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This used to be a blog dedicated to one of my interests, dream interpretation. I have decided to expand it to include thoughts about pretty much Everything.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Boring health report + a stroke of great luck

True story.

I've been trying to decide lately between using my health insurance to go onto an antidepressant or pay money out of pocket for a visit to a naturopathic doctor who has good reports from some friends. I don't really want to go down the route of antidepressants if I don't have to, since the science behind them is so shoddy, and the execution of how they are dispensed is so often flippant.  But there are some people I know who have had some success with them... And I've thought that maybe many of my bizarre symptoms are just depression manifesting itself.  But maybe not.  I have strongly suspected some kind of hormonal issue.  Mainstream doctors have just looked at me with strange, quizzical expressions when I described my symptoms; they seemed completely unsure of what to do.  I'm sure a naturopathic doctor would not do that. But the money!...  Though the doctor I was considering charges quite a lot less than most mainstream doctors, the ability to have it covered by insurance makes things easier with mainstream doctors.  What to do, what to do.

 Last Thursday, after a week of difficult health, something in me just said, "I'm so sick of this. I'm calling the ND right now." It was a strong feeling I couldn't ignore.

When I called, the secretary told me that someone had just canceled an appointment on Friday morning, could I come at such short notice? And I said yes.

So Friday I drove 90 minutes, one way, to visit the ND.

For months I've been convinced that my set of symptoms are a weird medical mystery, since internet searches didn't yield anything helpful, and since I've never heard of other people struggling with exactly these issues.  I figured they must be idosyncratic side effects of depression and my recent bout with anemia.  I can't describe how surprised--and relieved--I was to hear Dr. K tell me that he sees a patient present with symptoms like mine at least twice a week!  And, unlike some of the other doctors I've visited, he was not bothered or confused about my symptoms.  He came up with a hypothesis quickly and calmly, which was very reassuring.

He is guessing that I have adrenal exhaustion and low progesterone as a result of it.  Everything in my story fits.  He took a blood test to make sure (I'm still waiting on the labs to come back), but based on my symptoms, my previous blood work that I brought in, and the health journal I've kept the past few months, he is sure there's a problem with progesterone, which is partially produced in the adrenal glands.  He also wanted to test for testosterone, iron, thyroid, and a few other things I can't remember.

Here's where the story gets a bit surreal.  He was telling me about the hormone test he wanted to order:  In order to test accurately, the woman has to be somewhere between day 16-22 of her cycle.  I pulled out my calendar and counted.  Friday was day 20 of my cycle!  We could do the test and not have to wait a month!  Meanwhile, the doctor gave me an adrenal supplement, which, if I do have adrenal fatigue, will help me, and if I don't, won't hurt me (if I take the low dosage recommended.)  He expects me to see a noticeable difference in energy level within a few days of taking the supplement.

After the visit a feeling of awe struck me as I reflected on the experience.  I realized that if I had called the office any other day, I would have been scheduled for later than Friday, possibly up to a week later, because of the cancellation that happened.  If I hadn't gone in on Friday, we would have missed the window of opportunity to test my hormone levels.  And I may have suffered for another entire month.  What a stroke of luck that I called so shortly after the other person canceled!  What are the chances?

Brushes with things like this provide rare, numinous moments in life.  The feeling that for that one moment, I was, seemingly, guided invisibly to do exactly the right thing at exactly the right time, took my breath away.  It is a moment I cherish.  What does it mean? 

My mind, due to its upbringing, wants to jump to God, (or any other equivalent name that may exist for a Sentient, Transcendent Power that bestows blessings of good fortune or seemingly impossibly lucky moments.)  But of course, this assumption is problematic.  Of course, there are many examples I could point to of when I (and others) seemed to have been "guided invisibly" into terribly wrong, crushing situations.  Or profoundly long periods of time in which I desperately needed some kind of guidance but felt/heard absolutely nothing.  Why does luck come and go?  The "goodness" of any higher power one may (or not) choose to believe in seems to be arbitrary, at best.

But I don't really want to dwell on theodicy right now.  (I have a vaguely formed theory about intuition and psychic phenomena that could provide an alternate explanation for what happened, once I figure out a way to actually word the idea in my head... But set that aside for now, as well.)

I don't know enough about astrology to determine if my hope has some support from the signs in the sky, but here's another possibility--maybe some good transit or progression is changing my luck. I don't know how to find that out, so I have to set that aside for now also.

So what does it mean?  Probably nothing.  Boom.  Bubble popped.

The fact is, we are allowed to create our own meaning from things.  (I am such an existentialist, oh my.)  Objectively I can understand that this experience of luck is probably just coincidence and there's nothing to read into it; while I can also, simultaneously, decide that I want to find subjective meaning in it, because it makes me happy to find meaning in it, and, goddammit, I need some happiness in my life.  I can choose to believe that this means that things are going to get better, and that I'm not being ignored and abandoned by the forces of life, whatever they are, to oblivion and failure.

(Or, says the cynic, maybe this is an isolated event of good luck and my life will continue on how it's been going regardless.)  The Pollyanna in me (whom I can't really get rid of, no matter how cynically I normally operate) wants to think that maybe my years of suffering are finally starting to turn a corner, and I can start being rewarded with some years of relatively good luck instead. 

Yes, this is all bullshit.  Nothing in life is promised.  But I must admit, it is difficult for me to escape a magical mindset.  So I'm letting myself have this moment of happiness.  Lord knows I've had enough unhappy ones.