I always thought of blogs as being narcissistic, business related, or as my sister's, a way of keeping in touch or memorializing.

But, by necessity, I am learning a lot about myself. I find I need to get my thoughts out, and it helps me to know that someone else will read them. So I have created this little space for myself, to express the things I have trouble saying (be it emotional or physical trouble), to share what I'm going through, and what I'm learning through it.

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Wednesday, 11 April 2012

A New Doc, A New Hope

Yes, the Star Wars reference is purposeful, and if you didn't get it, then you can't have a conversation with my nephew :)  ... and let that be an indication on my mindset, coming out of my first meeting with my new doctor, for which I have traveled real nice and far, to what feels like a galaxy far far away.

So first things first - I am not dealing with mold or other biotoxicity (Yay! I get to go home!!!!). While I already knew that my illness had a viral onset, it seems that it also has a viral cause. The question then becomes whether the initial virus has stayed in my system and keeps reactivating, or whether it just whacked things so out of balance that it has taken me this long to get over it. The doc says it honestly doesn't matter so much in terms of treatment, though he did test for the more likely suspects, and once those results are in, he will decide which course of action is best for me. In the meantime, the big things to balance out are my adrenals and thyroid.

The best news is that the doctor believes in me, understands my situation, and thinks I have every chance of getting better. Fully and completely better. When? Won't know until he can assess how his treatments affect me, and until the blood tests he ordered come back. Which means, realistically, 6 weeks for the adrenal supplements to kick in, and then depending on the story my blood tells, anti-virals, adjustments to the methylation protocol, and other things to tweak here and there... oh who the heck knows. But it doesn't seem to matter at the moment. It will happen when it happens, and I've started down the road that will (please cross all your fingers and toes now, and knock on every piece of wood you have nearby) lead to my recovery.

For me, the most important aspect of the visit was how validating it all was. The doctor treated me with respect, listened very attentively, spent lots of time contemplating and evaluating the information I gave him, and repeated things back to me to confirm understanding. He was honest and blunt, and put me at ease enough that I could be the same, and I really appreciate that. He never mentioned logging or tracking symptoms, or pacing, or budgeting energy, and that was a really lovely change. He also said that it is to be expected that my energy levels and abilities will change day to day, just like everyone else's - just that mine are more noticeable - and to go with it. I was amused to hear though, that it is somewhat rare to have classic ME/CFS without Fibromyalgia or other complications.

I can't say it surprised me - because of the conversations I'd had with my osteopath leading to this meeting, and because of the feeling I got for this man in reading his book - but it was still odd, in the context of a medical examination, especially with both my parents present, to talk about how he and I both "read" people. He can sense when people are bullshitting him (or themselves), and I am very sensitive to other people's emotional states. And that - he says, and I know to be true - is a major obstacle to my healing unless I learn to control it more effectively. Picking up on other people's stress is fine and dandy, so long as I don't experience it as stress myself, is what it comes down to. But what a wonderfully refreshing and honest conversation to have.

The biggest relief was hearing from him, as well as from my Osteopath just before I left Toronto, that they both believe that a) this is physical in cause and nature, and, b) I am working actively and with full intent towards healing. It is a very common perception that chronic systemic illnesses, especially invisible ones, are brought on in some way or another by the patient. That they are psychosomatic, that there is an element of wanting to be sick, or that there is simply not enough will to get better. That one way or another, it's in our heads, or our attitudes, that we are paying for our sins, or that we somehow brought it on ourselves. To be perfectly honest, I believe this is true, in some cases. I know people who very much buy into their illness - they identify with it so strongly, that it becomes their psychological lifeline. Being sick becomes an addiction. But I know just as many cases where this is just not so - where a real honest and pure desire to heal, and a healthy psychological state, and all the meditation and prayer in the world are simply not enough to overcome a physical ailment.

I wonder if those who have not felt this judgment, or questioned their own motives in terms of illness can understand my relief at hearing from "expert" voices that yes, they can see that I do really want to heal, and that yes, this is really a physical ailment, that can only be fixed through physical means because my emotional and psychological ducks are indeed all lined up. Because honestly, if you hear it enough, there is a part of you that starts to believe it, or at the very least, to wonder about the validity of the suggestion that it is all in your head/attitude/psyche/soul. And that is not, ever, an easy thing to live with.

And the most amusing part of the whole visit was watching my father's face (he hadn't quite been able to believe how many times I've been carded in the last year) when the very young man in the office handed the paperwork over to sign - he glanced at me, my dad, back at me, and asked if I was over 18.  Ummmm yeah. A little bit. Like 20 years over 18. Thanks, though! I'll take the flattery where I can get it! And the hope. Yes, I think I will keep the hope, thank-you.


  1. Andy, I am so happy for you that you seem to finally be getting some validation and some answers!! I hope the rest of your time in California is as good and as productive for you! And I pray that you do fully recover after all the tests and treatments that he wants to try.

  2. I love this doctor already! So happy for you that you were listened to and validated and have a direction to follow now. I have high hopes for a full spoon drawer for you soon!

  3. Oh yes,beautiful to hear all that! And I never doubted one millisecond that you want to heal!!

    1. Thank-you, my dear! We need to have a coffee when we both get home, ok?

  4. I could see the smile on your face while reading your words! So happy your visit with the Dr was so positive! See you in a week or so. Hugs and kisses for our boy, and you too;)

    1. Thanks, Carolyn! Boy thinks of you both often, and has been taking pics especially for Dad. See you soon.