Saturday, August 20, 2005

Secret rendezvous with a chinese physician (actually more than one)

It is not uncommon for little children to experience problems with appetite and/or constipation. After turning one, 慧 frequently suffered from constipation and still do now. We found out that this is normal to a certain extent. But if the time between each bowel movement surpasses a certain length, it would pose a danger to the child.

When I was little, I was quite a sickly child. My mum tried many different doctors on me. Western, chinese, exotic, superstition based, I've tried them all. I can even throw in a name change (my chinese name) to that list of tried solutions. Finally, we found two chinese physicians, 陳醫師 and 徐醫師 (husband and wife) of the clinic 育國, who were able to sort out most of my health problems. It could have been that I happen to hit puberty shortly after seeing them (many children ailments clear up after hitting the teens), or it could have been that their diagnosis and medication have been effective. I like to think it is a combination of both.

My first consultation with them goes a long way back, around 20 years ago (just remembered I first met them when I was around 10, and I am 30 already... *Sob*). Back then, their clinic took up just one small corner of the one storey building (not too far away from the Kembangan MRT station which wasn't even in operation then!). As their fame grew, so did my waiting time (!) and the size of their clinic. I would say that their clinic now takes up 40% of the floorsize there (OK, the building isn't that big to begin with but still, it was pretty fast expansion)!

When I do go back to see them now for some niggling ailment that refuses to go away, they will exclaim how much I've grown, how proud they are of my er... health now (indirect self-praise?) and so on. Lately though, the topic has switched to "girlfriends". Duh.

Anyway, this post is not about me, but on 慧. Given past (good) experience with 育國 and that they specialise in treating children's ailments via what is termed 小兒推拿 ("massaging of children"), it was natural that mum and I thought of consulting them again when faced with 慧's constipation woes. So we did. 慧 (and the other children I see there too) seems to enjoy the massaging process a lot as she lies there quietly for the physician without any complaints.

Now, my sister is a big NON-believer in traditional chinese medicine (TCM). So after our first visit to 育國 which she found out about later, she vehemently voiced out her disapproval. But the fact was, 育國 did help wth 慧's constipation problems.

So how?

Well, this was our "compromise" solution. For the past two years, whenever 慧 is unwell, which is actually not often for she is quite a healthy child, or when her constipation problem reared its ugly head again, we (if I happen to be in Singapore) or my mum and a very helpful neighbour (who dotes on 慧 a lot too!) would bring 慧 to 育國. OK, it wasn't exactly a "compromise". We just did it secretly behind my sister's back.

Over the past two years, for more than once, we've heard my sister comment proudly how healthy 慧 is, and we'll suppress that urge to spill the beans on 育國. After some time, my mum decided she needed to retain some proof of 育國's effectiveness. So she started collecting those used chinese medicine plastic bottles of 慧 with the dates and 慧's name on it. She has a small bag of them now!

慧 is 3 now and getting chattier by the day. I always feel one of these days, she will spill the beans on our 育國 "escapades". If I ask her very specific questions now after a visit, e.g. "慧慧今天去那裏?". She will reply "去給阿姨推推". How this chatty little girl has not mentioned it to her mum yet, I will never know. *Shrug*

For any Singaporean readers who are interested in consulting these chinese physicians, here is their info (I am not paid for this):

Yu Guo (育國) Chinese Physician Acupuncture & Physiotherapy Pte Ltd
398, Changi Road #01-08/10/11 Castle Court S(419845)
Tel : 64474761
Mon - Fri: (except Wed) 9:00 am - 12:30 pm, 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Sat: 9:00 am - 12:30 pm, 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Sun: 9:00 am - 12:30 pm (Closed on Wed & Public Holiday)

Akan Datang: Why would anyone want to be an actuary?

223 days to go.


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