Sunday, July 17, 2011

in which icky things are discussed

on Thursday, I went for my first appointment with an integrative medicine specialist. Integrative medicine, holistic medicine - there are a lot of names for it, but what attracted me to her as a potential savior was three things 1) they really talk and really listen - and incorporate lots of different aspects of your behavior/habits into a potential diagnosis, 2) they sort of "start from scratch" and evaluate your body's function, not ignoring prior diagnoses, but not taking them as gospel either, 3) they have all kinds of approaches to treatment, not defaulting to prescription drugs.

I went to see her, not just for my panic disorder, but for my general feeling of "ickyness". i feel like crap, kind of a lot. My stomach is upset with fair frequency, i'm overly tired, i get muscle fatigue too easy, i feel dizzy and faint sometimes. All of this actually makes my anxiety worse, and the anxiety makes it worse. so over it. bringing out the big guns.

This integrative medicine specialist..she is not cheap. and she does not take insurance. now, my insurance will pay for some of it, but it will be after the fact, and it will be a small percentage, no doubt. it will help though. but, as i say, this women fixes me, she's worth her weight in gold.

All this as a prelude to what I want to tell you about. As i said, they do a from scratch evaluation of bodily function. I had so so many vials of blood drawn on Thursday. So much that one vein crapped out and they had to move to the other arm. i have matching bruises, its pretty. i would make a horrible heroin addict.

They took swabs of what I can only assume has DNA but really I just think of as spit.

And, I have to provide stool samples. Ew, right? I can hardly even talk about it. Three days in a row.

Except i'm two days in and I'm sort of over the gross and can now see the humor. The humor in the instructions that came with my little sampling packet. The euphemisms used, really truly, are amazing. You can just imagine the copy writers, sitting there, thinking, How can i avoid saying the word butt, poop, stool, really anything untoward at all?

They give you this awesome plastic contraption that goes on your toilet. Its basically a bucket that suspends over the bowl. I kid you not, the instructions go something like this..

Place the suspending plastic tray under the seat of the toilet. Place the removable collection basket into the suspending plastic tray.

Here is where it should say something like..Okay, now really, we mean it, poop in the bucket.

But it doesn't. It says "release the sample into the collection basket".

That kind of made my day.

I hope and pray that I never have to go through this exercise ever ever again in my life. At least i know I can handle it, I honestly wasn't sure i could. makes dirty diapers sound somewhat more palatable.

Yeah, so that's my life right now, haha. At least I have acupuncture on Thursday. Kind of excited.

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