About Me

My photo
Los Angeles, California
I am 47 and thriving in Southern California. One day at a time.
TO POST A COMMENT: Click on any "orange-colored" post title and scroll to the bottom.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

playing doctor

i want a divorce.

a separation from the negativity that perpetually besieges western medicine.

granted, there are the honeymooners; the physicians endeavoring through that virginal year. equipped with a bumbling bedside manner, and executing an uncultivated medical maturity.
"are you taking your phos-naks?"

"of course".

[uh, d-uh.]

"a lot of people don't take them because they taste bad."

"really? god. nothing is worse than prednisone."

[no, really. nothing. it's like coating your tongue with a chalky, bitter pate made out of white glue.]

"make sure you eat food with your prednisone. i took it once and it really did a number on my stomach."

[uh-huh. how long were you on it for? a minute? i have a feeling my 30 year-old relationship with steroids gives me the edge on this one.]

so, i nod and unabashedly smirk behind my mask. it's a dance we play, only they don't realize i am leading.
but, i get it. physicians deal with frenzied cattle; patients blindly following their "leader" into the pen. they can be swiftly herded, despite the odd, plaintive moo of protest or bulging-eyed, panicked stare. but they must also deal with the bulls...

[and guess who's got big balls?]

bring on the mature, sexy mds. perhaps it's my father figure fetish gone awry, but they are potent in their confidence. unlike the arrogance of youth, their breadth of knowledge has expanded in tandem with a finessed bedside manner. they strike a sophisticated balance between cerebral cockiness and visceral virility; understanding it's a symbiotic dance of equal measure.

[in this dance, i do not lead. i'm happy to match them step by step.]
but to find this rhythm, requires discipline and surrender on both sides. eons before the days of google, this wee 13 year-old girl would ambitiously traverse the stacks of downtown toronto's research library. as i delved deep for information on kidney failure, my friends she-bopped away to cyndi lauper.

[oh, who am i kidding? i was doing that, too...]

obliviously, i was also building the tools necessary for future relationships, of any kind..."see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil", only fosters evil...armchair politics is deeply dangerous. zealous research and insistent communication earned me peer-like respect, and gifted me with the fruits of rewarding, professional dynamics.

i have ravaged the treasures of both eastern and western medicine, and attempted to marry the two. one sided arguments isolate; while respecting both sides unite. perhaps, my 23 year-old offspring, who now lies quietly dormant, is the truest proof of this theory-come-success story.


indeed, it is the red meat-chomping, butter-slathering, sugar-inhaling fanatics who frighten me more than any medical instrument or pill. their dismissive attitude towards all things western, not only smacks of ignorance, but naivety as well. the organic juice-swilling, chain-smoking, caffeine-addicted hypocrites seem to have time to wag their judgmental digits between yoga breaths. but, ultimately, they are poignantly lost with their misinformation, and have usually never been chronically ill...

look, when you have your kidney transplant, go right ahead and swap out your immunosuppressives for chinese herbs. i'm not going to be the guinea pig who gnaws away at success.

[we've all played doctor. but this is one game i need to win.]
have you ever been late to a friends' party; someone who busted their ass to put something together? and what did that take? a day? now think about the years and years and years (that, frankly, never end) that a physician has invested in your appointment. every one's time is valuable, but for god's sake, bring a book, a magazine, an ipod...and doesn't everyone have a smart phone?

[well, actually, i don't.]

and if you haven't been to the doctor for years, shouldn't you be joyous, not bitter? it's challenging to listen to the belittling of a system in which i have thrived. you have a role to play. i have a role to play. and i play it to the rafters...

ah, but perhaps, i am a little biased. my father, brother, aunt are/(were) all doctors; my mother was premed. and for 30 years, the medical system served as my divining rod in search of hope. but the bottom line is, without western medicine, i wouldn't be here.


i peer daily into jagged glass. anticipating that facial ballooning reminiscent of my unrecognizable, steriod-infused visage of yesteryear. back in the 80's, this superficial burden doused a young 19 year-old's already drenched self-esteem; flooding her with additional insecurities and leaving her treading water for years...

but i learned how to lifeguard that watery abyss; buoyed in both the deep and shallow ends with my life preserver of information. lapping it all up.
so bring it...how excited am i to dive back into the pool?

i will aggressively stroke back into exercise, healthy food and clean living.

reflectively float through the challenges of immunosuppression. the 3 week-old colds, the multiple month infections, the inevitable hospitalizations; all the while deep diving into medications and their side effects.

then watch me cannonball back to life with massage, chiropractors and acupuncture.

(in 6 months), i'll splash away the multiple, tedious appointments, and behold, enraptured, as the ripples undulate farther and farther away. closer to stillness. calm.


for like a good marriage, our relationship with our health cannot be passive. complete submission to one side nourishes disintegration; disease. growth entails rolling up of the sleeves, ears wide open and compromise. agendas reign over both sides of the medical divide. some are generous of spirit and some twisted in intent....tentative harmony...

the power of medicine lies in the embrace of its artistry, couched in evolving science; as does the historical resonance and dominion of eastern remedies. separately, they are "interesting" movements, and if you look closely, you can clearly see their flaws. but, united they are raised to masterpiece.

[imperfect perfect.]

No comments:

Post a Comment