Tales from the Practice of Medicine: What Is His Illness? (Part I)

Yu Lin

PureInsight | May 19, 2003

[PureInsight.net] His Western doctors sent a large package of medical records when they referred the patient to me. I was too busy and didn't look at it before he came to my clinic.

"What's the matter?" I asked."I'm perfect! I have almost no problems." He answered."Then why did you come to me?" I was a little puzzled."My family doctor insisted that I'm ill and asked me to come to you, so here I am."
"Oh?" I began flipping through his medical history. The conclusion was a diagnosis stated in a Latin word made up of about 30 letters. I was overwhelmed.

So, I told him honestly, "I don't know why your doctor sent you to me. I'm afraid I can't even find your doctor's diagnosis in my dictionary. If you want to try Chinese medicine, you have to tell me about your situation."

The following is his story: "My wife has wanted to divorce me for a long time. In order to save the marriage, I promised to do anything she asked. One of her conditions was that I had to go to a psychiatrist once a week. I went for more than two years and eventually the psychiatrists decided I have a serious mental defect. They conducted many tests and examinations and gave me a dozen medications, but they became more dumbfounded. What's worse, I had even more problems than before. Somehow, they still thought their diagnosis was correct, but incurable by Western medicine. So, they referred me to you."

He sounded as if his condition were hopeless, and nothing could be done about it.

"What do the Western doctors think your problem is?" I asked with curiosity.

He thought for a while and appeared embarrassed. He looked at me and then he looked away. Finally, he mustered the courage and said, "The greatest issue of my life is that up until now, I am more than 50 years old, and I have never finished anything after starting it." Hearing this, I almost choked to suppress exploding into laughter.

He was serious and continued, "I've never had an actual job in my life. Every time I apply for one, I would start filling out the application enthusiastically, but stop half way through. When I attempt to fix something, I will get as far as taking the tools out of the toolbox and spreading them out, but I can't finish the work no matter how how much time I have. My wife is very disgusted because of this. I can't read any book past its first two or three pages. So my grades in grade school and high school were always below a "C," and this is the reason."

"Then how did you graduate?" I asked.

"My childhood and adolescent life was very painful. Because I didn't study, every pair of pants I had had holes on them because I constantly rubbed my legs against the chair. My parents were at the end of their wits and tied me to the chair with a rope. Even so, I would hop into the yard while tied to the chair and play with squirrels and cats. But I simply did not do my homework. In the end, the doctor gave my father a "prescription," which was beating me once a day for five minutes each time. My father followed the prescription, and I barely graduated from school. I had many new ideas and fresh opinions unthought of by others. My friends took my ideas and became rich doing business, yet I lived an ordinary life because I couldn't sit down and do specific things."

As he continued, he became more upset.

"There are many careers that require only talking and not using your hands, why don't you look into one of them?" I said half-jokingly in an attempt to lighten him up."I even know disabled people without hands or feet would not be like me — start things and not finish them. My interests and passions are short like fireworks, which disappear in a second."

Upon hearing his account, I felt his pulse and checked his tongue [Note: Traditional Chinese medical treatment requires these two checks, which are very different from what their names themselves imply]. Holding the acupuncture needle in my hand, I contemplated where to begin…

To be continued…

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2003/4/14/21200.html

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