Semester-Off Midtrip Report

This entry comes in near the halfway point of my roughly-four-month semester off from college. Two months have passed- I came to Taiwan on September 10th, it is now November 14th, and I’m planning to return to the U.S. on January 10th. This trip to Taiwan was a forced situation (refer to the post “Taking a Year off from College”) because of severe infections and skin complications that aren’t curable in the U.S. Since I was forced to take this semester off, the hope was that much progress could have been because Qigong treatment works slowly at first and needs a longer healing period to kick into gear. Although I did make progress the past few summer and winter vacations when I came to Taiwan, the month or two of treatment didn’t seem sufficient to, for instance, reduce the number of foods I’m allergic to.

This time around, I had four full months for treatment. However, bad luck seemed to follow suit with the severe sickness I brought back so that I continued to get worse for the first month I was here. Due to confusions with the hotel we planned to stay at, we had to live in the regular hotel section for a week rather than the apartment-like section for long term guests. Right away I began an intensive treatment schedule, getting treatment two hours a day for five days a week. Still, every morning I woke up in a terrible condition, skin rotting everywhere and my face reddish black. I’d go for my treatment and do fairly well the rest of the day, but the following morning the previous day’s progress had already been erased. When I told this to my Uncle Chen (my qigong master), he found a cold gust of air had been aimed at my feet and shooting up to my head. The result- a lack of oxygen in my brain. He asked if I had gone out on a motorcycle of had air conditioning aimed at my feet. He hasn’t seen the room we had been temporarily put in, but sure enough, the air conditioning of our room was aimed directly at the foot of my bed (but not my mom’s). Bad luck count one. So that night my mom and I switched beds and everything was fine the next morning.

A day or two later we moved to the section of the hotel for long term guest. I had gotten much better without the AC pointed at my feet and was pretty excited to be moving into the apartment-like room where there was a kitchen, living room with a TV, two baths, and best of all- my own room. As my luck would have it, my condition went drastically downhill again a day or so after moving into the new room. Uncle Chen saw no reason (with my body as it was while I was at the qigong center for treatment) for these problems to surface again, so he asked us to take pictures of our new room to see if the problem was with the room itself. It turned out that the qi(chi) of the new room we moved to made it hard for any occupants to breathe or for the occupants kidneys and heart to fuction smoothly. Uncle Chen wasn’t sure exactly why, possibly the way the room was built or the orientation of the room. However, the fact that the hotel was built on grounds that used to be cemetaries, the room being in line with a coffin dealer as well as a major hospital, gave the area a strong negative force (Yin Qi) that would particularly harmful to a sick person such as myself. Well, bad luck count up to two. So, we immediately checked out of that hotel and moved into my aunt’s apartment- which is kind of small for U.S. standards but pretty big for Taiwan standards. Either way, I’ve been sleeping on the floor of the living room for the past month and a half after moving out of the hotel.

The bad luck continued though. For some reason, probably the changing weather, but a lot of old folks died during this time (late September). It’s a tradition in Taiwan for the household of the person who has passed away to decorate their front doors and even alleys to let everyone know their loved one has died. It’s also a belief that the spirit of the dead hang around these decorations. I didn’t know of these decorations before and didn’t know to look for them, but it was very apparent to my mom (who knew what these decorations looked like) that everytime we passed by one my asthma would hit hard. At first we had thought I was still getting over the effects of living at the hotel. But for the week or so before my mom put these two concepts together, I was like a magnet for dead spirits and suffocating on every in the car. Uncle Chen tought us a few ways to fend off the spirits while in the car and I haven’t had any spirit-related asthma attacks in the car since, but nonetheless- bad luck count number three.

After that, I had a terrible incident of food poisoning. Within two minutes of having dinner, which my mom always cooked because we didn’t trust take out food to begin with, I had a major asthma attack and couldn’t breathe at all. The asthma medicine didn’t help one bit. At first we weren’t able to contact Uncle Chen, but a few minutes later we found him. Just like, he worked on me for less than five minutes on the phone, and I was fine and dandy and fell sleep. Maybe Uncle Chen didn’t completely neutralize the poisoning because was just about to teach a class when we called him, but five hours later at 1am, my asthma hit hard again. We woke up my great uncle (who owns his own clinic) and rushed there. Steroids were taken, the allergic reaction ended, but I had taken a few steps back. A few steps back for the damage done by the poisoning, and a few steps back for the damage done by the steroids. Bad luck count upped to four.

Taking 1st Semester Senior Year Off

  1. Taking a Semester off from College
  2. Semester-Off Midtrip Report
  3. Semester-off Final Report


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