Ok, so I do realize it is now September (where did the summer go?) and I’m still blogging about July! Somehow I was able to blog more regularly when I was crossing America’s wilderness by foot than I am now. But, that could be because the saga of Dan’s health fiascos is still going strong almost 4 month after it began!

The short story is that having Dan’s kidney’s fail and all the other health problems that resulted along with the treatment , got Dan’s body chemistry completely out of whack. And unfortunately, when Dan went to the doctor to seek advice, he was just prescribed more medications, which ended up making things worse – at times he was like a walking zombie.  After a month of going to different doctors (all of whom seemed to have contradicting opinions), having his medications adjusted, blood tests, examinations by specialists on and on…. we’ve (hopefully) found a doctor we can trust who treats patients holistically…. but I guess only time will tell!

To me this really brought to light the absurd way health is treated in the US. Patients often demand quick fixes rather than being willing to change their lifestyle. And as this NPR article attests, pharmaceutical companies often pay doctors to promote their drugs, which is absurd and leads to drug-pushing doctors. There isn’t nearly enough education about dependency on prescription drugs or holistic alternatives to meds.

Unfortunately, since neither Dan, nor I are medical experts, we are reliant on the advice and orders of our doctor.  And when you have different doctors telling you different things it can be really hard to know who to trust.  Sure, I can Google the ailment, but that often leads to just further confusion and misinformation.  Considering how many people are addicted to prescription drugs, I can’t believe medical professions aren’t doing more to educate patients about the risks.  And we need to have doctors who aren’t minions of the Pharmaceutical industry.

At any rate, it’s a good thing Dan is an endurance athlete, because unlike Dan’s rapid kidney recovery, it seems this won’t be a quick fix.

On the up side – we were fortunate to have 2 couples from across the pond visit us this summer… Dave & Nicole stopped briefly in DC on their way back to York from Salida, Colorado (Nicole’s home town and the best trail town on the CDT!). It wasn’t nearly long enough, but it was brilliant to catch up and see how those two zany lovebirds have come together at last!

Dan, Andy & Sarah

And in August Sarah & Andy visited for a few days and we gave them a whirlwind tour of Reston and DC. In Reston we lounged by Lake Anne, enjoying dolmades and humus at Kalypsos and then decadent chocolate cookies dipped in potato chip crumbs from the  Cup Cake Ladi (no judgement until you’ve tried them!).  Then in DC it was the Mall and monuments before cooling off with salted carmel frozen yogurt at Pink Berry and melt-in-your mouth empanadas and mintastic mojitos from Cafe Citron.  It was great to hear about S&A’s new flat outside London and all the adventures they’d been up to. As we melted in the heat and humidity of our first DC summer in 3 years, the mild warmth of England seemed vastly appealing.