Posts Tagged ‘health’

Naturally Speaking

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

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]

Touched on:

“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.

Speak up. No, wait! Speak…More vowelly.

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

I have an odd reaction to distressing events sometimes, I think.  It’s like once they pass a certain threshold, my psyche just doesn’t know what to do with them anymore.  Someone could tell me that my faucet was leaking, and I’d be like “Gaaaaaaah!  Why me??  Why today???”  Someone could tell me my whole house had burnt down, and I’d be like “Oh.  …Do you have any Fritos?”  Some things are just too big and too unchangeable not to just be accepted more or less.

I got Fritos-grade news a couple of days ago.  I spent about a week a few months ago with this intense ringing in my ears, and I’ve had the sneaking suspicion since then that my hearing might be worse.  Or maybe not so much a sneaking suspicion as a very large and slightly drunk suspicion with geese on its feet.  There has been a lot of “huh?” and “what?” and “can you repeat that once I’m off the toilet?” around these parts.

Anyway, I went to see an audiologist on Tuesday, prepared to hear that there had been a slight drop in my hearing, and motivated to jump all over finding out what caused it.  To be honest, I was sort of hoping to hear something to that effect, as I was certain enough that it had to be either my hearing or my mind that I was losing.  And I still use my mind now and then.  What I was not prepared to hear was that I had around forty percent hearing loss, and lets talk about hearing aids, and look they come in pretty colours like Fuchsia and Bread Mold Green.

Forty percent??!  And I can still communicate relatively normally?  Did I have some extra unnecessary hearing I was carrying around?  Was I born with the window seat of hearing?  The freshly grated parmesan?   The little bow on the front of a bra in the world of listening to things?  Admittedly, I have a heck of a time watching TV these days.  I get the drift, but half the time when something funny or dramatic seems to happen I have to ask my husband what it was.  But still… You’d barely notice if you met me.  It’s not something it would occur to you to comment on.

Or you might, but I wouldn’t hear the comment anyway, so it hardly counts, now does it?

So…yes.  I have Moderate Hearing Loss.  Basically the parts of my ear that perceive volume and vowel sounds are perfectly fine, but some of the parts for distinguishing consonants are a bit lacking now.  …Which means I can’t tell you the lyrics to a song to save my life, but damned if I can’t do a good rendition like someone with their tongue removed.

Good points:  Apparently not all hearing aids look like those giant beige extra ears that I remember grandmothers wearing.

Low points:  My step-father now wants to ship up the giant beige extra ear that his now-deceased mother “almost never wore.”  Ummm…

(I tried to explain that ew, and that also she may not have needed the same kind of corrections I do.  He’s determined, though.  It was an easier-to-just-say-thank-you moment)

And as a nice little cherry on the fluffy badness, hearing aids to compensate for my problem should set me back around $2000-$5000 or more out of pocket.  ?!??  I should check the fine print on our insurance.  I’m sure there’s got to be something in there.  If I do end up getting some eventually, I bet it will totally be like those “there are leaves on trees??” moments that people who got glasses talk about.  I’m sure that my brain has learned to adjust and compensate in a lot of ways, but there’s got to be a lot out there that I’m not taking in fully.  Loudly, but not fully.

So I ate a lot of questionable McDonalds food products on Tuesday (which were kind of gross, by the way.  Damned improved eating habits have ruined my ability to gorge for comfort), and have since slipped into a sense of false apathy about the whole thing.  I can tell that it’s bothering me, as I’ve been extra grumpy, and extra bored, and extra apathetic about any number of other unrelated things.  I’m not quite ready to deal with it head on, though, I think.  I need some time to wrap my head around it.  And to try not to think about the fact that since they don’t know what caused it, there’s nothing really saying it couldn’t happen again.  I feel low, and kind of numb, and I don’t really want to do anything at all (which is why I kind of sort of haven’t written here yet this week. …Sorry).

Oh, and as the syrupy red nasty sugar goo around the cherry on the fluffy badness, my husband is going to be working crazy late hours for the next week or so (including the weekend), so I’m sort of on my own in working through all this.

In good news, I got my doctor to agree to refer me to a different psychiatrist.  On the down side, she said I need to keep seeing Dr. Douche until the new one pans out.  …And I’m not 100% sure that doesn’t mean that I now have to take the over-the-top medications he was insisting on or risk being reported as “non-compliant with recommended treatment” to my insurance.  Ugh.  I’m not sure how much diplomacy I have left in me either.  Do you think it would hurt my case for not needing sedatives if I sank my teeth into his nose?

And if so, how much?

Because if there’s a chance that I could get away with it, I may have to consider…

As a plus to all of this, I spent the remainder of Tuesday reading the Harry Potter book that was a prize from the lovely Sarah P.  No, I hadn’t read them yet.  Yes, I’m from Earth.  No, not a cave-like part.  I just…hadn’t gotten around to them.  It was fun.  I think I may pick up the others to devour over the coming days.  Many, many thanks to Sarah (who by the way drew a very appropriate and not at all penis-related stick figure drawing on the card).  Now that’s the kind of restraint I need.

Things on my mind

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

1)      We were returning from a friend’s house this weekend and in the car realized that an ant from there (they had just noticed the beginnings of an invasion force) had stowed away in our bag.  We live around two hours away.  So it occurred to me, what would have happened to that ant if it had made it home?  What happens to an ant in isolation?  Would it feed itself?  Where would it live?  Would it attempt to build a new ant hill all by itself?  Would it just be lost without its peers?  I don’t know.

2)      I think I have some kind of crazy Mutant Virus.  I’ve been feeling generally unwell, and my glands have been swollen for at least a month now.  And I have confirmed this week that in the times I’m feeling especially ill/shaky/feverish, I do actually have a bit of a fever.  But it only happens sometimes, for an hour or two.  And the rest of the time my temperature goes back to totally normal.  What the heck is that??

3)      I had to help out my University-age sister this weekend, as she’s run out of credit and hasn’t yet found a summer job.  …Not because she’s irresponsible, just because student jobs are a little scarce, and she wasn’t able to find part-time work during the school year this year, so her cash situation is absurdly tight.  Our situation is not good either, but at least we still have some credit left.  My mother has mentioned that maybe someday my step-father will be willing to sell the house they’re in and move back to Canada.  It’s very close to the water, and worth a pile of cash as a result.  If they bought a pretty nice house here, all of our financial troubles would just vanish.  Just like that.  Poof.  Theirs, my sisters, and mine.  I can’t even imagine.  Damn, it would be amazing to be able to get on with our lives looking towards the future instead of paying off the past.  I sort of think it would be better in the long run anyway, since eventually one of them is bound to have some kind of medical problem, and taking advantage of the health care their taxes have been paying for would probably be a good idea.  I’m not sure there’s actually any chance of it happening, though.  I am trying not to get my hopes up.

4)      I have determined that if I am able to continue at my current rate, it will take about a month before I’m free of the Luvox.  A nice, long month of feeling sort of crappy, if this week is any indication.  Just right on that line of crappiness where it is very crappy, but not yet so crappy as to be too crappy to continue.  Good times.

5)      When we moved in there were some…puppy-related stains…on the living room carpet.  After several cleansing attempts, I ended up dousing them solidly with enzyme-loaded pet stain and smell remover.  Very effective. …Except that the resulting moisture left them smelling kind of musty instead.  Noticeable again now that the windows are open and there’s a breeze blowing across them from time to time.  So a couple of days ago, I doused them with anti-mould spray as well.  …Except the dampness of the anti-mould spray seems to be generating more mould.  How is that even possible?  It’s like soap getting dirty.

6)      I haven’t been feeling especially internet-inclined of late, and I feel a little guilty for not being more up-to-date on everyone’s happenings.  Also, I’m craving toast.

7)      The cat pictured in yesterday’s guitar case has decided that I have been at the computer too long now, and is attempting to remove me by force.

8 )      “…I don’t wanna miss a single thing you do…tonight.”

Like, so totally genetically irregular

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

I am having one of those moments where I realize rather suddenly that a word or phrase has crept into my vocabulary and is in the process of slowly taking over all other words in its quest for word domination.  My biggest ones right now are “unfortunate,” “admittedly,” and “apparently” (which I was aware of), and “totally” (which I was not).  The extent of the conquest of “totally” I had not fully realized until just now.  But I totally use it a lot.  And it totally projects a small lopsided smirk every time, like I am saying something serious  …OR AM I??  Like that guy who delivers completely inappropriate insults with a completely dead pan face, and you’re not sure whether to be furious or laugh uncomfortably because clearly he must be joking.  …OR IS HE??

Also, it, like, SO totally makes me sound like a Valley Girl.

Also, I use also a lot also.

My focus is off of the antidepressants for the moment, as there apparently is also something messed up going on with my ears.  I won’t go into too much non-gory detail (it isn’t really the kind of thing that actually involves a lot of gore), but sufficed to say that one of my ears is reverberating, sometimes non-computer-related sounds turn into random computer noises, and I can’t hear crap.  Unless it plops very loudly.  And I happen to be in the room.   This is a little extra-disturbing for me, because I had 15% permanent hearing loss in my twenties that they never figured out the reason for.

This kind of thing is pretty run-of-the-mill around here, really.  Up until this year, I was sick with something mundane for three weeks out of every four until I got so totally fed up that I just decided to will myself healthy (seriously).  I still tend to come down with in-your-face ailments that puzzle the medical community, though.  Haven’t given up those.  My sister is the same.  We routinely commiserate about the number of times doctors have called in one of their colleagues because they “just have to see this – it’s so bizarre!”  I also get this with other support practitioners, but thankfully my massage therapist has never called anyone else in to feel my mostly-naked butt.

I have heard that the reason people find their lover’s unique scent attractive is because it indicates compatibility of their immune systems, so they are likely to produce resilient offspring from the pairing (really).   Taking this into consideration, I am not entirely sure how my parents managed to have sex with each other not once, but at least two separate times without gagging so violently as to make copulation impossible.  They are both perfectly normal human beings.  We are freaks of nature.

Actually, it just occurred to me that this conversation from just last night pretty much sums it up nicely.  For the sake of ease of reading (my unwillingness to retype or retouch this), let’s call me “er” and my sister “on.”  …If you can manage to stalk me with that much, you totally deserve to.

As a note, my sister has also already had severe tonsillitis this year, but that’s really more of an encore from 2009.  Last year was really the Year of Tonsillitis for her (three times!  Three separate times!).  The year before was unexplained full-body hives.

"er" and "on" are totally our actual nicknames.

I was all like "Yo, On, how's it going?" and she was all like "Pretty good, Er.  How are you?"