Tag Archives: Medicine

What’s the Alternative?

More than three years ago, I embarked on a search to resolve chronic pain. I should not feel this way, be in so much pain. Stomach pain and right side abdominal pain persisted to spite the expensive and invasive medical tests. My back pain will just be part of life no use in complaining. The pain weighed on and wore on my mind. With no respite in sight, I quit my job.

Since that time I used acupuncture, massage, yoga and mindful meditation to address what traditional medicine said was a problem in my head. The pain continued. I discovered that some of the pains responded to yoga and stretching. Though, once the exercise stopped, the pain returned. By happenstance, a dietary experiment to exclude gluten from my diet produced results-no stomach pain. Eureka!

The pain in my right side and back continued. On the recommendation of a trusted advisor, I sought an alternative. I met with a psychiatrist who specializes in mind and body treatment. And I am inspired.

We talked about not only my pains but my work, my life, food intake, exercise. The whole person. He prescribed exercise, meditation, a low glycemic diet, some supplements and a smoothie.

When we talked about breakfast, I mentioned the cumin I began adding to my coffee grind each morning. I added that the residue from curry seemed to improve my morning and prompted me to throw a few grains of cumin into the grinder with the coffee beans. He told me that cumin is an activator and the ancients used it in that way. Ha! The cumin did improve my day and awareness.

Today, I begin my journey toward improved life. The program prescribed, and he wrote a prescription, will take about five years. Yes, thats right five years. I am making a commitment to myself to feel better. As my journey through modern medicine taught, there is no magic pill to fix these pains.

A five year commitment is intimidating. What choice do I have? Remain in pain and continue to suffer or choose to try ancient medicine in a modern age.

The ancients did not have clocks synchronized to the second and an instant gratification society. The wisdom of tried and true methods will guide me, one day at the time. Perhaps one meal at the time. Five years will pass in small bits of time, discrete experiences.

This morning I made the smoothie-licorice tea & tuslie tea with spinach, fruit and some supplements. Not horrible. Not a bacon biscuit, though. If it meets the needs of my body for fuel and nutrients, then I will not complain.

Before meeting with this doctor I could tell that a couple of grains of cumin in my coffee can change and improve how I see each day. At this point,  I am willing to experiment with more ancient and modern wisdom to improve my quality of life. Because really, what’s the alternative?


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Change Your Food Attitude

As I sat watching the BBC news this morning and reading news updates, I was struck by the lack of planning and thought we Americans put into our eating choices. The LA Times features an op-ed on Michelle Obama’s common sense approach to childhood obesity. God bless her! She is absolutely right.

Should there be a sin tax on junk food as suggested by the opinionator? No. I would suggest what Georgia has though, reduced tax on most non-processed foods. Foods that have be prepared along with the list of foods covered by food stamps, those foods are taxed at a lower rate. Talk about saving money at the grocery store!

I finished reading about the First Lady’s program as an ad for Prevattack or one of those anti-stomach acid pills appeared showing a woman drinking her coffee, eating a burrito at her desk, and then suffering heartburn.

Why is this ad troubling? Marketers have identified and targeted two of our major weaknesses, lack of planning and lack of self-awareness. If the character in the add, presumably an “every man or woman” character, had planned ahead or at least considered the DIRECT effects of what she was putting into her body, she would not need to spend the extra money on the pills to resolve her problem, she would not feel like crap while at work and, generally, she might enjoy life more.

Here’s my pitch, pay attention to your body.

Yes, I eat pizza and potato skins and pretty much anything gluten free (and refined sugar free) that smells good unless my body tells me not to. I have to take one of these silly pills every morning for a stomach condition the result of generally treating my body poorly for 34 years and maybe some genetics. I stopped eating the foods that caused me the most problems, the foods that kept me up at night. If I find one, I make a note to stop eating it or eating at different point during the day. If I choose to eat the food, I am aware of the resulting impact on my body and my day.

A pill will not solve your problems. A doctor cannot prescribe your bad choices away. You must choose between taking care of yourself by being aware of what you put into your body and the seemingly indulgent pleasure followed by pain, suffering or at least increase weight/cholesterol/blood pressure.

No magic pill can fix that.


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Coffee is In (scientifically)

Just read a report touting the health benefits of about 3 cups of coffee per day. Thank goodness, Coffee is good for me again. My doctor won’t discourage it. And not only does coffee provide that boost in the morning, it will also fight off Alzheimer’s disease. Yippee!

See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7326839.stm

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