Friday, October 22, 2010

How To Be Sick

Observation from
"When I typed "How to be sick" into Google, the second book result that popped up was something called Never Be Sick Again: Health Is a Choice, Learn How to Choose It. I felt angry, because I believe it's a lie that a person's choices can always bring them to full health, and I believe it's a lie that harms people."

* * *
Firecat has it nailed -- our entire culture (especially the medical establishment) is built around the notion that you must have done something wrong in order to get sick.
The only thing I did wrong was that I left my nice germ-free apartment during flu season.
I've had doctors accuse me of lying to them that I cannot be this sick if I am truly following as good health habits as I describe, trying to get me to cop to it that I lied about smoking, drinking, drugs, caffeine, diet, exercise habits, etc.  It's those stellar health habits that kept me at work full-time for 12 years after being diagnosed.  I'm sure if I'd been doing everything wrong, I would have become disabled a lot sooner than I did.
I didn't "choose" to get sick -- it found me.  I didn't "choose" to stay sick -- doctors who refused to accept the illness for what it was and prescribed the wrong pills made it worse.
Yes, at some point my eating habits deteriorated, because I was too sick to go to the farmers market twice a week to get fresh organic produce -- any time I left my house, it was putting me down for the rest of the week. 
One day, I went to the farmers market, collapsed immediately on arriving home, and by the time I felt up to carrying my purchases from the hallway to the kitchen at the back of the house, everything had rotted from not being refrigerated in 100-degree heat.  I basically hadn't eaten for a couple of days because the exertion of getting the healthy food had exhausted me to the point I couldn't prepare the food I'd bought.
Obviously, if eating well were the solution, I wouldn't have gotten that sick; at that point, life became about survival, and canned vegetables are better than not eating at all. 

If I had my choice, I would have been well and back at work within a week or two after losing my job.  But that didn't happen because I wasn't getting the right prescriptions, and that's something I have no control over.  I don't have a prescription pad, all I can do is ask someone else to prescribe what I need and hope that he complies.  Instead, I got months of "just try this one more anti-depressant and if it doesn't work, then I'll give you what you asked for", followed by accusations that I didn't want to get well when yet another anti-depressant served only to make me sicker, and just for that, another prescription to treat something I don't even have, because he didn't want to admit that his diagnosis was wrong and the one I'd handed him on a silver platter at the first appointment was right.
Most offices told me "Doctor does not see patients with CFS", so I was stuck with the incompetent one I had until I found someone else who was willing to take me on as a patient.  At least I could feel that by going to the bad doctor I was doing something toward getting well instead of just sitting home doing nothing.
That problem is now solved -- I can get to WPI in a few hours.  I will never again need to put up with doctors who don't know what they're doing, because I can go to the experts.  It's been a long time coming, and I'm thankful it's here.

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