I have been suffering for years from IBS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (my wife thinks it should be called Unpleasant Old Bastard Syndrome) which was like waking up with a rat in your intestines. It made me cranky, irritable, and quite unnecessarily rude to friends, family and colleagues. I consulted many fine doctors during this time, and ended up on enough medications to kill a horse, some of which ameliorated the symptoms, but none of which effectively ended my daily torment. So when my friend Jane Tani recommended I go see Dr. Matt, an Oriental medicine practitioner in Canoga Park, I was prepared to try anything. Amazingly, he told me he could cure me in a day. Though my son practices oriental medicine and acupuncture, and I have enjoyed the relief he has given me with his needles, I have to admit I was somewhat skeptical when Dr. Matt rapidly brought out a series of vials and lightly touched several acupuncture points, deep in thought. Other vials he would shove into the crook of my thumb and forefinger, and again lightly touch the acupuncture places, making notes the while. Then he leaned back. “First of all” he said, “you have a sinus problem, which is causing the irritation in the bowel. This is caused by mold in your home. Secondly you have been travelling a lot and jet fuel is the worst thing in the world for the sinuses. So I am going to give you some herbs, and you will rinse out your nose every few hours with nasal spray, and you will change your diet, no raw foods, only cooked vegetables, rice, light protein, far less fish (I don’t eat meat) and you will drink a ton of water and you’ll feel better in a day.”
I felt better in ten hours. What convinced him, he said, was I had just returned from Mexico City where I had felt much better. Mexico City, with the worst pollution on the planet! An expert confirmed his diagnosis: there was mold all over my home. I had to throw away all my old carpeting, lay wood floors, clean all the curtaining, gouge out the old lead tiles, destroy the mold hidden in the walls, change my mattresses and pillows, and repaint with anti-allergen paint. The best tip that Dr. Matt gave me was that on waking you must drink a large amount of water, because your lungs dehydrate overnight, and when you moisten the lungs they produce large amounts of oxygen which gives you energy to wake up. Skeptical as always, I tried it and, gentle reader, it works! Now I no longer need a bucket of tea in the morning, I just swallow the water and start writing. It’s great. Similarly in the day if you feel you are flagging, chug-a-lug some water. It’s life changing I tell you. So if you’re a victim of IBS you might want to check out his web site: www.mmvanbenschoten.com It’s changed my life. I’ve got it back.
Now I have Saintly Old Bastard Syndrome.