Whose disease is it anyway?

So in a previous blog, I hinted towards a looming doctors appointment for myself. Well today was that day. I fumbled with my phone and recorded myself as I spoke about my inner thoughts heading to the appointment. I found it hard to vocalize what I wanted when I played back the video. I immediately erased it. I didn’t want to put out a video of me being a bumbling, insecure, unsure person. But that is who I was walking into that appointment. Things rambled in my head. The night before, I was losing my patience with my geriatric dog and said some not so nice things.

I said something in that video that made me heavily reflect. I said this is a moment that will change my life for the positive or negative. Then said like my dad’s stroke changed everything for him and me. Like my friends all having kids, that moment when a child is brought into your life. Everyone has moments every single day. A choice you make on the simplest things effects everything else in events before and after that event. From eating your breakfast to letting someone into traffic during rush hour. That one moment created a domino effect for everyone. That’s amazing energy and mind blowing when you reflect. Think about one thing you did today – say breakfast – and trace back everything that could have possibly gone into that meal. You had 2 pieces of toast with jam. Where did you buy it from, who was your check out person, what kind of day were they having? Who stocked it on the shelf, did he greet the bakery delivery driver? The farmer, the miller, the fields…

Prior to my appointment with the rheumatologists, we had our suspicions. I researched lightly the different facts of those suspicions. I googled the meaning of my lab results that I had access through with a patient portal. At points, hypochondria crept into my mind with asking myself – do I have this symptom? It’s not fun waiting to have a direct conversation with the person you would hope would have the answers.

The appointment itself was perplexing to say the least. My rheumatologist and I went over my results but I didn’t quite fit a full diagnosis. I cover a spectrum of autoimmune diseases of which the one closest associate to my symptoms is lupus. I don’t quite fit the box of lupus blood work wise but my symptoms are closest in character to it.

So now I have an answer but I don’t have an answer. My doctor basically said “all we can do at this point is treat the symptoms until we see a change in your physical response or blood work.” Now this phrasing is a dangerous one that can lead to throwing darts and needless medication at a moving target. I’m normally a drug free person as much as I can. I tough it out until I’m absolutely incapacitated. So this approach had me do an “I Love Lucy” face gag of “ewwwww.” I gritted my teeth like I was watching a horrible thing happening. Helpless completely knowing it just didn’t seem right.

I left the appointment with a prescription of Plaquenil. A traditional protocol treatment for lupus. I also made the decision to eliminate processed foods from my diet and get back to a vegan diet. Most likely having to do a juice cleanse first and then build up my food consumption. Studies have shown, and Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine stated, “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” So eliminating foods that cause inflammation and increase foods that reduce inflammation is key.

As I’m typing this, I’m about to take my first dosage. I have been dragging butt to do this moment but it attests to my disdain of being a pharma rat. I do believe that food and other natural things can heal me, but for now, there needs to be a full on assault on this. I’ve assumed that we’ve caught it early enough because the doctor gave an analogy of a me being a sink faucet that is lightly dripping. Fix that drip now or when the faucet fails, water is trickling out and my disease causes permanent damage.

So when looking at these lemons in my hand, I have to think of what recipe I want to use to make lemonade. Do I want to go all natural with organic local raw honey and pure alkaline water? Or do I want to use splenda or other sweeteners and good ol’ tap water that’s been through a water filter?

You may think the first option, duh! But can I always afford to buy those items? At $5-10 a gallon, alkaline water is the most expensive water I’ve ever seen. The cost of health care is the same.  You want the highest form of care and treatment available. Throw everything at it. But what is truly viable at this moment? Luckily my medication is affordable in the generic and I have wonderful insurance. This may not be the situation in the coming months. You never know. But I want to do holistic treatment and diet modification. The cost of living on a juice or vegan unprocessed diet is more expensive because of the cost of raw or natural foods. I also want to visit alternative healing practitioners. They aren’t covered by insurance.

Taking health into your hands is what one has to do. It looks like most drug manufacturers have some sort of program to make their drug more affordable. I’ve not looked into it yet, but if I were placed on Humira or something more expensive, I will research those avenues out.

One thing I also have to do is de-stress. I am going non-stop between work, school, another business, ambition for a non-profit, take care of my aging dog, life chores, and oh yeah, the joys of dating in your 30’s. That should be another blog… But getting back on topic, I need to choose what ends and what stays or leverage everything else. One business will be most likely leveraged completely to a referral base. The non-profit startup is my passion, but my work has the insurance. This is a struggle with my health the way it is. Luckily, I have great mentors, friends and colleagues that  can help me find focus and prioritize what I need to choose. I may end up broke, I may end up uninsured and with no medication, but if I do the other holistic treatments and I respond, who needs the meds anyways?

Keep fighting and find your way!

Love and Compassion,

Rebecca

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