If you have been reading this blog for any period of time, you know the title Defiant Wellness comes out of my frustration for how ineffective the “healthcare” system is in actually making patients healthy.
Now don’t get me wrong, if I break a leg, or get shot by a terrorist, I trust I could find a good surgeon at the regional hospitals. If there is trauma, I can find competent care. But if I suffer from any chronic condition, it’s like playing the lottery.
Today I was reminded of this by a real-time example. As I am writing this I am suffering from severe gut inflammation. For the past several days, every meal I have eaten has bloated my stomach severely. Those who know me personally know I am slim and fit, yet for days I have been sporting a pot belly. I am in severe discomfort from this ongoing condition.
Six weeks of anti-inflammatory diets never revealed a specific food sensitivity. Yet, inflammation continues to flare up for no apparent reason. That is why I wrote an e-mail to my General Practitioner requesting that he set up some tests for the possibility of some infection. Read between the lines here – I would like to know what the problem is.
What was his response? “I don’t think you need any tests. It’s fall in New England, you’re probably eating to many apples. Soy causes gas. Maybe you’re eating too many vegetables.” Then there was my favorite comment, and a good reason for being Defiant, “At your age you should expect to have problems with digestion”.
By now you can imagine I wasn’t too pleased with this response, but it gets better. He then adds, “I don’t really think you need any tests, but if you want I’ll prescribe some antibiotics for a couple weeks.”
Call me old-fashioned, but I remember a time when doctors made an effort to arrive at a diagnosis before prescribing treatment of any kind. Why is it a person can watch a television commercial for Lunesta, Rozerem, Celebrex, Zoloft, and a host of other things, imagine they have the symptoms, and just get the drugs? As one commercial says, “Talk to your doctor about Pristiq, and I’m sure he’ll prescribe it.”
Yes, I am on a rant. I have spent almost two years, turning my life upside down with a complete diet and nutrition overhaul. I rise before the sun to work out to maintain this body. I have weaned myself off of three-quarters of my medication. I track daily statistics on Calories consumed, Protein, Fat and Carb ratios, Blood Sugar and Blood Pressure. I think a casual observer would notice that I am serious about my health and wellness.
Why is it I can walk in and ask for a prescription, but I can’t ask for a test and a real diagnosis? Am I missing something here? C’mon! Tell me! Am I wrong to expect a doctor to actually make an effort to determine the cause of my symptoms, rather than simply offer to treat the symptoms?