Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ailments

I’ve come to realize just how much the medical community is staring at its navel. Most people can relate to a story about doctor after doctor doing a cursory examination and whipping out the prescription pad. The result of which is a course of medication that may or may not actually treat the ailment, and is likely to come with a host of side effects. Many sing the praises of nurse practitioners, who, because of the nature of their practices can take more time with each patient and delve deeper into the problem. The result is usually better treatment, but still a pharmaceutical with side effects.

To continue my story of our tree hugging type activities, I’m pondering the interconnectedness of all the parts of our beings. TV commercials for antidepressants have started to mention the fact that depression has actual physical side effects like lethargy and even physical pain. Our own family experience and those of our friends have shown that problems with relationships, while likely able to be solved by working on the relationship, are much more easily solved by working on our physical and emotional ailments.

For starters, a little perspective goes a long way. About a year ago my wife started seeing a shrink. I only mention this highly private and sensitive bit of information because she will be the first to tell you what a lovely and helpful experience it was and to recommend that anyone having trouble should do the same. I’ve seen the same guy, and so have many of our friends, the results are fantastic. One of the reasons is that our guy is a pastor and his counseling is firmly rooted in his faith. Every session starts and ends with prayer and he is clearly relying on the Holy Spirit to form his questions and interpret the answers. The result being that instead of paying some stuffed shirt to nod and grunt while you whine, you get a Biblical and spiritual perspective that is actually useful in improving your situation. If you’re hurting, I can’t suggest strongly enough that you seek help from a Christian-type counselor, even if you’re not in the faith yourself. In most cases you needn’t worry about the hard sell to get you “saved”, these people are truly motivated to help their fellow man, not just rack up billable hours. Whatever route you choose to take, please choose to talk to someone. While it may seem lame to groan about your problems to a stranger, as I mentioned in my post about a rope: better lame than dead (or on a less serious note, better lame than feeling lousy).

The other side of things is getting good treatment for your physical ailments. Here in the States, most of us have no idea of the suffering that is part of the normal human experience in much of the world, yet even here there are people who go through their entire lives never feeling good. Having sought all manner of modern medical and less traditional practitioners for our continuing issues, we finally stumbled upon Cross Current Health Care, a kinestesiology practice. I can’t find the link but I’ll post it later. It sounds like total witch-doctor stuff; they touch you on the knee and touch these little glass vials that have been resonated to particular frequencies. By feeling your body’s electrical reaction they can tell what’s wrong with you and make you a remedy made from water that’s been resonated to the same frequencies as the vials that are indicated. I would call it total hogwash, except that half the people on my street go there and feel better than they ever have. I feel the same way, and my infant son does as well, and there’s not a lot of evidence of the placebo effect in toddlers. They can treat anything from glandular disorders to allergies and even emotional afflictions. But I digress, that paragraph alone could easily turn into another long post. Just know that I’m pretty skeptical and I find these people to be pretty far out but also pretty effective.

The thing is, both of the treatments that I sought out gave me some fresh perspective to nail my afflictions. Feeling run down, unmotivated, depressed and worthless, I spoke to my shrink and he told me that in my situation of being nearly completely at the mercy of my schedule I needed to find some small elements of my life that I could maintain complete control over so I have an anchor. I did that and am now hardly fazed by the chaos any more. He also suggested that I watch my calorie and water intake (get enough throughout the day). Keeping my energy and fluids up went a long way to fighting off the blahs. Eight pints of water a day and a few healthy snacks get me through a lot of rough patches. Several months later I was back in the dumps. A trip to Cross Current told me that my thyroid was acting up and they gave me some drops for it (as well as for my cat allergies, a heart condition, some bacteria in my stomach and even some emotional stuff). I went in feeling totally used up and as soon as I took my first drops I felt better than I had in years. It turns out my cranky thyroid was dragging my emotions down and making it harder for me to stay hydrated which compounded the problem.

At any rate, I said all that to say this. It’s all tied together folks. The better you eat the better you feel. The more properly your body works, the better your emotional situation is. It even goes beyond that to the people you interact with. Every person I know who has had a spouse go in for counseling has reported an immediate improvement in their relationship, doubly so when they both go, together or separately. All the systems in your brain and body are linked in ways that are far more complex than modern science can penetrate. But there are plenty of non-traditional ways to get treatment for your problems and you should look into them… immediately. Even if you’re not feeling all that bad you should see about a little fix up. I never felt that bad, until one day I realized that while that was a pretty nice statement to make about my life, I NEVER FELT THAT GOOD EITHER! Now that I’m getting my issues effectively addressed, my relationships with those around me are improving, as I cause people less stress and so-forth. It’s not that hard, really.

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