How to Feel Better Today

As many of you know, I’ve been running through some health problems of late. The upshot is:

  • we’ve gone as far down the eye surgery path as possible for the time being, since everyone is at a loss as to why after two procedures, my Rx is so messed up
  • I have some sort of adexnal mass causing pain and the ultrasound and MRI show two completely different causes
  • I am vitamin depleted
  • I have no hormones

Oh yay!

This manifests as dizziness, exhaustion, pain, worry, and irritability.

Double yay!

I’ve finally assembled my team to figure this all out and I think I finally have the right people on the job. I always wondered why God gave me CEO experience only to have me be a writer/stay-at-home mom, but it’s so I can run my health care!

Here’s the plan so far. Bio-identical hormones + one contact lens/Shaw lens + magnesium + vitamin D and B + Omega 3s + some kind of supplement made out of mushrooms.

I think I might add a Gucci Marmont Bag to the mix just to be safe.

This has been an education. I thought you just went to your GP and took the advice they give you in the five minutes they spent with you and off you went.

Wrong!

If you’ve not been doing well and you don’t know why, you need to take control of your health. Here are some things that have helped me.

Find doctors you trust. If you can, shop around for a doctor. I like a medical doctor who has some openness to alternative medicine. Someone needs to know all the stuff you are trying (natural cures can interact with pharmaceuticals) and you don’t want grief every time you want something new.

Get your blood taken. Ask your doctor for full blood work. In addition to all of the regular tests telling you if you are dying or your heart is about to seize up, you want to test hormone levels, thyroid function, cortisol, CRP, vitamin levels, etc. Sometimes a minor tweak such as taking vitamin B or D can make a huge difference in how you feel. Traditional medicine is worried about your life, not your quality of life. And it’s worried about cost (this seems true of Canadian, government-provided medicine and US insurance-covered medicine.) You might have to ask more than once!

Be prepared for a trial approach. Traditional medicine tends to err on the side of big, dramatic change, whereas a wellness approach may take a bit longer. I’ve always struggled with anxiety and I could take something that basically knocks me out. Or I can get at root cause. I’m not a big fan of deferred gratification but I’ve learned in health care that slow and steady wins the race.

Take your vitamins. I’ve had doctors tell me that vitamins are a waste of money, but I feel better on them. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, talk to your doctor. Some brands are more effective than others. And make sure you are taking the right dose and are not doubling up. Read that tiny print on the bottles!

Trace the money to determine bias. Natural health care practitioners sell vitamins. Medical doctors get most of their training from the pharmaceutical companies (and sometimes go to swishy conferences on their dime.) Follow the money to determine the bias. Then make your decisions accordingly, knowing that everyone has an angle. My favourite bias is that held by a trained, traditional doctor who has experienced the health care system first-hand as a patient. They tend to have a balanced approach, I find. 

Be open minded. I know people who are only into Big Pharma and others who are only into natural cures. I think both are missing out. There are lots of great fixes on both sides of spectrum and I think the ideal is a balance. I like my natural hormones, but I’m taking the Big Pharma eye drops until I get the final all-clear to stop.

Ask your friends. If you are anxious or depressed, you know you aren’t alone. If you are having trouble managing your weight, just look around. If you are not able to sleep, you are in good company. I don’t think I know any 40 year old women who aren’t tired! Don’t go to the town gossip (I have yet to find a city gossip, but they are plentiful in towns!) but instead find some safe people and ask them how they are getting by. Sharing is caring.

I hope you are all hale and hearty, as they say. But if you are not, what is working for you?

XO

5 comments

  1. I agree entirely. An MD that combines mainstream and alternative medicine is ideal. Personally, I like an MD that is a Functional Medicine doctor. They are well versed in deficiencies that can impact good health and they know how to address deficiencies. Bio-identical hormones help me tremendously. I use the patch. Further, I learned absorption is better using a patch. Also, it bypasses the liver. All good. Regarding, thyroid, normal thyroid levels are the size of a football field and only a great Endocrinologist can gauge issues and address them. Our health care system is quite broken and advocacy is key. A full time job, as you state!

    • I’m glad you have found a solution in bio-identical hormones. That’s the path I’m on and I hear great things. Advocacy is everything. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Find some doctors you can trust is a HUGE picece of advice. I’m working on finding a new internal medicine doctor. What grade did he/she get in medica shool translates to How many lives have you saved, patients you have retained/lost due to a non-caring attitude? Great advice in your column. Thank you.

    • I appreciate your comment. Trust is so key. It’s frustrating that it takes so much work to find good medical partners but it’s well worth the effort. Good luck in your doctor search!

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