The last time I posted, months ago, I’d been feeling optimistic about the latest doctor I was seeing at UCSF. He’d seemed interested and respectful, unlike some of the others. But then his tests came back without an obvious explanation for my abnormal brain MRIs and corresponding increasing debility.
He quickly became disinterested and dismissive. I’ll spare you the details. But it was depressing.
Not long after that awful, demoralizing appointment, I found a little cloth doll at a craft store. My immediate thought was, of course, “Voodoo doll!”
Then, the last time my friend Shirl and I were at our favorite supply shop, Dollhouses, Trains and More in Novato, I found a cute little stethoscope. It fit my voodoo doll perfectly.
One of the things the dismissive doc dismissed was the pain I described that feels like burning pins on the bottoms of my feet. Some days I can barely stand to wear socks. Or, come to think of it, even barely stand. He said it didn’t mean anything.
Empathy is an important quality in a doctor, wouldn’t you agree?
However, in spite of the “experts” at UCSF, I might now actually have a diagnosis.
I visited a dear friend last week. She mentioned she’d recently found an amusing 70s-style tarot deck among her late husband’s things. She was delighted to know that I like tarot cards. “Pull a few!” she suggested.
And this is what I got:
Hey, I said as I turned over the second card, “Those are nightshades! That’s really funny. I can’t eat those. I’m allergic to nightshades.” We looked up the card in the the guidebook that came with the deck. It helpfully explained that people who follow a macrobiotic diet believe these are basically poison, but most people can eat them just fine. (Except for Ellen!, we laughed.)
After that was a card that said, “What’s Happening?”
Then the final card said “I come from a different planet.” Hmmm…. The guidebook explained that my memories were erased at birth, so I don’t remember. But I’m actually a space alien.
I figure it’s as good an explanation as any. Don’t you agree?