Thursday, May 22, 2008

Why I chose UC- Part 1:

Growing up with a Trust and Fascination with the Human Body

I remember one evening when I was around 10 or so, my father told me that part of our experience and growth on Earth included mastering our bodies- as sort of mind over matter subject. This is part of why we fast, he told me. He then related a story of a man who had so much control over his body he could cause his heart to slow down and beat on command.

I went to bed that night with aspirations swarming in my head. Is it possible to control your heart like that? Maybe I could gain control of my body like that. Yes. I would do that.

I spent the next few nights, with my fingers on my neck measuring my pulse, trying to make my heart beat on command. I couldn't do it: my heart kept on beating to its own drummer, but I was hooked. I wanted to know everything about my body and be able to detect all the subtle details.

My belief that you are the expert on your own body was re-affirmed one Christmas when my dad had a case of appendicitis. He went to the doctor and ER being turned away a few times because he didn't have any of the regular symptoms such as nausea. However, he persisted and
they did remove his appendix later that night because, lo and behold, he was right about his appendicitis.

Later in my life, I had a similar, but not so dire experience. I went into the doctor and said, "I have -----" because I knew I did (well, I had spent the last 10 years of my life trying to regulate my own heart beat- I was quite in tune with myself by this time). They did their tests and came back with a "We're not so sure. We need to test it again." Eventually (after a LONG wait where they forgot me in the examination room) they came back with a, "It is -----. Here you are," and gave me the medicine.

It was a frustrating experience: they didn't trust me to know my body. I'd been in my body for 20 years by that point- I think I'd know when something's up and how to diagnose it. It was demeaning to be told, "You don't know yourself- we know better and we've decided what you have."

That experience, though, was in college. And college was where I learned about UC...

(continued in Part 2)

1 comment:

  1. WHile I disagree with UC. I agree with what you are saying about your body. HCP need to listen more. They also need to trust what the patient is saying. I have had patients who other nurses have said "oh she is just drug seeking' and she did not have any of the usual Signs and symptoms of appendix besides sever pain. And tthe poor girl was pregnant too. Low and behold she had an appendix that needed removing too.

    I also think HCP do not listen to Women more than they listen to Men. Many a woman has died of a heart attack because women present with back pain often instead of chest pain with a heart attack.


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