When laughing hurts

Laughing is currently an impracticality and a pain for me right now. The designated parts fail in the operation of delivering the full sound. I even choke on the air that begins to escape when I start to laugh. And when I do laugh, you might not even get the impression I’m laughing. My students asked me if I was crying the other day, which only made me wheeze more.

I have a sinus infection, the result of a cold that I had for two weeks. Now I still feel like I have a cold, but it’s a sinus infection. AND I’m drinking herbs for it. Allow me to explain. 

I don’t go to the doctor in Taiwan. I just don’t. Even though medical insurance is CRAZY cheap here (I got my two lower wisdom teeth pulled – 5USD a tooth), I don’t feel the need to see a doctor as soon as something in my health is knocked off balance. Granted, the Eastern’s society of medicine is much different, but I like to think I can take care of myself.

But then my cold wouldn’t go away, so I asked Dr. Google about it; and he said it could be strep throat, an ear infection, or sinusitis. I seemed to fit the bill for sinusitis, and infections are never fun, so I decide it was finally time.

I called in sick at work. (That was also a first for me. The teaching industry I’m in makes it by nature extremely difficult to get time off.) And this morning I walked over to what I thought was the clinic my friends also visited in their times of sickness. I walked out affirmed in my knowledge that I have an infection and with packets of herbs. I was to take them with water for 5 days, 4 times a day. When my roommate saw my medicine, she knew I had gone to a different place. Not the wrong place, just a different one.

Thus, my first prescription of Chinese herbal medicine. 

Earlier this afternoon, I mustered up all my Chinese character-reading ability and utilized the internet to look up the herbs that are in this mixture I’m taking. I successfully found all but one of the herbs listed:

  1. 牛蒡子 Burdock
  2. 桔梗 Campanulaceae (I don’t even know how to pronounce that!)
  3. 板藍根 Banlangen or Isatis tinctoria or commonly known as woad
  4. 玉女煎 Yu Nu Jian This one was the most difficult to try to pull anything up on because it’s actually an herbal formula, not a single herb. It’s supposed to clear heat from your organs. 
I’ll leave the research to the readers. Dr. Google does provide some great images of all these herbs. 
There you have it, Chinese medicine for my sinus infection. The slip of paper also tells me how many grams of each is in the mixture, but my brain wasn’t ready to go there. 
So right now, laughing is an uncomfortable thing, and I choke on any form of air. I actually really need to focus while I eat and talk to keep a coughing fit from happening. 
Ironically, laughing hurts for other reasons in my life right now, which makes me think of when laughing hurts in general. Sometimes laughter can be so cruel, other times so contagious and good for the soul. Other times, your abs are in complete pain because of how hard you laughed. Sometimes, we find ourselves laughing things away, like hurt or awkward situations, laughing at things or people, laughing with people. 
I haven’t really given this much thought until now, but I hope I never go a day without laughing. In fact, I think I’m going to start a DAILY MIRTH LOG. Even on my worse days, I hope I always found a reason to laugh, even if it does hurt. 

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