Traditional Chinese Medicine

I’ve been sick with a cold and upper-respiratory problems for almost two weeks now. I got some prescriptions from the University hospital last week, but after they ran out the symptoms just kept hanging on.

Today my assistant and I went back to the hospital, this time to see a traditional Chinese Medicine doctor. I was curious to see how the process worked, and what kinds of herbs would be prescribed. The doctor looked very serious as my assistant, Sue, explained my problems to him. He then had me put my left arm on the table and proceeded to finger my pulse, varying the pressure with different fingers. His touch was so expert that it felt almost magical, as if he were sensing my entire being through my wrist. I instantly had confidence in him. He repeated the procedure with my other wrist, then, after having me stick my tongue out and looking quickly down my throat, he scribbled out this prescription. I wish there was some way I could translate it, so that I would know what herbs I’m taking.

A pharmacist filled the prescription, measuring herbs and plants into a hand-held scale. Then, we took the herbs to another office, where a nurse would make a liquid from them, to be picked up later in the afternoon. I ended up with this evil-looking concoction; the bottle was so hot that we had to double-bag it and stick it in my backpack. After Sue, Connie, and I had dinner, the bottle was still hot when I got it home.

Actually, the stuff doesn’t taste half-bad. It’s a little bitter, but then so am I. I have to pick up a second bottle tomorrow, and take the infusion 3 times a day for 2 days. Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.


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