« Song huo ma? (Do you deliver the goods?) | Main | New Supermarket in Nantong »

March 29, 2005

Sore Shoulders

Well, I've gotten a chance to experience Chinese traditional medicine -- in a bigger dose than I would like.

Since late last year, my shoulders have been getting progressively more sore. A month ago, it finally got to the point that I was having even more trouble than usual sleeping at night. For a few days, I tried Terry's recommended remedy, ibuprofen, but that didn't help. So, we invited our friends Dr. Chen (retired dentist) and Dr. Wang (her husband and traditional Chinese doctor) out for the dinner we'd been intending to invite them for anyway. During the occasion, I arranged to see Dr. Wang at the same hospital that Terry went to for her unremitting cold.

Dr. Wang was pleased to show off his foreign friend to his colleagues, took me to an orthopedist, and ultimately (on the latter's recommendation) to the physical therapy department. Nearly every day for the past three and a half weeks, I have been starting my day with a regimen of neck traction, acupuncture, and massage. (I'm also taking some sort of herbal capsule that doesn't help any more than the ibuprofen.) I think I'm a little better, but not at all cured. Between my Chinese and the English of a couple of doctors, all I've determined is that they think the source of the problem is in my neck. I'm going to see my U.S. doctor when I'm back in the States for Paul's May wedding.

I decided that today would be my last day, because I've got too much work to do. I'm going to buy a portable traction unit to use at home, I've already bought a computer table (with lowered keyboard drawer) and remote keyboard for my laptop at work, and I'll start going for a weekly neighborhood massage once a week. (The hospital is a half-hour bus ride away, so the entire experience has been taking about 3 hours.) Oh, not too expensive. I paid 500 rmb (about $60) the first day and could keep going as long as I wanted without paying again.

As happens in our situation, I've added a couple of layers to my social life. Both Dr. Wang's nurse and Dr. (therapist) Li's technician have teenager that I couldn't resist requests to add to my complement of weekly English students. Also, the technician is a great language partner (speaks slowly, clearly, and at my level) and wants to take us dancing. Since her husband won't come, I'll probably get an evening of solid instruction, while Terry alternates among a group of the regulars that like to dance with her.
-- Norty

Posted by now at March 29, 2005 06:04 PM