Archive for February, 2010
At a freelancers Meetup group event about a month ago, I won a free personality test with personal life coach Daphna Hernandez. It was in the back of my mind (where most ideas live, because I am a master procrastinator) until I got an email saying that she was having a networking and business skills seminar at her office last Thursday. I can always use more help in this arena, so instead of my usual thyroidal 11am wakeup time, I had my man shake off my covers at 6am along with him so I could get to the meeting by 8. At a time that I usually reserve for REM, I was fully alert and presentable, which is a major achievement.
Tho I mos def needed to get my nap on later that afternoon, I felt that the session was very worthwhile. I was able to introduce my “active, behavioral” pet sitting business to a new sector of people and learned some skills about completing “cycles of activity”, as opposed to leaving them incomplete, which is the story of my life. After the session, those of us who opted to could do the personality test, so anyone could get it for freebiez whether they won it or not, but marketing is giving away something of perceived value in order to attract potential clients, so I didn’t get too cranky about it. As I love navel-gazing, the test was quite entertaining. Today, I returned to go over the results.
I did not mention this before, but the pamphlet we received at the event was excerpted from Dianetics and Daphna mentioned “best-selling author L. Ron Hubbard” during her talk. Clearly, our girl Daphna was a Scientologist, but I didn’t have a problem with that. Most “religions” have useful kernels of truth within them; it’s the wholesale ascription to an entire compendium of tenets that I cannot get down with. She had helpful things to say, so I was suiting up to separate the wheat from the chaff. The only issue that concerned me was the possibility that her whole coaching practice was based on being a shill for Scientology; it’s like going to a “nutritionist” only to discover that said person was actually a rep for Jenny Craig.
During our session today, the personality test was not discussed for at least thirty minutes. We went over goals for my business, things I want/need to do in order to succeed, qualities that I see as hindering to my business and personal development, etc. Helpful stuff, things I need to work on. I am usually incredibly frank in any discussion, so I do wonder where this session would have gone if I had not made certain disclosures for her to seize upon. However, I am sure aspects of my life would’ve come out within a session or two and I would have just wasted more time, so I supposed I saved valuable time.
The beginning of the end started when she asked what aspects I needed help in. I said that I am incredibly ADD and need to learn how to set goals, make decisions, and prioritize, in order to stop procrastinating. She asked if I was medicated for ADD. I said I had been in the past, but don’t like the idea of daily maintenance drugs. I turned it back to my thyroid website and bemoaned the state of our lobbyist-centered health care system, where I can get Adderall, Prozac, Ativan, and other controlled substances, but I cannot get freaking natural thyroid medication because there is no lobby for it, and she agreed whole-heartedly. She asked if I ever did any other drugs and if I drank. I said, “oh sure, a margarita during mariachi night, a doobie de vez en cuando, a semi-annual ‘shroom fest in J-Tree, no big thing.” She asked if I started using these substances at a young age and I concurred that I was around 13 when I’d first imbibed.
She then pulled out my personality test, which incidentally was the Oxford Capacity Analysis, and showed me that 4/5 of the personality traits measured showed I need “urgent attention” and the early drinking and such explains these results. She led me to the television to watch a certain portion of the Dianetics video, after which we would reconvene and discuss.
I’m sure you, who were not there, can predict where this is going. I was there, however, and I can tell you that I was not freaked out. I can appreciate nuggets of wisdom from wherever they come, and I’m sure my teenage drinking history has oodles to do with my shortcomings of today and would appreciate some tips to rewire these problems. I make it a point to view, listen to, and read all manner of material and incorporate what I think is useful into my own personal worldview and discard the refuse; thus, I watched the video from a scholarly perspective and took notes upon which tidbits I could use, which to call out as bullshit, and which to discuss and ask questions about. I found of particular interest the portions about one’s mind storing information about traumatic events subconsciously and needing to bring them to the conscious mind to deal with them so they are not triggered to activate unwelcome habits. Obviously, all my blocks are all in my mind, as I wasn’t born with them, so I would welcome the chance to deactivate them.
I finished the video, excited to talk about fixing what was holding me back. She showed me the low points on my personality test and said I needed to completely quit using any substances in order to raise those levels. I said that was just ridiculous – all or nothing approaches to anything give too much power to the thing being avoided. I am moderate and mindful of everything I put in my body, be it caffeine or potatoes or cornsilk. However, I was ready to work on the next step in remedying my issues.
She said Step 1 is completely abstaining from drugs or alcohol, which are poisons to the body. The other steps are not available to me until I undertake that first step. She said I could put $5000 on the table at that very moment to work on the other aspects, but she would refuse it until I do STEP 1. This conversational river has clearly forked off into two branches; I think am on a felucca floating down a well-balanced, natural health rivulet, and she is positive that I am aboard the S.S. Substance Abuse and careening toward the falls of doom.
Here is where I reach the anger zone, cuz I can sense we have reached the end of the rational road. I have run into a one-size-fits-all, black-and-white-with-no-shades-of-grey, wall of rigid rules. I tried to counter this with much rhetoric: there are people who are eating antibiotic-laced burgers and sodas with high-fructose corn syrup and yet I’m being ruled out for having a casual drink. I am not smoking crack, I am smoking occasional doobage, from the earth. That’s as redonk as saying I can’t eat peppers cuz they’re from the nightshade family. I equated social drinx, etc., with driving a car: driving is not optimal in many ways – it pollutes the environment,which in turn pollutes our health, and also increases the chance of being mangled in a car accident. Therefore, though I take alternate modes of transport when feasible, but it would be stupid to not go places because I don’t want to drive a car, and it is equally stupid to miss out on a yearly pilgrimage with my broheims in the desert because the mushroom, which the earth gave us, is, in her words, “poison”. I even said, “You cannot tell me that Tom and Katie go to premiere parties and can’t even have a glass of champers!!!”
Defending having two glasses of wine at book club like I’m shooting up behind a dumpster is outrageous. It felt like the awful conversations I’ve had countless times with health care practitioners about their inability to accept that their ways of treating thyroid disease are misguided and outdated.
Despite my best efforts, each argument with Daphna rebounded upon a rubber net. The case was closed. I suppose a my-way-or-the-highway approach works for the weak-willed, but I am not a mental midget. I gave a Scientologist the chance to present to me ways in which the methodology they ascribe to can help me, and she smothered me with dogma instead.
You may be surprised to learn that I still intend to patronize her networking seminars. Though she lost me with her polemic and reinforced my distrust of groups with cult status, I take pride in not throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
I shall return, during valuable REM time, to meet other entrepreneurs and get tips to build my business. However, Scientology has an open invitation to suck my anti-establishment ballz.
Posted in health, Thyroid | 1 Comment »
I’ve just had the most disturbing phone call – a cliche, really. The epitome of the life with someone with Hashimoto’s.
After my beloved Armour was reformulated, then backordered, myself and thousands of other patients were left scrambling. I tried to go raw and take various tinctures to get well, which was a dismal, and nearly mortal, failure.
I waddled into the Westside Family Health Center in Santa Monica and got a renewed prescription for Armour that I was able to have compounded at Advanced Compounding Pharmacy in North Hollywood. I was certain I would finally come out of the tunnel, but after a month, I still felt and looked awful. I had to fight the Clinic to get the proper blood tests, and, of course, the bloodwork proved me right and my dosage was increased.
Still, I felt awful.
I contacted my pharmacy to see if I could get the medicine in a different medium; it is possible that the gelatin capsule was hindering my absorption, but the same medication in liquid or lozenge form may do the trick.
It’s the same medication in the same dosage, so that shouldn’t be a problem, right? But nothing in this saga can ever be easy. TJ, the pharmacist, told me that any change has to be approved by the doctor, even one as innocuous as simply changing the vehicle to get the prescribed medicine into my body. TJ said he would call my doctor. It seemed to me like a simple request and I hoped for the best, but I’ve learned not to expect anything good from WFHC – the aforementioned acquiring of prescription and drug tests took three visits and at least twenty phone calls over the course of three to four months. Not surprisingly, I heard nothing after several days. I followed up with TJ, who said he’d left two messages already and was soon to leave another. In addition, I had left two messages myself.
Still, silence. I called again and left a message for the doctor, stating that I was out of medication and needed a simple change that would not effect the dosage or type of medicine, just the method of absorption, and it would only take a minute. I finally got a phone call in return, and it was exactly what I expected from this draconian institution. Dr. Archana Kulkarni, who would do well with a second career in voiceovers as a shriveled black widow spider queen,
said I could not just call every few days for a prescription change. I said she didn’t return any of my or my pharmacist’s calls, so really, it was just one call gone unreturned, repeatedly. She said I needed to come in and have more blood tests, after which time she’d increase the medication, if need be, but would not change the vehicle of absorption. I told her I needed a benchmark for the tests and wondered if they were just trying to suck more money out of me by having me repeat tests that would still show I was low – after $200 in useless tests, I was not in a hurry to repeat them and get the same result. She said the cost was my fault, with the ordering of the newfangled T3 and T4 tests I demanded, rather than just TSH. I said TSH is a pituitary hormone and only tangentally related to thyroid, while T3 and T4 are the very least that need to be done. Anyway, the whole point was moot if they would not change the vehicle of absorption. Then she espoused the typical uneducated line: that Armour is an “old” drug, not standardized in dosage, and they only prescribe synthetics, because they are “more reliable”. My explanation that this is a common misperception and she only believes that because the synthetics have better lobbyists fell on deaf ears.
She said my needs go beyond what the clinic provides and she would have to refer me to UCLA Harbor. I said fine, who do I talk to, I’ve got the pen ready. She said it wasn’t that easy, that she’d request the change but they might not contact me for months Then she changed her tune and said she wouldn’t put in for a transfer for me unless I made an appointment, came in, waited three hours, paid the fee to see her and asked her nicely then.
You can imagine that the conversation devolved quickly from there.
So here I am again, chubby, tired, and dejected. I reflected upon the good old days – those two years when I was able to get Armour and it worked and I was in love with life. How could I get back to that place? I’d never been able to get through before, but I decided to give Forest Laboratories, the makers of Armour, another call. At long last, I spoke with a human in customer service, who transferred me to another human in quality control, who took all my information and my comments on the reduced efficacy of the Armour reformulation.
Anywho, why don’t you guys in the same boat give Forest Labs a call? The number is 866-927-3260. I spoke with Alisha. She was quite pleasant. I told her I knew of many patients for whom the reformulation was not working as well and she said to give them the number and have them call. So there you have it. Tell them. Until then, I don’t see much reason to pay $40 for compounded medicine that’s not working, so I’m gonna try this:
Wish me luck!
Posted in Armour, health, Thyroid | 1 Comment »
I devote considerable time not only to trying to make myself well again, but also to figuring out why I became ill in the first place. I enter a wonderland of rage whenever I think of the things in our society that are perfectly legal in the name of commerce, but are thoroughly harmful to our bodies. Of course, there is nothing new about this phenomenon.
I usually get on one of my rants when I find myself doing something in the name of health that most people consider odd. At this moment, I am eating leftovers that I relocated to a pie pan and baked in the oven. Why did I not just microwave my meal? Because microwaves were sent by Beelzebub so we could scramble our innards and get to Hades quicker.
Everytime someone sees me pour my cold coffee into a pot, reheat it on the stove, then pour it back into the cup (dribbling most of it, cuz I am Pigpen in human form),
people ask why I don’t just use the microwave. Thus, I feel compelled to spread the knowledge that microwaves change food into something that is not nourishing to our bodies; however, I usually only succeed in appearing Looney Tunes. I hate seeing that “please help me, I am conversing with a crazy person” look upon someone’s face. I myself told people to shut their zealot faces when they told me about this years ago. Howevz, I can’t stop myself from telling people things I think they should know, even if they don’t want to hear it and they won’t believe me anyway.
If you Google the subject of microwaved food being unhealthful, you will find a lot of pages that look like they were written by conspiracy theorists. The following, however, are footnoted articles from sources that I trust. Take it with a grain of salt, pin it to your dartboard, feed it to your dog. Just don’t say I didn’t tell you.
Posted in food, health, Thyroid | No Comments »