I had another trauma touch therapy today. The first 1.5 hours we talked about the neurology of trauma in the brain and then I got my therapist off on a tangent on the theory of trauma in the body and how it gets "stuck" in there and how that relates to the process of releasing it. It was fun. :-)
Then we did the bodywork session. It was intense. Lots of energy. I had trouble staying present and not dissociating out of my body. I've been struggling to process the intense energy and staying present for several hours now. I have been shaking (more like a very quiet vibration) for just as long. I even start getting sharp pain sometimes and I do my little mental exercise and it goes away and my body actually feels lighter. I can feel parts of my body/skin everywhere that I never knew were numb and chronic pain in several parts is almost gone. Some of my muscles that are normally tight where they are not supposed to be and subsequently I have never experienced relaxed, are relaxed. My body is very sore. Very very sore. I'm exhausted. I hope I get a good night's rest tonight.
I am still reeling from the past few days. I feel very different now though. I really feel that I faced this huge fear and conquered it (some of it at least). For that I am very proud. I also feel that I know I can be Vickie anytime I want to.... but I don't have to if I don't want to. I have a choice now. I feel empowered. Its been a hectic and emotional week. Now for a few days of recovery and some apple pie and BBQ and maybe a Padres game too. Thank you everyone whom have been so amazingly supportive this week! I don't know what I would have done without you. I feel so loved. :-)
I've been thinking a lot lately. I've been thinking of all these long monologues and all these amazing topics to write or speak about; everything to Lost!, how does that make sense?!?! to levels emotional and trauma release to how trauma changes our genome. But nothing feels right, to talk about yet at least. There are holes missing in my theories.
I've been scheming up a business plan for the past 6 weeks. I've only told a few people and everyone is absolutely thrilled to get involved. I have a lot of goals and dreams. I want to help myself. I want to dream big and learn what I am passionate about. I want to help people. I want to edify people. And I want to teach people to help themselves. When I am done at massage school, I eventually want to get a masters in genomics. Doing massage is mostly a way that I can pay my way through college. But it is also the yang to my yin. I LOVE "holistic medicine" but I am a die-hard believer in "mainstream" medicine too. Massage and genomics are my two counter weights. So, ultimately I want to open a bodywork clinic that brings the two together (mainstream medicine and holistic health) and also integrates trauma resolution into the mix.
The question is, how do you do something that society has been fighting against for 100 years, AND be successful?
I think I can do it. In fact I know I can. I really think that something like this is what I'm meant to do. To my delight, yesterday I learned that the dean of my program is starting a new course in "medical massage".... to do just that, integrate massage and holistic health into mainstream medicine. She is pioneering a program, the first in the nation.
I also came to a very interesting realization last night. I had a terrible time growing up, but what got me through was thinking that I was being tested and I was learning something valuable that I would need someday. I realized last night that the reason that I know I am going to be able to do this is because I've already had all (or much of at least) the experience I need to start this clinic and help others and be a pioneer in integration, AND do it while breaking every gender-social construct there is. Now that's dreaming big.
The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself, right?! (did I mention that I am terrified????)
Ok... I still don't like my trauma therapist, but I'm enjoying the program more and more.
I don't have much to say now. But I did want to mention a small bit of unbelievable news.
My therapist is trigender. omygod.
She is biologically female. Has a male and female side, as well as a "neutral" side that she describes as the "universal presence". She feels that she is "playing the part" of a female most days and has decidedly felt male at times too, but resides mostly in the "universal presence" space.
"Universal presence" or space is a great way to describe it! That is in a way, how I feel about my third gender as well. She doesn't seem to feel the need to match her body to her genders. As time goes on, I am meeting more and more people who feel that way too. Few people with multiple genders seem to feel that need to match their bodies to their genders. They find a way to accept the body they are born in. I totally respect that.
Massage class did NOT go well today. Apparently the basic tenets of Trauma Touch are relatively universal. Mueller College has its own version, and that was the topic of today's class! Once you start moving around the energy, it's like taking the stopper out from a bottle. But, you can't put it back in. Several of my classmates even came up to me and said that my energy field was all over the place. I guess that would explain why I am still feeling the effects of Friday's session. Today, the crick in my neck that I've had for years just went away. I had been convinced that I needed a chiropractic adjustment.
Today was supposed to be a lecture class. But instead it was only half lecture. My teacher taught us some of the basic techniques that are used by trauma touch.... but not how to use them. I refused to receive or give the methods, but I watched. Most of the students didn't get it. They used the techniques in a way that facilitated massage work, but not energy work. Some did get it, but obviously didn't know what they were doing so they managed to release energy from epicenters of trauma but not control the energy in a way that wouldn't cause damage (because the energy lodged itself somewhere else instead of release it). Others knew quite a bit about energy work and ended up hurting those on the tables so bad that they were in quite a bit of pain. My professor and TA went around the room doing the techniques too. I was appalled that my professor would do them, but in a way that completely violated the person on the table and their boundaries. She would release epicenters that were "central sites" so to speak. Places that had old trauma that were interwoven with many other parts of the body. She retraumatized one of the students so bad that I had to talk her through what had happened because she was completely overwhelmed and disoriented. It took 45 minutes. We had been talking about trauma and trauma touch extensively over the past few weeks and we have both been talking about getting certified in Trauma Touch.
I talked to the TA after class. She had no concept of what I was talking about how using these tools can be dangerous. She kept insisting that this was not Trauma Touch. I know it is not, but it is using similar if not the same methods and is still releasing the same energy and trauma, only without guidance and safety measures. I was concerned that several of my classmates were now in very real physical pain interfering in the ability to walk or rotate their necks, retraumatized, dissociated, disoriented, or had released something that may trigger them in the next class. Many of these students will probably not say anything either because no one seems to know what the signs and contradictions are for manipulating the body in such a way! Its like being an unlicensed massage therapist. Overall, the techniques and general knowledge of massage will produce a really good massage. But the inexperienced masseuse will miss the signs that something is wrong and could very well end up hurting the client by massaging the wrong area in the wrong way. The inexperienced person releasing trauma somatically will likely release a great deal of trauma in the average person, but someone that has a much more serious or delicate issue will end up hurt worse. Releasing trauma the WRONG way can cause flashbacks, dissociation, disorientation, out of body experiences, being stuck out of body, severe anxiety even panic attacks, new traumas that can be triggered, higher sensitivity to existing trauma, concentration problems, insomnia, pain in other parts of the body including severe headaches, malfunction of certain body parts and organs and systems, and more.
Even worse, the way that Mueller customizing releases trauma is designed is an incomplete process. For a complex epicenter that has connections to other parts of the body, the Mueller method can leave trauma from that epicenter scattered throughout the body making any place that is already a trauma epicenter or is structurally weak a place for it to settle, potentially causing havoc. That is what happened to my classmate. That energy from the released epicenter now makes all those locations worse (pain, malfunction, higher sensitivity to the existing trauma, etc), plus putting the client at risk for all the other bad things I already just mentioned!
I'm more convinced that ever that I need to get this certification. But after this experience, I don't know if I am going to be able to finish this class. I dissociated just from watching. How am I going to handle being naked and someone massaging inside my thighs and my butt at my next class? I can't drop it and take it again for financial reasons, but also because I'm too far in. It's also 101. I can't go on with any of my courses without it.
Dealing with a identity crisis/meltdown and an panic attack ridden introduction to massage class that if I don't finish I might as well not be in massage school situation are two HUGE issues that seem like it is too much. Tomorrow is DBT which always seems to destabilize me a bit more (just what I need, great) and a 3 hour lecture on human reproductive systems in which my teacher has a tendency of going off topic to related topics that have something to do with a student in the class. The last thing I need is 1/3 of tomorrows lecture somehow revolving around sex changes.
Just because I'm stressed, every little thing now puts me over the edge. Like I lost a classmates thumb drive tonight in class and the fact that I'm stressed is stressing me out which is stressing me that I will have bad insomnia tonight which stresses me out that I won't get enough sleep to handle DBT and my reproductive class and my ongoing identity meltdown and trying to contact the head of the holistic health department to figure out a solution to not dropping my massage 101 class. I want to cry. I guess in the end I can only conclude that at least by seeing trauma therapy the WRONG way, I more fully understand why what I am doing must be the right way. Thats because until tonight, Trauma Touch was just a relatively random set of rules and methods that made no sense to me, not to mention "probably just one of many ways to do this". I don't believe that anymore. After seeing how releasing trauma by holding the body can create a very real effect and cause people such pain and disorientation and harm, I'm convinced that there is something much deeper to all this that is calling for a pioneer in the field. There has to be a biological response that can be measured and published. Just imagine me.... 100 years from now my name will be in textbooks. :-) I have a challenge.... ok, ready, set GO!
I had my first Trauma Touch session Friday! It was only supposed to be an hour, but we spend 2.5 hours working.
First, let me tell every person that has ever suffered from anxiety, panic attacks and trauma, there is hope! TTT is not right for everyone. Its right for chronic anxiety and old trauma. The deeper I dig into this new study of trauma, the more fascinating it becomes. I have come to realize that the other Trauma therapy programs I have been through deal with mostly NEW trauma and the anxiety and panic that comes from them. I am truly amazed at how our bodies work.
Our bodies and our minds are intricately connected. In every culture, mind and body are not a separate concept. This includes traditional Western culture (Greeks, Romans). Physically, our brains connect to neurons that connect and interact directly with nearly every cell in the body. What is not physically connected to the brain is washed with a bath of chemicals called Hormones which tell cells what to do just like nerves. The hormones are ultimately controlled by the brain as well from a tiny "main control center" in the center of the brain. Every medicinal culture also recognizes "energy" pathways or mixtures. These energies overlay every part of the physical body and balance the mind, body, and spirit. They have names that range from but are not limited to meridians (Asian), yin/yang (Asian), chakras (Ayruvedic), humors (Greek), Heraclitus theory of opposites (Greek), and elements (Greek). **** Note: Greece was a collection of City-States, not one culture****
During the Renaissance, as the West emerged from the Dark Ages, science started to blossom. The Church struggled with science because it undermined it's teachings. Many, such as Galileo were Excommunicated and/or killed. The Inquisition eventually came after a French philosopher named Renee Descartes. As self-defense in order to not be killed, he proposed to the Church that the Mind (and Spirit) were separate from the Body. He argued that since the spirit/mind cannot be measured it belonged to the jurisdiction of the Church. Since the body can be measured, and science deals with that which can be measured, it belonged to the jurisdiction of science. The Church accepted this theory resulting in the evasion of the collapse of science during the Renaissance, a lessening of pressure from the Inquisition for heresy (and fewer deaths of scientists!), creation of secular vs spiritual world, and the end of thousands of years of holistic thought.
The last 30 years has seen a trend in the reversal of the separation of body vs mind/spirit in the West. Trauma resolution is just one field that is being changed. New trauma resolution therapies are working with a complex combination of energy work, traditional psychotherapy (or talk therapy) tools, and the physical body, manipulating nerves and other tissues.
Unfortunately in the USA, you can only have a licence to "touch" or to "talk" when you are a therapist. Massage Therapists, Holistic Health Practitioners, and other bodyworkers (Acupuncturists, Acupressurists, Chiropractors, etc) have a licence to TOUCH. Psychiatrist, Psychologists, Hypnotherapists, life coaches, etc have a licence to TALK. Therefore, when dealing with trauma, it is important to work with TWO therapists. One that works with the body and energy. The other that uses talk therapy and/or group therapy. One without the other creates imbalance in the healing process.
These are some of the top programs:
- Peter A. Levine's "Waking the Tiger" and "Healing Trauma" (good for recent trauma, ie: car accident, highly emotional incident)
- Jon Kabat-Zinn Mindfulness Meditation Program found in several of his books (combination of meditation, mindfulness, and guided imagery)
- David Berceli's "TRE: Trauma Releasing Exercises" (no NOT do this program alone!!!! You must work through it with a qualified therapist otherwise you can seriously hurt or retraumatize yourself!)
- Trauma Touch Therapy (Energy work and body-mind integration program facilitated by bodywork specialists---- only 192 in the world!)
Trauma Touch is, as I said, a program that grew out of the massage therapy modality. It does not, however, use what is traditionally thought of as massage. Rather it uses a technique often lumped in with the Swedish Massage techniques called Stationary Pressure. Stationary pressure is a variety of touch and energy manipulations such as reiki, holding the place/body part, working with energetic fields, identifying epi-centers of trauma (via heat, sensations, pain, etc coming from a particular part of the body), acupressure and more.
New trauma theory relies heavily on the fact that the body "holds" emotion, memories, sensations, and much of what is traditionally thought to be stored in the brain. These are all interwoven into the muscle fibers, nerves, and tissue of the entire body, and actually can in some cases change the way our DNA is interacting and directing a cell to function. If all the cells in a tissue are changed that way, the entire tissue or organ could start functioning differently. Hence, the beginning of disease and illness manifesting in the body because of a mental/emotional "thought".
Unlike traditional energy work (Acupuncture, Reiki, Ayruvedic theory, etc), Trauma Touch doesn't just break blockages or move energy, it somehow gets into the root of the problem. It works with the physical body and its energy flow to "uncoil" the changes that have been made in the DNA, tissues, and energy flow via Stationary Pressure techniques. TRE (Trauma Releasing Exercises) work in a similar manner, excepting the theory holds that you can uncoil the trauma by "shaking" out the trauma, much like an antelope shakes after being run down by a predator and manages to escape. TRE works and I have used this uncoiling theory, despite not believing it. While TRE and TTT both require working with a bodyworker and you can not do it yourself and both rely on the body's innate intelligence, letting the body do the work at the pace that it wants and where it wants, there are major differences between TRE and TTT. One, with TRE you run a bigger risk of retraumatizing yourself because trauma can release too fast in too many places of the body at once, therefore overwhelming your system. The process of shaking can be very scary as well. You can do this program every day and get rid all the trauma in a relatively short time. What kept me going back to it, despite how overwhelming and scary it could be is that I was actually reversing trauma and was having major emotional releases. TTT releases trauma too and has major emotional releases, but in a more point specific/target oriented manner and does not involve shaking like a leaf on a stormy autumn day. The uncoiling effect is a bit slower but deeper. So even though the Trauma Touch therapist was working on my knee and ankle for only 15 minutes, and I felt significant changes in my leg (I got back sensation in my foot that is didn't know I lost, my back pain got better, and I regained sensation in my leg that I haven't had for years) over the next 3 days, those changes had a rippling effect through my body (in my thigh, my back, my leg, even in my thoughts). I guess it all boils down to a classic quantity (all over the body) or quality (one specific area at a time).
I am totally going to geek out right now..... I found the awesomest blog EVER (in my opinion)!
When I was in collage I was studying biochemistry and molecular biology hoping to concentrate in psychological genomics and potential pharmacological interactions with the genomics of the physco-somatic system once I made it to grad school. (In English... I want to study DNA and genes and how they interact and dictate our actions and the creation/functioning of our physical bodies. Specifically I want to work with the brain and the connection the brain has with the body. I am especially interested as an extension of that study, how drugs can interact with our genes & DNA to create changes in our thinking/feeling and the physical structure & functioning of the brain and brain-body connection) Shortly before I dropped out I was in an into to genetics & genomics class. We learned that there was a team of scientists at the time (2007) reconstructing Neanderthal DNA in Europe and hoping to cross reference Neanderthal DNA with modern humans. Their hypothesis is that Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons (modern humans) interbred and certain traits such as red hair come from them and is not inherent in our species.
What makes me excited is more than just the "detailed" genetic description of the results of the study, but also the fact that I have been intensely interested in Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon interactions. This led me to read a lot about it and even live in Europe for a year where I worked with a mentor to learn about the history of humanity in the region. (He even taught me how to date something back to the early stone age, blindfolded and only by the feel of it in my hands!)
Now something that has fascinated me lately is autism. There is this amazing woman named Temple Grandin who has been publishing books about being Autistic. She makes a case that autism is not a disorder but simply a different way to functioning. Not a malfunction, but an adaption! This blog entry jumps into this very theory while also suggesting a correlation with Autism and the percentage of Neanderthal DNA in the general populace in different regions of the world.
Then she jumps into how Autism is most prevalent in males, and there is a significant subset of transsexual women. In her entry (and several others), she goes into detail how the make up/functioning of the brain is very different depending on whether you are male bodied or female bodied, and your attraction to males or females. I don't fully understand it yet because I didn't have time to get through it (it has a LOT of complicated detail). What I did pull from it is something about cross gender identity which starts to explain how transgender brains work and respond/interact with the world around them. Apparently transsexualism, however, is not strongly correlated to Neanderthal global DNA distribution, even via the Autism link.
Anyway.... I look forward to reading into more detail about the static nature nature of sexual orientation in the brain and its complete lack of corrolation to gender identity. I'm sure that there is a bunch more interesting stuff on the blog. I put a link on the right hand side in my links section. Its A.E. Brain. Enjoy!
If you google "trigender", my blog pops up at the top of the 3rd page. cool! I am constantly surprised by how much content is getting added to the web, month after month. I regularly do a google search for bigender, trigender, and gender fluid every 6 months or so. There is always something new!
I'm getting anxious to get my binding equipment. My problem is not money (for once) but the fact that I need someone to measure me. And NO ONE is willing to do so, except one friend who worked at Victoria Secret but is now working the ridiculous hours doing my job that I was forced to resign from in December. I find it amazing that there are other people out there that are multigendered and fluid gender, but it seems the vast majority are either complaining about not knowing what is going on online or out living in the world fulling capable of transitioning between their genders. What about people like me who are somewhere in between?
Last monday I FINALLY got a therapist. After the last one which turned into a fiasco (she thought I had Multiple Personality Disorder, and she worked for the LGBT center!) I am thrilled by the fact that this one thinks my color and name scheme is "brilliant". It might be too soon to tell, but she seems totally beyond skepticism and into wanting to know what it is in the nitty gritty. i guess I couldn't ask for more! I guess patience (7 months wait!) only breeds good luck.
Tomorrow, I am starting Trauma Touch Therapy. I am nervous. But curious. I can't believe that there might be a possibility that I could be FREE of this anxiety and panic attacks and triggers. I could be ME without the added baggage. Personally, I think I already have a lot to bear. I don't need this.
Its already been a long week. I've been fighting a lot. Actually, fighting just about everything. Its not just fighting this god-damn infection, but fighting the pharmacist/pharmacy, fighting to get sleep, fighting to get food in me, but also just wanting to fight everyone else too.
Somethings I kinda gave up on. Somethings I can't, even if I want to. Do you think I want to be a control freak about gluten in my kitchen? No. Perhaps I should look at it all as a "choose your battle" kind of thing. I kinda gave up in general this morning after I woke up with BLOOD coming out of my left ear. I was trying to get ready in less than 20 min to get to my DBT group. I used to be certified in CPR and as a First Responder. And the first thing that comes to mind when there is blood coming out of ears is.... don't panic; something is seriously wrong! So, i called up the clinic that I went to on Saturday and was told to come by as a "walk-in". Turns out I have a cut in my ear canal wall. Nothing serious. But when I got home and thought about it, and actually thought about how I wasn't really thinking about it, and how I had gone through most of the day doing other tasks, I started wondering, since when does blood coming out of my ears constitute, "just another day"? Is my life really that crazy? Or do I make everything around me a bigger deal so that when something serious really does happen then it doesn't feel like that much of a stressor?
Life goes on. I feel like I've been turning over a new leaf. A lot of my time lately has been spent reprocessing the events of the last few months and trying to put them in context with my life, instead of the context of "survival mode". I'm climbing out of something and seeing a new side of me. I'm also seeing glimpses of who I was and who I wanted to be when I was in High School. Those dreams and goals and pieces of personality are coming back. Its like I'm coming out of some sort of hole that I've been hiding in since 11th grade. I guess I shouldn't ask, why now? The body and mind process things and protect themselves from things at their own speed and will.
I feel like I'm on the brink of something. Friday I am starting a new therapy called Trauma Touch. Its a new therapy program that has evolved out of massage therapy and emerging psychological theory (over the past 30 years.... but just now entering into the therapist toolbox) on the lasting impact of trauma in the bodies of mammals & humans. I've worked with the theory before and have had success with it that I didn't think was possible. From what I understand of it and experienced of of the theory, plus a massage-esque protocol, Trauma Touch Therapy probably has the potential to CURE someone from PTSD. Comparing my systemic infection allegorically with what trauma/anxiety can do to someone, its quite amazing to imagine what kind of person would "blossom" out from underneath the weight of it all.
For example: if you have a systemic infection, not only do you have a very large and body-wide infection but it also compromises your immune system. Therefore not only do you run out of energy quickly trying to fight it, but infections in almost every other organ and cavity in your body spring up. If you get a cut, it doesn't heal. If you get a sinus infection... it doesn't go away. You get an infection in you gut, you don't absorb food & nutrients. So on, and so forth. If you have serious anxiety (and Panic Attacks), it permeates your body and suppresses your ability to deal with normal stress. Suddenly, you get debilitating stress about multiple things in your life. You are now overly stressed about work and don't want to go, you are afraid to sleep, you are anxious about walking down the street. You are to overwhelmed to pursue an opportunity that would have led you to fulfilling your goals or dreams. You get rid of the systemic infection, your body can heal itself of the other smaller, minor infections. You get rid of the Panic attacks and general anxiety, you now have the resources to deal with normal stress, anxiety and fear. You become freer to be the person you are and not bogged down with extra challenges and weights.
So my goals for May:
- rid of the yeast infection
- learn how to bake (gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free) yeast-free bread (to prevent reinfection)
- learn how to make easy & nutrient dense smoothies (to help with fighting the smaller infections)
- start going to Trauma Touch Therapy
- start working with a talk therapist (to help process the trauma that comes up in TTT, the heightened stress from everything else, and transitioning from that Panic Attack/generalized anxiety place through the heightened stress around everything else, to something more normal)
- continue DBT group (We are working on Mindfulness & Emotion Regulation this month)
- exercise & yoga (to help deal with stress)
Today has been a good day though, despite. Its the little things in life that matter! Tonight in Anatomy class we will be discussing the Endocrine system (the hormones). Which, is my FAVORITE body system! (Whatever... I know I am geeking out, but I like the topic! I even signed up for pathology as my next science course next quarter!) I also had to go downtown to a pharmacy to get my prescription. The clinic was in the middle of where a lot of the Mexicans live. Being Cinco de Mayo today, I treated myself to an authentic Carne Asada Taco. It totally made my day! YAY! I'm also very much enjoying being 100% female gendered and bodied and people seeing me as female over the last 2 days. There is SO much stress when you are not the same gender as your body. Ugh! Its a welcome respite.
Me: I have severe allergies to Gluten, Dairy, & Soy. I will go unconscious if contaminated.
Pharm: Oh! Our Pharmacy Manager has Celiac Disease. We know all about it. She knows about that kind of stuff.
***30 min later while reading ingredients in my medicine, at home***
Me: WTF! This is dairy AND gluten in it! (go back to store)
Me: This has dairy in it and corn starch that has contaminated with gluten.
Pharm: How do you know that?
Me: I read the ingredients list. Do you have other brands of this?
Pharm: I don't know. Let me check.
Me: Great. I have a list of the ones that are gluten free but I need the ingredients lists to check for dairy. Can I read the ingredients lists?
Pharm: Where do you find those?
Me: On the slips that come with the medications.
Pharm: Oh. We throw those away.
Me: You throw them away?!?!? How do you normally check for allergies for your customers!?!? Dairy is not an uncommon allergy!
Pharm: I don't know. *After a couple moments pause* Have you taken this before? Perhaps you should go to your other pharmacist and get the barcode number of the specific brand that is safe for you and bring it back to us.
Me:*confused look* Uhhh.... By law you are required to keep the slips with the ingredients list. I'm sure that I am not the only customer with allergies. How do you normally cross-reference allergens? I need this medication.
Pharm: *blank face* You could....
Me: This is your responsibility to cross-reference the drugs for allergens. Not mine. By law, it is YOUR responsibility.
Pharm: *blank face* ok. but .... do they even make tablets without lactose?
Me: Yea. (I'm losing my patience by now) I've taken this before. I can take my business elsewhere if you cant figure this out. I need my Prescription from my doctor back.
Pharm: ok....... let me try. But I don't know how to get the ingredients list.
Me: *sigh* Every brand name is required to list the ingredients online on their website. You can also call the manufacturer. It's really quite easy.
Pharm: ok.... let me see if I can find the ingredients lists that we threw away.
Oh my fucking God. Sad thing is.... this was the most productive conversation I've had with my local pharmacists about gluten and dairy. This is just a typical pharmacy visit. Usually its along the lines of.... "I read the allergen statement and it didn't say anything about gluten". Uhhh.... yea, remember how I caused a big scene when I dropped my prescription off about how gluten is not a required posted allergen by the FDA and you have to CALL THE MANUFACTURER to verify the gluten free status? OR.... "I read the allergen statement and read the ingredients list. It has XYZ but most people don't react to that when they have a dairy or soy allergy". Yea.... but I DO! I can't take this medication. "But, most people are fine. Are you sure?" YES I'M FUCKING SURE THAT I GET VERY VERY SICK WHEN I INGEST ANYTHING WITH THAT INGREDIENT!
My two favorites are when they don't believe me that the FDA requires allergens to be tracked on drugs and food. The other is when they have never heard of gluten or celiac disease and think i'm referring to glucose and might be diabetic. ummmm...... up to 1/3 of all humans are intolerant of gluten, which is a PROTEIN in GRAINS! Celiac Disease is more common than Autism. AND HOW DID YOU GRADUATE FROM PHARMACOLOGY SCHOOL WITHOUT KNOWING ANY OF THIS!?!?