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Friday, June 25, 2010


There was recently an article in the paper about how emergency rooms are now seeing just as many patients with prescription drug overdoses as patients with illegal drug overdoses.

It’s a blurry little line, I guess.

It reminded me of an experience I had back after my youngest child was born. He was my third baby in five years; I was nursing him; and true, I had my hands full. But I felt extra tired; really lethargic; my hair was turning gray really fast; I was constipated all the time; and the idea of being intimate with my husband sounded like the most insane idea ever.

I was not myself; and I didn’t know why.

There are always symbols around us from the Universe, from our higher selves, that are trying to show us the way, and one day, as I stood at the pharmacy counter waiting for a prescription for one of my children, I noticed a little card. It said across the top “Do You Have Hypothyroidism?” It went on to list 10 symptoms of the autoimmune disease. I had 8 of the 10.

So I went home and called my doctor; made an appointment; and when I saw him, explained that I had seen this card; that my grandmother had been hypothyroid; and asked to be tested.

He looked at me kindly, and inquired about my symptoms; asked if I had gained any weight. I said yes – there seemed to be a good five pounds that I couldn’t beat off my body, even though I was doing yoga daily, and was strictly monitoring my diet. He said “Come back to me when you gain 30 or 40 pounds; you’re just a little depressed. You have three small children, you’re not getting enough sleep. You need a little something to take the edge off – I’ll prescribe you an antidepressant.”

If it had not been for my yoga practice; if I did not know my body intimately; know the state of my mind, I would have probably just taken the prescription. But I DID know my body, and I DID know my mind – I had suffered from depression as a teenager so I knew I was NOT depressed. Something was really wrong with me, and it wasn’t just a case of the blues.

I stood my ground (which at the time, was unusual for me); he agreed to test me; and called within days to say “Good diagnosis, doctor.” The normal range was 0-5. My level was 55.

I shudder to think what would have happened had I simply taken that prescription for an antidepressant; as the lack of thyroid hormone slowly set off a cascade of problems, and the antidepressant covered up some of my symptoms, like a bandaid covering a festering sore.

My thyroid still doesn’t work, though I have been able to get my hormone dosage lowered through acupuncture and going upside down every day.

But how many other people – women especially – have been placed on these medicines; these mind and body altering drugs -- when in fact, they are seriously ill?

Part of this coming cycle is to bring us back to being responsible for ourselves; to stop leaving it up to experts, to doctors, to politicians, to religious leaders – to others – it is up to YOU to take care of you; your health, your finances, your spiritual well-being; your community, your nation, your planet.

It is time to stop the cycle of looking at the people in charge and simply throwing up our hands and saying “geez – look what they’ve done!” as you shake your head and walk away.

It is time to step up. To take responsibility. To seize your power, your creativity, your wisdom; and do the work.



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