Animal Parts & Pinto Beans

How do you feel about drinking a medicinal herbal tea? Do animal parts bother you? These are the questions that D, my superhero acupuncturist, asked me today. I’m game for the tea (which doesn’t actually have tea in it, but is a bunch of herbs steeped in water), but animal parts?

While some patients may prefer to not know which animals they’re partaking in, all I could think of was fuzzy kittens. Not that I really think kittens are used in Chinese herbs, but it was the worst thing I could think of. So D told me that the “animal parts” are scorpions and centipedes.

Conceptually, I can do bugs. D’s concocting a custom blend to treat my specific ailments, so we’ll see how willing I am when I have the tea in hand.

On to more common foods… I ate a pinto bean burrito with no ill effects! I hope, hope, hope that this is at least one bean that’s not a headache trigger food. Maybe I can be a lacto-ovo-pinto bean vegetarian.


“You’re Gonna Be So High”

Saturday was a warm and sunny day at Vegoose, the music festival where we spent the weekend. Although everyone around me was standing and dancing, I laid in the grassy field outside of Las Vegas with my eyes closed, soaking up vitamin D.

I’d been a good patient and remembered to take my Chinese herbs with me to take throughout the day. I needed two doses of four of each of two kinds of herbs. Space in the backpack was at a premium so I crammed all 16 gel caps into an Advil bottle.

I realized my fatal mistake when I remembered to take my first dose — the two different pills are almost identical. To sort them into the two required doses, I had to sniff them all, looking for the ones with the stronger scent.

After a few minutes of this, a friend leaned down to tell me that everyone one around us was staring, trying to figure out what kind of cool new drug I was taking. My hands shaking, as they always do, signaled to onlookers that I was desperate for my fix.

I threw back all eight pills at once and a man said, “You’re gonna be so high.” Little did he know that less headache pain was the only high the herbs could offer.

Lying back on the grass, I couldn’t stop smiling. Everyone around us thought that I was on a massive dose of some mind-altering drug. And there was no way I could convince them otherwise. (“No, really, it’s medicinal Chinese herbs.” Who’d believe that?)

I laugh now imagining the stories told to friends about the drugged-out woman at the Raconteurs show.