Had my first appointment with a naturopath today. My doctor actually recommended that I see her (and by which I sort of mean ran out of answers and desperately pointed at somebody else). It makes sense, though, as I now seem to have conventional medicine thoroughly confounded. Really, I’m now dealing with my depression pretty much exclusively through alternative medicine anyway as well, so it probably makes sense to have a “professional” looking over that too.
I love how having to recite my history to people draws into focus how completely loopy it is, though. I went through the same thing in relation to my personal history when I was seeing various therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, etc. for initial appointments. I swear to god, I never once realized that my history was unusual before then. Nothing draws attention to abnormalities like having to repeat the same descriptions four times in a row while four pairs of different eyebrows do a little dance for you. It’s not as crazy as some people’s. And that’s pretty much my yardstick for a lot of things, I think. Somebody else’s is weirder, so mine must be perfectly normal.
At any rate, my new naturopathic doctor wanted details on any significant physical issues I’ve been experiencing. I actually started trying to type out some semblance of how our conversation progressed so that you, too, could share in the absurdity, but quickly realized I could be here all evening trying to transcribe it, and without all of the details, it isn’t nearly as comical. We would basically be talking about one issue, and then it would somehow tie in to something else that was also wrong, but totally different. Again, and again, and again. And her eyebrows just kept getting higher and higher.
I will summarize. It began with:
“So what brought you here?”
“Well, I’ve been having what appear to be some digestive issues of some sort, and my family doctor thought that maybe you could help me figure out what’s going on. My stomach sort of inflates like I’m pregnant at random times after eating. I’ve pretty much been wearing nothing but maternity-style shirts to cover it. Originally, the doctor thought it could be a food sensitivity thing, so I’ve been logging what I eat that brings it on, but it seems to be totally random.”
[I shuffle through my papers and start reading random items off the list]
“Carton of milk – really inflated. One grapefruit – really inflated. Piece of toast – really inflated. …Oh – here’s one where I just had a glass of water. Really inflated there. …This one I had just woken up and hadn’t actually eaten anything yet…”
[Naturopath has somewhat pained expression]
“Oh, and I had really low potassium for a year. Yeah. I know that’s not supposed to be possible.”
“Oh, and I used to get sick all the time. …No, like at least once a month and really sick.”
“Yeah, I was sick all the time as a kid too, but mostly then I just threw up a lot.”
“Oh, and I’ve got pretty bad fasting hypoglycemia.”
“Oh, and my liver was registering as damaged a couple of times.”
“Oh, and I have sudden sensorineural hearing loss.”
“No, they say that’s not related, but I have relatively frequent adult ear infections that have ruptured several times”
“Oh, and I appear to be growing a beard.”
“Oh, and my body reacts in weird ways to a lot of medications.”
Mixed in a lot of:
“No, I’m the only one in my family who has anything like that.”
“Yes, I’ve been to a specialist and tested for that.”
“No, they have no idea what caused that.”
And ended with:
“Oh, and by the way I’m off on medical leave right now for depression.”
The poor woman. I was reminded of a bit of stand-up I had seen once (it’s here, around 3:57 – 4:25). In the end she was just sitting there, staring at this pile of notes she had taken, with an expression on her face like I had just walked in and birthed a live wallaby, then asked her what she was going to do about it.
All in all, I was pleased, though. At the very least she seems willing to persist in trying to get to the bottom of things. And really, as long as it’s not particularly risky, I’m willing to try just about anything these days.
Like typing “Optimus Prime d” into Google to see for myself what the autocomplete suggests. Which is pretty darn funny, by the way.