Just try, you’ve got nothing to lose
I have the habit of scanning my appointment book on a Saturday afternoon to see who will be seeing me in the coming week. Very often I will find a name of a person whom has been popping into my mind. I used to think it was just coincidence; I now know that the visits people pay me have significance far beyond our understanding and such visits are most certainly not by chance.
Recently, I noticed the name of a man who had become more than a patient. I remember meeting him when he was at a low ebb because of his poor health. He is in his mid-thirties, tall and well-built. On the day of his first visit he was accompanied by his petite little wife, dwarfed by him. He answered my questions very deliberately after giving it some thought with a “Yes” or a “No”. Not a man of many words, I thought. Later I realised that he was conserving his energy by replying only with essential answers, so low was his ability to conduct a normal interview. In a nutshell, he was suffering from extreme vertigo and was diagnosed with menierre’s disease. This condition would set in suddenly, with severe nausea, giddiness and disorientation. He was losing many days of his life being confined to bed by these debilitating attacks.
He was referred to me by another person who had suffered similar symptoms, with an equally bleak prognosis, and who found relief by adhering to some dietary changes and by taking homoeopathic remedies. His desperation was evident in his voice when he talked about his love for cycling and how the Argus was two weeks away. He was worried whether he would be able to complete it. He had the typical vertical line between the eyebrows common to people with a sluggish liver. All his symptoms were worse on the right-hand side of his head. The significance thereof was lost on him but made me feel confident to find out more about his lifestyle. He was obviously a man who loves living life to the full. It was evident in his successful business career and his intense involvement with his family and friends. He also had a passion for good food and wine and to “Drink for results!” He described his fondness for beer and wine with a twinkle in his eye and for the first time he reflected the ‘real him’ when he was not fighting to feel normal from the all pervading dizziness and disorientation. Looking at him and observing the close bond between him and his wife gave me a warm feeling of deep compassion. I hoped to be able to do something to help.
Many months later, he now loves to tell the story of how I insisted he only drinks water when all he consumed in large quantities was his favourite fizzy drink.
“Can’t I add some lemon juice?”