30 November, 2008

Better Living Through Chemistry

Despite my natural and simplistic approach to life, I have a pretty progressive attitude toward modern technology. I don't really care about having the newest gadget on the market (being a fan of the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" motto), but from a philosophical standpoint, I embrace technology as the power of man, and I fully support the idea of "playing god". My feeling is, there is no god, so we might as well play him, because nobody else will. Hence I am, in general, sympathetic toward the transhumanist agenda.

However, when it comes to introducing foreign chemicals into my body, I'm very reluctant. I never do any drugs, and I absolutely hate taking medicine. It doesn't make a lot of sense - if I'm sick and in agony, and imbibing a certain chemical compound has a high chance of making me feel better, my course of action should be obvious. Yet I'm still reluctant.

From a holistic perspective, one might choose to argue that the human body is well prepared to deal with various sicknesses on its own, without modern medicinal assistance, and that otherwise, we wouldn't have survived this long. Well, I also think there's plenty of evidence to the contrary. Even personally, I have had more than my own share of evidence that the human body is not equipped all that adequately to deal with even the mundane sicknesses of the world. Being sick for months, with or without medicinal aid, is not an unfamiliar experience for me.

In fact, recently, I've started wondering if maybe I have a deficiency in my immune system (which certainly doesn't seem to be very immune). God forbid I should find out that I have AIDS and just never realized it. I remember narrowly avoiding talking to a doctor about a particular extended sickness back when I was a wee lad. I spent a whole week out of school (which is almost certainly my record), but ultimately, my reasoning for not going back was more psychological than physical. So I sucked it up and went back to school rather than see the doctor. I really wish I had seen that doctor, though, for the psychological problem moreso than any physical problem I might have/had. Course, confronting my problems has never been my strong suit.

Around the time of my senior year in high school, I was taking DayQuil regularly. It's fucking ridiculous to think of it now - I had to take DayQuil daily just to feel normal. I wasn't addicted to it, I just needed to have it because without it, I would not have had the constitution to face the unending stresses of school life. I could have quit at any time, there just wasn't any logical reason to.

In my senior year of college, I stopped taking DayQuil. Heh, I don't mean to suggest that I continued taking it nonstop for those four years. I would take it off and on as my condition dictated. But I remember taking it regularly to stave off some sort of cold that year. And it got to the point where, even taking the stuff, I didn't feel any better. It was just as bad. I still couldn't get to sleep at night through the coughing. So I just quit taking it. I figured, if it's not helping, then I might as well get rid of it.

These past couple years, I've been living a sedentary lifestyle, which has allowed me plenty of time to sleep, even more time to rest, and very limited contact with other human beings (and their oh so horrible germs). And yet, I haven't stopped coughing for the past two and a half months or so. I frequently tell myself (I actually say this, I don't just think it), in a firm voice, "Stop it. Stop coughing. Just stop." Course, it never works.

I could take medicine, but what's the point? If I had to go out somewhere and do something important, yeah, then I'd try to take something to ease the agony. But if I'm just laying around anyway, I'd rather not pollute my system with foreign chemicals. Seriously, I am strongly against the idea that I should have to constantly take a specific substance just to be normal, just to be me, just to be.

On the other hand, if you think about it, food is kind of the same way. Although there's the option of variety, the fact is, you have to keep taking food in order to survive and maintain energy. So medicine shouldn't be such a big deal, right? Well, when they start making medicine in the form of little chewable chocolates (that actually taste like real chocolate, and not have some funky medicinal tang), then I'll start taking them. I mean, even the Cold-Eez that I do take on the occasion that I can spare some change to buy some, while it's not an unpleasant flavor, it's not exactly like chewing on candy, either.

Another thing I've been considering is the possibility that maybe some playa dust got lodged in my lungs or something while I was out in the desert, and now it's wreaking havoc on my respiratory system.

Shouldn't getting a lot of rest improve recovery time? Or does getting exercise actually help by keeping your body strong?

Go see a doctor, go see a doctor! Bah, humbug.

1 comment:

  1. Heh, you're kind of the funhouse mirror Leah. She refuses to see doctors as well. "I'm ONLY on my deathbed, I don't need to see a doctor yet."

    I've always found myself getting sick a lot, and I still have through college and work but I find that getting exercise is a good way to stave off ill effects. Like, I'll still feel the sicknesses comign on all the time but I wont' ctually get to the point of being particularly ill usually. Dunno if you'd experience the same thing.