Sep. 14th, 2010

zeppomarks: (Default)
I want to say up front that I have a healthy respect for doctors, even ones that seem stupid because they finished medical school and I got thrown out of college after two semesters for a poor GPA and a bad attitude. That being said, I do not take everything they say as gospel. I read articles about what they tell me and research medicine that they prescribe and try and make as informed decisions as I am able.
It is tricky thing to take the advice of someone who has knowledge and experience beyond yours and say, "I don't think what you are telling me is right," and yet here I am.

Paul and I have currently come to a critical point in his care. He has been medicated heavily for over eight years of his life now for chronic debilitating depression. The medicine has made him gain weight, his hands shake, he has constant insomnia, migraines and the build up of chemicals has begun to break down his liver. There other choice side effects that I wont mention here, but they are unpleasant. He takes pills because the alternative is him being functionless to the point of coma or eating the barrel of a gun.
He takes them because no other options were given to us.

And so now he has been informed that his depression is "med-resistant" which we suspected about five years ago. The option now being dangled in front of us is electroshock therapy.
We researched it thoroughly and to be frank - it scares the bejesus out of both of us.
After preening through the driest of medical journals, mind-numbing statistics and ghastly new age hippie sites, we found an alternative that seems oddly appropriate and at the same time utterly insane.

In a few months we are flying to Iquitos, Peru and taking the Ayahuasca.
And so I, a person with a fair amount of common sense and a reasonable amount of intelligence is leaving her husband's care to a shirtless Shaman deep in the Amazonian jungle who will blow smoke in our faces and sing after we drink a horrible brown liquid, begin to hallucinate and vomit furiously into a bucket courteously provided.
I am honestly terrified at the prospect but it scares me less than doctors anesthetizing Paul on a table and shocking his brain until he has a seizure. The main side effect is memory loss which they claim often returns in a month or so.
The only reasonable argument I have under my belt for doing this batshit crazy thing is the oldest medicine of the many Paul has been taking is less than twenty years old, they make him sick and uncomfortable, are killing him in incremental amounts and he is STILL depressed.
The Aayhuasca ritual is hundreds and hundreds of years old, there is some research backing up relief from depressive symptoms and there is no record I could find of anyone ever dying from taking it.

A homeless guy who lived under a bridge once told me once that at the crossroads of insanity and desperation is the bar where the devil drinks. Clearly he had been to that bar and I feel strangely as if I have just pulled up a stool and asked for the "special."

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zeppomarks

February 2011

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