Needles for Hoping, Needles for Healing

     Lots  of needles pierced my skin today, which began with my first  acupuncture session ever, and ended up with a custom Appalachian Trail tattoo, ever.
Since I have completed my 6 month AT thru hike, I have continued to experience unabated discomfort in both forefeet.  Sometimes they feel hot, sometimes numb, sometimes tingly and throbbing, sometime really cold, but the sensations radiating out to my three smaller toes on each foot are never stilled . The good foot doctor has set me up with a program of  wearing custom full foot orthotics as well as a daily program of stretching my Achilles tendons, but not much has changed in two months since I have been following the routine.
I have been advised  that my astrological chart is most favorable  to me being a positive responder to acupuncture.   I’ve never tried the procedure until today.
I had a one hour session with a local acupuncturist  and although things aren’t much different now, some three hours later, I have some  degree of hope that things will get better.  I don’t like getting blood drawn, never can look at the needle going in and this was not different.  The procedure involved Abbey taking my pulse at both wrists, her taking my history,  prodding me in some suspect areas, and  then applying a half a dozen tiny needles along my wrists,  thumbs, and the rear of my feet and then she massaged some herbed oil on the affected areas.  I  left with some herbed paper tape affixed to the affected areas and was set up with a another appointment next week.  I signed on to up to a half dozen sessions to see if things got any better.

Right after lunch, I  went over to Extreme Images for my 12:30 PM tattoo appointment.  I didn’t like the original concept of my AT tattoo that Straightjacket had worked up for me, so we spent an hour or so redoing the image.  I felt it was not dramatic enough, and it turns out so did Straightjacket, the artist and shop owner.  The outline of Mt. Katahdin was overshadowed by the MEGATEX lettering below. It just was not right for the image of the mountain to be smaller than a bunch of letters.   We are talking permanence here.
So, Straightjacket fired up his computer and searched through dozens of Google photographs of Katahdin.   While some of the images were promising,  it was the one I had on my laptop that my fellow MEGATEX  crew member  Louis   took that had the visual drama to make the cut, so to speak.
While I sat on the couch and waited for Straightjacket, I wrote this entry , overlooking Rockland Harbor with the Route 1 traffic humming by.  I’m getting kind of nervous, but a stroll to glance over Straightjacket’s shoulder to view the new  image was all I needed to know  that this is the right thing to do.

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