I bumped my knee during my 24 hours in Hong Kong. Heart monitor still strapped to my body.
As I settled into a chair to take a sip of Starbucks, ‘gingerbread latte,’ my knee cap slammed into the metal leg of my table. It ached for a splitting moment.
Usually I move around 16 or 17 times before I fall asleep. With the heart monitor, I had to control. This was the most difficult part. The following day I woke up with knee pain. I figured it would go just as quickly as it came.
A usual day, a Chinese Grandma invited Sarah and I over to stuff dumplings. She asked if we wanted coffee. In China coffee is a treat so we obliged. She served us durian coffee. Durian is the fruit which I have only had the pleasure of eating once. In Southeast Asia and China, many people love durian. In Singapore it is forbidden to open a durian, in public, without facing serious fines.
Durian coffee was easier to stomach hot, than cold. We drank a few sips and then inconspicuously drained our cup and filled it with water. My knee throbbed in and out.
I noticed a Buddha in glass casing, incense, and fruit surrounding. I asked Grandma if she were Buddhist? She said yes and we talked about studing Buddhism. David then called and said, ‘the Master was having a party that evening and would we like to go,’ and I said, ‘of course and can we invite this sweet Chinese Grandma?’
After a dumpling eating contest we all piled onto a bus and trekked up the mountain to see the Master.
During the Master’s party, I sat in lotus position for two and a half hours. My knee was not happy.
A week went by and my knee got progressively worse.
At this point I was tired of Chinese hospitals.
So David took me to a Chinese traditional doctor.
We walked through a garden, someone played a traditional Chinese instrument and birds danced around. I almost forgot I was in the city. To get to the front door we had to jump over a freshly dug trench separating the front stoop from the walk way. My knee was not happy.
We entered and a group of men were sharing tea and cigarettes. Looked me up and down. The biggest Chinese man I’ve ever encountered greeted us, the doctor. He touched my knee and found where the pain was, said it was the knee cap. He offered his services to fix it for $30.00. He said if I went to the hospital it would be $500.00. He sent david to get gauze wrap and went to work. He crushed powder in a crucible and presented an inflammable fresh pad. He sprinkled the crucible’s concoction on to the bottom of the pad, brown tar looking something and proceeded to fire the top part of the pad with a flame. He melted the whole thing down swirled it around and slapped it on to my knee cap. ‘Keep it there for four days.’
Afterwards, we told him about my heart.
He took me to his back room and gave me a brutal five minute massage. He massaged my back ribs five inches below my armpit. I cried into the face hole. I felt like someone was gnawing on raw bone. I told him, ‘too much pain.’ He would reply, ‘I know, I know,’ and would massage harder. Finally it was over, I wiped my eyes. He showed me how to do stretches in a doorway. He then showed me a yoga pose–tree pose, said I should do that daily. He said I need to massage more, knots are causing my arrhythmia.
While showing me how to do the tree pose, the men drinking tea and smoking, observed this entire exchange & were snickering to themselves.
Meanwhile my toe has also been numb for a month so we asked Doctor about that. he showed me how to put my leg into lotus position and push down.
The tar on my knee made it through the four days. It was difficult. It itched, stung, and got everywhere, ruined some pants. After four days I removed it with vaseline.
The knee pain lingers.