Monday, January 21, 2008

Dr. Manuelita and the Crystal Pendulum

I've never seen anyone write about how many colds you can catch when you move to a new country, confronting some new types of germs. It's ironic, because the winter is so gorgeously beautiful here, with highs in the 70s and 80s, and our whole family's had one thing or another passing around since Day of the Dead. It doesn't help that poor baby Genevieve seems to be going through her cycle of colds, just like Max did at her age. It's so challenging to be sick in a foreign county. We can't find our favorite remedies; we have no family around to help us; we can't always understand what doctors recommend.

As much as we hated to do it, we had Jenny on antibiotics in October and then in January. Of course, they didn't help her at all. And then my dear friend Gabby told me about Dr. Manuelita.

She's in one of the most simple yet beautiful little courtyard buildings I've ever seen, on Calle Humboldt, near Llano Park. A little signboard outside signals that it's a homeopathic pharmacy.

But what gives Dr. Manuelita the honor of this Harry Potter-sounding blog post title? Her crystal pendant which she swings like a pendulum, North-South then East-West, over a piece of paper with the patient's name written on it.

As she rotates the crystal she describes the patient's trouble. In Jenny's case, her whole bronchial system was suffering and she needed something to strengthen her immune system. Jenny was delighted with the news, or perhaps the pendulum, and decided to sing and dance for the doctor.

Then, Dr. Manuelita and her assistant labored for an extraordinary long amount of time to type up tiny labels that said "JENNY" and apply them to seven tiny bottles of pills and a dispenser of drops. Jenny was to take four from bottle one, wait an hour, then four from bottle two, and so on, until she ran through all the medicine.

That night, she didn't wake up shrieking at midnight and require watching The Teletubbies to chill her out. And, in the morning, Steve was allowed to walk away from her without causing her to cry. She was happy, playful, energetic--just like the old Jenny.

Next October, as winter approaches, the whole family's going in for the crystal pendulum treatment.


brandy said...

Does Dr. Manuelita have an office in the states?

Serena said...

That would be nice, wouldn't it? I wonder if anyone knows of an equivalent doctor in the U.S.

The Buzz by said...

Or where one could pick up a crystal of their own... brandy