My right arm spontaneously began to ache around 11:30 pm. The pain was dull, yet deep and potent. It felt like my bones were trying to burrow their way out of my arm. The pain kept me from sleeping twice--once when I was trying to fall asleep, and once when I woke up (it was excruciating!) at 4 am. I blame it for making me late to work today, not that anyone noticed.
I got acupuncture. To tell the truth, I'd been waiting for an ailment to crop up so I could finally use my National Health Insurance for some unapproved-by-the-scientific-community cure of the Eastern medicine variety. For only 100 NTD, no less!
The doctor who treated me wore converse sneakers, jeans, and a Chinese-style button down shirt. No white labcoat. The nurses wore dresses that looked like a cross between a nurse's uniform and a qipao. Did I mention that the dresses were pink?
My check-in conversation went like this:
Doctor: What's wrong
Me: My arm hurts. The whole thing
Doctor: Are you afraid of acupuncture?
The nurse inserted 8 finger-length needles halfway into my arm so that about 2 inches remained exposed. It didn't hurt--the needles were thin and until someone told me they were halfway in, I had assumed that they barely penetrated the surface of my skin. Which explains why I expected them to fall out when she fastened a bunch of alligator clips to the needles and wired them to a switchboard.
Then she turned on the electricity.
If you've ever sent a series of electric pulses through your body, you'd probably agree that it produces a strange sensation. I could feel the muscles twitching violently, yet watching my bicep visibly convulse without any effort on my part made it seem like it wasn't really my arm, just some science experiment.
After my 15 minutes of playing Frankenstein were up, he pointed a steamer at my arm, cracked my back, and plastered some Chinese herbal medicine to my neck and tailbone so that the only position I can assume is "upright."
If I drop anything on the floor, I'm done for.