*Doctors, visits, and research data… an Update:

Copyright© 2017 T. Riggs

In all fairness to all the others I included in my book Canary in the Coalmine, I must impart on you my last, and hopefully, my last doctor appointment – with my oldest daughter regarding her genetic predisposition to high cholesterol.

I know.

It sounds counter-intuitive to the martyr mentality that is expected of motherhood in our culture… but, I am a professed and prolific realist. I only have so much time to impart my wisdom on my children… and then, well, it is up to them – and the constant tug and pull of societal whim as to what will happen.

I humbly accept that I can only do so much.

It has, therefore, become my solemn duty to find a doctor for my oldest daughter that is in line, or as close as possible with my inane philosophy: We are what we eat.

Thanks to a good friend, we found a local doctor that is predominantly “holistic”… as in, they avoid medication with a vengeance. This doctor believes, as I do… that what we put in our body determines our overall health… and although there are genetic predispositions… if you affect the diet early enough… well, then you can possibly affect what genes are activated, or inactivated.

Makes sense. Right?

Well, we met with the good doctor last week… and it went like this…

It ended up feeling more like a counseling session than a traditional doctor appointment.

The doctor touched on the real aspects of my daughters’ and husband’s condition… the aspect that even the professional cardiologists and lipidologists, and dietitians glazed over… THIS IS A REAL CONDITION. You can DIE from it. AND IT SUCKS.**


I almost hugged the doctor… but then… the doctor was beginning to get defensive and almost argumentative. This was confusing to me at first, since I had barely said a full sentence since the doctor entered the room.

Then… I realized… oh yeah… they’re reading me.

Hmm… I was dealing with a definitely higher life form.

See… I have this habit, when I’m listening, to just, ever-so-slightly push my chin up, forcing out my lower lip, my eyebrows crinkle just-a-touch. It is very subtle… It’s not, necessarily a form of disagreement. It’s more like a “hmm… what did you just say?” Or an, “I’m not sure I agree with thatbut… we’ll talk later…” look.

It’s, to me at least, a non-committal look.

But… to the uninitiated, it can appear confrontational. (Which is why I did SO many push-ups in boot camp… but I digress…)

Anyway… at some point, half-way through the appointment, I realized that the good doctor was onto me and I put on my poker face.

The interesting thing? Well… the rest of the appointment went well… and I have good hopes that my daughter will choose to see them again…

The interesting thing was the parts that kept bothering me.

Part I: The NO FAT, NO NUTS, NO OILS, completely plant-based approach.  

This was the first crinkled-brow, chin and lower lip up look that the good doctor acknowledged.

I have, admittedly, not read much research data on the subject of cholesterol and inflammation since, oh, about 2013… but the last major study I read said that the inflammation depended on the type of oil, soy, vegetable, etc. (and also, processed versus not-processed) and also… the temperature that the oil reached when cooking. If you overcook ANY oil, it changes the chemical structure… creating carcinogens… and other chemicals that cause inflammation, and immune response in the circulatory and digestive systems – which can lead to damage.

On top of that, ask any neurologist and they will say, well, usually, that fat is necessary to the diet. Because myelin, a major component of the electrical goo in our brain is made up of… drum roll please: fat in the form of cholesterol. But then… that information was going on 3 years old too…

So, despite the good doctor’s miscalculation as to my intent… I had logged the first protestation in my head as: well, I will have to check the newer literature… maybe something has come out since then…

I do love this doctor. But… I’m still undecided about the topic. (Hey, it’s not up to me anyway… right?)

On to the second one…

Part II: The Fallacy.

Okay… it literally took me days to fully comprehend this… And, I have heard this argument before… three times to be exact.

The doctor said, and I re-quote, for probably the third time in my life: “Humans are the only animals that consume milk and dairy products past infancy and into adulthood…”




That is your only argument for a non-dairy diet?

How about this doctor… “Humans are the only animals cognizant enough to hold this conversation in a doctor’s office, standing on the shoulders of literally generations of other humans that were capable of having this discussion at all… and they ate LOTS OF DAIRY.”

What the hell…

I’ll accept that “… some dairy causes inflammation”… but I don’t buy that all dairy does… I am, officially, withholding my opinion until I read the research, but seeing as how this isn’t my problem – no promises.

Because… well, no one can argue that our diet in the last 50 years, since moving away from small farms to industrial… has suffered a lack of quality over quantity.

Let’s test the theory on, well, holistically raised animals… then, well, we can talk.

Enter the poker face. And the rest of the appointment went quite well.

This is by far my Favorite Doctor. I hope to see them again soon when I drop my daughter off for the next appointment, without me.

Woo hoo! The canary is free! 🙂

*NOTE: this section of text written herein is to be added to the book Canary in the Coalmine. Haven’t decided on the chapter yet… but… still copyrighting it… sorry guys and gals.

**NOTE: I don’t buy into a lot of the psycho-babble that says that you should tip-toe around reality. The truth is, Life is an Ultimately Fatal Endeavor… any point-of-view that willfully ignores that… well, is ignoring the truth… and setting unrealistic expectations. It sets us up for failure… because we are going on incomplete assumptions.