I’ve been a believer of Chinese medicine since the third grade. Back then, I had a 103-degree fever that wouldn’t go away for three days and my mom took me to see a different Western medicine doctor each day. A relative recommended a Chinese medicine doctor and I guess mom was ready to try anything by that point. The doctor prescribed me some black pasty herbal pills and a formula of Chinese herbal tea. I was up watching TV hours after taking the medicine. My mom thought it was quite amazing since I had stayed in bed for days.
Growing up, I continued to seek out Chinese medicine whenever I got ill. And I was always sick with a high fever and the common cold. When I got the same thing the first Christmas I spent in Portland, I was away from my immediate family. My aunt hadn’t had any experience with Chinese medicine. She gave me regular Tylenol and I still kept boiling up. My temperature reached 104 degrees at one point. I’ve been at 103 degrees many times and that wasn’t bad. At 104 degrees, I was delirious. The ceiling was turning. Brain cells must be frying. I don’t remember one bit how I came back to life.
That was more than 17 years ago. Few people knew where to look for Chinese medicine practitioners in Portland back then. Nowadays, there are more than several of them in the area plus two educational institutions – National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM) and Oregon College of Oriental Medicine – teaching Chinese medicine to the masses. I started visiting the NCNM Chinese medicine clinic a few years ago. The practitioner I saw at the clinic later opened his own private practice. I’ve been seeing him at his office since then. May be because I’ve known him for a long time, I feel like I am his special patient. I don’t visit him for the common cold (I visit another practitioner at a local Chinese herbal shop for the simple stuff). It is only when I have gotten nowhere with other kinds of medicine, he will come to the rescue. Now that I have insurance coverage for acupuncture, I can see him more often. And the opportunity came up too soon.
I woke up with some mild dizziness last Thursday. I could feel it was a sign of vertigo which I had a bad case of it more than a year ago. I had some motion sickness medicine left over from that time. I took a pill and off to work. Things started to go downhill a few hours later. I was getting more dizzy. I had a lunch meeting that I could not cancel so I went to the lunch and then straight home. I slept for more than an hour and a half until the phone woke me up. My head didn’t feel any better. No improvement by the following morning so I took the day off.
I called up my guardian angel. His schedule was full all day but he agreed to see me near the end of the business day. I got acupuncture needles all over my head. If you think the top of your head has no place for needles, you are wrong. There is one spot up there on my head that hurts quite a bit and it remains painful hours after the needle is removed. I felt a little better after the acupuncture but my head still felt really heavy. I couldn’t concentrate.
The acupuncture sessions always follow with a container of Chinese herbs in granules to take home. I mixed mine up with hot water and drank it through the weekend. Not much changed on Saturday. By Sunday, I was able to think more clearly again. It wasn’t completely back to normal when the work week rolled on in but at least I was able to go to work. After a full week since vertigo invaded my head, the Chinese herbs are almost gone and I feel alright. No dizziness except for a hint of heaviness. I am more than thankful for Chinese medicine.