Monday, January 30, 2012


     Elaine put on some soothing music, then sat on a rolling chair next to her patient. Victor had removed his shirt and socks and laid face-up on her table. He twitched when she felt his pulse.
     “I take it this is the first time you’ve tried acupuncture?” she asked.
     Victor nodded quickly. “Yes, but I’m ready for it. My brother has tried it and he told me what to expect.”
     Elaine smiled. “Don’t worry, most people are a little nervous at the beginning. Let me know if you have any questions.”
     “Thanks.” Victor took a deep breath and tried to relax. “I was wondering, where does all the blood go?”
     “I beg your pardon?” said Elaine. “What blood?”
     Victor lifted his head to look at her. “Why, all the blood you’ll be draining out of me, of course.”
     Elaine looked confused. “Victor, acupuncture isn’t bloodletting. The needles don’t even break the skin. There won’t be any blood at all.”
     Victor looked surprise, but also relieved. “Oh… Okay. I guess that’s a little different than I thought. Well, if you could let me know before you insert any needles then I’d appreciate it. I really want to brace myself for the pain.”
     Elaine smiled again. “They’re already in your right arm and leg.”
     He titled his head even further up to look down at his body. Sure enough, several very thin needles protruded from his arm and leg.
     “So… you don’t use a hammer?” he asked.
     “Heavens, no!” Elaine quickly finished his other leg and moved up to his left arm. “Victor, do you think it’s possible your brother was having a little fun with you when he told you about his acupuncture experience?”
     Victor lowered his head back down onto the soft pillow. “That’s not like him, although he did tell me his parakeet was poisonous and that my skin would melt if it bit me. I ended up calling poison control when it nibbled my finger, but they just laughed. And he once made me believe our parents had been replaced by aliens. He convinced me they would sneak into my room and eat my brain if I fell asleep.”
     Elaine let out a subtle laugh. “It sounds like he gave you a few scares as a child.”
     “Oh, no,” said Victor. “This was all last week. By the way, could you give me a warning before you remove my spleen?”

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