Monday, May 30, 2016

Snake Oil Part I

When I was 23 years old my father drove me from Fredericton NB to Montreal QE.  I was down to 140lbs from my normal weight of 185, and I think my father finally realized he would need to become involved in my condition or else I wasn’t going to make it.  
By this time it had been years since the onset of my health issues.  What started out as as mono type symptoms quickly led to a chronic condition that couldn’t be easily labeled or treated.  I had seen all the local specialists by this time, and started to read up on Complementary Therapies such as cleanses and nutritional approaches with little help.  I was on an elimination diet from trial and error because I learned that certain foods exacerbated my symptoms....

We spent two weeks at the MNI where I was poked and proded by Endocrinologists, Neurologists, Gastroenterologists, and a host of other specialists.  I had a muscle biopsy, as well as an upper GI scope, and yet by the end they seemed baffled.

I remember my temperature being so low that it would hardly register on the thermometer, but Dr.’s are trained to look at bloodwork, not to trust their senses, or listen to the patient's symptoms so I was never put on Thyroid medicine at the time, even though it was obviously low (I didn’t know this at the time).

At the end of this two week ordeal, the doctors all gathered around my bed.  I remember thinking it was like the 12 disciples and basically said this to me … ”There is nothing in science that can help you at this time, but that doesn’t mean something won’t be available in the future, or there may be some snake oil out there that can help you.”  That’s right, they said “snake oil”.  They knew I was eating a special diet, as I said, because it lessened my symptoms, not because I wanted to. To them all of this was just another sign that there was indeed something wrong with me...upstairs!  Well yes there was, because by this time I’d been sick for 3+ years, and chronic illness affects your mental state!  That was a long time ago, and the truth is not much has changed in the medical field.

At that time I could hardly dress myself, because what were once normal movements had become painful.  Laughing and sneezing went from causing soreness to creating tears in my muscles.  I was having severe digestive problems which only became worse till I had to do colonics on a daily basis.  At the worst of it I weighed in at a little over 110lbs, and was worse off then my grandmother who was 85 at the time.  In the end I gave up on traditional doctors and took up the job of being my own health advocate researching non-traditional methods of healing; Acupuncture, bodywork therapies, Energy based therapies, Nutrition, Herbs, and unorthodox medical treatments among others.

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