Seasonal Confessions: Do You Believe in the Great Punkin?

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

I think a lot of it boils down to environmental illness. Very few docs are trained in this area. So young or old or in-between, if the cause is some sort of toxic burden, the root cause probably won't be diagnosed.

If instead of the usual CBC & lipid panels, we routinely ran labs for PBDEs, bisphenol-A, heavy metals, fluoride, dioxins ... say, the 30 most common toxins people get exposed to, then I think medicine would get somewhere.

I read a paper on a 4-year-old who has Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. That is a condition that usually takes until adulthood to develop. But 12% of the US population is moderately affected by it (including me), and 3.5% severely affected. That makes it more common than diabetes. There is a fast-growing need for safe, chemical-free housing for these people.

PJ, that is extremely encouraging that you don't have many hypo symptoms. Because if your metabolism is in good working order, it's much much easier to heal from anything. It could end up being a simple matter of detox diets, liver cleanses, and that sort of approach. Don't despair, Birdlet!

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I asked my oncologist and my neurologist if liver cleanses worked and they said emphatically, no. I know lots of people who are always doing cleanses, but I have never seen any studies saying they are helpful. Do you know of some?
I do think I am in reasonably good shape in spite of the pain, but I am disturbed that the doctors don't seem to be getting anywhere with it and don't see it as a high priority.

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

I am dreading diabetic neuropathy. so far I have been blessed not.to have it. howdid it start paj? tickling or just pain?

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Wow, I hauled 10 wheelbarrows full of decomposed granite today before I ran out of spoons! (Spoons were discussed on another thread.) Time to celebrate and eat lots of chocolate and take it real easy.

PJ, I haven't searched for studies on the effectiveness of liver cleanses. But I would ask the neurologist whether Aspartame (or MSG) is harmful to your brain, and if he doesn't know anything about that, I think you can assume he is ignorant of many basic things about brain health. And likely to be more ignorant about general health.

I have experience with one type of liver cleanse only. A Naturopath in Quebec had me do the carrot/apple juice fast followed by the gross business of swallowing olive oil with lemon juice and a few other goodies in it. You'll find "recipes" all over the Web for this type of cleanse. I had the predicted stuff happen in the bathroom (that's the most delicate way I can describe it). Well, interestingly, for two years my digestive health and other things were much improved. I have always wondered whether the liver cleanse did that, or something else.

So if I screw up my courage and try it again, I'll let you know. It's tough to know whether my body can handle it right now, due to reactive hypoglycemia.

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

chocolate replenishes spoons. ;-p
not really, but it sure tastes good.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Chocolate is a very important food group IMPO.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Sof, as I understand it, being diabetic doesn't guarantee neuropathy. Being an uncontrolled diabetic doesn't even guarantee it, but it makes it more likely. And I am not even diabetic. I am pretty careful about my diet, too, carb wise. Just in case. It is probably better to avoid empty carbs whether one is diabetic or not.
How did it start? It has been creeping up on me for years -- approximately 10. I noticed that my feet felt tingly and burning from time to time. When my doc noticed that my triglycerides were high, I read that exercise and fish oil were the only things that would lower it, so increased my exercise -- especially on the treadmill and I added the eliptical. Within a few days my feet and legs started to burn like crazy. I went to a podiatrist. I had the beginnings of a bunion so I thought maybe that was the problem. He said my bunion was not big enough to cause the problems I was having and that he could tell I had neuropathy because my toes were in a position that would hurt like heck if they weren't partially numb. After that I began the search for a cure. I have been to several doctors and the only thing they have done for me so far is take mri's do nerve conduction tests on my arms, and prescribe gabapentin. It works, but not for long enough to give me a good night's sleep.
Picante, glad to hear an honest description of a cleanse. I have suspected that was what it was all about. I would do it, if I was reasonably sure it would work. I would just like more than anecdotal evidence, but who knows if such evidence exists. Will give my neurologist the test question. We will see if he passes. BTW, I don't use aspartme and even got my DH to quit using it. He now drinks his coffee black -- quite happily I might add.
Anyhow, good luck Sof. I think the treadmill and eliptical may have caused my problems. My neurologist has neuropathy, too, and he used to be a marathon runner. He doesn't know what caused his either but my acupuncturist says he got it because of all the pounding in marathon running. Who knows? Would love to see medical research focus more on neuropathy. I know a fair number of people who have it.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Okay, forgive me please, for interrupting this rather serious discussion with a pumpkin message.

I just happened across this link. Not the Great Punkin, but definitely a whole slew of Lesser Punkins. Tiny in fact. Teeny tiny. And all made into jack 'o' lanterns:

http://haunteddimensions.blogspot.com/2009/01/putka-pod-possibilities.html

just for your amusement...... could not resist sharing, since this thread was here and handy and all......

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Those are amazing! I would probably get blood on mine if I attempted to make any.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Never heard of pooka pods but the little pumpkins are adorable.

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

Those are truly great pumpkins!

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Doctors don't seem to be trained in diagnosis any more, and they are frequently discouraged from pursuing it in their practice. They seem to be train to throw pills at you depending on a match on symptoms. I think this is a large part of the reason alternative medicine is making ground. To many people don't match the lists and get tired of it after the 13th medication that messes up their health even more.

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

LOVE the teeny tiny pumpkins!

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

DwiD I so agree, I stay away from them, many have good hearts but from what I have seen (with both parents long treatments in their aging years etc etc) -- well, they are sure not your old fashioned doc with the black bag, the pharmaceutical companies swarm all over them and it is pretty hard for a doc not to fall for at least some of that.... I could go on and on and won't. ;-)

Picante, yes, the blood would be a very nice macabre touch! I am sure some of this guy's had blood spillage involved too, but he didn't put those pictures in, it would look unprofessional probably, a carver showing his blood....... hee hee

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Ahhhhh those teensyweensy punkins are sooo cutieputootie.

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

It is very fortunate to have a medical career when visitng my Internist because I have to push the envelope to get the diagnosis, alternative protocol, and treatment options. I rarely choose medications knowing the problems, especially when immune system is involved, knowing it is better than meds. I often do use preventative medications with the issues of diabetes long term. Diagnonsis is imperitive in my job to train people how to best assist in health for the patient who doesn't talk.

Santa Fe, NM

Cute, cute pumpkins, Kyla! I was told by a nurse practitioner that it is standard western medical procedure to wait until a person has 3 doctor visits complaining about the same problem before any diagnosis other than " take tylenol and wait 3 days " is attempted. The problem with that is inconsistency of care. Lots of insurance systems have people seeing different doctors or nurse practitioners every visit. Where I live, doctors tend to come and go very quickly. Mainly because our schools are so bad they don't want to have their children growing up here. There are a few bold doctors who actually like to diagnose rather than to just treat symptoms but they are a minority.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

The best care here is had at the UNM hospital where the students are. Shouldn't be that the people just coming into practice are the best but they are - and mainly because they make the effort.

Santa Fe, NM

Yes, teaching hospitals are often very good. Doctors also like to have continuing education for themselves. I don't think most western medical doctors are uncaring, stupid jerks. They have to work in a dysfunctional system and I think many are motivated by more than making money.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

They are stuck working for insurance carriers. I've encountered several that seem glad for an excuse to step outside of their normal limitations to provide actual care. Its really quite sad what we do to ourselves.

Santa Fe, NM

I may have mentioned before that one of my brothers is an administrator for social services concerning healthcare ( not in New Mexico ) for people getting government assistance. He has found that quite a few doctors who will not take medicaid patients Will see a patient and waive or reduce fees if they do not have to file the medicaid claims. My brother has been able to get much needed medical care for some clients in that way. Doctors are sick to death of doing paper work or having to hire specialists to do it for them. My brother found it interesting that these doctors would work for charity before they would work with the government. He found this to be true both before and after our most recent presidential election.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I don't have many complaints about my doctors -- I have selected them very carefully. I do have complaints about the length of time it takes to get in to see them. The secret is out of the bag and everyone wants to see these doctors and they can only see so many patients. I like the doctors at UNM hospital as well, but they are no easier to get in to see than the ones that are good here in Los Alamos and Santa Fe. The problem is that there just aren't enough good doctors around.
We have a number of flakes who are easy enough to get in to see. One just got arrested for prescribing too many pain pills -- way too many. We knew that -- in this small town. Friends had gone and come home amazed at the amount of pain medication they were given. It was the pharmacists who eventually turned him in. Just, think, if Rush Limbaugh had lived in Los Alamos, he could have easily gotten prescription drugs.
I blame the lack of good doctors on the fact that it is so hard to get in to Medical School -- many qualified applicants are turned away and doctors graduate with so much debt that they are driven to go into specialties rather than general practice. So we don't have enough good general practitioners around. But I haven't found it any easier to get in to see specialists. Personally, I think more spaces should be made available in Med School and the government should forgive the student loans of doctors going into general practice.
Roybird, I had heard that about medicaid. Apparently, medicaid is not funded to the level that medicare is, so doctors get reimbursed less for treating the poor. Pretty sad state of affairs if you ask me.
Perhaps things are beginning to change. I am ready.

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

Paj - Out of curiosity, and you can pass on answering if I'm being too forward about this, I'm wondering who you see for acupuncture in NM.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Change. I would like to see that too. Some days I think it just takes us being more involved in the process. Other days I think its going to take 5 million of us with machetes to inspire a real shift in the status quo.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Jude,
My acupuncturist in Santa Fe is Fiquet Duckworth. She was highly recommended by a good friend. Do you know her?

dparsons,
I love the analagy of 5 million of us with machetes. I think that is what is needed. I am going to buy a machete next time I am in Santa Fe! I knew I wasn't doing enough to bring about change.

Santa Fe, NM

Jude, I loved the acupuncturist I used to see. Her name is Barbara Higgins. And she took my insurance! Many people here like Dr. Zhow, not sure on my spelling, who is Chinese, eccentric and quite expensive. John Ross is another acupuncturist here that I like. I know him best from tai chi studies and workshops. You can hardly take a step without tripping over some sort of practitioner here so it is best to be careful and to see how you connect.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I like mine real well. She takes my insurance, also. So I just pay my co-pay and nothing more. Don't know Dr. Zhow, but we have a Chinese DOM here in Los Alamos. She is very popular but my Dr's PA says she forgets you in the treatment room and leaves you there for a long time. Mine has been known to do that as well. Wonder if there are better ones, preferably in Los Alamos. Driving 40 miles for acupuncture gets old.

Santa Fe, NM

Barbara never left me for a very long time. But I wouldn't have cared if she had because I was always so comfortable. I hope you can find a good acupuncturist in Los Alamos, Paja. I would be stressed by all the driving, too.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Maybe I will look around. Actually, I am really hoping to get a doctor to prescribe something so I can sleep at night. I probably should have gone to the doctor who was giving out pain pills by the quart before he got arrested.

Santa Fe, NM

There you go! If pain pills really stopped pain we'd all be on them. In reality too many pain pills lead to more pain. Or death. Isn't that odd?

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

I would definitely go see someone named Duckworth. I bet she's fabulous.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I really like her. We have great conversations. She puts flaming needles in my back, then needles which she hooks up to a stimulus machine. It feels good. But I still am not sleeping at night. I am hoping something can be done. At this point I would take pain pills if offered. Or sleeping pills. Anything.
Probably not surprising, when I was at the farm I slept very well after the first two nights. There is just so much going on here. I too have MIL problems.

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Have we discussed melatonin yet? A wonderful sleep aid for my particular health scenario. Maybe it wouldn't do much in a case where pain is the main factor, though. Although if you aren't sleeping, you aren't making much melatonin, and would then be deficient.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I guess I could try melatonin. I tried it years ago for jet lag and couldn't tell that it helped. It certainly doesn't hurt though -- what harm? As they say about chicken soup.

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

It took me a few tries to get the dose just right. Half a tablet was too little, although it helped. A whole tablet was too much-- I was tired in the morning. 3/4 tab is just right. (Those are 3 mg tabs.)

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

Paj - I do not know Fiquet Duckworth. Talk to her about your insomnia - she may be able to give you some herbal medicine to help. Not nearly as strong as sleeping pills, but can really help in the long run (unlike sleeping pills). Also - if you want to find someone closer to you, let me know. I'll ask around to see if anyone I know knows anyone in your neck of the woods to hel with your particular problem. Email me - judy at QingTingAcupuncture dot com so you can tell me what you're being treated for and your zip code (to help find someone most local).

Roybird - I recognize Barbara Higgins' name. I may have met her at a conference. I don't know Dr. Zhow.

Reno, NV

Sending much magical feel betters to all of you. I have to say I think the piece by piece approch to paying Drs can only incourage bad treatment. Most of the time I feel like Dr's are trying to get done as fast as they can so they can get more people thru in a day. I miss the Docs and Student Docs at UNLV. Best medical care I've had.

Pajaritomt- I love that! Selling houses to excons, could be a market there:). I work in a residental womens drug treatment. Most of our women come from jail, prison, or the streets. We catch all the nasty bugs that run around.

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

It's the insurance industry. They pay out so little to begin with, then reduce the amount they pay each year, while making it more and more difficult to get paid (requiring extra and/or more skilled/expensive billing personnel) so that the docs have to run many, many patients thru each day just to keep up with operating costs. It's one reason I refuse to bill insurance directly. That and most people around here don't have policy coverage for acupuncture anyway.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Melatonin works well. I will take one when I travel sometimes - particularly if I'm getting in late and have to give a presentation in the morning. 3 mg puts me out. 1.5 is fine as an assistance but doen't do it on its own if I'm up because I'm stressed.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Okay. I will try the melatonin again. I know it can't hurt -- once heard that at a lecture on melatonin when its value first started to be discovered. The researcher said that they had never found an amount that could cause harm, no matter how much they gave.
I will also ask the my acupuncturist for herbs. I am already taking something she gave me as -- I think a muscle relaxant. Frankly, it smells lovely but I don't notice any effect from it.
Yes, my second main problem with my docs is not being able to spend enough time with them to get all my questions answered. Then it's two months before I can get in again. I don't think this is the fault of my docs, but of the insurance companies as you say, Jude.
I confess, I am out to get the insurance companies -- wait, where is the confessions thread? And I have really good health insurance -- imagine what it is like for people who have lousy health insurance or none at all.

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