“I can’t sleep,” I moaned as I flicked on the bedroom light at 3am on Friday morning. I shouldn’t have been up that early, and normally shouldn’t have imposed my restlessness on John. But when you’ve spent your entire Thursday afternoon retching into garbage cans, toilets and sinks — as I had — “normal” no longer applies.
What made me so ill? Maybe it was my overexhaustion. I woke up that Thursday morning already feeling nauseous from two nights of sleepless tossing and turning, and over a week of marathon writing and editing to meet a huge deadline on Wednesday. Whatever the culprit, I knew I desperately needed rest — a rest that didn’t come easy once the illness struck, and definitely seemed elusive at 3am that Friday morning.
John groaned as he staggered to his feet — he had only slept for three hours and it definitely showed. Still, he crept over to his laptop, determined to get me (and by extension, him) sleeping again. “Hmmm, let me consult some Chinese medicine websites.”
“You did before and it didn’t help,” I said. The discomfort, dehydration and desperation suddenly turned me skeptical, as I wondered why we weren’t heading out the door — straight to the emergency room. That’s where I wanted to go when I turned that light on. I didn’t see any point in wasting more time languishing in bed with no sleep in sight and a stomach that wouldn’t even accept water.
“But I was looking at fatigue and nausea, not vomiting. And even if we go to the hospital you still have to wait.”
He had a point — and besides, I didn’t have to wait long for his suggestion from his “research”. “It says sleeping on your back is not good. You should sleep on your stomach or your side.”
Well, I reclined on my back all of Thursday into Friday morning, so maybe they had a point — even if it seemed a little far fetched. So I rolled over and stretched my body across the bed as I closed my eyes, with the remote control nearby in case I needed some TV to distract me. But soon, I felt the tug of exhaustion slowly lull my body into slumber.
Sure enough, the next time I opened my eyes, the clock read 7:30am — and my body began to feel a little better. I could drink water. And hours later, I tried some rice congee. By that evening, I even ate some noodles for dinner.
I still can’t believe that something as small as my posture could make all the difference in getting sleep — and getting better. But I wouldn’t have even known without John and his perspective on healing. For him, traditional Chinese medicine is always worth consulting — even in the middle of the night, when his wife was seriously considering a trip to the emergency room and thought nothing but some Western intervention could have helped. Granted, sometimes we need the hospitals, doctors and prescriptions to set things right again in our bodies. But it’s kind of amazing to have a “second opinion” on how to approach healing, thanks to your husband.