I am waging war.
Last week, I wrote a posted that hinted at an irritating skin condition I have been plagued with. I remember when I got my first diagnosis (which ended up being incorrect), my boyfriend said I ‘didn’t have to tell anyone.’ That may be true, but that also makes me feel like I’m hiding. I’m the type of person who used to discussing everything that’s going in my life. Things that I don’t dare say out loud are usually things I’m ashamed of or thing I think are going to generate unnecessary and unproductive arguments.
This is not one of those things.
This is an assault on my body, or perhaps, it’s the effect of my own assault. This thing started while I was laid off, experiencing more stress and shaky self-confidence than I had in a long time. In addition, I started to eat a little less healthy and dropped my gym membership to save money, preparing for the worst during my unemployed experience. I’m sure all those things played in part in setting the battlefield I now wage war on.
Maybe I shouldn’t be telling you guys this. Maybe I should move on to my next serious of controversial thoughts and questions for society. You could all go on in blissful ignorance of my selfish suffering (selfish because, of all the terrible illnesses a person can get, this is pretty benign). But I’m not ashamed and no one who has this should be ashamed. Once I figure out how to kick this thing, I may release the actual name with my own remedies (the ones that work). That’s all I have in my arsenal, after all: time, money and mad Googling skills.
I think pretty highly of natural processes when it comes to illnesses. Usually, I do my best to eat healthy and get a certain amount of fitness. I’ve studied nutrition and, while I’m no expert, I’ve learned more than I ever did from high school health classes or visits to the doctor.
More than anything else, I have learned to take all doctor’s opinions with a grain of salt. I don’t mean to discredit them or their knowledge, but I’ve encountered my share who barely look at me before handing down a diagnosis or who prescribe pills without giving me any indication of how I got my condition in the first place.
That’s always a question I ask, now. What did I do to get this illness? Did I simply come in contact with a contagious person? Is there a specific plant or bug? Maybe there’s a specific environment where certain bacteria thrive, just waiting for unsuspecting humans to approach. I need something, anything. Knowing what causes something makes me feel like I’m in control. It gives me something to avoid in the future and fight in the present.
The doctor’s second diagnosis was something unknown and allegedly untreatable that simply had to run its course. That’s threw me into a dark place. I pride myself in being pretty average looking, and these marks take me down a few notches. I feel ugly and self-conscious everywhere I go, which isn’t helping me at all.
Yesterday, I went to see my chiropractor, whom I see every two weeks. I’m not here to debate the merits of chiropractic care. I’ve received my own results, which is good enough for me. Still, I take advice from him the same way I take advice from doctors, with a grain of salt. What I like about him is that he offers a counter opinion to doctors. Instead of suggesting a list of over the counter medications, he suggest herbs, cleanses or exercises, pointing me towards Google searches that might yield more results than I had got. This is especially helpful in situations where doctor lack any answer.
What I really love about him is that, while he does have a stock of health products he sells, he rarely pushes them. I don’t feel like I’m buying into a magical cure with him. Instead, I’m told to read the testimonials of others and come to my own conclusions about how to heal myself. Rarely does that conclusion result in any additional purchases at his office.
It is with his advice that I have added a few items to my arsenal. I am now fighting this mystery fiend anti-dandruff shampoo used as body wash, lukewarm showers, tanning beds, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Milk Thistle. For the record, tanning beds are weird. I laid down in my first one yesterday it just felt so odd. Unless I have a need to use one again, I’m not sure I will keep attending once this unholy condition goes away.
What are your thoughts on the medical industry? Do you think most doctors are really pill pushers, or are they just constrained by compensation models that pay them per patient they see? Why do you think doctors rarely provide much insight into how a person gets a certain condition? Have you ever found cures (that worked) through your own research your doctor didn’t provide?