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Sciatica

By Ron Sleeis

I recently returned from a month long stay in Vietnam. A week after I arrived I began to feel a pain in my butt and it went down my leg. I thought it might have been an after effect from riding around Saigon in a Cyclo. Those thing aren't very comfortable to ride in, but they are cheap and doesn't cause air pollution.

Well to make a long story short, my friend said it might be Sciatica. The pain persisted, my Vietnamese neighbors noticed I was in pain and advised me to see the local doctor. This old mamason escorts me through this alley in the neighborhood and take me to this house. When I entered, there were several old men and women sitting in a room with pins sticking out of their faces. All noticed I was a foreigner, I got the usual stares and smiles. I greeted all in Vietnamese and was about to leave when this old man, wearing Ho Chi Minh sandals, tells me to sit down. Evidently one of my neighbors told him about me and was pointing to where I had the pain. His English and my Vietnamese is next to nil. Well, he opens this sterilized (??) package and removes about a dozen or more pins and places them in this metal cup.

I want to get out of here, but so as not to offend my neighbors, I stayed--braving the potential I wrongly anticipated.

The Doctor, an old man, left to sterilize the pins. All the while the men and women in the room were smiling and chattering.... pins in their faces..... obviously talking about me trying to communicate with the Dr.

Well to make a long story short, I saw him every morning at 7AM for the 3 weeks... Immediately afterwards, I sat on a plane for 14 hours coming home and there was no pain.

My total bill for the treatment was....

Cost of Pins = 20,000 VN Dong
Treatment X 22 = 110,000 VN Dong
---------------------------------
Total cost US$ = $12.00

 


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