I’ve started seeing a Dragon Lady. At least, that’s how my husband and I refer to her when nobody else is around – as in “hey honey, I’ll be a little late tonight because I have to see the Dragon Lady.” Or “The Dragon Lady told me no cheese.”
The Dragon Lady is actually a fertility acupuncturist who comes highly recommended.
I want to first say that the idea of acupuncture has always given me the creeps. Because I imagine that it must entail a giant empty room, with only a wooden board that I would need to lay stark naked on while an Asian man in a pointy hat sang chants and prayed to the Gods while slowly placing needles in my shaking bare body.
But I’m desperate. And I know some friends who know some friends who know some friends who had a cousin that this really did work for. And who can argue with that?
So I call the Dragon Lady’s office. And I schedule a “consultation.” I’m optimistically terrified.
When I arrive, I am pleasantly surprised to find myself in a somewhat normal looking waiting room with a normal looking receptionist. After about ten minutes, a thin Asian woman, who I now understand to be the Dragon Lady, marches up and says “You. Come.”
Translation: I should follow her.
So I do. Into a small treatment room big enough for a massage table, a hutch and two chairs. She shakes my hand, and immediately starts yelling.
“You hand cold. Purple. You anemic! See my hand? Warm, no purple. No anemic. You! Cold hand, tired arm, tired knee, bad sleep. No blood…no hormone! No hormone…no baby!”
Translation: It seems I am anemic and that means bad things.
She quickly sifts through my paperwork, which lists things about my medical history, lifestyle, exercise, diet, etc, and where I had mentioned that yes, I eat meat, but that most days I could take it or leave it. The yelling resumes.
“Meat! Eat meat! Good for eggs. No meat, bad eggs. No eat salad!!!! Salad not a meal, just lettuce and cold.”
Translation: I should be eating more meat.
She keeps going.
“You drink cold water?! No cold water! Drink warm drink. Asian women drink warm tea, Asian women have baby.”
Translation: no more cold water.
“And no run! You run, you move hormones up and down up and down, all bad. No run. Exercise, fine. No run.”
Translation: I should stop running.
But that’s not all.
“Two babies die, you no hormones and no blood. Bad eggs. You all yin, no yang. You eat yang food, move blood, good eggs, healthy baby.”
Translation: I miscarried because my eggs are bad. My eggs are bad because of the lack of blood and hormones getting to them. I need to eat more yang food to increase my blood supply. Note to self: look up what the hell yang food means.
But it gets worse.
“You worst case I see. 15 years. China. Germany. U.S. You worst.
Translation: Things aren’t looking so good.
“But I fix. You, I fix. I fix woman who 45. She have baby. See, baby.”
She points to an adorable baby photo on wall in the midst of dozens and dozens of adorable baby photos placed together in a giant frame – one of about 50 similar arrangements scattered around different parts of the office.
“I fix woman who go through menopause. She come. Take time. But I fix. Baby.”
Translation: There may be hope for me yet.
“You. It take 3 month. Or 4. Lot of work. No try to get pregnant for 3 month.”
Translation: Secret hopes of this getting me pregnant this month are out the window.
I sit there like a stunned deer, unable to speak. Not just because this crazy Asian woman is yelling at me. But because this is the first person to give me a reason for all of it. A reason that isn’t “Well, you just have shitty luck.” Or “who knows why this is happening, but here, take these pills that will also make you dizzy and hot all the time.”
And some of it even makes sense. A lot of sense, actually. My hands and feet have always been ice cold. My fingers and toes go numb if I spend more than 2 minutes in the refrigerated section of Whole Foods. I drink tons of cold water, more than normal people – my coworkers continually comment on how often I take my giant water bottle into the kitchen for a refill during the work day. I run. I have freakishly low blood pressure – something I simply attributed to being so fit. I don’t sleep very well. I eat lots of salads and other things I’ve always considered to be healthy.
So basically, what the fuck have I been doing to my body all these years?
And this woman. This crazy Chinese woman who is yelling at me. I hate her. I love her. I want to kill her. I want nothing more than to impress her – to show her how devoted to this cause I can become. I want to yell at her. I want to hug her. I want to slay her on Yelp and social media. I want to invite her over to my house for dinner.
I don’t. but I do the next best thing: I schedule my first treatment.
For those who have asked, here is an unofficial yin/yang food chart got from the internets.