No. 4 – My Wife’s First Visit to a Naturopath

Long before my own ill-fated visit to the naturopath, my wife fulfilled a life-long dream in that she finally got to visit a naturopath herself. This was before we had insurance, but she really really always wanted to do it, so when the opportunity arose, I supported her going on our own dime.

I can’t even remember why she was being seen…some kind of health issue…maybe not super-serious so that’s why I don’t remember what it was.  Or perhaps it was just a bunch of little things.  Naturopaths are good at that stuff, the non-cancer / surgery / life-threatening stuff…their goal being to forestall that kind of action with diet alteration and herbal regimens.

So she goes and she’s gone for hours and whatever all they talked about, one thing I do remember is this:

There was some issue with her liver.

The reason I remember this so clearly is because the proposed treatment to this issue involved castor oil, and not castor oil for drinking, no. The castor oil was to be applied externally, above the liver, above the muscles of the abdomen, above the skin, above everything that you would think would block castor oil absorption by the liver.

Yet that was the plan, via a cloth soaked in the stuff, and wrapped around her midsection with cling wrap.

Also castor oil apparently needs to be refrigerated because for the next YEAR (at least) this castor oil rag sat in our fridge inside a little Tupperware, looking very much like a severed body part that had been pickled.

I wouldn’t have minded the thing so much, unappetizing as it was to gaze upon when trying to find something to eat for lunch, except for the fact that I can’t remember her actually using it more than half a dozen times.

In her defense, it was a time-costly, messy, and downright gross treatment.  I don’t blame her for not doing it that often. But I DO blame her for keeping the thing around for so long when clearly on some level she had given up on using it to ‘treat’ her liver.

ME: OH MY WORD!  This thing is STILL IN HERE?

WIFE: What?

ME: This liver rag, I just found it in the back of the fridge!

WIFE: Oh yes, well that’s for my liver treatment.

ME: What?  You don’t do that ever!

WIFE: Well YES, not often, but it’s ready for when I want to do it.

ME: …do you want to do it?

WIFE: ……

ME: Good!  Then we can get rid of it?

WIFE: Um………………………………

ME: …………………………………yes?


So it would go, and the liver treatment would live to see the back of the fridge for another day.

Eventually though I wore her down and we got rid of it. Or possibly we moved and I convinced her to leave it behind.

It was hard for her to let it go, but I get it: It was admitting defeat on the treatment, which kind of precludes you from ever going back to the naturopath. Sure you can go back, but what do you say?

“Yeah I didn’t do your treatment, so…you’re useless to me, since I didn’t follow through. But I’m here again, fix me.”

Yeah you can’t say that.

Instead you find NEW naturopath!  We’re on our third one, and I’d lay down good money to say that we’re not finished yet…



“…He started filling one for me and told me he’d bring me some grapes.  I was unsure what to do at this point.  Eyeing the four other empty tubs I asked him if this was a swim-truck kind of thing or not…he said it was a ‘whatever I wanted it to be’ thing.  

I was uncomfortable with this…”