I once went to the doctor and said these exact words, “I am willing to try anything to get better. If you tell me I have to strip naked and run around the streets of Glasgow, I am there!” Fortunately for the sighted people of Glasgow City Centre, this was not a treatment House recommended. Instead he said why not give Homeopathy a try?
Homeopathic medicine is a root many M.E sufferers go down when conventional medicine fails them. Before House even suggested this I went to see a private Homeopathic doctor (or Witch doctor as I preferred to call him). This witch doctor specialised in diet and how what you put in your body effects how your body works. The first time I went to see him I have to say it was a rather positive experience. He explained viruses, M.E and how they affect your body in a way any 21st century girl would understand; through war terminology. “Now Samantha, imagine your body is an American armoured truck patrolling the streets of Baghdad guarding inside ten men. As you continue to make your way through the derbies of the streets bombed by the air patrol the previous night, you fail to see a man run out into your path. This is no ordinary man; this man is a terrorist, a suicide bomber and is ready to detonate the bomb strapped to his chest at any moment. And just as you notice him, he presses the big read button. BANG! Your truck is thrown into the air and with it the ten men inside. The Officer of the patrol thinks there is no possible way all his men survived this attack but he would be wrong, most only had a few cuts and bruises. Once everyone comes around he discovered that the truck still runs but what he didn’t know is that there is extensive damage to the engine and although it may get the team back to the barracks, it will be never be the same again. That suicide bomber was a virus and the broken truck is now your body with M.E.” And yes ladies and gents I totally understood what this man was saying. I don’t know if that fact makes me just as crazy as the Witch Doctor or not, but either way I continued to go back to this man for about 4 months, but as I said before he focused on diet and I had already changed a lot of what goes into my body, making sure I eat only fresh food with nothing artificial at all, well apart from the odd chocolate bar I have now and then. So after 4 months and a hell of a lot of money with no results I stopped going and now whenever I watch BBC news and see any stories about Iraq all I can think of is the Witch Doctor and my very own armoured truck.
As I had already had this experience with a homeopathic doctor when House suggested going and seeing an NHS one I was slightly apprehensive, but as I had said I was willing to run about naked to get better and he explained that this Doctor was about more than just diet, so I thought, why not give it a bash.
My first appointment with this particular doctor was in January 2011, at a health centre I had never been to before. Once I arrived, I quickly realised why, as this health centre seemed to specialise in treating Junkies and alcoholics. I think it may be more probable that the area that the centre was in had a high percentage of alcohol and drug abusers and because of this it had no choice but to specialise in it, but hey that’s Glasgow for you folks, along with being Europe’s friendliest city it’s also a junkie’s paradise. I swear that apart from that it is awesome, I mean we have…like buildings and stuff? Oh and Soaves ice cream! Anyway back to the point in hand. After waiting among some seriously questionable people I was finally called in to meet for the first time, Dr Karl Brandt (yup that’s right I have named him after a Nazi war criminal). My first appointment with him was odd to say the least. When I first entered the room there was period of ten minutes where Dr Brandt never said a word and I just sat there uncomfortably. When he did finally speak, I felt like I had entered some kind of crap movie about Psychiatry were the doctor just continuously asks “And how does that make you feel?” No matter whether you had told him that you had just emptied your bowel in their ill kept public toilet, that you thought aliens were about to invade earth or that you where having chicken Kiev’s for dinner tonight, each question was then followed by a ten minute period of silence whilst he looked through a mountain of books in front of him, before returning to his previous line of questioning. I thought I had an appointment for a homeopathic doctor not a shrink! It made me long for the days of the Witch doctor and his war banter. The last question he asked was not “So how do you feel about this appointment” which I was gutted about as trust me, I had a few choice words to say about that. In fact it was “How do you like your eggs?” My Eggs? What the hell has that got to do with anything? If I like them fried, does that mean that there was a likely hood that I might one day decide to become a man and get a penis moulded from the skin on my stomach? Let’s face it, it’s not like I would have to change my name. But as I had already sat through almost an hour of this I decided to just answer the question, “I like them mashed up in a cup with a little bit of butter”. From the look on Dr Brandt’s face, I imagine he had never actually had that answer before. He then continued to look through some more books for another 10 minutes before finally writing me a prescription for something called Picric Acid, with the instructions of placing it under my tongue for 30 minutes once a day for three days and during those three days not brushing my teeth as the mint in the toothpaste can sometimes react with whatever the hell it was that this guy had given me. Had this man never heard of tooth decay? There was no way on earth that I was going three days without brushing my teeth, that’s disgusting. If I go 12 hours without brushing my teeth I feel revolting, never mind three days. I was willing to risk this odd reaction that could take place and I have to say apart from the fact that my tongue now glows in the dark, everything was fine. I took my prescription, followed his instructions and was told to return in a couple of months.
When I returned in May it was four months after leaving the hospital and I was walking very poorly with the use of two sticks. When I entered the room yet again there was a ten minute period of silence while Dr Brandt looked through one of his many books that I imagine were on the subject of how to cook the perfect egg. This was then followed by his first and only question, “So Miss McInnes, are you feeling better since the last time I saw you?” to which I replied, “Well considering the last time I saw you I walked in here unaided and now I am struggling to get through the door with two sticks, I think it’s safe to conclude that the answer is no.” At this he looked up, came and stood beside me, told me to stand up and then went back behind his desk, sat down and continued to go through one of his many books. After this he wrote me yet another prescription of some random acid that reacts to toothpaste and sent me on my way.
Not long after this appointment, I had my first ever support group, during which I was discussing going to see Dr Brandt. At this Lauren Becall, a woman who is now a regular at the group, told me that she had also been to see this particular Homeopathic doctor, who prescribed her the exact same thing. Concerned with what she was taking she left the health centre and went home and Googled Picric acid. To her horror she discovered this was actually an ingredient commonly found in explosives! Explosives??? What the hell? How is turning my mouth into a bomb going to help my M.E? I have heard a lot of crazy things about how you can cure your M.E but this took it to a whole new level. Not only that but I had kept it right next to my toaster. Could you imagine Demi one morning putting her toast in and getting her face blown off? No way was I going back to see Dr Brandt again, god knows what I would be given next, perhaps C-4. My relationship with Homeopathic medicine was over.
Now I in no way judge people who go down this road who have M.E. After all, if I hadn’t changed my diet myself, then I am sure I would have found the Witch Doctor very helpful and just because it didn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t work for someone else, but I beg of you please be vigilant. I have heard one to many stories of people who have had there money taken by someone claiming to be able to help and then ended up no better and a couple of hundred pounds down. I understand that you want to get better, I almost ran around naked to get better, but there are also people out there who want to make a quick buck from vulnerable people desperate to feel “normal” again.
And if you have tried something and found it beneficial, good for you, why not tell us about by leaving a comment below.
*Please note all the names of people in my blog have been changed to their celebrity or fictional character counter part to protect their identity. Under no circumstances should this be a reflection of the named celebrity or fictional character.
Title taken from the saying “How do you like em eggs?”
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