DIARY

The Unexpected Effect of Silver Water

I would get sick every few months in Russia. I enjoyed walking barefoot, eating icicles too much and doing everything I could to avoid school…Having earned an epic case of sinuses one vicious winter, my sneezes caught the attention of a kind lady doctor who lived downstairs. She came to the rescue with what she called a “traditional treatment”. But I refused to be rescued when she showed me the medicine. Two long silver sticks, reminding of sharp knitting needles. The cotton swabs on their ends glistened with odd-smelling moisture.

Those were about to impale my nose and dab the sinus glands with what the Russian country-folk called `silver water`. From what I could tell it was a medieval torture kit or a gruesome instrument of Egyptian priests for preparing a mummy: The brain was scooped out through the nose, according to my Grade 5 history book…

Just as I remembered this delightful fact, my grandmother clutched my head from behind and held it firmly for the doctor to stick the silver needles up my nose…I almost snapped my neck escaping the room. A tantrum ensued with so much fighting and crying that my sinuses were instantly cured. As for my neighbor, she made a pact with my grandmother: the unpleasant outburst would be forgotten, and all parties would uphold that traditional Russian treatments work wonders indeed.

 

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