Things to Think About While Having Acupuncture

In my quest to fix my hip and stop walking like Lurch I have settled on acupuncture and chiropractic.  This is after ruling out many things too boring to go into here.


For 19 minutes, not 18 minutes or 20 minutes, two or three times a week I am left to ponder a whole range of things that I might not get to were I not forced to lie still while looking like a metal pine forest.


Because I am somewhat claustrophobic, and have a fear of everyone forgetting about me and leaving for the night, I ask them to leave the door to my room open.  Depending upon which room I am in, my ass is either facing the open door, thank you very much, or facing the back wall.  Let’s start there…


  1. How much can everyone see, and does anyone care?
  2. What happens if I have to go to the bathroom before my time is up?
  3. My phone beeped.  Is it an acceptance or a rejection?
  4. Where do they find music this soothing and boring?
  5. How much time is left?
  6. Is it still raining outside?
  7. When am I going to hear from Northridge Review about my submission?  My boyfriend has already been accepted.
  8. What are we going to have for dinner?
  9. If there’s an earthquake, what will happen if I fall off the table?
  10. How much time is left?


Finally the timer goes off and I hear the slap slap slap of my doctor’s shoes on the linoleum floor.  The needles come out and I pray that none get dropped on the carpet – my shoes are off and I know I will step on one.  So far that hasn’t happened but I’m feeling vulnerable, with maybe a touch of bad karma, and you never know.


We move on to the chiropractic part.  He uses this instrument I call the “jackhammer”.  I have no idea what it is but I know it’s helping because it hurts like crap.  When it hurts like crap I think he giggles.  I seem to find a lot of doctors that giggle when they hurt me – we’ll save the endometrial biopsy story for never. 


Once dismissed I gracefully roll off the table and pray I can get both feet up high enough to get them through the elastic waistband of whatever hippie skirt I’m wearing that day.  I favor black or gray because this is serious business.  The young girl at the counter reminds me of the time I had to read an 8-page article on Japanese etiquette for work when she hands me back my credit card – both hands offering it with the numbers facing me.  I try to remember to do the same when I hand it to her the next time but I always forget.


Except for one or two thoughts about the status of submissions, have I thought about poetry at all?  No, damn it!  All this time each week when I could be writing and instead I’m doing nothing!  I’d better get fixed quick.  It’s one thing to never write again because I have no ideas, it’s another to never write again because I’m horizontal with no computer and an ass that looks like those metal brushes used to clean bar glasses.


Speaking of bar glasses, I need a drink!



Tobi Cogswell is a three-time Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee.  Her fifth (and maybe her last) chapbook is “Lit Up” from Kindred Spirit Press.  She is the Co-editor of San Pedro River Review (  She will be healed before the next window opens or she will read submissions on her phone, needles and all!