Tuesday, June 08, 2010

This thing called health

On a day like today, I’m tempted to move before I move. Because it’s so humid, the mold in my apartment is worse, I feel it in my nostrils. The worse I feel, the more I’m inside. The more I’m inside, the worse I feel. Usually it’s at least some comfort when I open the door and step back in, but not when the mold is like this.

This thing called health: I don’t know what the hell it is. But wait -- the next day the air clears, and am I clearer too? At least this healthcare practitioner gives direct answers, like when I ask about fluoridated water, and he says: I wouldn’t touch it! I already know that fluoride is an industrial contaminant, but he says that governments started fluoridating water in the 1970s to pacify the movements of the ‘60s, because it toxifies your brain -- the first thing Hitler did was fluoridate the water, he says, like all of this is an incontrovertible fact. But, oh no, when I ask about nuclear contamination in Santa Fe, he says: I wouldn’t go there for one day. He isn’t necessarily telling me not to go there, but he is saying that he thinks the groundwater is so contaminated from Los Alamos that you can’t do anything to avoid the nuclear residue. He doesn’t say: there’s no safe level of nuclear exposure, but I already know that. I ask him where I can get more information about the risks in Santa Fe, but he doesn’t know. So I don’t know about what he thinks.

He does warn me against an ingredient that’s in almost every supplement, magnesium stearate, which is apparently a hydrogenated oil, and it’s so hard for me to digest even healthy oils. That kind of information is helpful. He thinks all my problems are caused by the time when I took antibiotics for four years in a row, from age 12 to 16 or so, or maybe even longer, when they were prescribed to me for acne, supposedly no health risks, right? Right. But anytime some healthcare practitioner narrows in on one thing, I get suspicious.

He recommends supplements that could be helpful. He takes my pulses, says: you should be feeling better! No kidding. He’s impressed that I’ve been vegan for so long, I notice it in the way that he tests me -- not even dairy, he asks. I already know he’s vegan, but he recommends strange non-vegan supplements like goat colostrum, the mother’s milk, which sounds a bit difficult to acquire in an ethical way. He says fluoride makes your thinking rigid, the first thing he did when they fluoridated the water was to go down to the spring at Half Moon Bay and fill up 40 gallon jugs. I can see his own thinking narrowing when he questions me about veganism -- not in the way that happens with non-vegans, when they want to inject you with animal protein, but in the vegan way: everybody’s suspicious unless they’re pure. I’m no longer interested in purity. I tell him about getting so desperate that I tried eggs and fish. Eggs, he says -- not eggs! He thinks I might never be able to digest oils -- I can keep trying, but it may never work.

I learn some things; I find some new ideas to try. At the end, he says: I think now you’re ready to get better. I guess that’s supposed to sound supportive. What do you mean, I say. Before you are ready, he says: you took the antibiotics. What do you mean, I say -- I was 12, I didn’t know they were dangerous. Still, he says, you chose them. And you chose your family.

I can discard this New Age garbage, but what worries me is that some people might not be able to. I remember this from last time, when I saw this practitioner a few years ago -- he did the same thing right at the end, maybe that’s why it took me a while to go back.

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