Good morning! After much thought about this subject yesterday, I decided that today is the day I would proceed in sharing my experiences with all of you. I'm sure you have noticed my mistrust in the medical field by this point, and I will say, I believe that I am strongly validated. I will give credit where credit is due and say the medical field has done wonders for many people. I'm just not one of them.
I view medicine the way I view art. Art is very subjective. It's based upon a person's feelings and emotions. I can say this, as I am an artist, so I promise I'm not projecting an opinion. Medicine is no different. The human body is an intricate and special design unique to each and every individual. The practice of medicine is unique to each individual doctor and his or her philosophies, education, and personal background. Just as Monet used oil paint as his medium, a physician might choose the use of pharmaceutical treatment for his practice. But, not everyone prefers the work of Monet. And in bringing these points to light, I'm trying to lay the foundation for my ultimate point. I don't prefer traditional medicine.
I think the best way for me to share my experiences with you is to list them individually. Mind you, these are all personal experiences and I do not wish to discredit any good experiences others may have had. In doing this, I only wish to discuss my personal viewpoints so there is a general understanding of why I make the remarks I do. I do not intend any harm to anyone here, as I greatly value the continued friendship of those I have come close to on spark. Please keep this in mind as you read and know that I am not trying to start any kind of arguments, and I don't really want negative feedback. This is a painful subject for me, but I also feel it is necessary for me to get my thoughts out there so maybe I can be better understood.
*As you all may know by now, I have had chronic foot pain for nearly 15 years. This sudden onset came out of nowhere. After 7 doctors and 7 different diagnoses, I finally found a holistic doctor who decided a blood test over an x-ray was in order. I suffered with excruciating pain with failed orthotics, misdiagnoses, multiple pills (that never worked). In just a few months' time with this latest doctor's suggestion of taking vitamin D supplements, I have seen a dramatic improvement in my feet.
*The most stressful day of my working career came to me one October day in 2011. I came to work to find out that 3 of my 4 person team had been laid off leaving ME in charge of an entire department. This meant even longer working hours, no breaks from being on call ever, handling all aspects of the department by myself. My blood pressure went off the charts to 164/108 and I had the most blinding migraine of my life and couldn't even drive myself home. My DH came and took me straight to the doctor where an EKG was performed and my blood pressure measured again. My doctor immediately prescribed a pill for blood pressure management which I stayed on for one year. During that time, my vitamin D was further depleted and I found myself unable to breathe. What he never bothered to ask me was my family history of breathing problems. The pill was a beta blocker, and beta blockers can cause an onset of asthma. Hence the reason that even today, I can get winded walking across the room. I haven't been diagnosed with asthma, but I suspect it will take years to get my breathing back to normal.
*My stomach had bleeding holes in it. I knew I was in dire pain all the time, but an endoscopy was performed and confirmed it. I knew most of it was stress related to the job. What no one bothered to consult with me about was my diet. More specifically that I self-medicated with cokes (to settle my ongoing nausea) and antacids which constipated me to the point of causing worse heartburn and more holes on my stomach. They just put me on a pill with no guidance or explanation. After doing extensive research, I found that this pill was mostly likely the cause of my continued joint pain. It was also the cause of my other deficiency described in the next example.
*I have had chronic migraines since age 16. I remember in my younger years being so stricken with migraines that lasted for DAAAAYS, I couldn't leave the confines of my windowless basement room except to use the bathroom. I would get auras so bad, I would nearly pass out. For those who don't know what that is, it's a unique to each person pre-migraine experience. For me, it was a total loss of reality, space, noise, awareness, ability to speak, nausea, and other sensory issues. My migraines would be so bad at times, I would vomit. There were a multiplicity of pharmaceuticals I was placed on to help. They would help for a little while and then I would revert right back to dire pain an average of 3-4 days a week. At one time, I suffered with a migraine which lasted for two weeks; during that month, I lost 22 pounds. Not once was I referred to a neurologist. I was only put on pills of different assortment only to dead end. In my more educated ways over the last year and a half regarding my body, I discovered that I will never just take the word of a doctor and take a pill any longer. His last attempt at a med, I took home and researched to find that the thing could cause massive birth defects in a fetus (he knew I was trying to have a baby) and that if I were to find out I was pregnant, I couldn't just cease taking it or else I would cause seizures in myself! I marched right back into his office at my follow up, still suffering from migraines of course and demanded, "you will tell me of a natural supplement to try first. I'm not going to risk taking this medication that could ruin my life. So give me a natural suggestion." He simply stated, "Well, uh you could try calcium/magnesium." Let me say this. I have not had a traditional migraine headache since November 2012. My body was so depleted of vitamin D and calcium/magnesium, BECAUSE of the pills I was taking, I was in dire pain from head to toe. WOW!
I would also like to share other experiences here regarding others I know. I do not wish to specifically identify all of them as to how they are related to me for their own modesty.
*Eating disorders are common in my family. One family member after losing weight in a healthy and natural way went in for her last weigh in. She had always had an issue with body image. She had successfully lost 50 pounds and looked very good. The doctor told her in her glorious moment of success, "Well, you would actually look better if you lost 10 more pounds." I have continued to watch this person's body image suffer nearly 20 years after that incident. My very own doctor, despite my fantastic bloodwork, great physical fitness, and other physical factors such as my self-maintained healthy range blood pressure tells me each time, "You really need to lose weight." DUH STUPID! That's what I have been trying to do! I, too, suffered with an eating disorder for four years. Doctors: reevaluate your approach, especially if you are three times my size! (Sorry for my passion on this one)
*Another family member who was super morbidly obese and smoked was told by her doctor, "don't worry about your diet or smoking. It's your thyroid. Let's get that under control first, then you can concern yourself with the others. Oh, and don't exercise. It's too dangerous in your condition." She had a heart attack and quadruple bypass in 2006 and two massive strokes that took her life in 2012. Hmmmm.....
*One family member was told by one doctor that she had an extremely rare heart condition and that she should not get up from her chair for anything more than going to the bathroom. She was also told she was not a candidate for surgery. She was expected to live the rest of her days confined to one chair in her house. Sorry folks, this didn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Just as I suspected, when she received her second opinion from a more natural doctor, he totally disqualified everything the other doctor had said and told her to get up and exercise because the heart is a muscle that must be strengthened. Absurd!
*Another family member who is said to have chronic high blood pressure since childhood was put on medication to control it. The medicine did a wonderful job of controlling the high blood pressure, but has been a silent killer throughout the years. He has chronic arthritis and a nearly 100% depleted level of vitamin D. He also has colitis. Therefore, for over a year now his doctors have prescribed this or that without asking him any history questions. He had asthma as a child but outgrew it. They didn't ask any of those questions as they mindlessly stuck him on a beta blocker. He suddenly had asthma again. When he confronted this with the doctor, she said, "well, double the dose." WHAT?! Obviously that didn't work. To date, I do not know how many medicines that have tried on him (as though he were some kind of guinea pig) but I do know that most recently he has been diagnosed with COPD. This is commonly a smoker's disease: chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. It is a slow, torturous disease that ultimately smothers its victims. I have seen it a million times in my history in the medical field. He is going to smother because some idiot doctor didn't take the time of day to ask questions and get to know his unique body. Preposterous and infuriating.
*Many friends have been coaxed into induction of birth/cesarean because their pelvis wasn't big enough to give birth. Since when did God's creation of the woman's body become inferior to a doctor's opinion. Enough said.
You see, I have not had the greatest history of experiences in the medical field. These are only personal experiences. I could write a book about other first-hand experiences I have witnessed having spent about 6 years working directly in the medical field. Because of HIPAA, I will not share even the slightest bit on a public forum, no matter how generic the story. I hold patient confidentiality to an extremely high standard. I have seen it. I have been in it. I have seen it affect others. It has directly affected me. Am I glad we have an institution in place for emergent situations? Absolutely! What I feel or believe to my core is that the medical field needs to reevaluate and start over. They need to stop allowing bully insurance companies to tell them how to practice. They need compassion. They need to listen. I do agree that much of our health needs to be self-monitored, through a healthy lifestyle and good decisions. I do not doubt that. And we need to take responsibility for what is being fed to us and ask questions! Research is key and there is tons of it available! But, there is still a responsibility to doctors and other medical personnel to be considerate to the unique individuals we are.
Thank you for taking the time to read this if you made it this far. Again, my intent is not to offend. It is to share a part of my life experiences here in order that my stance is clear. Thanks for all your support! You guys are wonderful!