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08 July 2009

Marine Layer

Not so sure about that last post. One of the things i like about blogging is being able to journal & to interact with other folks. I mean, to actually interact with them on a level beyond just "Hi." (That kind of interaction what facebook is for! LOL.) I don't think that Linky thing yesterday encourages a deeper level of communication. I haven't gotten thru many of the 800+ yet. I do peruse the blog to see if it is something i'm interested in following. And i rarely comment unless it is something that touches me enough to speak of more than "That's a cool pic!" Usually.

It is a grey morning in OC. We don't really have these in BB unless it is going to rain. Here a layer forms out over the ocean & gets pushed inland. Marine layers & fog are white/grey. Smog has a brown/pink tinge to it. There is a difference. The post i did about "haze" a few weeks ago was mostly white. Yesterday OC had marine layer & smog. We could see the smog as we drove down the hill & it was not exciting to know that was where we were headed. I will say it is much better than pics i've seen of the 60s & 70s. It is even better now than when i first moved to CA many years ago.

I did 4 hours of driving yesterday & didn't sleep a whole lot the night before, so i was pretty exhausted. Duane was to pick up his Aunt & Uncle at the airport last night - which was suppose to mean John Wayne, about 3 miles from his parent's home. Instead the plane was diverted & he had to drive to LAX 40 miles away. I knew he would have liked having my company on the trip, but it was past 10 PM & i was totally worn out.

The drive toward San Diego was long, but i got glimpses of the ocean at times & it was beautiful yesterday. (These ocean pics are not of yesterday, but they are all i have.) In BB we have deep blue skies. Down here the skies
are usually a pale blue but sometimes the ocean has that incredible blue that is beyond description. Yesterday was such a day. I'm much more of a mountain gal. I lived 2 miles from the beach for 15 years but rarely went there. But the ocean yesterday was just fabulous. I wondered if i had time to stop & enjoy it, but figured that i probably wouldn't appreciate it much for then i'd worry that i would be late to my appointment. The drive down was about 1 hour, & the ocean view was visible for only a very short time of that.

I've mixed emotions about the doc i saw & am rather reserved about my hopes. I DO like him. He is very personable & thorough & spends a lot of time seeking info. Because i have such a long & involved medical history, i've come to dread first sessions. However i found most of it with him not so very painful. And, if nothing else i have the medical form for my licensing done.

You see, the problem may be that i'm seeking conventional medicine to "fix" what conventional medicine has caused. Conventional medicine uses pharmaceuticals a lot & then if there are serious side effects they often pooh-pooh those side effects as having been actually caused by the pharmaceuticals - it is just a coincidence that those things happened at the same time.

I can place the time i first began feeling this fatigue to my teen years when i was given antibiotics five times without being warranted. (My younger sis had strep throat - they said - & my germ-phobic mother used a doc who gave the whole family antibiotics
prophylactically because they said my sis had strep.) In those days the view about antibiotics was, "They can't hurt." I strongly disagree with this view. My current bad functioning began 2 years ago when i chose to take antibiotics when i had both respiratory & urinary infections.

The fact is i don't respond well to meds. My "allergy" sheet - meaning adverse reactions - is about as long as my arm. I cannot take: morphine, compazine, klonopin, sulfa, sulfites, erythromycin, tetracycline, voltaren, imitrex, darvocet compound, maxalt, amerge, cafergot, zomig, "low dose estrogen" birth control. Those are just the ones i can think of right now. And i had a pretty extreme response of depression after using a combo of drugs for migraine last December. I've not taken a single OTC pill or prescription Rx since, & i think i'm better off for it.

But this doc, well meaning as he is, doesn't seem to see problems with me using sleep medications if i'm not sleeping. Or even - i'm not sure if he was kidding - prescribing dilaudid for the pain i have with my cycle. (Nothing, including demerol, has touched that pain except dilaudid.) I'm more on the, "let me do what i can about this, & grin & bear the rest" rather than be fogged on meds.

First off, i don't believe sleep meds would help me function better. Yes, i might sleep, but i don't believe my functioning the following day would improve. Also, (i told him of this) in the past i have been "addicted" to sleep meds, meaning after taking them for a few days i was unable to sleep without them. It isn't a problem for me, i "detoxed" off of them rather painlessly. One time it meant a week of 2 hours a night, but when the week was over i was ok, & i never was tempted to go back to using them. They were a short term solution to a short term problem & when it was over i didn't want/need to continue with them & i didn't have a hard time giving them up.

But what he is suggesting is long term use of sleep meds & i think that is bad, bad, bad. And i pointed out to him that this is covering symptoms - poor sleep cycle - without looking for solutions - why i'm sleeping badly. I pointed out that sleeping poorly could be for a number of reasons. It could be because of thyroid or adrenal hormones, it could be sleep apnea (which i've considered before & he mentioned two or three times yesterday). There are a number of possible causes & i'd much rather find the reasons than just treat symptoms, especially long term.

I know this sounds rather awful. But he wasn't awful. What he said was, "If you know that taking a pill at night will help you sleep so you can function the next day, don't you think you would want to do that?" From his point of view it is reasonable. From mine it is not. And he is recommending a sleep study for sleep apnea. Whether the insurance i have would cover that is questionable, & if it won't this is probably quite expensive. But i appreciate that he went there.

And he didn't freak over the limitations i place. I will never have a mammogram. I think they are dangerous. There are safer ways to do screenings if a woman is at risk. I am not at risk. I have 8 aunts all over the age of 60 (a couple are near 80) & none of them have ever had breast cancer or even anything questionable. Neither has my mother. Neither of my grandmothers ever had a problem either.

I was impressed (on the website) that this particular doc does use supplements & quite a few supplements & i know they are high quality so i know he did some research in choosing them. But what i forgot was something i learned when seeing the naturopath with whom i tried to work: If the supplements are used to treat symptoms rather than causes, then they are essentially no different than drugs & conventional medicine thinking still reigns. It may be that the "box of knowledge" this thinking has is a bigger box than what most docs learn; it may just be a different box. But i have been hoping to find someone who can "think outside the box" & i'm finding that difficult.

I'm not giving up yet! I will continue with this one for a while, hoping that we can find something. If nothing else, i can fight for treating cause rather than symptom. But it may that this is an uphill fight & ultimately more than i can handle. I need someone to see "the big picture" & if they only look at that from a box of knowledge that limits their vision . . . i may not get what i want. I was pretty discouraged when i left yesterday, for my current functioning is so poor, & i'm not returning for six weeks. And i wonder how i'll manage six weeks. Also severe brain fog had set in by that point & i wasn't sure i'd be able to make the drive back.

It is certain that this is not going to have a quick or easy solution. I was thinking, "He'll just do some testing on me, tell me what foods to avoid, & oh wow! I feel better."

No one can say i'm not an optomist!



Northern Camping said...


I wish you the best of luck with your new Doc! It encouraging to hear that he is at least "open" to natural supplements.

There is nothing worse than being given a course of treatment that is not necessarily something that you are comfortable with!

Enjoy your weekend!

Shaye said...

Kathryn, I'm supposed to be on blog sabbatical, but you signed our birth guestbook and I so wanted to visit you and read more about your story.

I have to agree that the Linky hop thing yesterday didn't really encourages a deeper level of communication. It was the second week I did it. And though I met a handful of new people that I'm looking forward to getting to know better, I also came across hundreds of "just hopping through" posts on everyone's comment section. From what I understand, this hop is really good for people who advertise and are needing to generate more traffic really quickly. That's not what I was in it for, though.

Okay, gotta go make the kids some breakfast, but I'll be back to do some snooping around.



Linda said...

I hear everything you're saying and understand how you must feel. It's so hard being limited to doctors who we know don't take the right approach.
I recently found a new doctor who practices conventional and alternative medicine. I just started a new med for adrenal fatigue along with supplements. I'm pretty hopeful, but wasn't 100% happy with her. We'll see.