The Female Supporting Role Shows Out - Chapter 144
Translator: thornling | Editor: thornling
Others had no idea how Xuancao Hall got its current prestige – only Wu Xuancao knew it most clearly. When she transmigrated over, Xuancao Hall was already run down and struggling to stay open. All she had was a bunch of worthless medical skills that she couldn’t use in this backward era. She could only rely on some medical books left by the original host’s parents and follow them word for word, straining to stay open.
Later, she rescued Xue Jiming and was rewarded with hundreds of taels of silver. At last, she didn’t have to live in fear that the landlord would reclaim the storefront. She was also lucky enough to save that farmer whose belly had been pierced by ox horn; she shocked the world with her suturing technique. That was the only reason she got the title of miracle doctor. If it wasn’t for Zheng Zhe being attracted to that reputation, she would have been exposed long ago. How could she have been as carefree as she was now?
In her era, there was a very popular adage that went something like this – if you want to wear a crown, you have to bear its weight. And she wore the crown of “Miracle Doctor”, but she did not have the strength to match it, so it was like she was walking on ice, every step filled with fear and trepidation, care and caution.
Being a physician was a very sacred profession. If it was done well, it would save the dying and help the wounded. If done poorly, it would harm peoples’ lives. How could she not know how powerful it was? Therefore, she worked hard to learn the techniques of traditional Chinese medicine from Zheng Zhe, originally thinking that if things continued like this, based on her own wits, she would sooner or later have the foundation to live in this world.
But now, she had only learned the most superficial amount, but Zheng Zhe actually decided to go out wandering. This was no less than a bolt from the blue to her. After Zheng Zhe left, where could she find a doctor who was skilled enough to support Xuancao Hall? And who would help her actualize her plans to bring surgery into this era?
Currently, Xuancao Hall had a very famous reputation. There would inevitably be an endless stream of patients seeking treatment. These things that were originally considered glorious had now become a burden, pressing on Wu Xuancao until she couldn’t breathe. She was afraid that her true self would be seen through and even more afraid of losing her reputation.
Every day, she lived in apprehension. She could only hold the medical book that Zheng Zhe left her, flipping through it without eating or sleeping as well as constantly cultivating her internal energy. She really did make some headway. But before she could rejoice, a patient came to her door and begged her for help, putting her at a loss.
This patient wasn’t some random person. It was that patient with the intestinal ulcers. Under Zheng Zhe and Wu Xuancao’s rigorous persuasion, he had signed a life and death contract and furthermore had paid the consultation fee in advance. He was originally scheduled to have the operation today. Hearing the news of Zheng Zhe’s misdiagnosis, his family originally planned to cancel the treatment, but before leaving, he suddenly had a flare up and was hanging on by a single thread.
The money was paid and the person was dying. His relatives did not dare to delay, immediately bringing out the carriage and hurrying to Xuancao Hall as if a wildfire were chasing them, shouting for help at the top of their lungs. Nine out of ten patients with intestinal ulcers would die; it was extremely difficult to treat. If they swapped to another doctor, there wouldn’t be enough time, nor would there be complete certainty. They would rather trust Wu Xuancao this once.
Looking at the dying patient, Wu Xuancao’s face turned pale. Once one mounted a tiger, it would be hard to dismount*. The one who persuaded others to sign the life and death contract was her, but now the one who said she couldn’t cure it was also her. If this person died, she would probably be beaten to death as well.
*Meaning it’s difficult to stop halfway.
The reason why the previous operation where they removed the tumor was successful was because Zheng Zhe prescribed Mafei (boiled hemp) Powder* for the patient to prevent him from feeling pain during the operation, as well as sealing the blood vessels with acupuncture to prevent the patient from bleeding out. He had also been in charge of all postoperative treatment. The medicine he prescribed could not only promote healing, but also inhibited inflammation. All of these factors combined were the only reason they could save a life.
*An ancient Chinese sedative/anesthetic.
But Wu Xuancao was only responsible for opening the abdominal cavity, cutting off the tumor, and suturing the wound. Without the aid of advanced technology and specialized medication, there was only so much she could do. Whether she could save someone depended thirty percent on technology and seventy percent on luck. Zheng Zhe was a doctor from ancient times. He believed in the principle of valuing the broom as one’s own* and not passing his skills on to outsiders. For him to bestow Wu Xuancao with his original acupuncture and moxibustion technique before leaving was already extremely exceptional. How could he also leave behind his prescriptions for Mafei Power and other medicines?
*Meaning that he valued what was his and didn’t give it away.
Without knowledge of anesthesia and hemostasis, as well as antipyresis and thrombolysis* to promote healing, Wu Xuancao could not perform surgery at all. Not to mention the fact that in a single operation, the number of problems to be resolved weren’t limited to just these three.
*Hemostasis is stopping blood, antipyresis is preventing fevers and inflammation, and thrombolysis is clearing blood clots.
She looked at the patient whose life was hanging by a thread and did not make a move for a long time. But several of her apprentices couldn’t wait any longer, urging: “Master, we will carry him into the operating room immediately. Master should quickly prepare the equipment.”
“No!” Wu Xuancao shouted, her eyes betraying the intense struggle she was feeling. She couldn’t even imagine if this person died on her operating table, what kind of consequences there would be. This was a savage era. The legal system had many deficiencies, causing social chaos. Retaliation was above national law. If a doctor harmed people, they would definitely be beaten to death. Even the authorities would not care.
Last time, Lin Dan helped Zheng Zhe resolve a difficult situation, helping him save a patient’s life. He later compensated one hundred taels of silver and completely settled the issue. But this time, no one could help Wu Xuancao out. Once the patient was sent to the operating room, she would be the only one responsible for life or death, success or failure.*
*Translator’s Note: Even though the patient and his family signed the life and death contract, it would be nearly impossible for Wu Xuancao to enforce it. If they lynched her right there, the authorities would never arrive in time. Part of the authority of the life and death contract lay on Zheng Zhe’s reputation, which he lost after that misdiagnosis, and which is also no longer a factor anyway for obvious reasons.
She couldn’t help but ask herself: Can I afford it?
The answer was naturally no……
She gritted her teeth and, with great difficulty, spit out a sentence: “Physician Zheng has left. I can’t cure this disease. Please ask someone else.”
“You were the one who said that you could cure it, and you are also the one saying you can’t cure it. You waited until my brother was so sick he’s on the edge of death to ask us to find someone else. Are you deliberately trying to harm him?” The patient’s family flew into a rage immediately. He seized her collar and said: “You better hurry up and treat my brother. If anything happens to him today, you will pay!”
“I really can’t cure this disease.” Wu Xuancao closed her eyes and spoke helplessly. If she was given a sterile operating room and an intensive care unit, she would be able to treat this patient in twenty minutes. How could she be in such a difficult situation?
“A few days ago, didn’t you keep saying that only you can treat this disease? If you had told us earlier that you couldn’t cure it, how would we have delayed so much time? Look, my brother is already at this stage! If he dies, you would be a murderer! You’re just a fame-seeking charlatan!” The man shouted with rage while the patient lying on the bed breathed feebly, on the verge of death.
The apprentices of Xuancao Hall looked at Wu Xuancao with suspicious eyes and faintly realized something, but did not dare to say anything. Master’s medical skills didn’t seem to be as brilliant as rumored?
The man paced back and forth in the hall, viciously kicking and trampling everything he saw, extremely frenetic. His wife tried to soothe him, but she herself started to lose her voice as tears came to her eyes.
The hall full of people was raucous. Them smashing the inner hall attracting busybodies to crowd around and watch. No one knows who shouted at the top of their lungs, “If it can’t be cured here, why don’t you try Xing Lin Spring? Little Physician Lin’s medical skills are no worse than Physician Zheng’s. She may have a way.”
People outside the door immediately agreed: “Yeah, yeah, little Physician Lin is also very amazing!”
The man’s eyes lit up and he immediately shouted: “Quick, quick, quick, hurry up and carry my brother across the street! I was really blinded by the fame of Xuancao Hall and forgot about little Physician Lin!” The group of people eagerly yet chaotically lifted the patient and swiftly rushed towards Xing Lin Spring.
Wu Xuancao looked at their anxious silhouettes, feeling very embarrassed, but she also secretly heaved a sigh of relief. The fastest way to treat appendicitis* was through surgery. In this era of backward medical skills, she was very curious how Lin Dan would confront this illness that had been known as an incurable disease.
*This is the first time appendicitis has come up. Appendicitis is related to ulcers and they can be mistaken for each other. Translator’s note: I previously translated “ulcer” as “carbuncle”, but carbuncles are usually under the skin, not internal.
Xing Lin Spring’s business had picked up and Lin Dan had needed to recruit a few more resident physicians and apprentices before she could barely manage to deal with it. Seeing the young man being lifted in through the door, she could not help frowning. She opened her mouth and said, “Intestinal ulcers? How long has he had this condition?”
“It’s been seven days. In the first three days, he had bowel movements. Later, he couldn’t even pass stools. Urination also came with a sharp stinging pain, extremely unbearable. Little Physician Lin, do you think you could cure this disease?” The man wiped the sweat from his forehead while looking at Lin Dan with an earnest and eager gaze.
The patient’s clothing had already been lifted up, revealing a swollen and red abdomen; his mouth was incessantly vomiting filth, occasionally mixed with some foul-smelling feces; his legs were bent and he dared not straighten them. It was intestinal ulcers, without a doubt. Lin Dan carefully took his pulse, then looked at the patient’s eyelids and tongue again, nodded and said, “The intestinal ulcers led to an intestinal infarction. He can still be saved. Someone come, prepare five catties of white radish and another twenty-four qian* Yuanming** Powder and put it all in a pot to brew together. Add the radishes in three batches; as soon as one batch is finished cooking, scoop it out and add the next batch. Reduce two catties of water to one catty and set aside for later use.”
*This is the same character as the one for “money” but represents a unit of weight worth one tenth of a tael.
**This means something like “(recover) the original (state) by clearing (things out).”
As her words fell, she quickly wrote out a prescription and instructed: “This is Gongdu Chenqi Decoction*. Add water until it’s two cun** above the herbs, add white wine until it’s five cun, steep for three quarters of an hour to expedite the breakdown of the herbs, then brew it with a fierce flame for another quarter of an hour. Fetch the radish juice and mix it evenly. Every two hours, feed the patient one bowl. Continue to have him take it until his bowels are unclogged.”
*This means ”Attack Poison, Receive Qi.”
**Pronounced “tswuhn,” (ts “one/won”), this is a medical unit of measurement, typically the width of the thumb. As everyone’s thumb size varies, when measuring locations on a patient’s body, one must take into account the patient’s thumb size. “Two cun below the belly button” would be a different number of inches/centimeters depending on whether the patient was an eight-year-old child or and adult, but should be roughly the same ratio. Outside of the body, a cun is similar to our inch.
The apprentices didn’t dare to delay, and, holding the prescription with both hands, hurriedly left. Several resident doctors immediately gathered around and looked at Lin Dan with burning eyes.
Intestinal ulcers were one of the incurable diseases. Nine out of ten patients died. Even imperial physicians in the palace were helpless when they encountered this disease, not to mention the fact that this particular, grave situation was a combination of intestinal ulcers and intestinal infarction. But little Physician Lin’s complexion was normal, her directions appeared orderly, and her prescription was unique – endlessly creative and difficult to pin down. However, even though the several resident doctors were full of doubts, they did not dare to inquire arbitrarily, lest they disturb little Physician Lin’s thought process. The opportunity to practice medicine in Xing Lin Spring allowed them to learn much more than opening a clinic on their own!
After prescribing the medicine, Lin Dan took out gold needles and pierced the patient’s Jinjin (gold river), Yuye (jade fluid), Chize (foot-long pool), and Weizhong (accumulated middle) acupoints and more. Black blood leaked out. She then stuck the needle through the Lanwei (appendix)*, Zusanli (foot three miles), Neiguan (inner door) acupoints and more. Her fingertips pinched the tail of the needles, lifting, piercing, twirling, and turning, then forcefully thrusting the needles in and leaving them there. After doing all this, the Gongdu Chengqi Decoction was also ready, so she immediately fed it to the patient. Within two quarters of an hour, the patient’s vomiting had stopped, his cramps had eased, and he actually revealed a bit of a serene appearance.
After another two hour, the patient’s symptoms improved even more. Lin Dan finally had him drink a bowl of radish water mixed with medicine. After waiting a short period of time, the patient once again had abdominal cramps that felt as if his intestines were twisting. He rolled back and forth. From deep within his abdomen, a drumbeat repeatedly sounded. He also started continuously burping.
His brother was terrified and said anxiously: “Just now, he had clearly already made a major recovery, so why did the attack become worse after taking the medicine instead?”
That crowd that was jammed into the doorway to watch also showed nervous expressions.
“There’s nothing wrong. This is a normal reaction. Continue to feed him medicine, this time half a bowl more.” Lin Dan waved her hand and an apprentice immediately brought two bowls of radish water and fed them to the patient.
At this moment, the patient finally clutched his stomach and started groaning: “Brother, I, I want to go to the bathroom! My stomach is so bloated!”
The man hurriedly went to look at Lin Dan, but Lin Dan was one step faster. She removed the needles from the patient and told him to go behind the screen to relieve himself. A quarter of an hour later, there was a rushing sound behind the screen, followed by a wave of stench. The onlookers covered their noses one after another and retreated. Even the patient’s family were almost unable to take it. They hurriedly stopped breathing and turned their faces away.
Only Lin Dan had no reaction, her expression calm.
After another quarter of an hour, the patient finally finished. Lin Dan then went behind the screen to examine his excrement, came back and touched his already no longer swollen abdomen, and said, “I’ll prescribe him another Qingchang (clear intestines) Drink to purge any excess impurities. If he’s well taken care of, he should recover in three doses.”
The man stared at his brother’s flattened abdomen, then pinched his fingertips, which were gradually warming up, and was so moved, he started crying.
The passers-by who stood at the doorway all clucked their tongues, unable to believe that little Physician Lin had so easily cured the intestinal ulcers! One must know that that was actually an incurable disease! Read the most updated version of this novel and other amazing translated novels from the original source at Novel Multiverse – “NovelMultiverse dot com”