Archive for July 19th, 2012

My husband immediately contacted his mother to enlist her help in hunting for an old female duck for us. Meanwhile, my parents went back to Ipoh and I got back to work again. Things began to fall back into places. I could eat and sleep well, just like before. But the methimazole I was taking gave me some unpleasant side-effects. I told myself that I must really search for that old female duck!


A month later, after much searching and asking around, mother-in-law called up and said she had finally found that old female duck at a friend’s house in Kuala Selangor. It was timely as my medication was running out , down to the last tablet. The poor animal was almost twenty years old, had seen better times and its days are numbered. It was my good fortune and its misfortune, I guess! Mother-in-law gave the owner one hundred dollars as a token and had it slaughtered, skinned and cut into halves.

“Now, get ten pieces of dried baby abalones from any Chinese medical hall and finally, a bottle of Guinness Stout, only Guinness Stout and no Carlsberg or Anglia or Anchor!” Yoke Cheh instructed us.

We got them all in a jiffy.

“Put the duck together with the baby abalones into a small ceramic pot. Do not add any water to it and sealed the lid to prevent any water from getting inside. Next, put this small pot into a big metal pot filled with water. Light up a charcoal stove and bring the metal pot to boil for about 10 hours. Don’t let the boiling stop but just add water to the metal pot and charcoal to the stove during the process,” the old lady instructed further.

“When the boiling has been done, remove the small pot and open the lid. You can see the duck and abalone extract. It tastes and looks like chicken essence. Pour the liquid into a porcelain bowl and discard the meats. When the liquid became lukewarm, drink it in ONE BIG GULP WITHOUT ANY PAUSE and then immediately followed by the bottle of Guinness Stout. Yes, finish both items in one gulp without any pause. Only this way, it will work. The same night, you will begin to burp non-stop. All the pent-up air inside your body will be released. Guarantee you will not have hyperthyroidism again for the rest of your life!” Yoke Cheh vouched on her magic portion.

We did as she instructed, right to the last dot. The duck and abalone essence was simply awesome but the Guinness Stout part was yuck! I have to hold my nose tightly and swallow everything in one single gulp. That night, true enough, I burped many times and after each time, I feel better than before, in fact so much better than when I took those methimazole!

You see, the Chinese have a very different approach to treating hyperthyroidism. While the westerners blamed the overactive thyroid glands, the Chinese attributed this to a build-up of anger, frustrations and stress over a period of time – things I got plenty from my work place.

Since mother-in-law got me such a big duck, it made two portions and I consumed them all within the same week. A week later, I went back to Tung Shin Hospital for the same blood test –for TSH, T4 and T3. Armed with the result, I went to see Dr. Cheong again.

Of course he was amazed and utterly speechless when he saw my blood test result. My TSH had increased manifold while T4 and T3 had decreased to the normal level. Shaking his head in total disbelief, he asked curiously, “What have you consumed lately? This is incredible, just unbelievable!” The poor old chap almost fell from his chair.

I just smiled and kept quiet. I don’t think he will believe in the power of that old female duck, a handful of dried abalones and of course, that bottle of bitter Guinness Stout as he was a western medical practitioner.

“You’re indeed a special patient. I never expect to see this kind of result from you until a year or two later,” he said.

“So, that means I don’t have to take those methimazole anymore?” I asked him.

“No, I don’t think so but you still have to come back yearly for your blood test, at least for a few years consecutively,” he advised.

“Back to my question just now, how did you get well so fast and so completely?” he was persistent to know.

“Well, just say it is a miracle!” I said smilingly as I got up to leave.

He threw up his hands and gave out a roaring laugh that vibrated through the corridor of the hospital.

“And thank you for finding out my problem for me……” I said to him as I closed the door behind me and walked down the stairs, very glad that my ordeal was finally over.

As a token of appreciation for dear old Yoke Cheh, I gave her a big fat ang pow.

It’s been almost thirteen years now and I have never been better!

Last night, my husband read the first part of this story. “We can easily buy dried abalones and a bottle of Guinness Stout, but the star of the day was that poor old female duck. She was the one that actually saved you from having to take methimazole. She got killed so that you can be cured permanently. So, shouldn’t the title of your story focus more on her contribution and also the ordeal you’ve gone through?” he pointed out to me.

I think he was right. I’ve been to hell and back. And the duck died for me.

Therefore, I decided to change the title for the first part to something like “To hell and back….” in order to reflect the ordeal I’ve been through.

The title for this second part is “An old female duck that saved my life” and I am sure the poor old girl (God bless her dainty little soul) will agree too. 🙂

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