Spent the day in prone silence –
first as a human pin cushion
in the naturopath’s office –
motionless except my mind
pouring over Christmas plans.

Later, beside my granddaughter,
three-year-old arms akimbo
daring not to budge, until her
innocent breaths deepened –
my body burning to move.

Now, the window of energy
closed, I lie here with you,
no longer motivated to sort
or organize, my brain spent –
mindless poem on fingertips.



Day 149 “Meridians”

By the time I took myself to Emergency, human touch was unbearable.  I could get no relief from the swelling that affected me head to toe, and my heart was continually racing.  Emotionally, I felt out of control:  cranky, teary, and desperate.

The heart palpitations got me admitted directly, but the tests they ran showed the problem was not my heart.  An IV drip was started, but the painkiller they were infusing me with did not touch the pain. Two doctors came in and touched me in certain places, setting off cries of agony.

“Your blood tests showed that your liver counts are out,”  one young doctor explained.  “We don’t know why that is, but it is consistent with someone experiencing your level of pain.  We suspect you have fibromyalgia, but you will need further tests.  We are referring you on to Urgent Care.”

A battery of tests and doctors followed, checking my kidneys, my heart functioning, and so on.  Always the liver counts came back as suspicious.  No explanations.  Fibromyalgia, each doctor deduced.

“Take pain medication,” the Internist said.

“Your heart can’t tolerate pain medication,”  the Cardiologist countered.

“Go see Dr. Li,”  a good friend advised.

I called Dr. Li.  A tiny, Chinese woman, half my size, Dr. Li had a reassuring presence.  She listened intently, and asked specific questions.  “I don’t know fibromyalgia,” she said in her broken English.  “I will check your meridians.”

I held something in my left hand, while Dr. Li ran a rod connected to a computer over my right hand.  The machine squealed and reacted as she clicked buttons, and read the computer’s reactions.  At the end, she handed me a printout.

“The body has many lines of energy flow,”  she tried to explain.  “This tells where there are problems in the flow.  Green is good.  Red means there are danger spots; yellow is chronic.”  I had two green lines; my printout was a sea of red and yellow.

“Each imbalance is scored 1-4.  A four means you already have cancer.  You do not have a four, but your numbers add up to four.  Not good.”

Thus I began my course of treatment – weekly acupuncture, a drastic change in diet, and cleansing with Chinese herbs.

My health improved.

I continued to see specialists, ensuring that I wasn’t missing anything.  A year after starting my treatments with Dr. Li, they found the abnormal cells aggressively growing in my right breast.  Surgery followed.

I asked Dr. Li about it.  She confessed that she had been a medical doctor before coming to Canada, but that she found that by the time traditional medicine finds something, it is usually too late.  She prefers to work on preventing disease, where she can actually help the patient.

I escaped the threat of cancer with only a fading scar to remind me, and I credit my work with Dr. Li.  Her knowledge, combined with an uncanny instinct for what a body needs, promotes well-being.

It’s all in the meridians, apparently.