I have been sick for nearly six weeks, there’s something wrong with my stomach. I’ve been to three different doctors, had seven tests done, each with different supervisors and doctors and nurses. I am nauseous, if I eat to much it won’t stay down, and my stomach and intestines hurt. I have lost 20lbs (and part of my brain is all “huzzah” but I’m so tired, it’s not a very enthusiastic “huzzah”).
It’s like overnight my guts mutinied and I can’t get them back under my control. And, while my doctors have diligently tried to give me things to help, they’ve either not worked or had side-effects so bad that I’ve been unable to take them long enough to see if they worked. The thing about an upset stomach is that you can still work, you’ll be grouchy and very tired, but you’re awake. The thing about working when you’ve been knocked out by a drug is that you can’t.
So, of course, when people find out you’re not feeling well they 1. have a cousin/brother/aunt who had the same thing and it turned out to be celiac/stomach acid/cancer and 2. you should try acupuncture/unproven diet/homeopathy, it really worked for my friend/loved one/family member.
And when you’ve felt like crap for six weeks, you’re pretty much willing to try anything to feel better. Even I, skeptic extraordinaire (I guess) am tempted to do things I know are useless. I sit here and think, “Well, maybe the placebo effect will help even if nothing else does.” It’s nutty, I know it’s nutty, and yet I am so miserably sick and there seems to be no explanation or cure forthcoming, it’s hard to say no to something that might possibly work, even through magical thinking.
Here are otters, they make things ever so slightly better.
Fantastic, if depressing, write up from a young man diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and the animosity he faced from a forum of fellow sufferers. Why did they hate him so? Because he dared to say that the FDA didn’t approve of drinking industrial bleach.
I think the worst thing about alternative (aka shitty) medicine is that it preys on people who are already suffering, many of them suffering from something that they’ll have to deal with for the rest of their lives. Not only does fake medicine not treat their conditions, it can make them worse, make them sick for other reasons, and apparently make them too insane to accept that drinking industrial strength bleach is not healthy.
As someone who has chronic conditions, I cannot tell you how often I have to tell people to fuck off with their advice that I get stabbed with needles, drink magic water, or eat untested chemical shit. Seriously. I have to concentrate not to go Hulk, because it’s just absurd.
Well Meaning Idiot: Oh, you’ve been suffering from [x] for years and are treating it imperfectly with expensive conventional medicine, well, I sometimes have headaches, and [insert woo here] works so well for me.
Me: I think masturbation has more scientifically proven beneficial effects, and it’s free. Maybe stabbing myself repeatedly in the face will make me feel better. Is there a cure for dealing with stupid people?
Well Meaning Idiot: St. John’s Wort?