Posted by: martinworster | May 8, 2004

16. PINS AND NEEDLES

Acupuncture, no smoking, no caffeine, herbal teas, vegetarian…a reformed and misearble character who still has ringing ears.

 Tinnitus. What a horrible affliction. It’s one of those medical grey areas; just like the grey area it actually is where the ears nerve endings meet the brain. Nominally incurable. I guess it’s my own fault for having my head stuck in a speaker for the best part of the nineties. Happy hardcores revenge. Whistle possee make some noise…forever. Being a cheesy ski resort disc jockey was also another nail in the coffin. As I was drawing blanks with conventional Western medicine I thought I’d head East for a spot of acupuncture. I was surprised on my consultation to be met by a young and very attractive woman. I was kind of expecting a wise, bearded old Chinese man to be sticking pins in me. Nevertheless, I kept an open mind with the treatment. on the first week she asked me to stick my tongue out. Second week she asked if she could look into my eyes. I was worried she would ask for a kiss on the third. After getting used to feeling like a pub dart board, the first session I found myself resembling the character from Clive Barker’s Hellraiser.

The she asked me personal questions about my toiletry habits to which I lied. Then she asked me if I had any sexual problems. ‘No’, again I lied. Too many to mention but you’re not going to hear about them, sweetheart, I thought to myself. Over the course of the treatment though I have to say things have improved. I still hear a ringing but it’s not stressing me out like it was at the height of summer. The best way of describing it is if you imagine you are reading and your concentration is interrupted by a neighbour playing music. It’s not very loud. But the more you focus on it the louder it gets. Just like the annoying ringing with tinnitus, but at least it covers up the dreadful cacophony of voices I hear in my head. Kill him.

As well as sticking needles in me she’s suggested some dietary changes. I’ve almost given up smoking apart from that loss of will power when drunk. I’ve cut out the caffeine too which has given me more energy (I think). Now she’s asked that I stop eating dairy products. Something to do with the colour of my tongue and the amount of phlegm I produce – and I guess this is somehow connected to the ringing in my ears. Something like the ballistic holistic treatment. This will be difficult. Being a vegetarian is hard enough – cutting out dairy products begs the question of what will I eat? I’m scared of turning into one of those ultra healthy but totally miserable types. Denying myself pleasures. The type who drinks herbal teas, is a vegan tee total yet looks ill and is totally miserable.

Vegetarianism is the one thing I will never renounce. My convictions run deep. Nothing that walked, swam, hopped, ran or crawled will ever pass these lips again. I am not a religious person so it is nice to feel I believe in something which I know is irretrievably right. Meat is murder. Okay, shut up

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