My first experience with integrative medicine was a good one. No one had ever sat down with me and tried to find a reason that I'm so terribly overweight, or why my blood pressure is high enough for two people. After a while, she managed to determine that, having come from a family with three alcoholics, and having had a problem with alcohol in the past myself, I was doing little more than to look for a way to fill what she called a "huge hole" in my life. She explained that my serotonin levels were probably all off, inhibiting my ability to absorb B vitamins, which are a big reason that I'm having such trouble just getting my ass in gear most of the time. She has put me on an ACE inhibitor to try and regulate my blood pressure, has given me a generic form of Wellbutrin to help me deal with the serotonin levels (she also explained the "low risk of sexual side effects" that they talk about in the commercials; apparently this one doesn't interfere with sexual pleasure as do many of the other drugs in its class), has put me on an inflammation cleanse (no dairy, no gluten for at least 25 days), gave me a number of other supplements (fish oils for circulation, B vitamins, and amino acid supplements), told me to walk 5 minutes a day (to start; I love to walk, and it's been a long time since I've been able to walk more than a block without having to stop), and given me a guided meditation to help me re-program some of this crap that's been running through my head for close to 50 years.
She asked me if I saw myself at 200 lbs. I told her that was too heavy for me, and she said, "don't worry about that, it's a whole lot less heavy than you are now". I said, yeah. I'd feel so much better at 200 lbs than at over 350 (she couldn't get a read on her scale). She said, OK, we can do it, then. None of this "here are some pills, try and lose weight"; I got the sense that we are working together on this one.
What I got, more than anything, was the sense that she took the time to talk to me, to learn about me, to find out about me. Yes, I got pills, but I got pills with an eye towards replacing them with better health. And, maybe for the first time, someone took a look inside my head (that's scary, isn't it?) and tried to figure out what was going on in there.
In all, a good day. The cleanse is going to be a pain, but a temporary one. Some of the supplements I'll be taking for the rest of my life, but that's OK; I probably should have been taking them all along.