First, music and antidepressants: I took antidepressants every day for twenty-six years. During that time all I listened to was country and western music. Kenny Rogers called it “the white man’s blues” and I listened to the words. After I stopped taking antidepressants, I started listening to classical music, then jazz. On antidepressants, all I could hear were the words. Off antidepressants, I could hear the music.
Second, I have recovered from celiac disease, which is something you’re not supposed to be able to do. Celiac is an autoimmune disease in which the villi in the gut lay down and go “glug” when confronted by the gluten protein. (This would probably not be the official medical rendition of the disease.) Food starts sliding through the gut without nutrients being sucked into the system. It causes diarrhea and, at worst, malnutrition. Gluten is in wheat, oats, rye, graham, etc.
Celiac disease is considered to be irreversible. If you’ve got it, then you’ve got it for a lifetime and the only treatment is to stop eating everything that has gluten in it. I was diagnosed with celiac more than ten years ago based on the fancy bloodwork for immune system problems. I lived on a gluten-free diet for many years. Whenever I would backslide and start eating wheat products—tuna subs being one particular weakness—I would start to get diarrhea again, nevertheless, periodically I would check back to see how my body was reacting to gluten.
This year I have become nonreactive to gluten products. I can eat anything I want to, including but not limited to pizza, Jewish rye bread, and wheat crackers. How is this possible? I took antidepressants and all other drugs prescribed by doctors every day for twenty-six years. They busted out my immune system. The immune system’s first job is to screen for what’s alien that’s entering the body, and the crap that comes out of pharmaceutical companies is as alien as it gets. Take drugs and die from immune system failure.
I stopped taking drugs in 2001 and—after only a decade—my immune system has recovered to the point where I no longer have celiac disease. I have been watching my immune system recover these many years. I am still hyper-reactive, but not nearly so much as I was when I first stopped drugging. At that time, I couldn’t tolerate mascara, nail polish, earrings, tomatoes, aspirin, dogs, cats, birds or much of anything else.
A decade of healthy diet and not taking drugs has let my immune system recover to the point where I no longer have celiac disease. Stick that one in your doctor’s ear and listen to him deny the possibility that it’s true. Then he’ll write you a prescription for a psychiatric medicine because clearly you are not in your right mind if you believe a woman got sick and then recovered by not going to doctors or taking drugs.
Third, what’s with young people—and by “young” I mean everybody under forty-five—not knowing where flour comes from? I cannot tell you how many people, during my celiac years, said, “Oh, this isn’t wheat bread; it’s white bread.” Exactly where do they think white bread comes from?
Listen carefully, dorkheads: White bread is made from white flour. Flour comes from wheat. Whole wheat bread is made from whole wheat flour. Flour comes from wheat. Wheat is a grain. Whole wheat still has most of the kernel left in. That’s why it is called whole wheat. White flour has the outer hull of the kernel milled off. Most of the protein in wheat is contained in the hull, therefore, by grinding off the hull of the kernel and only eating the remainder, you are throwing away the most of the protein and keeping the starch. (See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flour#Degermed_and_heat_processed_flour and http://www.namamillers.org/ci_products_wheat.html)
Fourth, HIPAA is a bad joke. There is no such thing as medical confidentiality. When doctors first were stuck with developing HIPAA forms, one of my doctors gave me the long form and asked me to look over it and comment. This was not the short form that you get in your doctor’s office; this was the long form that the government sent to the doctors. It had category after category stating what things could not be shared but every category ended with some variation of ‘except if the doctor wants to.’ Everything is confidential except when it’s not.
I very briefly went to a very, very bad doctor. (He was so stupid that he couldn’t get into medical school so he went to osteopathic school.) He said dreadfully wrong things about me so I moved on to a new doctor. When I signed the release for the osteopath’s records, I very deliberately checked only “test results” and did not authorize him to transfer his notes (i.e., personal opinion) about me.
I had seen the new doctor once before I signed the release. The second time the new doctor walked into the room, I knew instantly that the first doctor had unloaded all his crap about me to the new doctor; my new doctor’s attitude toward me had changed completely. This is why “information sharing” by doctors about patients via the Internet is so appalling. There are bad doctors who say things that are not in the best interests of the patient and with doctors all linked by Internet, patients have absolutely no control of, or knowledge about, what wrong things doctor are passing around about them.
Fifth, this weekend I went to a cantata where a young girl sang a song that she attributed to Justin Bieber. In fact, the song had been corrupted so the chorus was “Jesus, under the mistletoe with you.” Is that totally creepy or what? It’s a hands-downer winner of the Worst Christmas Song of the Year award. My favorites for good songs: O Holy Night, and Grandma Got Run Over by the Reindeer. Just getting’ in the spirit, folks.