Daily Archives: July 9, 2007

Homeopathy versus May (and Cardiff University)

Hello. Sorry. The Brother-in-Law came to stay for a few days. The computer is in the living room, and I find that brothers-in-law and uterivia don’t belong in the same living-room. Hence radio-silence, as May’s girl-parts tried to shuffle below the radar while H carefully used the car-trip to pick BIL up to explain in man-friendly terms that I am going into hospital on Thursday. I have no idea what man-friendly terms were used. I stayed home and lay on the freshly hoovered carpet singing ‘la-la-la’ with my fingers in my ears.

I hate telling people about my innards. I told my mother about the surgery date, wait for it, today. Indeed. It took me four days to get my strength up to the point where I could tell my mother. And then I deliberately chose a time of day when I knew she’d be busy and unable to talk much. And even then she still managed to order me to drink lemon-juice until the day of the procedure to ‘prepare my liver’. Yes. I know. That’s what I thought. Anyway, done that now. Must plan the Telling of the Patriarchal Contingency. Possibly by email. Possibly three weeks after surgery all over.

Anyway. The main point of this post being: Things do coincide with the most elegant timing, sometimes. Allow me to expound.

I have a full complement of medicaments, herbal and homeopathic, from Dr Alternative to be getting on with. To whit:

  1. Hylak – which is, as far as I can remember and/or make out, a form of probiotic, to help my digestion and possibly the heart-burn problem. I take 30 drops in water twice a day before meals. It tastes foul. It did not prevent the return of heart-burn when I came off the PPIs at all, so I went back on PPIs. This one I am going to grill Dr Alternative about most seriously at our next encounter.
  2. Saw Palmetto – in capsules, three a day at breakfast. Saw Palmetto is an anti-androgen. The face-fuzz seems to be diminishing, but then, I am on the pill too, which removes face-fuzz, so this is inconclusive at present. Also, I am still rather afflicted with chin-spots. On the other hand, I haven’t been taking it long.
  3. Fish-oil capsules – again, three a day at breakfast. They only arrived in the post a few days ago, so any comment would be premature, but yes, I approve of fish-oil and flaxseed and Omega 3 on hippy principle.
  4. Homeopathic compound tincture of lycopodium, apis, phaseolus and millefolium – 20 drops twice a day before meals. Tastes strongly of brandy. To treat the ovarian cysts, the heart-burn, the heavy bleeding, the lower abdominal pain and the incipient type II diabetes. As I’m on the pill, again, no idea if it’s helping or not. Am getting a lot of aches and sharp twinges in the area I fondly believe the internal girl-parts to reside. Also, didn’t help with heart burn. Pfft. Again, must remember to point heart-burn saga out very firmly to Dr Alternative.
  5. Adnexitis comp., three drops on the tongue every morning – homeopathic preparation of, wait for it, ready? Braced? of other people’s endometriosis scar tissue. WTF? Do homeopaths hang about hospital incinerators looking for useful bits? Do they wander about looking for hippies in surgery who could reasonably be expected to sign a consent form? What? I mean, what? And yes, I do know it has been diluted and diluted and diluted down to one molecule per fifteen oceans or whatever. Still, Homeopaths are disgusting. And so am I, because I’m still taking it. Also, twingerama could be a ‘proving’ or ‘homeopathic aggravation’, ie the symptoms get a little worse on first taking the correct remedy.

And of course, being firmly stuck into my huge heap of alternativity, guess what headline greeted my eyes on Wednesday morning?

Complementary Therapy Hampers IVF.

Oh fucking wonderful.

Go on, read the article. I’ll wait. See? Women who use complementary therapies are 30% less likely to get pregnant during IVF. The research team in question posit that the herbal remedies themselves could interfere with IVF drugs. Oh, do you mean those lovely drugs that slam your body into total menopause, then kick it repeatedly to get it to wake up dozens of eggs at once and blow your ovaries up like melons? Those drugs that leave you all over bruises, hormonal in a way that makes PMT look very jolly, sore, unable-to-put-your-own-shoes-on bloated? Because, you see, “the women who turned to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) had been trying fertility treatments for longer and reported being more stressed by their fertility problems than the other women in the study.” Is it possible that actually, the fertility treatments are so damn horrible that women who are having to have multiple goes, and are therefore ipso facto more likely to have more severe problems, need a little more help with the whole ‘not kill husband and avoid binge-eating fifteen cream-cakes’ thing?

And then the rest of the article goes on to find a lot of specialists who also think that CAM is a marker of stress and more severe problems, NOT a cause. Except the St John’s Wort thing, and really, who the fuck gives St John’s Wort to a woman trying to concieve? It’s contra-indicated for pregnancy in the first place. In fact, most of the article consists of specialists pointing out all the reasons why the headline is a heap of bollocks, but nevertheless, that is the headline. A fine thing to be slapped across the eyeballs with while downing your first lot of herbal pills of the day.

I call this a fine piece of irresponsible reporting. Use whatever headline is guaranteed to create the most anxiety possible in all infertile women, let alone ones who are actually using CAM. This headline need not have much reference to content of article. Said woman will then be inundated with pig-ignorant assvice on the basis that the BBC said it, so it must be true.

So the only people who know I’m taking CAM are my mother, who made me, and H’s family, who have been using homeopathy since Hahnemann invented it in the 1820s. Because, you see, I’m not even doing IVF.