Thursday, March 11, 2010

In search of my 'tude mojo

Looks sufficiently medicinal, but is in fact taken at a vineyard.

You might not know this, or may not have guessed it since I've been told more than once that it isn't exactly a thing I radiate and would possibly even sneer at, apparently because of my cynicalprofessional and rational-seeming exterior...

I fokken know. I mean, really? WHAT IN THE NAME OF PLATONICALLY FROLICKING UNICORNS WOULD GIVE ANYONE THIS IDEA?!?! See, right there, I just had to scream because it was sort of warranted. the whole thing's just that utterly confounding to me. Utterly.

...but I am a strong believer in the power of alternative medicine, the role of nutrition, vitamins, and such other like things, when it comes to staying healthy or being cured.

So I pop a lot of pills of the supplement variety. I drink a lot of wheatgrass juice. In the mornings I like to brew liqorice-root and cinnamon infused green tea to be sipped (and to hopefully cancel out some of the negative effects) right alongside my several cups of morning coffee. I eat a lot of broccoli and spinach. I chew on flax seeds. I drink incredible amounts of water. I buy organic.

Somehow, almost without noticing it myself, I seem to have become one of those people. Those annoying people who show up at a dinner and won't eat half of the things on their plate because they either contain sugar, white flour, starch, dairy, or something passing itself as fruit but which is closer to a lump of sugar, just not as refined. Those irritating people who can comfortably talk about the benefits of vitex agnus castus as a dietary supplement for at least a good 20 minutes, and don't even get them started on superfoods. Those boring people who swear by a green concoction of wheatgrass, spinach, cucumber, avocado, and some alfalfa as the best snack ever. Those frightening people whose pee is always neon yellow from excess vitamin C and completely discussible with anyone, odor included.

One of them.

Which I thought was a mainstream movement and I was just a little slow at catching on. Yes? Aren't we all pretty much those people by now? At least mostly. Surely we're all on the 2010-version wagon of 'you are what you eat'? We all understand and respect the awesome power of traditional medicine, but don't sneer at new, or sometimes 'ancient', developments in the form of uses of medicinal plants, acupuncture, patient-specific treatments, yada yada and all that jazz, right?

Turns out, nope.

For quite some time I have been managing my condition that involves a severe hormonal imbalance among other wondrous medical phenomena, without taking one pill of the drug variety. (Okay, so in the last year truly managing, prior to that just refusing to take the drugs and sometimes suffering quite a load of consequences. I admit. I like wine, burgers and coffee. So sue me, oh body of mine.)

When I was diagnosed in Denmark more than five years ago, it was the doctor who pointed me to a site on the internet with more information about a necessary diet, the necessary supplements, the correct kind of exercise, and other such hoopla. The website was pink in color, but it was doctor recommended, so I read it and have now finally followed.

Without a need for any kind of drugs. Well, coffee and wine of course, but they are more in the 'necessity for ultimate survival of the human race' category anyway.

However, here in South Africa, it seems that those people don't quite exist yet, and that medical 'developments' are running a vastly different course, if not a whole different race.

"Either you manage your condition with medicine or you suffer and live with the consequences," the doctor, a prominent gynecologist and an elderly man, says, looks at me and sneers.

"But I haven't actually had any 'consequences' in the year I've been managing it with natural products and diet," I respond. And, as much as I hate to admit it, I do the air quotes. Yup. I do.

"Well, that's all pure nonsense," the doc blurts out, "show me one [fancy word I don't know what means] placebo [other fancy word I don't know what means, the flippen a-hole] study out there."

The doctor laughs and I stare at him.

"Just because there aren't studies out there doesn't mean the products and diet do not work. There aren't any studies out there showing they don't work either," is what I should have said, but instead I just stare. Also, the ultrasound device inside me is throwing off my 'tude mojo some serious.

And the doctor just laughs.

And then he laughs again when I tell him I refuse to go back on the medicine because of the side effects, since according to him there aren't any.


There I go, screaming again. Maybe it's the 'consequences'.


Tonia said...

I hope that, even though too angry to form a proper wordy reply, you shoved the device up a nostril?

Lisa-Marie said...

Your doctor obviously doesn't know the difference between 'alternative medicine' and 'homeopathy'.

Technically, most 'alternative medicines' have been proven to work and therefor actually are just medicine anyway.

Megan said...

do you think he was just being spiteful for fear of you not needing him anymore. perhaps he's just afraid of losing you?!

J said...

I must applaud your efforts to keep your symptoms under control using new therapies. I believe we must not be scared to try anything new, if it woks for us and helps us feel better. Your doctor should have known better than to laugh in your face. What is he ? An idiot?...

Erin P said...

OMG doctors can be such a-holes! They think that just because they spent all those years studying a narrow field of science, it's the only thing out there. And the old ones are the WORST!! I'm an RN and I know a lot of doctors!!! One 105 year old pediatrician who subbed for my real pediatrician told me, at my son's 2 WEEK visit, I should start supplementing breast milk with formula and mix in rice cereal....I just stared at him and told him point blank that I was going to only feed breast milk for 6 mos or so....LUCKY FOR HIM he smiled and said "that's fine too."

I'd love to know the website you were referred to which helped you so much; I think I might be able to use some dietary changes.

caroldiane said...

timely as usual Extra (you know that I love you because I use a diminutive of your name, right?) - I was at the dr today and she prescribed a synthetic hormone to be a crutch for my somewhat wimpy thyroid gland - I am so in resistance, but I gave in a got the prescription - sheesh...

kanishk said...

Technically, most 'alternative medicines' have been proven to work and therefor actually are just medicine anyway.
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