Last week I had the (mis)fortune of visiting another medical professional in my never-ending quest to find some relief from my tinnitus. You may recall that early this year I visited an internal medicine physician, and then an ENT physician specializing in ear, nose and throat problems. Absolutely nothing came from those visits.
Until the problem goes away or I die first, I am always on the hunt for some kind of solution. Someone told me a few months ago about an “alternative” medicine person who can fix all kinds of problems using natural methods, whatever that means. I was game to try it out.
First thing I noticed when I walked in the waiting room was a large platform machine with handrails that a person stands on, and a large person standing on it. This middle-aged woman was standing there barefoot reading a magazine while the base of the machine was shaking her with the rhythm of a giant vibrator under her feet. I quietly asked at the desk what the machine was for and was told it improves circulation by shaking the crapola out of you, or something like that.
I guess those construction worker guys who use jackhammers in the street have really good circulation.
I waited patiently to be summoned to the exam room. After a few minutes, I was called back by a nutritionist into a room that resembled a food pantry in someone’s home. There were shelves all around the small room, loaded with bottles and containers. This nutritionist lady studied nutrition in college, go figure, and was there to analyze the composition of my body. I thought I was there to have my tinnitus diagnosed and some new treatment prescribed, but that’s not how the appointment went.
So this nutritionist seats me near her by a small desk attached to the front of the shelves on one side of the room, and tells me to take off the shoe and sock of my right foot. Now, I’ve been asked by medical people to take off a lot of clothing over the years, but never half my footwear.
She then hands me this copper rod thing that I’m supposed to hold in my left hand for the duration of the visit, which has a wire running from it to a computer machine thing. She then takes another item attached by a wire to this computer machine thing, with a PROBE on the end of it. Okay, I’ve had medical people do terrible things to me with probes, too, but this was different.
She poked the probe in various places along the fingers of my right hand. And then she probed in like fashion along the TOES OF MY RIGHT FOOT! That’s right, she put my bare foot on her thigh and poked and probed the toes repeatedly.
Had I not been incapacitated with my foot held captive and half of my footwear under the desk, I think I would have left at this point.
All the while she is probing my digits, this computer machine thing is displaying graph after graph. Then, she takes bottle after plastic bottle off the shelves, puts them one by one on a little metal thing on the computer machine thing, and repeats the whole probing process again while looking at the graphs flashing up on the screen. And she continued to hold my bare foot on her thigh.
The remarkable thing was she said she could “test” the pills in the containers against my body chemistry to see if they balanced me in various areas, and she did this without opening the bottles or removing the product. Tested right through the plastic bottles. Remarkable, I guess.
Now, I realize that my body is just a big bag of chemicals, mixed with a lot of water, and stuff can go wrong in that mix. But this hour and a half probing process resulted in a whole host of things wrong with me, from being dehydrated to being allergic to caffeine (say it isn’t so!) to having food stuck in my back molars. Okay, not the food/tooth part. But I got a whole list of stuff wrong with my body and an even longer list of all the products I needed to buy to cure me of my newly-identified ills.
By the end of this process my focus was anywhere but there and I completely forgot to ask about my tinnitus. (Maybe my memory was suffering from dehydration.) I was given my shoe and sock back and ushered to a desk near the front of the office, where all the products that were recommended to cure me were waiting for my purchase.
The appointment itself was about $250 with no hope, of course, of any insurance company reimbursing alternative medicine, and the products all lined up for me would have cost another $75. I opted to buy just the “oxygenated water” bottle for $19 because it was the first and therefore the most important product on the list.
Later, when I got home and regained my senses after having a tall glass of tap water, I read the label on this special “oxygenated water” bottle. It said “purified water” and nothing more in the ingredients. I was tempted to call the thieves, er — I mean the medical people at the office, to ask where the oxygen was in my bottle, but decided I’d had enough of their schtick for one day.
So that $19 bottle of magic water is still sitting in my home office waiting for me to crack it open, like a bottle of rare, expensive wine that you hold on to for a special occasion. I’m not sure what my special occasion will be to open that bottle, but I’m looking forward to it.
Meanwhile, my tinnitus is still the same, my opinion of medical “professionals” is still the same, and I’m still searching for something new that can help.
I just now realized that the machine shaking the woman in the office probably had nothing to do with circulation. It was a shakedown machine — shaking the money out of her pockets.
I will not be going back for a follow-up appointment.