Tales from the Practice of Medicine: Disasters or Blessings

Yu Ling

PureInsight | September 27, 2007

[PureInsight.org] Louise has
been my patient for a long time. Whenever she has a headache, she comes
to see me, a physician of Chinese medicine. After a while her whole
family all believe in Chinese medicine. No matter what kind of
discomfort they have, they consider Chinese medicine first and then
acupuncture. After a while, I got to know her and her personal matters
pretty well.

She runs a restaurant and works very hard and very long hours every
day. Louise thought that through hard work and long hours, her small
house could turn into a big house, an old car could turn into a new
car, and a small restaurant could become a large restaurant. This kind
of dream followed her for decades. By the time her business seemed to
get better, she was already middle aged. Unfortunately, something
unexpected happed and shattered her dream.

She was diagnosed with terminal cancer of the pancreas. After having an
operation, she immediately sold her restaurant, for she had very little
time left.

She was so exhausted from dealing with closing the restaurant, realtors and the mortgage company.

When she came to see me, she was sad. At the same time, she had found
out that her husband was having an affair with another woman.  It
was his intention to hide that from her in order not to add pain to her

"Doctor, I feel like a small boat in the ocean, so alone and
helpless.  I thought about taking my life and yet it seemed to be
unnecessary. It will not take long, but why does he have to blow on a
little candle in the last few minutes?

She asked.  "They wanted to give me chemotherapy. It is another
punishment. I am not allowed to feel comfortable even in my last days.
What should I do?"

When I heard this, my heart was getting heavy.

This face used to be smiling and now shows confusion instead. It has
been only a few days, but there is a difference of day and night.

I asked, "Louise, do you believe that you will be gone very soon?"


"Would you like to let go of all your effort and not fight the disease?"


"Do you see the flowers in full bloom all over the hill? They just
passed the bitter cold winter. Do you see the little stream with
clearing water which comes from the ice and snow after the winter? You
experience trials, tribulations, and the harshest tests of your life.
Isn't it an opportunity for you to show your courage? The biggest
success in life is not how big a restaurant one can have, but the
triumph over oneself in life and understanding the purpose of being a
human being," I said softly as if I were talking to myself.

She was pondering.

"Doctor, tell me who is in control of our lives? Who decides how long a
person can live?"  Her face slowly brightened up and a thread of
hope showed in her eyes.

"Yes, who? That is you.  Lifetime after lifetime. Your karma and
retribution. Your reincarnations. Indeed, it is you who controls all
that." I could not bear to say any more.

In silence, Louise suddenly opened up, "Is there any chance that I can
make up for that? Can I have one more chance? Perhaps, this is a
blessing in disguise. Maybe my life has just begun." She seemed to be
in a healthy state again.

I watched her walk out my office. Nothing is absolute in this world and
everything is relative. It all depends how one wants to understand it
and deal with it. What a shame! Human beings will only look a small
step right in front of them.

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