Monday, August 6, 2012

The Roads That Take You Home

I have been awake for over an hour. That means I have been tossing and turning since about 7:30am, unable to go back to sleep. Now, if you only knew me, you would understand how mindblowing that is. Of course, the beginning of this wakefulness was prompted by a full-blown migraine. However, once that settled down to something to bearable, it just became my thoughts keeping me from going back to sleep.

We are still on vacation. Over the weekend we arrived in the town I grew up in and graduated high school from, blah blah blah. The last time I was here was last May for my dad's funeral. It is so strange to come back here and NOT see him. Perhaps, it is more odd to know that I never will again.

A friend of mine from high school has a twelve year old son who is undergoing chemotheraphy for a brain tumor. They are in the third and final round. The tumor is shrinking and things are looking good. His son has remained upbeat throughout the entire experience. I think that is because his parents, family, and friends have provided a positive outlook, and he has embraced it. This really makes a difference in how someone does in this sort of situation. Kids are so resilient. The brain decides whether or not you get better, so whatever you tell them, that is what happens. Voila. Anyway, he is a brave and remarkable young man and doing so well.

In many respects, kids are like dogs. I mean that in the best of ways. My dog has responded so well to losing her leg to cancer. She was in pain for a few days and struggled. However, she was walking on the first day. A few days later, she was running. She hasn't slowed down since. She wipes out sometimes; she pivots because she forgets that isn't her strong suit, but immediately picks herself up and is off to the races again. I love that about her.

Here's the thing: kids and dogs don't second guess themselves. They just go with what is. It seems like my life would be so much easier if I could learn this lesson. And I freely admit that I am trying. However, I can't seem to help myself. I like having Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, etc. And all of that leads to a lot of second, third, and fourth guessing. I just don't want to be stuck with absolutely no ideas. The thing about this philosophy is that it leads you wandering down the same mental roads hoping you find something you missed the last time you were there.

The mental road taking up all my energy these days is my Schmidt's Syndrome Diagnosis, simply because autoimmune issues are so tricky. It has me on that What If path constantly. Based on the fact that I have other autoimmune issues, I probably did mess up the doctor's blood test the last time I took it by taking the Herbal Adrenal Supplement. Hence, the low results, but the surprising result of it not being autoimmune. So, we are retaking the test in a few months. However, even the doctor has no way of knowing how much time it takes for the Herbal Supplement's effects to leave my system. So, my test could still come back a false positive. If that is the case, I actually do have Addison's Disease. We just didn't wait long enough. The thing is this: the doctor and I both truly believe this is the case. Where the doctor and I part ways is right here: The only way he "knows" to treat Addison's Disease is internal hydro cortisone for the rest of your life, while I would say go back to the Herbal Adrenal Supplement because it is a cure. It actually flipped the antibodies, making them positive. It stopped them from attacking the adrenal gland. All autoimmune means is that your body doesn't know your own body and attacks it until it kills it. And Addison's Disease is literally a death sentence. All hydro cortisone does is slow down the process.

Like every other good thing I have ever done, I found the cure by accident.

Of course, that is IF I found the cure. Unless, I never had it. Unless the antibodies are just waiting to flip on me. You see, this is why it would be better to be a dog. They don't think of this kind of junk. In that case, my death sentence is just out there waiting for me. Or it's out there waiting for me to find the cure. Either way, it sounds very exhausting. At least, at 9:00am.

At 3:00pm, on normal days, I tell myself things like the point of all this health junk is that maybe on top of MY IDEA, I am meant to find natural cures for all of these autoimmune issues for the entire endocrine system. Why? Because that is the next place they are going to take me down if they haven't already. For instance, the vascular system is part of the endocrine system. And it is constriction of the vascular system that causes migraines. And I have had a constant migraine since 2003. Doesn't it make you think that maybe someone should test those antibodies to see if they are autoimmune? Maybe that's just me. But, one website I was on said that anyone with Schmidt's should have their endocrine system checked regularly. Your antibodies can turn on you at any time. That includes antibodies for organs like your kidneys, pancreas, etc. You sort of need those things to work and don't want your antibodies to start attacking them to the death.

Writing so much about health and health issues makes me think even more about my dad. He always felt like Don Quixote tilting at the windmill. He spent the last forty years of his life trying to get anyone to listen to him that natural supplements were the way to go. Prescriptions were band-aids at best. Ironically, he barely got my attention. It was so non-stop that some went in, but most went out. I was like, "Yes, dad, I am taking my vitamins. Prescriptions are bad. And be careful of doctors. They are not trustworthy. Got it."

He was right. Each time you see a doctor, be careful. You are entrusting them with the most precious thing you have: you. If you have an ongoing problem, and the doctor continues to write a Rx, you are getting paperclips and duct tape. That would be an unacceptable fix for your car. Don't allow it to happen to your body. A symptom is a wonderful thing; it means you have a problem and you need investigate until you find the SOURCE. A Rx simply masks the problem. So, dad, I was listening more than you thought. I got it.

It makes MY IDEA even more important. It really is your idea. You just didn't know it. It's your idea on a much bigger scale. Word of mouth taken to a whole new level. I am my father's daughter after all. Not only did I get all of your crappy DNA, I got your fighting spirit. That means I might come up with Plan Zs, but I will never GIVE UP. However, I will always miss you and it will always make me sad that you won't see this come to fruition. You would have loved it. And I would have loved sharing it with you.

I'm sure we'll go by the old house this week. I always stand outside on the sidewalk and imagine doing this, but I never do.



  1. You and I can work much the same at times: all that going round and round... Now I tend to talk about things and work through what I can and then let it go. I know I'll never cure everything in my life or anyone elses, but I do what I can that I feel is productive. I think we owe it to the world to do the things we can and not get too 'stuck' in what we can't. I know, I know- easier said than done. And there's nothing wrong with expressing how we feel as long as we don't get stuck there.
    I am always amazed at how parallel many of the lives of bloggers seem to be. And it's fun to see how we all express similar ideas in different ways. I have done some soul searching about how I grew up and the people I knew as kids lately. It's intriguing and very powerful to see how that shapes us.

  2. It's hard going home again, especially when home has changed so much, and so permanently. But you're right - dogs and kids have the right attitude. Nothing keeps them down, they just keep going. My "bubbes" - the women who are 90-ish who've adopted me into their mah jongg game - do the same thing. Despite age, loss of health and mobility, loss of husbands, loss of children (in one case, both daughters and a granddaughter) ... and yet, they keep going. They adjust, they move. They go to lectures, they go to classes, one of them is trying to learn Hebrew. They gave up driving, they use canes/walkers ... they accommodate. They don't gloss over, but they keep moving. Important lessons ....

  3. Great posting, enjoyed reading it. Keep up the fighting spirit. Keeping you in thoughts and prayers. Loved the Miranda Lambert video and song also.

  4. Robin, nobody knows more than you. In fact, you might be the only one who is not sure if I am right.


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