Friday, March 8, 2013

Naturopath to Nowhere

I finally had my long-awaited appointment with the Naturopath who is also an M.D., which was my next step in my quest for a cancer-free fate. A very nice man in a beautiful, brick-walled office who could do little more than refer me to a Naturopath in Connecticut who works with cancer patients. He said, in general, having had cancer, I should make sure I have mid-to high levels of vitamin D {mine are low even with a supplement}, and take green tea extract and most importantly 30-40g of Melatonin each night as it’s a powerful antioxidant with cancer fighting properties. It makes “some” people sleepy, but I should adjust fairly quickly. I mentioned picking some up at Whole Foods and he said he really didn't trust Whole Foods products and I should get if from a place he recommends that I can click through to from his website.

Only later did it occur to me, that if Whole Foods supplements, which is a large part of what they’re known for, weren’t up to par, we’d have heard about it... it would be scandalous and some intrepid reporter would have broken the story. Fuck! Does that mean he wants me to click through to his place of choice because he has a vested interest, like kickbacks from purchases made through his site? Oh, I hope not, but it does make my usually naive self wonder.

Grocery shopping a week later at, yes, Whole Foods, I remembered the Melatonin but couldn’t remember the recommended dosage, so upon seeing that it comes in either 1g or 3g, I figured the doc had recommended 3-4g, but being cautious, I figured I’d start with one.

I’m a lifelong insomniac. I can take an Ambien and be wide awake... I can take two Ambien and still take awhile to fall asleep and wake up a few times during the night. I took 1g of Melatonin that night and my eyes rolled back in my head and the next thing I know I’m hitting the snooze button for the third time on a school day. Luckily, there was a divine intervention in the form of a cat puking on my bed right next to me which served to knock me out of my coma and drag myself out of bed. Deities are so creative in their methods, an alternative to cat barf, however, to assist my emergence from coma would have been preferred, but I’m not looking the gift cat in the mouth {especially since it just barfed}, it did serve it’s purpose.

Later that day, I looked at the notes the doctor wrote to realize that he had, in fact, told me to take not 3-4g of Melatonin, but 30-40g. What the hell?! If I had taken 30g of Melatonin my kids would have been calling 911 in the morning, there’s no way, I could have woken up from that or functioned for the next month. I’m still groggy and making stupid mistakes, one after another even several days later.

I’m sorry, but it can’t be good to put that much of anything in your body and then it occurred to me that Naturopaths want to drug you as much as regular doctors, they just want to do it with “natural” substances and not pharmaceuticals, but would 30g of Melatonin, or an excessive amount of anything not have their own host of complications?

Maybe you can’t fix the game either way. Maybe I just have to eat healthy, exercise, be happy and live my life as best I can. Maybe there’s no magic bullet or if there is I’d be so large I’d choke on it. Cause of death: magic bullet {while cancer-free}.

A week later, the Naturopath/MD called me regarding the bloodwork he ran, he rechecked my Ferritin level. After my oncologist ruled out hereditary hemochromatosis, he dropped the ball and never mentioned it again and I decided to go into denial about it. “You’re Ferritin level is really high, I want to run an RNA test”, “I already had that test, it’s negative, do you have any idea what would cause my Ferritin to be so high?” and in a perplexed and very human voice he says, “no, but it’s really, really bad.” He had no ideas or suggestions, but offered to research it a bit, but as he had never heard of my type of breast cancer in the first place and if I’d listened to him about the Melatonin, I’d be in a coma instead of having this conversation, I said thanks, but I’ll just go pester my oncologist about it. OK, he said, that’s probably a good idea.

Ever feel like you’re walking in circles?

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