I got to work today in a funk. Nothing terribly specific – a mix of “Ugh, another grey day, this does not feel like mid-June” and building stress around my impending move, and being underslept. I wasn't upset enough to have a cry about it and feel better, either – I was just agitated and feeling low.
I walked into Poke, glanced at the schedule for the afternoon shift, walked through the full treatment room to the back, hung up my jacket and noticed two things. First was that my mood had abruptly lifted. Second was that there were some loud noises coming from outside. Two guys were yelling mingled encouragement and friendly verbal abuse at each other as one backed up a large, beeping truck and the other helped him angle the vehicle. This went on for an hour. Also, seperately, some people were alternating between vigorous hammering and running what must've been a circular saw, directly outside and downstairs from the treatment room. This went on until an hour after my last patient went to sleep.
Yep, they went to sleep. Four people commented after I took their needles out that they couldn't believe they slept through that. The last two people to leave said wistfully “I could have stayed here all night, but I have to go home.”
Community qi rocks my world so damn hard. It's the main reason, I think, that so many slept today. It's one of the main reasons that this little clinic at one of Vancouver's busiest intersections is one of my favourite places to be on a day off. I have never, ever, worked a busy community acupuncture shift without feeling soothed, held, and carried along by the community qi. In tough times I absolutely rely on it. I've had the deepest rests of my life at Poke.
Just for fun, I've started a list of things that I or my patients have slept through in a community acupuncture setting:
- The phone book delivery person walking into the treatment room, saying “Hello?? Here is your telephone book!” and thunking Vancouver's Yellow Pages down on the red rolling chair
- Someone going into needle shock and falling from the couch into a heap, and the ensuing shuffle as my friend and I dragged her limp form up off the floor. (The one person who did wake up sleepily asked if the fainter would like a fresh orange from her bag)
- A team of paramedics removing someone with rapidly worsening back pain from the treatment room, on a stretcher
- About 5 million cars/buses/trucks/emergency vehicles roaring by on East Broadway (this gets much louder on rainy days, which happen often)
- Our sandwich board being hurled against the storefront window, day after day, by someone whom I suspect really needs acupuncture, specifically, Dr Tan's Jueyin-Shaoyang Global Balance (by the way, a hand written “Please don't throw me against the window!” on the corner of the sandwich board, accompanied by a wee heart completely ended this problem after weeks and weeks, I'm not even joking)
…What have you and your patients slept through?