I arrived back in Colorado Springs today. Five days behind schedule. Today is the first day of 2011 that I’m not sick with a fever and a throbbing headache. I went home, got myself some 24 hour virus to enjoy, recovered from that and got a cold for Christmas. About the time I got over the cough and sniffles I came down with a fever of 103 and some awful chills. I spent a night in front of the fire place, scorching my skin and drenching my futon, because it was the only way to stop shivering. I went to Group Health twice, where the first doctor didn’t do any physical exam, but took a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia and sent me home on Tylenol. The second doc felt my glands, took blood and sent me home on more Tylenol.
I suppose taking myself away from the “source of all illness” (pictured below on his Radio Flyer Trike) may have helped the situation, but since my nephew is kind of cute and because my sister is adamant that a child without a cold or a fever can’t give me a cold or the flu escaping the little germ-pot was just not possible.
Finally I was able to see William, one of the guys from Inewmed who now runs his own practice in Edmonds (when he’s not off working for some big name athlete in Europe or Maui). He did a physical exam (he agreed that it was viral), then performed a Chinese Medicine procedure where he stabbed my fingers and bled me. Well, that’s what he did first anyway. He would take my hand, hold a finger, tell me “this will hurt” then take a small pin and jab it in near my cuticle. Then he would use a cotton ball and wipe the blood away rhythmically until the hole stopped bleeding before moving onto the next finger. In total, he did four fingers, two toes, and my SI joint, after which I was ready to stop. But no, the digit punctures were just a warm-up for the thrashing William was getting ready to give me. He starting smacking my back with something that felt like a brass brush, rhythmically, going up and down the sides of my spine.Â At first it just stung and I wasn’t sure why he was whipping me. It didn’t hurt particularly bad, but it kept stinging more and more until he had been doing it for four or five minutes and I finally asked, “What are you hitting me with?” “It’s a stick with a bundle of ten needles on the end.”Â “Why?” “We gotta get the heat out of you.” Which I guess is Chinese Medicine for “you have a fever, dumb-ass.” I also had a stiff neck, which probably had something to do with the spine work.
After the needling, William fastened a pair of glass suction cups to my back and started pulling blood out. It didn’t hurt, but it looked nasty. Really nasty. I had thousands of tiny pin pricks in my back and a suction cup sucking blood through. Ew. (Though since I really couldn’t see my back, I only got a glance of what he was doing, and my memory of the gore may be slightly enhanced by my imagination).
But… I started feeling better almost immediately after the procedure. My fever came down over a degree from the time I walked into his office to when I left. That night, Friday, I sweated a fraction of the amount that I had been drenching my mattress with the previous six nights, and the next morning I felt almost normal again. Much more effective than Tylenol. I wish I’d been bled earlier!