NOT Normal #1: Searching For Health In Alternative Places

My first NOT normal decision this year is to seek alternative medical advice and help.  I’ve had a number of health challenges over the last five years.  Some have resolved on their own, but most of them have stuck around and gotten worse.  I’ve seen doctors, had tests, had surgeries, taken this medicine and that, tried a few special diets, and really found nothing that helped overcome anything.


Image courtesy of Praisaeng /

Normal doctors haven’t had many answers for me.  No whys or hows or fixes.  About all they have offered are a few band-aides that help me just limp along.  I don’t want to limp.  I want to at least walk, if not run.  I might be getting older, but I see no reason to sign up for nursing care anytime soon.

So, I’m fighting back.  I’m looking under a few rocks and behind some bushes.  There has to be more that can be done than pain meds and repeated surgical procedures.  My body is tired, and my checkbook is tired-er.  I know that’s not a word, but you get the point.

I imagine my quest will continue to change my diet.  Even more real foods and less not-real foods.  Let’s face it, I feel like a blimp after the holidays, so I could stand a little change in my diet to offset all that fun food.  While I have attempted much of this on my own, some of my medical problems are rooted in at least one food sensitivity.  My efforts have not pinpointed the sensitivity, so I’m going to work with a nutritionist who will have a bigger picture than I do.

There are certainly no shortages of diets to try.  Paleo. Vegan. GAPS. Juice. Green smoothies. All of them are probably good for someone, but something in each of them is off-limits for me.  For example, the green smoothies have greens in them, obviously.  My kidneys don’t much like the oxalates in greens.  Vegan sounds so not normal, but it relies on a lot of grain for B vitamins.  I’m pretty sure grains cause an inflammatory response for me.  So, paleo should work, right?  Well, grain-free diets use a lot of alternative flours, like almond.  Guess what almonds are high in.  Oxalates.  Back to square one.

I am a big believer in using vitamin supplements.  Not only can the average person not get the minimum nutrients in our food, she can’t get the extra vitamins and minerals needed to treat any deficiencies.  I opt for whole food supplements.  I don’t believe that synthetic vitamins are ever going to have the same power as food.  God designed our food chain to give us what we need in a variety of ways.  Again, I have tried this one on my own and with some help from a trained specialist.  I have seen some vast improvements, but due to our move and limited finances I have not been able to continue working through the next steps.  I still take the basics, like CoQ10, a multivitamin, and Cod Liver Oil, but I think some targeted vitamins will continue to  help treat at least some of my problems.  So, I plan to find another specialist who lives closer to me and can help in this area.

Finally, I’m looking at more natural medicines.  Essential oils, in particular.  I’ve just started using them seriously in the last three months, and I’ve experienced some significant, to me, improvements.  I’ve mentioned my ongoing kidney problems due to chronic kidney stones.  Probably due to the number of stones I’ve produced and passed, my kidneys are inflamed, and I have been in some degree of discomfort for about six months.  I say discomfort because when I compare it to passing a stone, it’s not the same kind of pain.  Trust me.  About two months ago, I started rubbing a few drops of lemon essential oil over both kidneys a few times a day, and the achy discomfort has almost gone.  Definitely improved.  We have also avoided any major colds or viruses so far this year.  Every time one of us gets a sore throat or runny nose, I rub a few drops of peppermint essential oil on the throat and chest, as well as the bottom of the feet.  The sickie has improved within a day every time.  My husband suffers from chronic digestive issues, and he has found a new best friend in peppermint oil.  We won’t leave home without it.

Those are just a few of our experiences with essential oils, and I’m going to continue experimenting with various oils.  There are no side effects nor real problem with over-dosing.  My only qualm is taking them internally.  Because they are super-concentrated, only ones that are labeled therapeutic and safe to consume should ever be ingested.  There are various resources on the Internet which help make these distinctions and are beyond the scope of my experience to recommend.  I choose Young Living and joined them as a distributor, but there are others.

I’m not adverse to what some call “western medicine,” but my experience over the last five years has left me with questions to its overall effectiveness.  Most of my experience has been to treat the symptoms, not the cause.  In regards to the kidney stones, I don’t believe doctors have a real grasp on what causes them and how to prevent them in people who continually produce them, like me.  Lots of people, mostly men, have one every so often, but I haven’t found much talk about true stone producers, like me.  So, their plan is to just keep monitoring them, crushing them when they get big enough, and supplying me with pain meds.  Only one preventative medication has been recommended, with a list of side effects worse than the kidney stones.  I might end up taking it, but not before I have exhausted all other possibilities.

So, this is my dissertation on my first NOT normal resolution for 2014.   I’m convinced there is more to being healthy than our medical system allows.  So, I am going to look for some real fixes with alternative methods. I promise to share what I find.


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