After the awkward and almost confrontational greeting (if it could even be called a greeting), Dr . Zhong began to explain to Zhou Qin the intricacies of her condition . Like Uncle Zhou, Li Yundong stood beside Zhou Qin's bed and listened to Dr . Zhong's every word .
Dr . Zhong was a plump, rotund man with a full head of white hair and a slightly receding hairline . The man wasn't tall . Li Yundong would put his height at around 170cm, which was nowhere enough to compensate for the man's large girth; hence the rotundity .
One thing about the Dr . Zhong did stick out at Li Yundong: his confidence . When the guy spoke, he expected everyone in the room to listen to him . Even his colleague—the other doctor who came in—seemed a bit hesitant to voice out his thoughts even though his face clearly showed that he had a few points of his own to add . Then again, Dr . Zhong was a famous expert in the country, so he was probably used to people looking at him like he was a Buddha or Avalokiteshvara .
For some reason, Dr . Zhong reminded Li Yundong of Yan Hua .
At some point during Dr . Zhong's lecture, Li Yundong stole a glance at Zhou Qin .
It would seem that Zhou Qin's Ice-Queen demeanor was back in full force . She sat on the bed with her back ramrod straight, giving noncommittal single-word answers whenever Dr . Zhong inquired about her condition or asked her questions . Dr . Zhong sounded kind and loving when he spoke to Zhou Qin, though for some strange reason, Zhou Qin seemed a bit annoyed with Dr . Zhong .
"And now, Miss Zhou… Regarding your treatment options . . . " Dr . Zhong suddenly cleared his throat . "After a thorough review of your case, it seems to me that you'll most likely require surgery . "
Li Yundong tensed up at the mention of surgery . What the heck? His eyes darted briefly to Uncle Zhou, who stood stoically beside Zhou Qin's bed .
"The only problem is that it is impossible to carry out the procedure within the country," Dr . Zhong continued . "I'm sorry to say that we do not have the proper equipment to facilitate the procedure—"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold on a second here," Li Yundong cut in . "Surgery? I thought . . . " He glanced at Uncle Zhou once again . "But what about the risks?"
"Oh?" Dr . Zhong turned away from the bed and raised a brow at Li Yundong . "Do you have a better way then?"
Li Yundong met Dr . Zhong's challenging gaze with a steely look of his own .
The other, after Uncle Zhou mentioned about the risks of removing the blood clot from Zhou Qin's spinal column via surgery, Li Yundong went home and did some digging .
And his research revealed another consequence of the surgery that was far more devastating than Zhou Qin losing all her motor functions: it was unlikely for Zhou Qin to even make it out of the surgery alive, let alone walk again .
Yes . Zhou Qin would die if she went through with the procedure .
And the reason for that was so simple that Li Yundong had wanted to smack himself for not realizing it sooner: the Du Meridian runs along the spinal column; if they cut open Zhou Qin's spinal region, her Du Meridian would be severed .
"What do you know anyway, kid?" said Dr . Zhong's colleague . "You should keep quiet if you don't know what you're talking about . "
Li Yundong ignored the other doctor and turned to Dr . Zhong instead .
"I urge you to reconsider, Dr . Zhong," Li Yundong pleaded . "She wouldn't survive the surgery . "
"There are always risks when it comes to surgery," Dr . Zhong said patiently . "But that's just it . Those are only risks . She needs surgery if she wants to make a complete recovery . There's just no other way . The risks might be worth it if it means that Miss Zhou can stand up again . "
"Not in this case," Li Yundong said insistently . "The chances of Zhou Qin surviving the procedure is close to nil . "
Li Yundong heard two sharp intakes of breaths beside him . When he glanced sideways, he caught a glimpse of Uncle Zhou and Zhou Qin's shocked expressions .
Dr . Zhong frowned and exchanged a look with his colleague . "That's a rather bold claim, don't you think?" Dr . Zhong studied Li Yundong's face for a moment . "How, may I ask, did you arrive at that conclusion?"
"Well, the Du Meridian runs along the spinal column," Li Yundong said . "So if you cut open that area—"
"Wait, you know Traditional Chinese Medicine?" Dr . Zhong interrupted him rudely .
Li Yundong sighed . "Yes . I dabbled in it a little . "
Dr . Zhong shared yet another look with his colleague . Seconds later, the two doctors started chuckling and shaking their heads .
"With all due respect," Li Yundong said in a tight voice . "This is no laughing matter . Like I said—"
"Say, kid," said Dr . Zhong's colleague . "What year do you think we're living in, eh?" There was a pregnant pause . "Nobody believe in all that stuff anymore . " The doctor rolled his eyes . "I mean, you might as well feed Miss Zhou a vial of enchanted water if you still believe in all that Traditional Chinese Medicine crap . "
Li Yundong stared at the doctor for a few seconds, aghast at the complete travesty of Traditional Chinese Medicine that the doctor had just spouted .
Enchanted water? Seriously?
"Your understanding of Traditional Chinese Medicine is flawed I'm afraid," Li Yundong said .
Dr . Zhong's colleague stopped laughing instantly .
"Oh?" The doctor raised a brow challengingly . "Why don't you enlighten us then?" Then, he gestured at Zhou Qin's bed with a hand . "What type of treatment plan do you propose to treat Miss Zhou's condition?"
Li Yundong narrowed his eyes at the doctor .
"With improved blood circulation, the blood clot will eventually disperse on its own," Li Yundong said without taking his eyes off the doctor . "And Traditional Chinese Medicine has a lot of good ways to enhance blood flow . The most effective method is Qi control . But there are other methods such as acupuncture and massage—"
The doctor laughed again . "Tsk . Tsk . Did you hear that, Dr . Zhong?" He glanced at Dr . Zhong . "This kid is trying to teach us, trained medical professionals, by spouting all these nonsense . Qi control, he says . " The doctor snorted and rolled his eyes . "Please . Don't you know that most Qigong masters in the country were arrested and convicted of fraud?"
Li Yundong exhaled slowly . "Just because there are a bunch of frauds out there operating under the banner of Traditional Chinese Medicine, it doesn't mean tha—"
"Listen, young man," Dr . Zhong cut in abruptly . "History have shown over and over again that these so-called Qigong masters were all charlatans . And the same goes for those traditional nutritionists or practitioners of alternative medicine . Don't you see what the problem is? The problem is that none of their methods could withstand the test of time . " Dr . Zhong paused to look at Li Yundong . "Why do you think that Traditional Chinese Medicine, despite its long history, had failed to establish a strong foothold in the world of medicine? Obvious, isn't it? It's because Traditional Chinese Medicine isn't based on scientific principles . It's a pseudoscience, not a legitimate science . " Dr . Zhong sighed heavily . "Look, if you're really serious about medicine, then I suggest you enroll to a good medical school and start from there, okay?"
A wry chuckle escaped Li Yundong's lips as he shook his head .
At the end of the day, it wouldn't matter how he put forth his points or how he presented his case to them . Hell, he could write a frigging thesis that put forward a cogent treatment plan based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, and they would still dismiss it as quackery .
These doctors were already prejudiced to begin with . To them, Traditional Chinese Medicine was nothing but nonsense .
Li Yundong glanced over at Uncle Zhou and Zhou Qin, then looked back towards the doctors again . He didn't really have to waste his breath trying to convince the two doctors, of course . Ultimately, the final decision was still up to Zhou Qin . All Li Yundong had to do was make Zhou Qin stand up before then, and everything would be fine .
But still, Li Yundong had to admit that the two doctors' blatant dismissal of Traditional Chinese Medicine rubbed him the wrong way .
"Look, I fully acknowledge your expertise, Dr . Zhong," Li Yundong said with a gracious smile . "You're the best in your field, I get it . But I still think it's a bit unfair to dismiss Traditional Chinese Medicine just like that without considering its merits . "
"Merits?" Dr . Zhong's colleague scoffed . "We just told you that—"
Li Yundong silenced the man with a raised palm .
"Please allow me to demonstrate to you what Traditional Chinese Medicine really is . " Li Yundong paused and gave each doctor a pointed look . "Until then? Please reserve your judgements . "
Despite the doctor's protests, Li Yundong pushed past them and strode into the bathroom . Seconds later, Li Yundong returned with a Zhou Qin's makeup kit, which he had grabbed from the bathroom counter .
Li Yundong flipped open the kit and held it in front of Dr . Zhong's face .
"Take a look at yourself in the mirror, Dr . Zhong," Li Yundong said . "Pay attention to your eyes . Do you think they look healthy?" Li Yundong didn't wait for an answer . "Well, I'll be blunt with you, Dr . Zhong . This is the unhealthiest pair of eyes I've ever seen in my life . " He paused for a second . "The eyes of a healthy person will be clear and sharp . Yours look murky and cloudy, like there's some kind of opaque substance coating them . The dark circles around your eyes are pretty telling as well . And also the fact that your eyes look totally sunken . " Li Yundong raised a brow . "Based on these physical symptoms and, of course, my understanding of Traditional Chinese Medicine, I have a pretty good guess of what Dr . Zhong's daily habits are . Including his vices . "
Li Yundong smirked and glanced at everyone in the room .
Zhou Qin and Uncle Zhou were both looking at him curiously .
"Yeah right," Dr . Zhong's colleague scoffed .
Li Yundong ignored the man and looked Dr . Zhong right in the eye .
"Tell me, Dr . Zhong… . How long have you been struggling with your drinking problem?"
There was a gasp .
"Wha… H- How . . . How d- did you . . . "
"The eyes are connected to the liver," Li Yundong explained . "One look at your eyes is enough to tell me that your liver health is severely compromised . And your lack of sleep is pretty obvious from the dark circles around your eyes, which is understandable since you're a doctor with a busy schedule . Sleep deprivation does affect liver health, but not to this extent . " Li Yundong gestured at Dr . Zhong's eyes . "Something else is messing up your liver . You're an alcoholic . "
Silence permeated Room 502 . Gone were the doctors' condescending and smug attitude . Instead, they looked utterly mortified .
Li Yundong didn't plan to just stop there though .
"And then your hair," Li Yundong said, closing the kit with a snap . "All your hair has gone white, but you don't look that old to me . From your face, I'll put your age around fifty-ish . " He handed the kit back to Zhou Qin and glanced at Dr . Zhong . "Your premature greying implies severe kidney problems . "
Dr . Zhong's eyes widened when Li Yundong suddenly approached him .
"H- Hey, hey . . . what are you—Argh!"
Li Yundong jabbed two spots on Dr . Zhong's lower back with his thumbs .
"You felt that, didn't you?" Li Yundong smirked, easing the pressure of his thumbs slightly . "Renal Yin Deficiency, that's what you have, doctor . "
"Renal—What? That's nonsense!" Dr . Zhong twisted his back away from Li Yundong's hands and shot him a glare .
"Nonsense?" Li Yundong raised a brow . "Is the constant ringing you've been experiencing in the middle of the night nonsense too?"
Dr . Zhong gasped . "How could you possibly—"
"The ears and the kidneys are linked," Li Yundong said flatly . "That's how I know . "
Ignoring the angry flush on Dr . Zhong's face, Li Yundong gave Dr . Zhong's body a quick once-over .
"You don't exercise at all, do you?" Li Yundong's eyes darted briefly to Dr . Zhong's face, focusing on his double chin . "Your body fat levels are way too high…" Li Yundong paused in thought . "I suppose that makes sense considering your drinking problems . Alcohol contains a lot of calories after all . "
Li Yundong reached over to and grabbed Dr . Zhong's wrist .
"Hey!" Dr . Zhong protests .
"Shh!" Li Yundong raised a ringer, then spent the next minute giving Dr . Zhong a pulse reading .
Suddenly, Li Yundong looked up at Dr . Zhong's face .
"Open your mouth," Li Yundong said .
"What? No!" Dr . Zhong looked completely affronted at that point .
Li Yundong rolled his eyes and pinched Dr . Zhong's cheeks until the latter's mouth dropped open . Then, he peered into the man's mouth, wincing when he saw Dr . Zhong's tongue .
Li Yundong shook his head and pushed on Dr . Zhong's lower jaw until the man's mouth clicked shut .
"Slightly swollen tongue? Weak pulse?" Li Yundong said, ticking the items off on his fingers . "Again, these are all symptoms of Renal Yin Deficiency . " Li Yundong lowered his hand . "The liver and kidneys are integral to overall health . Not only that, but your liver and kidneys also depend on each other . Whenever either organ is compromised, the rest of your internal organs will be affected as well . " Li Yundong held up five fingers . "Five years . You're going to run into serious health problems in five years if you don't change your lifestyle, Dr . Zhong . " He lowered his hand . "Of course, I can't predict the exact illness or illnesses that you'll be experience in five years . That's beyond the scope Traditional Chinese Medicine and more towards Western Medicine's domain . But I know beyond a single doubt that your health will suffer a devastating blow in about five years . "