Wednesday, August 5, 2009
I have been hella sick since returning from Chile 5 months ago. The highlight reel of this sickness includes losing 15 pounds in 4 days and being imprisoned in a Cleveland, TN hospital on Easter Sunday! The latter is not an exaggeration- they really did lock me in and put security outside my door. I have been denied treatment, witnessed a doctor ripping up my prescriptions in front of me, had blood work results lost and both arms turn blue after 11 needle sticks to try and get an IV in. It's been an astoundingly revealing foray into the invasive labyrinth of Western medicine. Needless to say, I'm done with it. I've choked on it and spit it out. This summer I've been pursuing 'alternative' forms of medicine such as natureopathy, homeopathy, nutrition and visualization. (Although, I don't think that 'alternative' is an accurate label for any of those.)
Growing up, I wasn't exposed to any of the alternative forms of healing (and for the record I don't think that 'alternative' is an accurate label for them.) Ergo, it's all brand new to me. I'm taking the investigative journalist approach to it: every appointment is research. I am now selecting from the services offered from Bastyr teaching clinic with the same vigor with which I used to approach the New China Buffet in Ballard, before it burned down in '03.
Western medicine has its place, and so do drugs. Until now, if you add up all my ER visits you could easily label me as an MD-junkie. I've been stitched up, examined, injected, palpated, IVed, burned shut and whirl-pool therapied. In short, and put through all the misery of check-ups and ER visits that we all go through if we are lucky enough to have access, money, and insurance. I've taken pills for sore muscles, anxiety, depression, migraines, skin stuff (still not quite sure what...my one-time dermatologist is a known train wreck in Seattle....should have caught on when she had EVERY appointment time was available in a three week time-span). I've taken pills to kill infections, induce sleep, dull random pain, mend kidneys, destroy ulcers, reduce inflammation, prevent gangrene and lower my heart rate. And all of them were prescribed by a doctor.
As a whole, they succeeded to: prevent pain, lift my out of depression, dull my emotions, save my life, temporarily destroy my skin (during a visit to my then-boyfriend's family's house for Christmas...damn you, Dr. Feinstein!!) drain my bank account (600$ for SIX migraine pills) put me to sleep in 16 seconds, tore up my stomach lining, induced headaches, gained weight, lost weight, provided the relief that I was desperate for, knocked me out, made me crazy, prevented gangrene, and lowered my heart rate.
To name a few.
It's just too hectic.
Anyway, from now on, prevention, nutrition and natureopathy will reign unless an emergency arises. And this would not be possible if Bastyr Teaching Clinic in Wallingford did not operate on a sliding scale payment plan.
Man, are you still reading?? Good on you! The whole point of this was to introduce to you an extremely beneficial yoga pose I learned yesterday, but I think I'll make that its own post. If you've got any thoughts on western medicine vs. alternative, leave them here!