[Sober Living] Tripping On Vitamins

I’m willing to try anything at this point to get over these headaches. The nice thing about working in technical support is that you work around problem solvers that troubleshoot their way through technical issues like doctors troubleshoot their way through medical issues. Most technical issues are vastly less complicated, but sometimes, you get a weird technical issue that stumps everyone. I’ve listened to everyone’s advice but I haven’t applied everything that I’ve been told.

I’m not going to get my ear pierced yet.

I’ve been recommended chiropractic assessments, which was what the second doctor that I saw after getting my cluster headache diagnosis four years ago had recommended, now that I think about it. The rookie chiropractor I saw was useless, except for taking my money. The recommendations I’ve been given by colleagues were based on their own personal experiences, rather than an anonymous referral, so I’m willing to give their recommendation a try.

Here was my twice-daily vitamin regimen that I took up until recently:

  • Multivitamin
  • B-complex with electrolytes
  • Fish oil
  • Magnesium
  • C
  • D
  • E

Each fills certain health-related duties.

I drink enough water so the excess should all get flushed away. I stopped taking these only a few weeks ago, so I briefly wondered if that might have been the cause of my headaches. I’m taking these vitamins again and I haven’t felt much relief but I’ve always considered vitamins like these to help fill in the cracks rather than repair, so if my diet is lacking in any of these, I should try to add those foods into my diet.

One particular colleague had some great troubleshooting advice.

He’s a no-nonsense, street-smart kid that worked his way through the ranks, so he doesn’t have the patience for bullshit, but he had some practical questions. Diet changes? Eat anything weird? Like snail or undercooked food? Go out of the country recently? Travel anywhere new recently? Swim in any open waters? Swim anywhere? These sorts of general troubleshooting questions, surprisingly, were not asked by Doctor-Numbers-One through -Seven, actually. -Three’s office asked all patients at the front desk about international travel as they were being checked in at the front desk.

Another colleague said low electrolyte levels could be a cause.

I will be seeing Neurologist-Number-Two/Doctor-Number-Eight tomorrow, so by the time this essay publishes I should be well on my way to finding possible answers, especially since I’ll have seen Doctor-Number-Nine a week later, but these are still useful exercises in human troubleshooting. If I can rule out these common questions with my colleagues, then I can bring them into both appointments. After I finish writing this batch of essays, I’ll sit down with my medical paperwork, sort out what’s relevant, and spend the time to draft up as much information that might be helpful to fixing these headaches as possible.

Vitamins are medically relevant information for them.

When I bring in my ID, insurance card, and myself 15 minutes early, I’m also asked to bring in lists of medicines, vitamins, and supplements I’m taking. I’m sure there will be criticism about the vitamins I’m taking, so how about if I wrap up the rest of this essay after we go over that list of vitamins I list to Doctor-Number-Eight and -Nine?

Doctor-Number-Eight/Neurologist-Number-Two didn’t recommend too much magnesium.

I had just taken a Magnesium and Ketorolac IV drip that I’ll write about more elsewhere. While I was there, writing as I do, I was thinking back to this essay and about these vitamin supplements. I asked the nurse who politely declined giving medical advice for legal reasons. I saw -Eight on the way out and asked him. He advised against taking too much magnesium because we don’t yet know if that’s the problem.

This incremental troubleshooting makes sense for me.

I don’t think taking this much will harm me that much since I can pee the excess away. I think I’ll defer once more until I talk with Doctor-Number-Nine on Monday.

Let’s time travel again.

When the nurse collected my health information before seeing Doctor-Number-Nine, I was under such mental duress from my headaches that when I was asked if I was taking any vitamins or supplements, I just said nothing important. Maybe when I do a follow-up appointment after this terrible saga of headaches in the “Tripping On [The American Healthcare System]” series is complete, then I could ask about vitamins?

Through all of this, I’ve learned that healthcare is really voluntary.

Unless you’re dying, then doctors don’t really seem to care overall what you do with yourself. They might care if you’re complaining loud enough, but for something like taking too much of one vitamin or another, unless your body reacts to it one way or the other, they probably don’t care that much, unless that’s their specialty. Even for -Nine, which I think will be a good enough primary care physician for my needs, I don’t know if it’s even worth asking about vitamins.

Of course, I’m not a doctor of anything.

You should ask your own doctor about your own concerns over whether you’re taking too many or not enough vitamins, but I think this is the culture of the American Healthcare System, where patients just want to be fixed, doctors seem to push fix after fix, and one actually wants to fix the root causes of issues. I doubt if I take too many vitamins, for me personally, the excess will do much more than be peed out…

I’ll keep taking my vitamins until told otherwise.

They can’t be any worse than all these other medications I’ve been given for various theories and to perhaps solve the multitudinous issues that I deal with, many of which are more innocuous than their supposed medicines. I’m also not interested in the essential oils or other sorts of “medicines” that don’t have any proven medicinal value. I’ll take these vitamins when I feel like it.

Not quite on this twice-daily regimen, but whenever I want a pick-me-up.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal experiences. I’m no doctor, but based on the amount of times I’ve been to the doctor and troubleshot my health, maybe it seems like it?
Inspirations: Trying out any and all suggestions toward fixing my health and documenting the results.
Related: Other Sober Living essays and the “Tripping On [The American Healthcare System]” series.
Photo: Vitamins
Written On: 2020 January 22 [25 minutes. From 6:33pm to “Doctor-Number-Eight and -Nine?” at 6:58pm. XO.] 2020 January 23 [5 minutes. From 9:55pm to “Let’s time travel again.” at 10pm.] 2020 January 27 [16 minutes. From 4:54pm to 5:10pm.] WordPress.
Last Edited: 2020 January 27 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]


My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.