Wonder 43


I’m hoping we receive clearance to administer Tia Berry’s Herbal Remedy to children. We had a boy come in the other morning, and I’m sure that the mycelium in the tincture would have knocked out the virus.

We can give the remedy to adults, but since it’s in an alcohol base, we can’t let kids have it, even though the dosage is so low that they’d take the equivalent of a teaspoon of whiskey. I’m checking to see if we can use glycerin to make an alcohol-free recipe, but so far it seems like there’s a counter-action between the mushroom compounds and the glycerin.

I told this boy to rest up and drink plenty of orange juice.

“Ask your mom to come back and talk to me,” I told him. I planned to give her a bottle of the remedy so she could administer it to her son when they got home.


I hoped I was doing the right thing. It’s an odd feeling to be torn between doing what seems best for a sick person and doing what the laws require. Turns out, I didn’t have to make that choice, for his mom didn’t come back.


Instead, mine did!

Mãe!” I said. “You look awful!”

“I feel awful,” she replied.


She was worried about her heart.

“I have zero energy,” she said.

I suspected a virus. We decided to do a few tests on her heart, just so we could rule that out.


“The good news is your heart is super strong,” I told her. “And the bad news is, you’ve got that flu that’s been going around. But I’ve got good news for that, too.”


“You’re seriously giving me Berry’s herbal brew?” she asked, as I handed her the cup of the tincture mixed into some green tea.

“Yup,” I replied. “It’s the real deal.”

I felt grateful that we were within regulations to provide it to adults.


Within half an hour, she felt great, just like I had the other day when I took a dose to beat that virus I’d caught.

She laughed. “To think I could’ve just stayed home and done what we always do!”

“Sometimes the old ways are the best!” I reminded her.


The next patient wasn’t so sure about the wisdom of folk ways.

“You’re telling me it’s the mushrooms in here that make it work?” he asked, worriedly.

“That and the echinacea and goldenseal. I’m working on a paper about this. You’ll see! When you read about it in the medical journals, then you can gloat that you used it first!”


He, too, felt better in under an hour, and walked out, virus-free.

This is why I wanted to go into the medical field, to help find cures for common ailments. It’s almost like it’s fate! Heck, maybe it is fate! Maybe the Universe had me born to Tia Berry’s sister just so that I could introduce her very own herbal medicine into standard practice, helping millions of people cure flues and viruses, and maybe even cancer, if we can discover the right enzymes in the mycelium!

Ok. That’s a little grandiose. I scaled back my thoughts a bit and just felt grateful. Making people feel better was what it was all about! And if it wasn’t me, it would be somebody else.


When the clinic administrators heard about the tests we were running on the mushroom compounds, they hired two new physicians to help with the project, one who would have medical oversight, and the other to oversee the research component.

The top physician joined me at lunch.

“So you’re the famous Charlie Rocca Cup,” he said. “Grandchild of the opera star. Son of the soccer star. Wonder child. And now you’re some kind of medical genius.”


“It’s all luck,” I said.

“You’re darn right it’s luck,” he yelled back. “If it were experience, or even simple intelligence, you’d know enough not to administer the herbal medication to patients prior to written permission from the Medical Board! What kind of dufus gives patients herbs in a clinic! Cease and desist, buddy. And get your butt over to the computer and fill out form X52276 on the board’s website asking them to formally grant permission for us to precede.”


So. Not the best first impression to make on my new boss and the doctor who would be playing a significant role in the future of the widespread adoption of Tia Berry’s Herbal Remedy as the first line of cure for viruses. Eva and I had checked the regulations, and we were well within rights to use herbal tinctures with adults. I hadn’t even thought that we’d have to check with the Medical Board, when the regulations clearly state that herbal mixtures can be freely given to adults. I’m guessing Eva hadn’t considered the board, either.

The form was a bear to complete, but I felt contrite enough to consider the task of filling it out to be my penance. You know, I got a lot of benefits from my easy-free upbringing, but following rules and filling out forms were not part of them! I guess some things, I need to learn as an adult.


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