THINGS I LOVED/HATED THIS WEEK #223

 

LOVE:

Acupuncture:

acupuncture

I do not understand how acupuncture works. I mean I get it theoretically. Extraordinarily thin needles are inserted into your skin which leads to an increase in blood circulation to those spots and allegedly to faster cell growth. Why a tiny needle should do this, I can’t begin to fathom. All I know is that it works better than it has any real reason to. You remember me whining about my pained shoulder a while ago? I was firmly convinced that I had a rotator cuff injury, but after a number of tests, it was discovered that it was not torn, there was just an inflammation of some sort. Doesn’t seem to be multiple sclerosis related, so hooray! Still, it was unreasonably painful. I couldn’t get dressed without wincing. I almost cried pushing a button in an elevator. And then holding my steering wheel became so painful that I had to use my non-dominant hand and right knee to drive. It wasn’t safe. So, I decided that something had to be done. I remembered a coworker who had once recommended an acupuncturist to me, so I had an appointment booked and skeptically went on my way. I had a vision of needles being placed directly in my shoulder or in my back. And I thought there was going to be a bunch of incense and nonsense. My uneducated assumption was very wrong. Acupuncture is very clinical, and the procedure itself is nothing like what I had imagined. You wear a robe like you’re about to have an MRI and then a kindly man comes in to ask where your pain is. He had me test my range of motion and then hop onto a bed, on my back, which was the first surprise. Then he started poking the little needles into my legs, feet, forearms, and hands — and that was it. I was extremely confused. How was that going to do anything? He asked me to move my arm before he put the needles in it and I was shocked to watch it move higher up than it had in months without pain. I was sold. I’ve been back three times and today is my final appointment for this issue. I didn’t think it would really work all that well, but the acupuncture was truly remarkable. The pain has lessened considerably and I get dressed now without even worrying about pain. It will flare up on occasion, especially in the morning, but the pain is so much more manageable now, and it goes away within an hour. I will keep acupuncture on my list of cures forevermore. It was remarkable. 

BAHA:

BAHA Trial.jpg

Hearing again for the first time was life-changing.

Much like my shoulder pain, I’ve been complaining ad nauseam about my newfound deafness since early spring. I won’t get back into the entire story, all you need to know is that I am permanently clinically deaf in my left ear. I can hear next to nothing and my speech recognition is only ten percent. That means that when I hear words, I can only make sense of 1/10 of them. Isn’t that awful? The hearing loss is irreversible, so until they put me in my tomb at Père Lachaise, I won’t be hearing much out of that ear. Working in a school with many voices coming from every which way — and just trying to live life — this hearing loss makes it very difficult and sometimes impossible to cope. People have full fledged conversations with me that I’m not even aware of. Horrible. So I needed to find a solution. Hearing aids were out of the question because they would only amplify unintelligible static. Instead, I have to have some kind of transfer system. The first option that was discussed was a pair of hearing aids that were worn in each ear. The one on my deaf side would send the sound wirelessly to my good ear’s hearing aid, allowing me to at least hear the world somewhat normally. I wasn’t terribly impressed with this; the hearing aid felt odd around my ear, and the sound that it produced was sounded like a poor radio signal. I know that it could be fine tuned, but I wasn’t too enthused, so I decided to try the second option, a BAHA. This is a machine that attaches to a screw that is surgically implanted in your skull. Sound goes into the machine and then using bone conduction it sends the audio signal directly to the cochlea, allowing you to hear quite naturally by bypassing the damaged region of the ear. You can try one out by wearing a really tight headband that simulates the device (as seen above), and reader, well, that was absolutely remarkable. You still feel deaf — I don’t think that’s ever going to go away — but you can suddenly hear sounds in your brain that you had no idea you were missing out on. The audiologist had me plug my good ear and then carry on a conversation using the BAHA alone. I didn’t miss a word. I could have cried. I scheduled the surgery for as soon as humanly possible, so next Thursday, I’m going under for the first stage, the insertion of the screw. Don’t be a fool like me and look this procedure up online. I love plastic surgery, but this was, for whatever reason, more challenging for me to watch. After the bones of my skull fuse to the screw in about three months, I will be given the actual hearing aid. So in January, nearly a year after I lost my hearing, I should have it back. Not like it was, but I’ll be able to hear again! I can’t wait. This has been one of the most challenging things I have ever gone through. Multiple sclerosis was a walk in the park compared to going deaf. Don’t do it, reader, if you can avoid it! 

Microneedling:

micro-needling-derma-roller-london

I know that you know that I’m obsessed with beauty treatments. I’ll do anything. I am longing for one of those vampire facials that the Kardashians do. I want microdermabrasion. I want Botox. I want it all. In my endless research into how to stay looking young forever, I kept coming across a device that looked akin to a medieval torture device. At the end of a handle is a roller that is covered with thin, short needles. You roll this tool repeatedly over your face causing thousands of tiny puncture wounds to cover your flesh. It hurts a little, but it’s not bad at all. Allegedly, this causes the cells in the face to regenerate and also it allows your body to naturally boost collagen production. After a while, it is supposed to get rid of wrinkles, blemishes, and odd marks. Of course I had to have it. I ordered one off of Amazon but it didn’t make it to me until I was back home from Mexico. Imagine my absolute delight with the draconian tool! I’m no sadomasochist, but I’m willing to do nearly anything to look good. It’s vanity. I know. I’m well aware. Don’t @ me. I have been using it every Sunday on my spa day — a practice I highly recommend you adopt for your mental health — and it took me a while to notice anything, but after nearly two months, I’m a convert. My skin feels so much plumper, and I don’t think that can be entirely blamed on the ridiculous amount of kettle chips I’m eating. My skin feels softer, fuller, and it seems to be a bit more radiant. I really can’t notice any blemishes. It’s bizarre. You don’t use the roller alone, though, you use it in tandem with the serum of your choosing. Except not vitamin c serum, because it’s a bit more hardcore when your face is full of holes. I use a serum that is made with an extract of snail slime, obviously. The roller allows the serum to sink way deeper into my skin than a simple application would, and I really am noticing the results. I love those snails. I love my roller. Treat yourself to one today, they don’t cost much, but the results are priceless.

“Does He Love You?” Music Video:

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Do songs from your youth ever appear fully formed in your mind for no apparent reason? Like a song you haven’t heard in decades just starts playing in your brain as if it was on the radio? Just me? The other night, I heard Reba in my head, and I remembered the lyrics to the song, “Does He Love You?” so I added it to my iPhone. It was a catchy bop, so I looked it up online and found the music video. Reader. I did not expect this to be so life changing. I didn’t expect it to give me renewed hope for the future. I didn’t expect it to be the greatest cinematic triumph of all time. The music video is the best music video ever made. “Thriller” literally has nothing on it. If you haven’t seen it, let me finish, and then you’ll be able to watch. Actually no. Watch it now. The entire thing can be found in the dictionary next to ICONIC. 

Do you think you’ll ever be the same? I still haven’t recovered. I think about it all the time. Can you believe the ensembles that Reba wore? Are you gagging over that oversized white hat and the way she wiggled her jaw? I am. I want to wear that outfit for Halloween, if not every damn day. That pink silk nightgown she wore was the height of elegance. And that autumnal getup she wore to the shore, smirking at the boat where her cheating husband and Linda Davis were boarding — my god, I love it. And could you get over how she hid behind a tiny fir tree? It was literally a telenovela. I love the entirety of the thing. I love the insane drama, the wild lip syncing, and the unexpected double homicide. I saw none of it coming. Each new outfit made me gasp, each plot twist made me screech, and the entire thing was just fabulous. I have made it my life’s ambition to create a feature length film version of this iconic video with the original costumes. Linda Davis in that sailing cap was RIDICULOUS. It was everything I want. Go watch it a million times like I have. Listen to this song and nothing else. At the least, download Reba’s Greatest Hits: Volume 2 and jam your heart out. I have been quite enjoying driving all over belting out ballads about cheaters. It’s been great. 

Prince George Meme Account:

This is probably going to be fairly short because it’s really all about the pictures I’m going to insert here. One of my very favorite accounts on Instagram is a comedy writer named Gary Janetti. He wrote for Will & Grace, is in a relationship with Brad Goreski, who I went for as Halloween years ago, and runs a delightfully inappropriate meme account based on little Prince George. He has turned George into an aristocratic diva, and it is absurd and I cackle every time I scroll past one of his new posts. Little George is constantly roasting his balding father and his Aunt Meghan’s fashion. He frequently comments on pop culture and inserts himself into all the latest news. It’s absolutely deliciously absurd. I can’t say enough good  things about it, so instead I will post some of my favorites here. 

View this post on Instagram

“It looks so much better on you!”

A post shared by Gary Janetti (@garyjanetti) on

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