Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Directional Device Embedded in My Head

In which our Heroine’s cancerous Brain acquires an Aptitude for Compassing. 

It’s just possible that brain tumors come equipped with some kind of directional device inside of them, a kind of inner compass that is left behind even after surgical removal.  I know this, because last Friday it sent me to the exact person who could help me find what I needed.  I can see no other reason why two such tumorous people would find themselves in the farthest corner of The Natural Pantry, basically a health food store for hippies here in Anchorage.  It sells organic and gluten-free food, and a lot of health supplements. 
Last Friday I was feeling adventurous and health-minded.  Having just read about how Omega 3’s are good for a healthy brain, I decided to check out the flaxseed oil and cod liver oil (ick) section.  Soon I was hovering uncertainly in the back corner of the store, the Omega 3 area, just behind a man’s right shoulder, trying to grasp the fact that there were many more options than I could possibly choose between with my limited knowledge.  Moving into the supplement arena is a very new step for me.  In fact, it feels more like 3 steps past the “I guess I’ll eat some extra broccoli” stage, especially when it is something like cod liver oil in a store whose clientele is primarily the urban hippie.  (There are a surprising number of these in Anchorage).
The man turned to me and said, “I’m not in your way, am I?”
Me: “Well, not really because I don’t quite know what I’m looking for.”
Man, with eyebrows raised in unbelief since I’m in a very specific corner of the store, “You don’t?”
Me: “I’m interested in this Omega 3 stuff, but have no idea where to go from there.”
Man: “Maybe I can help you.  Why are you interested in this?”
So I bluntly said, “I have brain cancer and I heard its good for that.”  Although I’m getting ridiculously sick of explaining my whole cancer history over and over again—and usually with the same reactions every time—I didn’t find it as bad this time.  I think its because the guy’s reaction was atypical.  There was the usual “I’m sorry,” but then, “It’s funny we met like this, because I had a benign tumor removed in 2002.” We then proceeded to share stories and sympathy. 
Either brain tumors have their own uncanny sense of direction, or I should take it as a sign that the heaven’s above really wanted me to meet Patrick.  He advised me to get guidance on the highest quality of supplement from one Angela, an herbalist at a small shop across town.  Inside my head, I thought this humorous as “Angela the Herbalist” is a character in the Eragon series of books.  Additionally, she is an actual person who owns Angela’s Health Store here in Anchorage.  Hypothesis: All the best herbalists are named Angela.  Following this theory, you would assume it would be easy to find and identify such a woman.  Unfortunately, she doesn’t work on Fridays.  (Sigh).   Nevertheless, I took home some stuff, which I will write about tomorrow.  Stay tuned for further interesting experimentations. 


  1. My middle name is Angela. no, really. it is. Is that why I'm a hippie? Because I wasn't scientific enough to be an herbalist?

  2. Er...Jon says her name is Anna and I'm having a crazy moment.

  3. LOL that is hilarious about her name! That seems a little coincidental to be a coincidence, meeting that guy at Natural Pantry. Incidentally, I have no idea where that store even is. How's that for urban hippie?

  4. Michelle, the owners are the Solbergs and are Mormon and have been here forever apparently. They used to have 3 or 4 stores in Anchorage, I think. You really don't know about it? As an urban hippie, I am flummoxed.