Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mirages and Illusions

What a month.

I am once again reminded how it is that I seem to live (and not alone!) in a parallel universe of some sort.  I am not a science fiction fan, in any sense, but there are times when The Matrix seems like a serious possibility.

As a Catholic Christian, I am reminded that God is the God of all that is "seen and unseen", or more accurately translated "visible and invisible".  I am SO glad He's in charge.  I have trouble enough with what I can see...nevermind what is visible or worse, INvisible...

Since my son's diagnosis, and beginning to work with that information, my husband has had another heart attack.  He's had at least three, by professional estimates, but this one he noticed, and it has resulted in stent #2 being placed.

So that's good.  He's feeling well.

Me, being me, wants to figure this all out.  A good friend, who is a 'dog person', said I have a terrier brain.  I get an idea, thought, or bit of information and carry it and shake it around until it is all exposed (think of a stuffed animal shaken around until all the stuffing is out!).  Just as I've been investigating to find out what is making me ill, I am now trying to figure out how to help my ill husband...sometimes whether he wants help or not.  But at least with him, we KNOW by symptoms why he's sick.  He's diabetic and has high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

But how to proceed?

I am rapidly finding out that what applies to my situation also applies to his different situation.  Being hypothyroid, I have discovered that many things on which the medical profession depends, such as lab tests, are not necessarily dependable. 

My first clue was what they were feeding my husband while he was in hospital.  His most obvious problem, other than chest pain which came and went, was high blood sugar.  It was high and it was stubborn.  He was to be receiving a 'diabetic diet'.  One morning, his entire breakfast, save a small piece of cheese, consisted of grain products.  Of course, husband's blood sugar did not come down quickly.  One afternoon when I was at the hospital, they brought him in a snack.  A "Rice Krispie" square.

Surely someone knows that a high carbohydrate diet will not help a diabetic to get his blood glucose in order?  If what my husband was being fed was a 'low' carb diet, then I'd hate to see a high one.

I do my research from the internet.  That can certainly be risky, as you can't just assume what you are reading has good information to back it up.  I try to be careful and stick to sites that are well documented.  There are many.

So here are my illusions...the illusion of authority.  We are told that we can rely on doctors for health.  But it doesn't take a long time spent reading to realize that often what we're being told by our doctors is not what many other researchers are finding.  Experts do not always agree with each other.  And what works for one person may not work as well for another anyway.

One need only look at the changes over the years in the Canada Food Guide, to realize the experts don't really know all that much.  They can be as subject to fad as the rest of us.

Then, there's the illusion of accuracy.  "Everyone" knows that a high salt diet will aggravate or even cause high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries and other problems.  But what if what "everyone", including your doctor, knows isn't quite true?  I have been finding out that much of what we know is simply not true.  As far as salt goes, the connection with high BP is not as cut-and-dried as we have been led to believe.  And if we exchange table salt with unrefined sea salt, the connection is further reduced.  Dr. Brownstein has written an entire book called "Salt Your Way to Health".

A similar illusion exists with regards to cholesterol and saturated fats in our diets.

Sometimes I feel like the ground is moving under my feet.  Is what I read real, or some manipulation of truth?  While I am certain our doctors want to do what is best for us, can I be certain they aren't being misled?  Is that health up there?  Or is that a mirage?

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