How My Husband’s “Second Opinion” Helped Me Heal (And Sleep)

(photo by Sarah G via Flickr.com)

“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.

Did you enjoy this article?
Sign up now and receive an email whenever I publish new blog posts. We respect your privacy. You can unsubscribe at any time.
I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

You might also like:

12 thoughts on “How My Husband’s “Second Opinion” Helped Me Heal (And Sleep)

  • September 9, 2013 at 10:33 am
    Permalink

    Dear Jocelyn, hope you got your strength back. Amazing how it works! xxx

    Reply
  • September 9, 2013 at 10:44 am
    Permalink

    Some thing to think about: pregnancy?

    Chinese medicine might help. But it could be just coincidence that you were finally tired no matter what body position you take. But if this works, jut keep doing it until it failed.

    I have insomnia problem myself. All methods only worked for me for short while. Then I need to find new methods.

    Reply
  • September 9, 2013 at 10:54 am
    Permalink

    I see that pregnancy was not only my thought 🙂 I`m glad you`re bit better, hope you can get well soon 🙂 If you have a chance use your mother in law as a doctor, Chinese moms just pop out with a solution for any kind of pain or sickness, sometimes with tiger balm. I can give you my mother in law, she always has some `good healthy advices`. If you feel like getting sick make yourself chicken ginseng soup, drink only water matching your body temperature – it will protect your stomach from temperature shock and pain. GET WELL! 🙂

    Reply
  • September 9, 2013 at 11:26 am
    Permalink

    I really need to see one i’m at my wits end breaking out in hives for months i have to take reactine everyday or i’m a messy hive ball

    Reply
  • September 9, 2013 at 2:13 pm
    Permalink

    My boyfriend is very skeptical of Korean traditional medicine but considering the condition I’m in I think I could use a second opinion. And third 🙂

    Reply
  • September 9, 2013 at 5:09 pm
    Permalink

    Hmmm…as a Chinese Medicine Doctor I’m not really sure that you could consider the position in which you sleep to be part of TCM. I thought you were going to say you got acupuncture or started to take some herbs. But well I’m sooo glad it worked for you. My first thought was pregnancy too btw. 🙂

    Reply
  • September 9, 2013 at 8:14 pm
    Permalink

    I thought that maybe you were expecting. Anyway, when I had a problem with nausea a nurse told me to lay on my left side. It worked and helped a great deal. I hope you are feeling better.

    Reply
  • September 9, 2013 at 10:18 pm
    Permalink

    Glad you are feeling better, Jocelyn!

    Your posts and the comments remind me in part of the place I’m actually at right now in the book. I’m just working on the chapter where I start acupuncture & TCM after my first miscarriage. The acupuncturist spoke no English, and as you know, I speak very little Japanese, and I kept trying to explain that I had a thin uterine lining, but I was using the wrong words, and he thought I was telling him my uterus was too skinny.

    Glad you have a better rapport with your TCM expert! Hope the nausea continues to stay away.

    Reply
  • September 9, 2013 at 10:55 pm
    Permalink

    Hi,
    I’m really glad to know you’re getting better via the traditional Chinese medicine technique.
    Recently I saw a TED talk on how to cope with stress. You prolly should check it out if it helps. XD
    http://on.ted.com/UpsideOfStress

    Reply
  • September 10, 2013 at 12:35 am
    Permalink

    I have to admit that pregnancy was also first on my mind when I started reading your post. Great that you got some sleep after your husband’s advice!

    I’m a bit hesitant when it comes to TCM, perhaps because it often includes drinking things that look like mud water and tastes really bitter. But I imagine that I would try it too if for some reason the Western medicine couldn’t give me the help I needed.

    My boyfriend’s mothers is an expert with soups like a Cantonese mother has to be. She always knows which kind of soup to drink in which kind of season, weather and sickness.

    Reply
  • September 10, 2013 at 12:59 am
    Permalink

    Glad you’re feeling better! Huh, maybe I should reconsider sleeping on the back (a guy working at a blind massage’s place once told me to sleep on the back because if I sleep on the side it’s bad for my shoulders).

    Reply
  • September 11, 2013 at 9:11 am
    Permalink

    Now you know what I mean by having lots of “stress”. I’ve been thru nights like this before. That’s why you need balance in your life. Is this worth it? Yes for short term but for long term is not worth it.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.