Thursday, May 05, 2011


I am subdued. I finally think I understand the psychological underpinnings of my poor health. Fair warning: I am going to try to explain it to you.

As you've read, I grew up dirt poor. Not third world poor, but make your own clothes poor, no dental/health care poor, charge groceries at the corner store so your mother can have wine poor. See? Somewhere along the line I developed this notion that going to the doctor was reserved for the rich. That it ensured health.

So... along goes my life, then my child's life, and we are poor (not third world poor, but steal groceries so your mother can have heroin poor) and we don't have insurance. We have welfare, but that isn't the same thing. When you're on welfare, you're not encouraged to come back for the follow up care. They patch you up and send you home and you can't afford medicine so you do without.

The logistical leaps that follow are many and high. Stick with me. Eventually, my conclusion is that having health insurance is the key to good health. The beauty of this theory is that it requres nothing of the insured but insurance. It requires no lifestyle change, no running, no avoiding haagen das ice cream or creme cheese and crab enchiladas. Not that I eat those things. If you have insurance, you can make as many appointments as you want and fill all of the prescriptions you can get to treat all of the diagnoses that apply after a sedentary lifetime of resentment and unmet expectations.

I married up. I had finally reached the pinnacle of health: I had Blue Cross/Blue Shield full meal deal health and dental and vision. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, high cholestrol, obesity, diverticulosis, interstitial cystitis, type 2 diabetes, asthma, chronic bronchitis and the great thing was that there were pills for all of these things. If I took the pills, I didn't have high blood pressure, ad nauseum.

But I did.

On occasion, my tiny little asian gynocologist would say, "whatever you eat, eat less; whatever you do, do more." I laughed. Great Idea.

But I kept taking the pills and getting sicker. And then I'd get more pills. Antibiotics. And more antibiotics. And I was getting sicker and sicker and sicker. And going to the doctor more and more and more and the guys at the pharmacy know my name. And the thing is, this made me feel affluent. Rich. Finally: I had arrived. I had healthcare.

But no health.


So, on monday I had my first visit with a Naturpathic MD. We had a great time. I am now taking un-drugs: Pro-biotics and healing agents. I am going to the doctor not so he can fix me, but so he can teach me to fix myself. We hope to unwind the past ten years of passive consumption. It will take effort on my part. I told him he had a narrow window of opportunity that I call willingness, a condition brought about by exhausting all other avenues. Easier, softer ways.

Its just like being poor, only without the heroin.


nina said...

Like heroin, good habits are addictive. Though in my experience, it's a real downer if they don't produce instant and permanent good health. But, still, worth it. I always thought that the reason to treat yourself well is so that you don't have to spend time in the doctor's office as you age. Even if you have insurance that pays for your visits.

Valerie said...

It's interesting. talking with a naturopathic the other day on the plane. he said, a doctor gives medicine to lower your cholesterol. what happens, your liver having been programed to produce "X" amount of cholesterol works that much harder to produce that same amount of cholesterol while you're on the drug. Then, if you go off the drug, that liver produces more cholesterol than it did before. If all our drugs work, why aren't we the country with the longest life expectancy? Who's to say, that same person wouldn't have lived the same number of years without the homeopathic drugs. Just a thought.

someone said...

yup. Its a mystery. I hope the un-drugs work.