I saw some friends a little while ago and they offered to do some energy work one me. I love that shit but haven’t had time to do much of it in this town full of interesting healers. Fortunately, I was able to rest this weekend and made my way to them today.
We mostly chatted about ways that I can balance the sterile, clinical, non-compassionate medical system with more spiritually and emotionally nourishing activities. Going for walks in nature is one of my first goals! I used to walk outside almost every day in my former life. Now, it feels hard to do. I have to decide where to expend my energy.
There was some other woo-woo stuff but I’m not sharing it here! Maybe I’ll have more courage in the future. And it’s not even that woo-woo - compared to what’s happening in the world and on the Internet, it’s all pretty tame. Sad, isn’t it? I’m more comfortable sharing really personal medical problems on the Internet than anything spiritual! I feel like I’ll lose my Scientist Card or something. Even though I don’t need one bit of data to know that I feel a hell of a lot better when I’m spending time with people and friends who openly share their spiritual practices. (When I say “spiritual,” I never mean religion. Ever.)
Right before I met with them, I recorded a podcast for the week. Sometimes I record a few on my own until I hit the right notes. I spoke about trauma and recovery - I’m getting into this topic and was glad I had an excuse to do research for it.
I feel like it’s time for me to address the many traumas that have been inflicted on this body and soul.
It’s maddening that I have to constantly run around to doctors who, most of the time, aren’t even helping me. But I’ll get treated like a pariah if I talk about herbal remedies!
Even though one has been around for thousands of years. And the other for one hundred. (Eyeroll emjoi)
I almost went to Arizona or New Mexico for a few months in my twenties to study herbal medicine. I can’t remember why I didn’t go. Probably money. Time. Health. My usuals.
I love plant medicine! I’m a huge fan of Chinese herbal medicine. It’s helped with everything from colds to an inflamed GI system over the years.
When it comes to traditional herbal medicine, I know practically nothing. As a Bastyr alum, I believe I’m entitled to one course per year on the house! Of course, I’ve never taken one! I really want to audit an anthropology or gender studies class at UW Bothell too - I LOVE the main campus but it’s a lot of work for me to get there and parking is a pain the arse. At least in Bothell, there’s got to be better parking (build some public transportation faster Seattle!). I’ve been a teacher for so many years and I really miss being a student. I love love LOVE academia.
Anyway, earlier today, I wrapped an episode, met with my friends and then went to pick out some tea. My friend had suggested nettle tea which is a great healing herb and high in minerals (old information is easier for me to retrieve - I believe nettle tea is good for seasonal allergies for anyone suffering right now - check on it though). The woman said there was no nettle tea and grabbed this bag off the shelf. I didn’t notice the name we were just talking about what was inside of it. She has no idea who I am or what I just recorded. She grabbed this tea off the shelf!
I’m very concerned about my mineral and trace mineral intake these days since my diet is so limited. Since I have the nutrition background, I know how easily deficiencies can cause all kinds of underlying or more overt health problems.
The fact that I still haven’t heard back from one fucking doctor about TPN or nutrients in my IV - I’ve begged, let’s see, maybe a total of 10 doctors by now? Three in the last month.
I reached out to two of them this past week.
My registered dietitian friends and home nurses are losing their minds. They don’t understand what the fucking problem is. I’m sure it’s partly because I look fine and my labs aren’t totally in the toilet. That’s because of how hard I work!! But c’mon, I’ve had so much happen to my insides that’s ALL documented in my chart. Geezus.
How close to death will they let me get before intervening?
This is a terrifying question. In the mean time, I’m doing EVERYTHING I can to get in as many nutrients and calories. My frame is definitely smaller. I tried on a skirt that used to be kind of snug - bought well after my 2014 surgery - and it falls down over my hips now. Sigh. This is not exciting for me. Not at all. Sad that we live in a culture that worships sick-looking thinness. I can’t help it. I think sick-looking thinness looks… sick.
I like food. I miss food. I miss not being in pain so much of the time, that’s for sure!
As she was listed off the herbs inside - I have a very rudimentary knowledge but recognized most of them and agreed it would be an excellent choice - I nodded along. Then she handed it to me.
There the name of the tea: “Trauma Triage Tea.” I know it sounds like I make this shit up but I promise you I’m not! One of the reasons I’ve been so so careful about always being truthful - again, I may not share EVERYTHING but what I share is real - is because I want people to believe me when I tell them some whacky shit. Or hard shit. Or whatever. I intentionally included friends on my post about being in a terrorist bombing awhile back, or find ways to make sure there are witnesses because it is SO important to me that I’m believed.
I hate not being believed. It’s a terrible feeling. I really hate it when I’ve worked so hard to establish myself as a credible source, got the master’s in science, wrote the thesis, did the business world, “made it” in NYC, ran my own business, spent years developing a wide network of professionals and creatives. And still.
I realize that a lot of people are feeling doubtful about a lot of things these days. I get it.
But when medical practitioners not only don’t believe me, but PATRONIZE me, oooh that’s when I start feeling like a cartoon character who is turning more and more red. I have to keep it together though! Otherwise, I’ll be marked as “crazy patient.”When that doctor told me I didn’t REALLY heal the inflammatory bowel disease even though there was years of proof in my chart that I had the disease from 1989-1997, have not medicated the disease since 1997 and showed no symptoms in my colon, I was angry/annoyed but used to that kind of thing. My sister was with me and her eyes were so wide. She was more pissed about the appointment than I was.
These supposedly “scientific” evidence based morons HAVE PROOF RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM ON THE COMPUTER SCREEN and STILL have the chutzpah to tell me I am WRONG.
It was a woman too. A very bitchy woman.
When I’ve managed to keep myself alive for 5 years after having 3 cancers at once in my BELLY, all the while looking 10 years younger than I am - and they are suspicious instead of like damn girl, tell us your tricks! The endocrinologist was quick to give me kudos for everything I’m doing.
Because he’s smart.
The smart ones recognize smart patients.
I really want to create a meme or some sort of cool graphic that says “I know how smart you are by how dumb you think I am.”
But that’s mean. I’ve always felt so lucky I was blessed with this brain and I don’t think it’s fair to make people feel bad because they’re not intelligent enough to recognize what my entire chart / medical case means.
I’d just like to not be DEAD in the next two years because of EGO. If it’s my time to go and I have tumors everywhere, ok then. But if I end up dying because I couldn’t get basic IV nutrients or some other basic shit?
That will be the dumbest reason to die. I don’t want to die for a dumb reason.
Our medical system is a pile of shit and so many that work in the system don’t want to admit it - I have plenty that do! The ER doc last fall was like “wait until two years from now, it’ll be even worse.” But on the record? Not many. The data is available: our costs are astronomical and the quality is dismal. We have no real way to deal with chronic issues like mine.
Then, there’s my poor dad who didn’t have his lungs checked for months after he had lung cancer surgery and now has Stage 4 cancer. Or how about the fact that his surgeon told him he didn’t need to see an oncologist and didn’t give him any anti-coagulants - malignancies increase risk of clot, I had to give myself shots for 30 days after my surgery - and he ended up with a stroke a few weeks later. Those are just the highlights!
I told my new endo: I’m getting scared that I’m not going to be helped in time especially after what’s happening with my dad - I know he can read up on my dad’s case in the software system within the hospitals.
I think many outside of the medical system think I’m freaking out needlessly.
But I have a lot of reason to be nervous. My dad might be dead because the arrogant surgeon wouldn’t refer him to an oncologist or check his lungs the months after! My dad is a THREE TIME CANCER SURVIVOR with a genetic cancer disorder! Why would anyone not check him. I then remembered that after he had the stomach cancer, nobody checked his colon for 18 months! It was riddled with tumors.
It’s a good thing him and I don’t give up easily.
I’m very grateful I’ve been able to get to some smart ones lately! Fingers crossed. My next project which sounds daunting - while editing my medical chart on this website and coordinating a trip to Boston - is doing the hard math on my intake of nutrients.
Now, that I have a moment to breathe, I need to start really calculating each vitamin and mineral per supplements and IV bags. I got a test called Spectracell on Wednesday which evaluates the cellular levels of vitamins and minerals. Mainstream only draws “serum levels” which means if I took some B vitamins that morning, my serum levels are going to show as SUPER high - which isn’t an accurate read.
The cellular levels really allow for a more comprehensive look at the true biochemical state of the organism.
The organism, in this case, would be me. Once I have that data from that test, we can titrate all my nutrients for optimal levels. This should not have taken so many months of ME doing so much of the leg work, but at least I’m getting close to making that a reality.
It’s weird how people have a hard time understanding that you can be both a hippie and a scientist - it’s not that unusual! There are certainly all kinds of scientists - but it frustrates me that if I believe that herbal tea can be healing then I must not be someone who subscribes to evidence based medicine. Which is all skewed to whatever people want it to be, anyway. We’ll get to that another day.
I’m determined to start my routine earlier today! I’m tired and I don’t want to go to bed at 3am!! Sometimes my 45 minute walk can take 3-4 HOURS because I keep hopping off to go to the bathroom. Then, I make some tea. Then I do some stretching. Then I drink more broth and I look up and it’s midnight. FUCK.
I do love the light in the evenings now! I might have to do a short walk today outside - it’s just hard when the library isn’t open because that’s my bathroom on my little route. Plus, tired.
This was a long one! I think I have nothing to say and then it’s like BAAARRRRFing out a bunch of words.
I figure only my super-fans are reading this anyway and you can scroll through and get a general sense of how I’m doing!
All right! Oh, I’m going to steep this tea overnight as a “cold infusion” because it’s the best way to draw the minerals out of the herbs. Then I’ll drink it tomorrow at room temp or whatever. I really want to get better at learning about herbal teas!
One practical reason: the medical system is getting more and more strained and expensive, people are going to want more natural shit that doesn’t cost $8000 for a vial.
People can make fun of me all they want.
So far, my assessments about what’s coming next have been fairly accurate.
I have proof all over the place. People will still choose to believe what they want. Until they suddenly need my info, of course. :)
Let’s just hope they don’t doubt me to the point that I starve to death. Fuck. What does a girl got to DO to stay alive in this system???
Off to start the routine!