Not the Face! Not the Faaaaace!

Today I went to Union City.

My doctor was there, smiling as usual. She calls me “my dear” now. She usually gets around to telling me the day’s lunch menu way ahead of time. Today, though, I did most of the talking at first. I told her that I had a third kind of heading playing havoc with my big ol’ head: sinus headache. I asked her if I could take the cupping and acupuncture treatment sitting up, because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to breathe face down in the donut-shaped pillow.

PinheadheadshotJust like now—the unable-to-breathe part, I’m not face down.

Yyyyyyet!

She told me to lay on my back. She turned off the lights and said, “relax. meditate.” So I did, for a while and she returned and put eight needles total into my face. Two on each side beside the nose, one in each cheek, the rest in my scalp. The ones in my cheeks hurt like hell; they dug into the muscles there so that every time I moved at all, they snagged.

But after it was done, I could breathe again! I never cease to be amazed by the effectiveness of the needles.

Then the doctor did the usual cupping stuff, drew plenty of black blood from the top of my head and back of my neck..and put more needles into me. Sounds brutal, but honestly? I felt nearly restored. As I almost always do. Pain ebbs to a minim, and my eyes feel wide wide wide open (advice: never, as a caucasian, hold your eyelids wide open with your fingers, to demonstrate to an Asian how round your eyes feel).

Of course she fed me, she always does. And we never stop talking. I told her about the kimchi fried rice I made last night—with her homemade kimchi which she’d given me a couple of weeks ago—and she talked about needing a vacation someplace where the ocean water was warm. I told her my mom was coming out to San Francisco sometime this summer to visit and how I planned on bringing her by to meet.

“I’ve told my mom all the stories of here,” I said to the Doctor.

“Oh, too much to live up to! She gonna be disappointed.”

“Never,” I said. And the Doctor blushed.

Before I left, she made me wait until she got something for me. I watched her collect several different kinds of dried plants or fungi and put them in a paper bag. She tidily folded it closed and handed it to me. To help improve my skin (my face is very dry because I’m dehydrated from this headcold), I’m supposed to cook the medicine for 20 minutes, then apply it to my face when it’s still hot (“but not to burn!”). So in the morning, I’ll be cooking medicine. Oh, and she didn’t charge me for the herbs.

She’s kinda my hero.

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