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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Water, water everywhere...

It's suprising how quickly you can get into the habit of swigging a mug of warm water every time you're up on your feet.

(And I know why the best temperature for consumption of optimum volume is "warm", now. If you drink something hot or cold, you have to pause between swallows while your throat accommodates itself to the temperature of what it's swallowing: if what you intend to drink is approximately blood-heat, you can just keep on swallowing without interruption until you've emptied the mug/glass/firkin/barrel*.)

So drinking the stuff isn't the problem I assumed it would be. No, drinking it is the least of my worries. Flushing out the excess, on the other hand, is most unpleasant. "Flushing" being the operative word, here. About every ten minutes, as you're asking.

Plus it oozes out of every pore in a most unpleasant fashion. That'll be the mewks, though. Nasty stuff, mewks.

I went for my second acupuncture treatment on Monday morning. Dr Liu asked me how I'd been feeling since the first one. I told her that, although I had more movement in my lower back, and had been able to cut the dose of Tramadol down to three a day, I had mostly felt like death warmed up. And asked whether I was right in assuming that that was on account of the toxins which the first treatment had shaken loose from their comfy resting place around my sacro-iliac joints hurtling around my system in a disgruntled manner prior to being swept up and out by virtue of my superhuman consumption of water. Or whether I had just been feeling very poorly as a result of something completely unrelated.

That's right, she said. It's the mewks which has built up in your back. The mewks is sticky. The mewks needs water to get it moving. Think what happens to a river when there isn't enough water for it to flow properly. This is what is happening in your body.

Did I mention that Dr Liu's English is very heavily-accented? Well, she was behind me when we were having this conversation. Inserting needles; turning up the power; that sort of thing. So, not being possessed of the head-turning capacity of yer average wol, I couldn't watch her lips while she was speaking.

It took several minutes for the penny to drop: she was talking about mucus.

Now, I don't know about you, but "mucus" isn't up there on my Top Ten List of Attractive Words. Far too reminiscent of a heavy cold for my liking. So I'm going to stick with "toxins". On the grounds that, while it doesn't sound like something delightful, it at least doesn't sound as though it would be sticky. Or necessarily greeny-yellow. Or yellowy-green. Because I'd really rather not think about particles of that hurtling round my bloodstream, thanks very much. Even though it would explain why I've been feeling so ghastly. However, I fear that "mewks" is about to become a permanent fixture in my vocabulary. Particularly if Boogaloo Dude and Pop have any say in the matter.

Anyway, despite her earlier promise that the second session wouldn't be nearly as long as the first one, I was plugged in for a full 30 minutes again. Only this time, I had more than one tingly needle. I'm guessing I had five separate tingles, but it's not that easy to tell. Certainly at least three.

I gather Dr Liu has decided to give my back injury the acupunctural equivalent of a damn' good kicking. (Er, she may actually have said, "intense treatment", at this point. She certainly didn't mention kicking.) Several lengthy treatments in quick succession to dislodge all that horrible mewks, and fortnightly follow-ups thereafter. So I'm back there later on today, and again on Saturday**. Given how close together those appointments are, I expect to feel most unwell until at least Monday.

Not that I am complaining. Really. The treatment is making an appreciable difference to both my pain and mobility levels. In fact, on Monday, I surprised myself by getting into a black cab without having to resort to hauling myself in manually by the grab rails. And I can't remember when I was last able to do that. (Although I do recall, in vivid detail, the brief but searing agony of having to do that with a frozen shoulder last year.)

Feeling wretched for a couple of weeks is a very small price to pay for an overall improvement in my quality of life. I just wanted to make the point that it isn't All Fun. So that, if anyone reading this is considering trying acupuncture for their own problems, they will know that it might - if they have as high a quotient of mewks-squatters as I did/do - have a similar impact on them.

The Editor

*Those of you with minds as smutty as mine may not be able to prevent yourselves from inserting (oo er, Madam!) your fellatio-related noun of choice at this point...

**Unfortunately, the times of these two appointments don't fit in at all well with the timetable of the hourly bus in that direction. I say "unfortunately" because the clinic is right slap-bang next door to the Biggest Oxfam Book Shop In The World: a shop in which I can happily spend many an impoverishing forty minutes.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope my concerns here are wholly unfounded-- especially since you'll have taken any issues which might relate to diabetes into consideration before beginning treatment anyway. But I've developed some nagging doubts regarding the lots-and-lots-of-water bit. You're not drinking too much water, now, are you? Or rather, too many cups in too short a period? It's just the mention of persistent sweating (as well as the accompanying feeling of warmed-over death) raised a bit of a red flag. I suppose you really don't want the mewks squelching around in there, but nor do you want to flush out all your electrolytes in the process.

I wasn't aware that mucus could actually "build up" in one's back. Sinuses, sure. Digestive tract, certainly. But are there mucous membranes in the sacroiliac joints? Have I been reading too much Ben Goldacre again?

1:13 pm  
Blogger Mary said...

I was wondering, do you (or Dr Liu) have any tips on finding a good acupuncturist?

I've been toying with the idea for a while, but if I had it done I would want a very competent professional. I'm scared of making an appointment at the nearest place advertised, only to find a beauty therapist who's done a two-day course and has a handy diagram preparing to stick things in me, you know?

1:32 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...


Fear not.

My point was not that I'm sweating more than usual: rather that what's produced is more unpleasant than usual.

Please don't ask me how I know this. Because I might tell you. And then you'd probably be very sorry... ;-)

Can mucus build up in the SI joints? I doubt it. But, then, who (in the Western world) knows how acupuncture works?

There's no doubt that my lower back is less congested than it was a week ago. Quite what it is which forms that congestion, I know not. I just know that it's getting shifted. And that, were it not for the paratendonitis in my right ankle, I very much doubt I'd even be limping.

3:38 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...


Good point.

I was fortunate in that Dr Liu is part of a Liverpool-wide, long-established practice of osteopaths which has a substantial and informative website. And which gives you a free initial consultation if you make a treatment query online. So I felt reasonably confident.

I tend to consider word of mouth to be the best indicator of good alternative therapists. (I have heard some very scary anecdotes about inferior osteopaths in my time...)

However, you're not all that likely to know dozens of people with experience of your local practitioners. So you may want to try these guys initially.

(That'll be a site I didn't discover until after my first treatment, then.)

3:46 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, stop right there. :) It is enough to know that you are doing well and that my fears are indeed unfounded. I'm very glad to hear that it's working!

3:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In reference to the last line in the article link from Jess on drinking too much water: so, how does one run an infant, then? ;-)

5:39 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forgot to sign the last comment--I'm Andrea at reunifygally.wordpress.com

5:40 pm  
Blogger Mary said...

Thanks for the handy link :)

7:28 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure that, as an avid reader of this journal, Mary will be aware from responses to previous posts that both the redoubtable Pop and I are trained acupuncturists and will, for a small consideration, travel anywhere in the UK to administer our treatments.
And, whilst I cannot speak for the estimable Dr Larkin, my treatment methods certanly do not require anyone to swallow a firkin barrel either (or even a bleedin' keg)! In fact, I recommend a magnum or two of barley wine as a rule - preferably before the treatment commences. That'll shift yer mewks in no time flat.


Dr Dude

9:54 pm  

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