Wednesday, June 23, 2010

That Time I Went to the VooDoo Priestess Who Officed Next to Curves.

It all began in a pretty mundane fashion.  

I was finishing up the last month of my stint in Spain, and I had a hint of a headache that just wouldn't seem to go away.  Annoying, yes - like the buzz of a mosquito that just won't bug off... but it didn't feel all that unusual considering that I spent my evenings indulging in mass public drinking with hundreds of other twenty-somethings (called "botellón" in Andalucia).  I guess I just figured a fuzzy noggin was the result of guzzling vodka y Fanta Naranja and puffing cigarillos for hours outside in November whilst waiting for the discos to open around 2 AM and then dancing until sunrise {ahhhhh youth!}.  

However, even upon my return to my normal routine in the great US of A, the ol' coconut kept a-throbbin'.  I chalked it up to my boyfriend of 3+ years deciding that he'd "gotten used to me being away" and thinking a breakup 3 days before Christmas was a superb idea!  

{I am bitter about very few things from my past... but those months abroad?  The long celibate ones marked by 4 a.m. calls on outdoor pay phones using expensive calling cards?  The ones spent surrounded by the GORGEOUS SPANIARDS?  Not to mention the SEX-KITTEN AUSSIES on that train to Rome?  And how about the FINGER-LICKING KIWI BACKPACKERS in Portugal?  Those months???  I WILL NEVER GET THEM BACK, ASSHOLE.}  

So, yeah, the "I Missed You... But Then, Somehow... I Didn't" Breakup followed by extreme crying jags resulting in the pestersome headache seemed par for the course.  

Until 2nd Semester (of Junior year, if you're jonesing for Context).  All of a sudden, these headaches - once a mere nuisance - were SUCKING THE LIFE BLOOD OUTTA ME (insert True Blood simile here).  I couldn't concentrate on anything - class, analyzing boys' AIM away messages, who Andrew Firestone kicked off The Bachelor in the most dramatic rose ceremony ever... Total Sucksville.  

So I did what all poor college kids do... I hit up the Student Health Center where I could procure Magic Mouthwash with my Deacon Dinning Dollars.  {Did anyone else's alma matter dole out this sticky stuff for every ailment under the sun?  Toothache?  Magic Mouthwash!  Yeast infection?  Magic Mouthwash!  Shattered femur?  MAGIC MOUTHWASH!}

Shockingly, the white coat on duty didn't send me home with the MM... nor did he "prescribe" me 800 mg pills of Ibuprofen.  {I may have eeked through Calculus on a wish and a prayer, but I do know how to multiply, thankyouverymuch}.  Nope!  I trotted back to my dorm room with a party bag filled with a drug described somewhere along the lines of "1/3 steroid, 1/3 depressant, and 1/3 caffeine."

Ummmmmmmm, say what?  I may have performed about as brilliantly in Chemistry as I did in Calculus, but that combination seemed about as kosher as a suckling pig on Rosh Hashanah.  But, the man did have a medical license and I did have a headache that didn't appear to be going away any time soon and I'm sure he wouldn't have prescribed them if they were dangerous.

At least that's what I told myself the first time I tossed those suckers back.

And the time after that when Doctor Genius doubled my dosage.

And the time after that when he tripled my dosage.

Unfortunately, the "Doctor Knows Best" catchphrase got a bit old come May when I arrived back in Austin for summer, still suffering from The Never Ending Headache, but now with the added bonus of a pain pill addiction!

Woo hoo!  Happy Summer!

Out trotted the various specialists with their scary tests that I was positive would result in the discovery of some sort of large-fruit-sized tumor or, at the very least, goiter (a la JTT on that "serious" episode of Home Improvement).

Nope.  No grapefruits or lemons or watermelons.  Nada.  Zip.  Zilch.  Nuttin' Honey.

At this point, I'm pretty much Miserable. Miserable with an needly noodle and withdrawal crying jags.  So sexy.

Being the resourceful lady she is, in one of the Smelly Hippie Capitols of the Free World, my mom hears of this Zen Master VooDoo Priestess (she was actually a very petite suburban Asian woman, but, having a flair for the dramatics, I much prefer this description) who can cure pretty much anything short of death with her potions and eyes of newt and mumbo jumbo.  Or perhaps just her Esogetic Colorpuncture practice.

Yes.  That's right.  Colorpuncture.  I'll pause while you Google it.

For those who are like "really?  she actually wants us to read about this shit?", I gift to you the good stuff:

In Colorpuncture treatment, frequencies of colored light are focused on the skin using a hand-held acu-light tool with specially designed, hand-made interchangeable glass rods which emit different colors of light through a focused tip.  Each color consists of different wavelength frequencies of light and therefore communicates different energetic information.  Treatments include a specific set of points in a sequence using a prescribed pattern of colors.  As the light is absorbed by the skin and transmitted along the energetic pathways or meridians deep into the body, it stimulates intra-cellular communication which supports healing.  


The morning of my first appointment dawns and we roll on up to the VDP's shop... a storefront positioned  directly behind a KFC and sharing a wall with a Curves studio.  Immediately I'm put-off by my first personal experience with Eastern Medicine.  Seems to me like legit VDPs might neighbor with a Chop Suey deli counter or something else deliciously exotic and/or sketchy.  Shouldn't we be reverently knocking on an unmarked door?  Visiting a Crazy Colorpuncturist in office where I could hear the "Sweatin' to the Oldies" soundtrack during my appointment and pick up a bucket of the Colonel's Special Recipe on the way home felt like kind of a cop out.

But, with the Oddly Middle Class Aesthetics out of the way, the Magical Colorpuncture Process was soon revealed to me...

At the beginning of every appointment, special pictures would be taken of my hands and feet using a method called "Kirlian Photography."  The images would show VDP where my energy was concentrated and help VDP understand where she needed to redirect said bullshit energy.

Then VDP would ask me what my headache pain level was for the day, scaled 1 to 10.  She would also inquire about any other ailments... be it cramps to mosquito bites.  I would get on a massage table and VDP would use these mini-light-saber looking crystal pens to press on different pressure points all over my body.  Every five appointments or so, she'd simply hook me up to these suction cup electrodes and I'd just get to sleep for 30 minutes.  

The end of each therapy session was punctuated by more Kirlian photography to map my Energy Evening-Out Progress.   And sometimes I had to drink really, really gnarly tea. 

So, basically... imagine the Lamest Spa Day Ever.  

But by the end of the summer, she assured me I'd be cured.  

Or at the very least, I'd earn my Jedi License.  

I attended "therapy" dutifully for several months, until a completely unrelated medical complaint spurned me to see the doctor on-call at my regular internist's office.  I filled him in on my Mysterious 8 Month Headache, and on a whim, he ordered up a test so ridiculously simple that no one else had thought to try it... 

A regular, boring, ol' sinus X-Ray.  Not an MRI, not a CT Scan, not the 18,982 prick allergy test... just a freakin' 30 second X-Ray my dentist could have administered. 

And what did we discover?




Well, a sinus infection that had infected my BRAIN CAVITY, which apparently can make you drop into a coma and die or something, BUT STILL.  Totally lame diagnosis after 8 months of hell.  I took one helluva dose of Augmentin and resumed living life as a semi sane person. 

I did not go back to Colorpuncture.  

Do I think it works?  

I'm going to go out on a limb and say probs not to cure a brain infection... but that VooDoo Priestess sure did make a lot of my mosquito bites disappear that summer!  


  1. This is kinda like that one time I went to the Baylor health center for a rash on my leg, got told I had poison ivy, and then a few weeks discover that NO! IT IS IN FACT A RAGING STAPH INFECTION. Color therapy probably wouldn't fix that either.

  2. Such a hilarious story... that I feel guilty for laughing at about because you were in such a rough spot. Do you have enough space from this to find it funny now? Am I being inappropriate? Seriously though you've got the workings of a book here.

  3. Dying reading this... so funny.

    And seriously? That sucks. Sinus headaches are freaking miserable. I had one for a couple weeks last semester and wanted to die. I can't even imagine 8 months!

  4. HAHAHA, I'm dying. I just went to the doctor and got prescribed Magic Mouthwash for the very first time, I thought she was joking when she first said it.

  5. w.o.w. hilarious. the 8 month headache probably wasn't but this story cracked me up!

  6. I actually had a pretty crazy sinus infection freshman year of high school that lead to 2 months of a mysterious headache until it was finally diagnosed, after being misdiagnosed by my pediatrician 3 times! So I feel your pain. Also, as a result of said horrendous sinus infection, I vomited out of my nose. I think I blogged about it around Thanksgiving. Special. Oh, and you will also appreciate that in order to cheer me up during my illness, David brought me a can of chicken noodle soup... still in the can. And because I was a pathetic high school girl, I saved the can in my "David box" (box of sentimental crap I kept under my bed) for several years after that. Even more special!

  7. Hahahahaha....this proved to be one of the funniest most absurd things I've ever read in the old blog world.

    And yes, my college gave you what was really just a packet of salt for ANY and EVERY ailment that brought you to the health center. I am far to familiar with this mystery mouth wash. I broke my elbow and got a packet of salt that I was told to gargle. Excellent.

  8. Ha Ha, You always have the best stories! Thanks for sharing!

  9. OMG! every time I hear "goiter" I think of that same episode!!! So funny!!

    On a serious note, my aunt was just in the hospital for the same thing!! Brain infection from a sinus infection!! CRAZY

  10. I am still laughing from the first time I heard you tell this story in person. Reading it now, with added bonus of The Internets And Their Facts: amazing.

  11. Um. I love it.

    Just as an FYI, when I was younger, my mother subjected me to "aura therapy". I'm still not entirely sure what it was supposed to do (other than cure teenage rebellion and angst, perhaps?) but I do know that I spent a lot of time having my "aura cleansed" and being forced to WEAR certain scented essentail oils--like as perfume. Am not kidding.

    Cannot believe it was a sinus infection! Crazy!

  12. This is hilarious. The story, not the headache. Now I'm craving vodka y fanta at 8:45 in the morning. Oh, Spain how I miss thee.

  13. This story is just too funny. (Apart from the 8 month headache. Not funny.) You're a fabulous story teller and writer. I'm convinced you could write an engaging, hilarious tale about paint drying. You crack me up. Love all your great stories - keep 'em coming.

  14. Hahah, this is hilarious! Luckily I can relate to your Eastern medicine story because my grandmother is SUPER into all of that stuff and now thinks she can cure all of my ailments... literally!
    Thanks for starting my day with a good laugh!

  15. I feel you, girl. I had the same thing my junior or senior year of college, lasting for about 6 months. I remember one pleasant episode, where such a sharp shooting pain went through my head that I fell, oh so dramatically, on the floor of my room at my co-op. It took an MRI for them to finally tell me that it showed "sinus pressure" from a sinus infection. Its too bad that I didn't seek out colorpuncture for my ailment. It makes for a fabulous story! You are hilarious!

  16. That is crazy! I can't believe you had to suffer with a headache for that long.

  17. First: You are an incredible storyteller, as always. This is hilarious.

    Second: I can totally relate to bitter feelings towards college boyfriend. Mine broke up with me when I returned from a semester in England. And to think I turned down a cute British boy who bought me ales ... and had perfect teeth, believe it or not.

    Last: I have some gnarly mosquito bites from my recent trip to the lake. Perhaps I should seek out a VDP of my own?

  18. This story cracked me up! I have a neighbor who actually had the same problem. Not for as long though. But the strong antibotics did not work for him, so he had to had sinus surgery to remove all of the nasty green pus. Ick!

    At my college no matter what you had they would prescribe you a z-pack and if that didn't work they would give you some cough syrup with CODIENE. I used to use it to put me to sleep. Its amazing the crap they will dole out to college students.

  19. i heart your stories. they make "working" ahem, blog reading, until 9pm fly by!

  20. I totally loved that story. FYI.
    love love love

  21. Hilarious. I mean not that you had a headache for that long but all the other junk. Your stories are a highlight of my work day!

    At GSU you were given an aspirin for everything. I went in after a soccer game once all bruised up and hoping for an ibuprofen, but they insisted I needed an aspirin. Clearly the bruises on my leg screamed out that I needed a blood thinner. Stupid. Oh, and you got a condom every time you went in there, you know, just for good measure. WTF?!


happy little comments!