Tag Archives: physiotherapy

12th Instalment: Acupuncture

Thankyou text
It was the middle of July 2010 when finally I had my appointment letter come through for the Neurology Team at University Hospital Coventry, 11th August 2010 at 3pm! That wasn’t a date that I would forget quickly! It was the day after my Granma’s birthday!

I was still going to work and had to cover at different local branches which meant a lot of travelling! This was really tiring and hard as my vision was starting to get a little worse every day, I still had pain behind my right eye and continuous headaches.

I wasn’t getting the flashing lights as much but it was getting harder to see out of my right eye! I had no sight at all in my right peripheral vision which meant every time I wanted to look to the right I had to turn my head.
This wasn’t the best of things for me to do because when ever I tried to turn my head I would get a pain shoot down my left arm. Much like an electric shock feeling! This is what I was seeing Catherine my Physiotherapist for!
Catherine had decided that because the manipulation she was doing on my shoulder area wasn’t helping with my pain she was going to try something different. She explained to me that acupuncture has been known to help with pain and suggested we try it.
I have had acupuncture treatment before, when a married couple bought our family Health Food & Ethnic Fashion Shop ‘Way Of Life’ They kept the  Health food side and turned the Fashion side into Holistic Treatment rooms. The new owners (Husband & Wife) were the main Acupuncture Consultants and offered the remaining treatment room for hire.
I was ‘kept on’ as Manager of the Health food side and took bookings for the treatments that were offered.
This is when I tried Acupuncture for the first time. I wanted to be able to tell people about the treatment from a ‘firsthand’ point of view.
I loved it. It isn’t as scary as most people think! Okay, they put needles into different areas of your body depending on the treatment but they are tiny, hardly hurt and are quickly forgotten once you start to feel the benefits from them!
Because I knew the benefits of acupuncture first hand i was very keen when Catherine mentioned it. My only concern was having to change physio’s! Meeting new people used to make me very anxious!
But this wasn’t the case as Catherine was also a fully trained, fully qualified Acupuncturist! My luck was in! A new appointment was booked for my first acupuncture with Catherine.
Even though I had had it before I was still extremely anxious about the appointment! I remember thinking how much worse my anxiety would have been if it was with someone new!
Catherine explained to me how she would be doing the treatment, it was a different method to how I had it the first time at ‘Way Of Life’ they used a technique called ‘Moxibustion’


As well as needling acupuncture points, a traditional acupuncturist may use other Chinese medicine techniques such as:

  • moxibustion: heat is applied to an acupuncture point or meridian using moxa (a therapeutic herb) and/or heat lamps to warm and relax muscles 


Even though Catherine used a different technique to the one I had experienced before with the heat I still found it extremely relaxing and by the time she had finished I noticed that the pain wasn’t as bad! Bliss!

We agreed on another appointment, Catherine said she was happy to continue seeing me until I knew more from my Neuro Surgeon appointment and of course the ever looming appointment with the Neurology Team at University Hospital Coventry!


3rd instalment: MRI

You would think I would have been concerned with not knowing what was wrong with my vision but I wasn’t. I was more concerned about the thought of going into the MRI scanner!

I had an accident involving a horse when I was 18 years old and somehow managed to shatter both the Tibia (shin bone) and Fibula (smaller bone next to Tibia) in my right leg! I now have a pin that runs from my knee to my ankle and 2 screws holding it in place!
This was the main concern for me, knowing that an MRI scanner is just basically a giant magnet. I didn’t think that it would mix well with the pin in my leg!

At the same time as I was waiting for the MRI appointment I was also seeing a physiotherapist for a shoulder problem.

I had woken one morning before the issue with my eye and my left shoulder felt as though I had a trapped nerve in it. This can be common for a lot of people so I never thought anything of it, not until it persisted any way!

A couple of months passed and I started to loose a lot of strength in my arm & particularly my hand so I saw my GP and he referred me for physiotherapy. After quite a few sessions with Catherine, my physio, she found that nothing she was trying was helping and requested an MRI.

The appointment for my shoulder MRI came through and was only one week before the MRI for my eye!
Because they were at different hospitals they couldn’t be done at the same time.

Now I had the worry of 2 MRI’s and believe me I am a worrier!

MRI number one!
Because my family used to own a health food shop I knew the right things to take for anxiety!
I dosed my self with Arnica when I knew my appointment date and then on the day of the scan I was taking Rescue Remedy as well!

I had a chat with the staff there about the pin in my leg and was told because it has been in for a long time it shouldn’t be going anywhere.
I didn’t take much comfort with that purely because the word “shouldn’t” is questionable!

I knew you could take your own music to listen to so I went armed with ‘Kings Of Leon’ hoping it would be loud enough to drown out the noise of the scanner! Wishful thinking!

If you have never been inside an MRI scanner before, it’s just like a tunnel with not even enough room to adjust your position! If you have an itch on your nose you can forget about scratching it because one, you won’t be able to reach and two, your not allowed to move otherwise the images will be blurred and you have to stay in longer!

Before they send you into the machine they give you a ‘panic button’ just incase you need to come out.

I lay flat on the scanner bed, ear phones on, music paying and alarm in hand ready to go, deep breaths Vicky, deep breaths!
Five minutes into it and I pressed the panic button! Wimp or not I hated it! I carried on though as I was told through the ear phones that it wouldn’t take much longer and thankfully it didn’t!

When I came out of the scanner I was shaking!
If you don’t like loud noises or tight spaces it really isn’t the best place to be!

All I could think was ‘I have to do that all over again next week’!