Desperate Search for Perfect Health

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My relationship with health and fitness (and my desperate search for perfect health) has been a roller coaster.

Doctors and Perfect Health

Throughout my childhood I didn’t care much for healthy eating. I quickly learned to distrust doctors. My main example came from years of silly attempts to diagnose my violent chest pains. They were later discovered to be heart burn due to acid reflux. A half dozen doctors couldn’t figure out that a Tums would have made me feel better!

When I was 18, some friendly roughhousing from a friend, a popping noise, and a painful collapse to the floor would impact the rest of my life. I received a small tear to my ACL. Many years later I would tear the rest of the sucker along with my meniscus, and to this day I walk around with a perpetual fear of my knee giving out on me.

It All Caught Up With Me

My cruddy diet and inactive lifestyle eventually caught up with me, and in my 20s I was diagnosed as pre-Diabetic. And now, here I am. I’m 41 years old. I exercise almost every day of the week. I try to eat healthy almost all the time. And I’ve done my part in trying to get rid of chemicals from my household that are doing who knows what to my system.

And what do I get? Chronic stomach pains. Violent calf pains when I try and run. And what is likely piriformis syndrome, which basically means intense pains in one of my legs as a small inflamed muscle is strangling my sciatic nerve.

Now, my point isn’t to complain. And I certainly don’t want to compare my situation to others, since many people have it far, far worse.

But I can’t help but wonder each and every day when I yank myself out of bed in the morning: Is there a best way to live life? Is there a path I could take that will lead me down a road of less suffering and more success with my health?

Easy Answers and Fairness

I, like everyone else, want easy answers. Yes, I want to be able to drink a special tea twice a day that will give me endless energy, slim out my waist, alleviate aches and pains, and make me sleep like a rock at night.

I, like everyone else, want fairness in health. Why does one person eat whatever he wants, yet never gains a pound and lives comfortably until he’s 100? Why can someone feel like they’re doing everything right, and the results continually equal pain and discomfort?

I, like everyone else, want to be able to quickly and easily find out what exactly is wrong, and to be able to Google a simple solution that will fix the problem in a matter of weeks.

Sadly for me though, this is what I want… but I’m too educated and jaded to still have hope that any of this can happen.

Waking Up In Pain

I’ve been waking up in pain for months now. Go to the doctor, you say. Should I go to the doctors in America who couldn’t figure out to give me an antacid, or the doctor in Israel who messed up my anesthesia so I remained awake and gagging uncontrollably during a simple medical procedure? And which type of doctor should I choose? For what I have, my research has told me that the average sufferer has gone to countless different doctors over the last several years, shelled out ungodly amounts of money, and they’re still waking up wincing in pain every day.

I have chosen a life where health and fitness remain at the core. It is very clear to me that the results of my research and hard work have paid off.

Perfect Health and the Mighty Contradiction

However, I also feel confused all the time. There are constant reports of food items one person says are the answer to all health issues, while another says they will escalate any and all health issues. There are exercises some say will fix problems and others say they are everything from useless to dangerous.

Some foods are fantastic for you. Too much, whatever that amount is, becomes toxic. Exercise is obviously great for you… but do something ever so slightly wrong, and pain or injury ensues. And do just a little too much, whatever that means, and now you’ve overtrained, and the problems begin to exceed the benefits.

Frustration

If you feel frustration in my tone, it’s because I have no idea how to figure out the perfect balance, despite years of searching for it. And no matter what I do, I have trouble falling asleep at night, my stomach hurts all the time, and my legs are so riddled with miscellaneous pains, I don’t even know where to start to put these guys back together again.

Every day of my life I read more and more articles about health and fitness, and the more I read, the less I feel like I’ll ever be able to get a full handle on how to do things “correctly”.

To make matters worse, maybe it’s drastically different for each individual. Perhaps for person A this exercise will cause accelerated fat burn, for person B it will cause vicious pain later requiring physical therapy. Perhaps for person A this food will cause them to have more energy and sleep soundly at night, and for person B it will cause them headaches and constipation. I mean, in a desperate attempt at relaxing shot nerves a few years ago, I decided to heed some age old advice and I took a nice relaxing epsom salt bath. And it worked! That is until I woke up the next day with some allergic reaction with painful bumps covering my entire body.

I work really hard. I have been for quite some time.

All I want is to see the fruits of my labor. And I want to wake up without terrible pains.

And it wouldn’t hurt to be able to find reliable sources for help and advice.

Is this all too much to ask?

 

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2 comments

When one has experienced great disappointment with the medical world, he/she often starts exploring the alternative health field Unfortunately, there too lies a mass of great confusion, contradictory results – and as you said, what works for one, may not work for another. But hopefully, they won’t be quite as harmful in their results. I admire Oriental medicine, which has been around a very long time, and at least, in the Orient, seems successful.

Ah yes, my friend. I would like to offer you a daily full-body massage, but I sold my table, and who has the time anyway? I have good ideas for your piriformis. Maybe I could come to your home and work on it. Other than that, bodies are mysterious things.

My story: About a year and a half ago, my quadriceps “froze up” while jogging. They just got tight and stayed that way until I stopped for a few minutes. Gave up jogging. A short while later, I was hiking the Israel Trail, when my legs started freezing up. Rest a bit. Hike a bit. Freeze a bit. You get the picture. Gave up hiking.

Went to my family doctor. Who sent me for an x-ray, and a circulation doplar. All’s well. Sent to an orthopedist. Might be spinal stenosis. Sends me for CAT scan. I wait 2 weeks waiting for him to call me about results. Turns out I’m supposed to get a CD of the results and bring them to him. I do that. He says spinal stenosis. Physical Therapy and Pain Clinic. I get a second opinion (privately, on my dime). Only surgery will help. I go to start going to accupuncture. Pain clinic doctor can’t figure out why I was sent to him, because I don’t have pain. He tells me this happens all the time. Orthopedists are stupid.

I am seeing an Osteopath, and getting Tui Na massage. I have an appt to see a HOT SHOT orthopedist on – get this- March 19, 2019. Thank you Maccabi. My PT says my spinal stenosis may be clinically insignificant. She is working on restoring flexibility to my spine. If there have been any improvements, they are vague, but I’m enjoying the body work! Next I’m going to try online yoga since the local men’s class has a 65 year old age limit.

I also went to a Naturopath, who convinced me to reduce starchy carbs and sugar, and eat plenty of meat, eggs, and butter. My cholesterol went down from 262 to 210. So much for eggs being deadly. And I lost about 15 pounds. So that was effective, but I still can’t hike.

So, the answer is, “Revere God and observe His commandments! For this is the sum of a man”.

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