Today’s post is about internet politeness norms (there don’t seem to be any), alternative medicine/treatments (aka “woo”), and the general alternative reality that a lot of people seem to be living in (virtual reality in its many forms).
First of all, though, yet another health update: (Skip to Page 2 for My Usual Commentary)
I finished the antibiotics and am still sick. The fevers are fewer and farther between, which is good, but the nausea/dizziness/upper right quadrant pain remain. The fatigue is at bay unless I do something incredibly strenuous like, say, go downstairs to get the mail. Then I’m done for the day, pretty much.
I don’t think people understand what I mean. I don’t mean I am out of breath going up and down stairs – it doesn’t even get to that point. I mean I feel like taking a nap in the foyer after fetching the mail and before returning upstairs. Tired times a zillion and then some.
I have no idea how I am going to grocery shop next month. I barely made it this month and when I got home I was wiped out for days.
And Dr. Wonderful? His last comments to me via email, after I asked him if the lab results indicating I had some kind of atrophied pancreas (and the everpresent gallstones) might be the source of my symptoms, were somewhat terse – he stated that pancreas atrophy does not have symptoms and would not cause upper quadrant pain, and that the best way to “prevent illness” is a good diet, and strength training.
Can’t really disagree with him there. However, it’s not really helpful. My diet now consists of “eat whatever I want as long as I eat 45 g of fiber first” – which, if you have ever tried, leaves no room to eat ANYTHING else, because 45 g is a LOT of fiber and hard to achieve in one day.
Try it. I mean, without pills or fiber drinks. It’s tough.
My diet consists of raw vegetables (usually broccoli and caultiflower), some cooked ones (peas and artichokes, as both are high in fiber), an apple or berries, the occasional free-range happy chicken egg, and 2 c. black beans with bulgur and/or brown rice.
Sometimes I go wild and eat 2 slices of $6/loaf (yes, really) Ezekial bread, which is so high in healthy ingredients it nearly tastes like it. Sorry, but vegetarian/health food has not changed a whole lot (ie, it still tastes a lot like cardboard) since I was a vegetarian in 1969 (I was 13 – an animal, um well not rights person exactly, I just didn’t think killing animals for food was kind or right). I don’t think animals have rights, nor did I then. I just don’t/didn’t think we as humans have to torture them for food/cosmetics/anything else.
They depend on us to not hurt them. Oh, for heaven’s sake, if I was out in the wilderness and had to fend for myself I would maybe fish, as I kind of see that as an equal sporting kind of thing (I have never actually caught a fish, despite my love of bass fishing – them’s some damn smart fish and they always get away, if I am able to hook them at all, which I’m usually not).
But, in general, Americans do not need to hunt for food. And, while even I will admit that McDonald’s burgers taste good (especially those cheddar/carmelized onion ones), they are just not worth the health issues or contributing to McDonald’s global domination. So, I mean I don’t need to eat meat of any kind, for a lot of different reasons.
I digress. What was I talking about? Right, the diet and health. So I have a boring diet and since I am rarely hungry now, I can check the “dietary lifestyle change” off my list.
Exercise, as my doctor clearly knows (because we have discussed it many times), is the tough part. He knows I do not have a car. He also knows I am on disability. He knows that anything that’s not a medical errand (and exercise does not count, I already argued with Pennsylvania Medicaid and Medicare about this) costs me $6 round-trip.
I applied awhile back to the YMCA grant for poor people thing, which I got. The woman told me, “As Christians, we think everyone should at least pay SOMETHING,” when I asked her why there was still a fee of $12/month. “You mean you can’t spare $12 a month??” she asked. I told her, no, but I would be glad to volunteer as anything, and if she had me do counseling volunteer work that was worth at least $25/hour so…”Oh, you have to volunteer on top of paying the fee,” she said.
Ok so that’s $12 plus transportation costs of $18/week, assuming a 3 times/week exercise schedule. And it has to be done between the hours of 9 am and 2 pm, M-F, because those are the times the Blair Senior Services vans run (the $6/round-trip guys).
That’s minimally $84/month. Even if I inexplicably ditched my cell phone (which isn’t practical and no, I do not want an Obamaphone – I had one once and the talk time they provide each month isn’t enough to cover the cost of calls to doctors and other necessary things, let alone call or text my kids and friends), and got rid of my internet (which is $28/month), it still wouldn’t add up to $84/month.
The classes are another issue. The free ones are either not on the days/times I need or they are not suitable (NO Silver Sneakers for me, thanks) or they cost money.
A side issue – one that creeps me out – is that a prominent (and very elderly) doctor I have had contact with is on the YMCA board (in a visible, active, ‘hang-around-the-place’ way), I would not want to run into him. I had heard – through some former clients of mine – that he was into the BDSM scene as a dom, and when I met him he made it creepily clear that this was not a rumor. I was in the middle of an exam for my back at the time. It weirded me out so much, especially when he told me I was a “good girl”, that I left as soon as humanly possible and never went back.
It didn’t particularly shock me that Altoona has an underground dungeon or whatever. I just really don’t want any contact with that group of folks, in any capacity. They seem to be obsessed with sex and that doesn’t sit well with me (no obsessions sit well with me, to be honest).
So, back to the issues of diet and exercise. Diet, check. Exercise, um still figuring that out. I bought a bicycle 3 years ago, and have fallen off it 3 times. Yes, I used to ride bikes a lot as a kid and young adult. I think the falling has to do with the peripheral neuropathy in my legs, which makes it so my legs do not do what I tell them to do, a lot of the time. That relates back to the lower back issue, which was supposed to resolve itself without surgery but the last CT scan last week unintentionally revealed that nothing has changed.
So ends the health update for today. That was the “everything” part of the title.