What Never Gets Old?

My favorite lines in Lisa B's blog post below: “You know what never, ever gets old? Group acupuncture sessions when more than one person is moved to display that rowdy enthusiasm of someone suddenly free of pain: beaming, fist pumping above their head, full range of motion abruptly restored. Some stuff comes across, language barrier or not.” I read that and thought, Yes! That never gets old.

And all week I've been noticing, in the clinic, other things that never get old for me no matter how many times I do them. There's no real difference now than there was 10 years ago, except  a sense of sweet recognition and the even sweeter realization that this is something I can count on in my job. So I thought we should make a list here.

I'll start: treating janitors. And gas station attendants. People who have the same jobs that people in my family had when I was growing up. That's a private victory, every single time, and I never get less thrilled when it happens.

So, comrades, what never gets old for you?

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Responses

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  1. Seeing the smile creep across someone’s face as the last needle goes in and they say “It’s gone!”.
    Being able to pay my bills on time.
    The feeling of satisfaction I get at the end of every work day.

  2. The slack-jawed look on a person’s face after getting a first or second treatment that tells me their mind was just blown open a bit wider.

  3. It never gets old hearing the front desk person answering this question:

    “So, do I get a different treatment for $15 than I do for $35?”

    or hearing them explain that we want people to pay what they feel comfortable paying, and that they should use the sliding scale as they need, especially since we might want to see them a few times close together in the beginning.

    What never gets old for me is thinking about how such information gets processed in peoples’ minds… especially since this isn’t the sort of thing many people come across in the other parts of their lives.

  4. The nearly palpable feeling of that beautiful buzzy fuzzy silence that envelopes you as you enter the treatment room full of napping folks, all taking care of themselves, together.

    The tears in someone’s eyes when I say – “really, it is *way* more important for us that you get enough treatments to get better, so pay what you need on our scale to make that happen.”

  5. When a new patient says, well I’ve wanted to try acupuncture for a really long time, but I always thought I could never afford it.

  6. I wasn’t sure about being treated in a group, but now I can’t imagine it any other way.

    I’m going to tell my partner, daughter, mother, father, brother, co-worker friend about this place–that it really works.

    I can ___(work, garden, walk, sleep, play with my kids, grandkids…),I feel like I have my life back.

  7. The folks who have trouble sleeping, who think they won’t sleep while they’re here, who are slack-jawed and snoring before the needles have been in for 5 minutes. That happens all the time and it makes me smile from ear to ear every.single.time.

  8. When a new patient asks “so, do people really fall asleep here?” and then they are zonked for a solid two hours and wake up smiling and ask “what happened?”

  9. seeing people who haven’t been in for 6,8,10 months walk through the door

    super-gruff guy who lists emergency contact relationship as “mate/soul” (okay, that only happened once, but still…)

    $17. exactly. every time.

    co-signing with Wade on migraine relief. never old.

    “I slept better after that treatment than I have in years”

    when new people say they’re going to close their eyes while i needle and i say “sure, you can close your eyes. *I* can’t close my eyes, but you can.” i crack myself up. over and over.

    spontaneous reports from patients about how much better their friend/family/co-worker has been feeling

    when a new person settles into their chair and has that palpable shift of being truly comfortable in the clinic

  10. That I don’t have to use my lucky pen, or wear a feel-good outfit or drink a cup of coffee/eat a pint of Ben &Jerry;’s to face my day at work– in fact my day at work welcomes me like an old friend–

  11. Having a new patient tell me that she hadn’t thought she’d feel happy for a long time after her cancer diagnosis until she realized that making community acupuncture a regular habit got to be part of her life now.

    Having a patient tell me they started chatting about the clinic during chemo and discovered that everyone else getting chemo that day was also a patient.

    Multiple patients yesterday asking me to wake them up if the Giants scored in the division playoff game (they won!).

    Seeing people run into their friends/co-workers/neighbors in the treatment room.

    Treating members of the same family. I don’t know why but I love that so much.

    The way people look me in the eye and say thank you after treatments.

    Feeling grateful every single day without ever trying. So fucking grateful to do work I love. Every treatment becomes like a stone tossed into the pond of life, sending out ripples of calm.

  12. Stupid old stories, dumb jokes, bad puns, classic movie lines and spontaneous crackups. Laughing every day with patients at the absurdities of illness, mortality, and life in general. The best way I know of raising a hearty and collective long finger salute to our common pain and suffering.

  13. Treating families.

    “Wow. I haven’t felt this good in years.”

    “I wish I could come every day…”

    The times when I’m the only white person in the room.

    A really good snore.

  14. All ^those things, and what happened yesterday:
    15 year old girl looks me over and says, what, today is casual day at work? And I replied, every day is casual day!

    Basically what never gets old is I’m happy and patients are happy. I really have nothing to complain about in my job ever. Thanks, POCA.

  15. having a job description and expectations arrived at not arbitrarily by the whims of some distressed owner/manager but by
    careful research done by loving radicals concerned about providing best health practices and jobs and fun.