Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Truth is Somewhere in the Middle

Warning: may contain less than pleasant descriptions of bodily functions and words of ranting, needing advice, and strong-ish language.

Ever have those moments where you perceive that everything is happening at once and time is moving faster than you can handle and run-on sentences suddenly make sense and your body is exhausted and your mind keeps going and then… BAM! You hit a wall.

Yeah, I absolutely “adore” those moments too.

As mentioned in my last post (an astonishing two weeks ago), I’ve had tummy troubles. This term is an understatement, but I try to keep the content of this blog as family friendly as possible. I was so terrified of my symptoms and the pain that I scheduled two ASAP appointments with a gastroenterologist and an urologist. Add the fear of the unknown with emotional/hormonal upset in the form of body image obsession… My two weeks MIA from MWM have not been all rainbows and free hugs. But goodness, I wish it had been.

For a week it seemed like I was balancing a number of plates in the air with spectators looking on, ready for a good laugh. I wanted to do so much, be so much, in a short time frame. And instead, when everything was expected to crash down, porcelain shards littering the floor, some spectators were kind enough to join the act in assisting. Some plates were added and others removed, but little by little I could balance the aspects of my life. And while I was overwhelmed by it all, it isn’t as bad as it was.

If I could list all the plates I have been balancing based on their importance and priority and my focus of them, it would be thus: Health (includes all aspects), Grad school, Future, Miscellaneous obligations, Work, Family and Friends, Meals with Morri, and so on. The overall feeling of crappiness health-wise bled onto the other plates, and I was so exhausted and so stressed out and internally so toxic it started to physically manifest in the form of bloating and red bumps around my eyes, hands, and elbows.

I waited and waited and waited until I couldn’t take it anymore. The pain was terrible, the Google searches foretold impending doom, and the inner dialogue was scattered and anxious. Doctors’ offices were called and appointments were made. And if there is one moral in this story, people, it is the following:

“The truth is somewhere in the middle.”

The gastroenterologist I met with is an esteemed practitioner in his field of practice. Mama Dazz even visited him back when she was in her early twenties and recommended his expertise. With appointments like this I tend to be nervous. I lose all sorts of control and power when presented to doctors in general, so it was nice to have her come with me. I walk into his office and the usual questions are asked: Why are you seeing me today? How long have you experienced these symptoms? What have you done thus far in regards to treatment, management, etc.? What additional medications are you taking? What does your diet look like…?

The last two questions resulted in him essentially going into a tirade about how as far as he could see, a healthy young woman did not need hypothyroid medication and most certainly should not be on a gluten/soy/refined sugar free diet. From this conversation I was shaken to the core. This person did not know my history and had only one doctor-patient meeting to go on. He did not know how much better I felt eating the foods I ate, or how the Armour Thyroid did indeed affect my life positively. I felt so small leaving his office. I began to cry when the discussion turned to possibly having to incorporate gluten and soy based foods in my diet for tangible analysis in future blood work, to stop taking my hypothyroid medicine, and to think about a colonoscopy in the next couple of weeks (his recommendation, but not something I plan on doing right now).

Upon reflection, I realized I was given a broader image of what ethics and values the health industry contained. The majority of my health providers (such as Hurlock and Harris) are holistically based. They tend to focus on the intangible evidence and have a more qualitative outlook on healing. The gastroenterologist, however, as I perceived him is a man of numbers and facts, needing tangible evidence to satisfy his quantitative logic. My other grievance was, along with his strong opinions about my life, he didn’t really provide me with any answers, only diagnosing me with terms I’ve had been labeled with all my life. He mentioned ASD (anxiety stress disorder) and IBS, but I knew that already. What I didn't know was how I could fix a lifetime of adrenal fatigue and self-imposed stress and how my symptoms tied into it.

The urologist, another esteemed practitioner (who reminded me of the stereotypical grandfather image giving advice while on a fishing trip) was a little softer in his quantitative logic and needs for tangible evidence. Instead he listened and pondered and asked questions when appropriate. His practice was in no way what I’d consider an alternative practice, by his demeanor was. I felt no judgment as we talked about possible reasons as to why the UTI and other symptoms were happening now, and if his options matched my values and ethics. I was reserved at the thought of being on low dose antibiotics and very powerful antispasmodics for the next three months, but I do feel the difference after a week of treatment. 

The truth is somewhere in the middle, and for me that means joining the two logics and needs for evidence to see the bigger picture regarding my health. I can’t help the world sick. It’s as simple as that.

I end this long and non-recipe based post with a request. I am currently looking into other ways of stress management and anxiety diminishers. If anyone has had any experience similar to what I’ve gone through, from mindfulness exercises to probiotic recipes to balancing the antibiotic’s side effects, I’d love to hear from you.

1 comment:

  1. Morri, I had a uti that wouldn't go away last summer. After doing some research, I realized that my system had gotten too acidic from the vitamin d supplement I was taking. I started to take Bragg's apple cider vinegar in water multiple times a day and was able to stop the infection without antibiotics. Not sure of the science behind drinking acidic vinegar to make your body more alkaline but it worked. I'm not sure if it would help you, but might be worth looking into. Good luck.