Lin Haihai would be spending the night in the hospital. Exhausted, she went back to her room and threw herself onto the bed, falling asleep almost at once. In the brief moment between wakefulness and slumber, she wondered why Baizi had yet to return after so long.
She dreamed of a younger Keqing. She had been an unfavored Lady of Talent, and she fell in love with a handsome prince. The rules of the mundane world prevented them from getting together. They could only yearn for each other from a distance. Then she gave birth to an imperial prince and became the Imperial Consort. Not long after, the then empress passed away due to illness, and she took over with the status she earned not through herself, but her son.
After the emperor passed away also, her son became the legitimate ruler. He was young, but he’d already lost himself in selfish desires and casual cruelty. Her past lover, the handsome prince, had to force the young emperor to make him a regent to assist him in court matters. They began to see each other frequently, which ended up exposing their relationship to the princess consort. During one of their meetings, she drank the tea served by the princess consort and became afflicted with the gu poison. The emperor hadn’t changed his behavior, but instead doubled down on his inappropriate deeds and did many things to hurt the general public. The regent had no choice but to stage a coup!
The armies swarmed the capital, and she fled in panic. She didn’t expect him to send people after her to kill her. She would’ve killed herself if she wasn’t so concerned about her foolish son.
Lin Haihai woke up at dawn. The beggar’s anesthesia should’ve worn off. She got off the bed and washed up before rushing into the hospital ward.
Lin Haihai checked his temperature, which was the most important thing to do after a surgery. He was running a low fever. She prescribed some medicine for him. It would be injected with an IV.
The beggar slowly regained consciousness to tremendous pain in his body. He still couldn’t move his hands. He began sobbing, the wails low and weak.
Lin Haihai hurried to him and wiped away his tears, saying gently, “It hurts, doesn’t it? Then let yourself cry. Don’t keep it down. I’ll inject you with painkillers. The pain will fade away soon. You’ll be alright!”
The young beggar looked up at her with teary eyes. The gentle voice soothed his hurting body like music from the heavens. Pitifully, he wailed, “It hurts so much, Mother!”
Lin Haihai’s heart broke. The kid was at most fourteen, which would make him a middle schooler in the modern world. Who would be cruel enough to hurt someone like him?
“It’s alright, kid!” Lin Haihai wiped away his tears and injected him with a syringe.
The beggar sobbed until he slowly fell back into sleep. He would be asleep for at least a few hours.
When Lin Haihai opened the door of the hospital, there were already some patients lining up to enter. They were surprised to see Lin Haihai. They didn’t expect her to open the hospital so early. Beaming, Lin Haihai greeted them, “Come in! It’s so early. You guys must have come without having breakfast!”
“We’ve had breakfast!” the patients answered with reservation. Lin Haihai could tell that it was a white lie. The pure-hearted people were too embarrassed to admit that they had come with an empty stomach.
Lin Haihai sat down at her desk, and the patients went into a line unprompted. She checked their pulses one by one and said, “The hospital next door will open in a few days, and I’ll hire more physicians. You won’t have to wake up so early to queue up then. It’s autumn, and it’s getting pretty chilly. It’s torture to wait outside the door!”
The patients looked at her gratefully. “Thank you for the hard work, Physician Lin!”
They knew the hospital wasn’t actually earning anything considering the low price she charged. She had been working hard despite the burden put on her!
Lin Haihai smiled gently in lieu of a response. She always started her day busy. Such was the never-changing theme of a physician’s life.
The imperial physicians got to work one after another. Mid-Autumn Day was two days away. Everyone wanted to get their health problems sorted before the holiday came. Lin Haihai was busy, but it was a kind of busy life that made her content.
Zheng Feng arrived early today to take care of the milk cow. He heated a pot of warm water to wipe it clean, speaking like a farmer when he told Qing Feng and Ming Yue, “It turns out cows aren’t a fan of coldness as well, so it should be kept warm in winter!”
Qing Feng and Ming Yue smothered a smile by his side, while Wangchen leaned against the doorframe to watch Zheng Feng busy about. “Do you need a hand?”
Zheng Feng grinned at her, revealing his pearly-white teeth. “Nah, it’s not a job for you women. You won’t do it well!”
He wiped the cow milk dry and knelt down to milk it. He had mastered the skill through trials and errors last night. In no time, he got himself a great amount of milk. Qing Feng went up to take the basin of milk back to the kitchen for cooking. Wangchen raised an eyebrow at him before turning to leave.
Yang Hanlun came when it was almost lunch time. Lin Haihai was busy extracting pus from a patient inflicted with abscess. She was as gentle as she could with her back slightly bent down, her expression completely free of repulsion. Yang Hanlun looked at her, dejected. If only she weren’t Prince Pingnan’s follower…
Through the investigation conducted by his subordinates, Yang Hanlun had learned that her hospital had been running on deficit. He didn’t understand her. She had gotten angry at him for having too much food on the dining table, but now she put all her money into the hospital like she didn’t care about it at all. He didn’t get it at all!
Lin Haihai nodded when she saw Yang Hanlun before going back to treating her patients.
The empress dowager had summoned an imperial physician due to a sudden discomfort. The physician on shift today was Imperial Physician Shangguan. He checked on the empress dowager and concluded, “You have to cut down on oily food from now on, Your Majesty!”
“What’s wrong with this Empress Dowager?” she asked with a hand on her forehead.
Imperial Physician Shangguan put away the sphygmomanometer and said respectfully, “Your Majesty has a slightly higher blood pressure, which may lead to stroke if the problem is neglected!”
Lin Haihai had let him take the sphygmomanometer to the palace so that he could check on the empress dowager.
The empress dowager jumped and looked at the imperial physician in shock. “Isn’t this Empress Dowager suffering from anemia?”
Imperial Physician Shangguan bowed to her. “That’s not the case. Your Majesty has nutritious food every day. It’s impossible for Your Majesty to suffer from anemia. This lowly official will prescribe you with some medicine. Your Majesty will be fine as long as you take the medicine every day according to instructions.”
“What’s high blood pressure?” The empress dowager panicked. She had never heard of the condition before. “Summon Yuguan! Summon Yuguan at once!”
“Don’t panic, Your Majesty. This servant will go at once!” Lihua lost her calm as well. Noting the panicked look on her master’s face, she immediately ran out of the room.
“We should wait for Physician Lin to explain the situation. It’s a heaty condition that may lead to strokes, but Physician Lin would have more knowledge and insights to share with you!”
Imperial Physician Shangguan wiped away the sweat on his forehead. He never knew that there were so many different types of heaty conditions until Physician Lin told him. During classes, Physician Lin had explained the many complications that might result from high blood pressure. The consequences could be dire. That was why the patient’s blood pressure had to be monitored and controlled. The patient must receive treatment with medicine or a healthier diet. He didn’t dare jump to conclusions when it was the empress dowager suffering from the condition now.
Yang Hanlun rushed to the palace with Lin Haihai. The empress dowager grabbed Lin Haihai’s wrist tightly immediately, her eyes wild with panic. “Yuguan, Yuguan, the imperial physician said this Empress Dowager has high blood pressure. What’s wrong with this Empress Dowager’s blood?”
Lin Haihai patted the back of her hand reassuringly and said, “It’s alright. Relax. Don’t panic.” She threw Imperial Physician Shangguan a disapproving look. “What’s the diagnosis?”
One had to be tactful when explaining a diagnosis to the patient, and nothing should be left ambiguous.
“This official has measured Her Majesty’s blood pressure with a sphygmomanometer,” Imperial Physician Shangguan said nervously. “And it’s higher than standards!”
“How high?” asked Lin Haihai.
“A hundred and seventy systolic and a hundred and five diastolic!”
That high? Lin Haihai had to cover up her shock. She maintained a calm mask and smiled at the empress dowager. “Don’t worry, Imperial Mother. High blood pressure can be treated with medicine and a change in diet. As long as you follow my instructions in the food you eat, you’ll be fine!”
“Is that enough?” the empress dowager asked worriedly.
“You need to take medicine as well. And you must exercise!” Exercise was the best way to lower blood pressure, and it would result in any side effects.
“Exercise?” the empress dowager asked.
“Lihua, Lihua!” Lin Haihai called out. When the maid hurried to receive her order, Lin Haihai said seriously, “From tomorrow on, you should accompany Her Majesty on a walk in the Imperial Garden for an hour when dawn first broke. After dinner, you should again walk with Her Majesty around the pebbled path in the winding hallway for the time for an incense stick to burn. Remember to walk on the path barefooted!”
“Before bed, prepare a basin of warm water for her to submerge her feet in. It’ll be best if you can massage her to alleviate her soreness. Finally, you have to remember not to let her get angry. Avoid any extreme emotional swings. You must remember that. You, too, Imperial Mother!”
Lihua listened carefully and said with deference, “This maid will remember and follow Consort Lin’s instructions!”
“Tell me if Her Majesty doesn’t follow my instructions,” said Lin Haihai. “I have ways to make her listen!”
“Why wouldn’t this Empress Dowager listen?” the empress dowager murmured. “This empress dowager will follow your instructions!”
Lin Haihai stared at the empress dowager and said seriously, “Lihua will be keeping an eye on you for me when I’m not around. If you follow my instructions, I’ll make the time to visit you every day. If you don’t, I’ll never visit again!”
The empress dowager beamed. “This Empress Dowager will do as you said!”
Yang Hanlun finally allowed himself to relax. He turned to Lin Haihai with conflicted emotions. She must be acting again!
“Is Imperial Mother going to be alright?” Yang Hanlun asked.
Worry flashed through Lin Haihai’s eyes, but she quickly covered it with a smile. “She will be fine as long as she follows my instructions!”
After a pause, she instructed the empress dowager, “You must not have any heaty food with high fat content. Lihua, pass down my instructions: All food served in the Ci’an Palace must be light. Tell the imperial cooks to find me later. I’ll tell them about the diet Her Majesty should be keeping from now on!”
“Understood, Consort Lin!” Lihua moved to the side and sent a palace maid to the Imperial Kitchen.Previous Chapter Next Chapter