completely different than our typical medical treatments here in the US.
Matt seemed pretty relaxed in Jay's office and even commented on how happy he was to be having the treatment in IOWA! ('I hear cars outside and I'm so happy because I know there are IOWANS driving those cars') We talked a little more about changes Matt could make to his diet to help promote healing in the various areas he struggles with as Jay placed the needles in Matt’s scalp, face, arm, hand, legs, and feet. The needles Jay used were smaller than the ones Matt had in China, but he may end up using larger needles as they go along. Each needle he placed he would spin to stimulate the area being targeted. He would spin it just until it was getting uncomfortable for Matt…and then move on. He left the needles in for about 20 minutes, then returned to spin them again…and finally removed them after 30-40 minutes total time. He is going to put together a list of books for us to look at and read more about the diet aspects of Chinese healing. It’s going to be interesting…and a bit difficult as well! He stressed the importance of treating the stomach…that all things sort of start there. Matt should eat foods that are easy to digest, not spicy, not phlegm inducing, etc. We talked briefly on some things to avoid, like chicken. This was a shocker to us! As many of you know, we do love our chicken. George and Sandi even bought me an all chicken cookbook one year because I cook with chicken so often!! Well, the Chinese believe that when you eat animals you often take on some of the characteristics of the animal. Chickens and turkeys and other birds are ‘wind’ producing animals…they produce wind in the body. Wind, in Chinese terms, is like wind blowing through the leaves of a tree and can cause ticks and tremors in your body. So, to try and help with Matt’s tremor, Jay recommends he avoid wind inducing animals. Thankfully, Jay is going to help give us ideas and guidelines to follow to help us as we try to implement these changes in our life. He also said to start slow and not try and change everything all at once, or it would just frustrate us. While it’s easy to want to resist them and feel it is impossible to make them…we are both trying to keep an open mind and see what happens. We have nothing to lose…and who knows what the possibilities are? Matt said last night…his mind is WIDE open!!

After treatment we headed over to Pagliai’s where we promptly ate all the things he’s supposed to avoid!! But…in his defense it was his BIRTHDAY and who doesn’t indulge a bit on their birthdays!? We talked over our pizza about the future and the hope we have that this TCM treatment will bring more positive changes. It is exciting! After pizza, of course, Matt wanted some ice cream…so we picked up some DQ on the way home. We finally got home around 9:00 and Matt was able to open his presents from me and my parents. We had gone in together to get him a couple old signs and an oil can that we had seen together a few months ago at an antique store. I remembered how cool he thought they were and knew he’d have fun with them in the garage. I made him sit in the office while I put them in the living room, plugged them in, and turned off the lights. I wheeled him back into the living room with his eyes closed and then let him open up to see them sitting there. He was pretty speechless – it was so cute! He was surprised I had remembered. He’ll have to get his dad to come help him find the perfect spot for them…but I don’t think that’ll be a problem at all! (I think he likes just about any excuse to hang out in the garage.)

All in all, it was a good day for us, and I think a good birthday for Matt. He never likes to make too much of a fuss…but we enjoyed the time together. We’d also had dinner out on Saturday night with his parents to celebrate with them too at Spaghetti Works…another of Matt’s favorite places. So, I’d say he’s had a good birthday!! We have treatments with Jay tonight, Thursday and Friday…and are going to try and schedule it Tuesday-Friday going forward. It is a big time commitment, but hopefully will be well worth it. So far, so good!!

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