I've avoided writing this article despite it being 'top of mind' for years. I also don't feel I even know how to put this together. So, I sit here and stumble because I am sickened by the health care system. Now there's a pun.
People across the country - millions of people - losing their life savings over trying to get well. People are having to visit with 30+ doctors just to get an answer. People are having to see 5 Specialties to put their ill health puzzle together. People are finding more answers on the internet - through other patients that have healed of various illnesses - then they are through physicians themselves.
Patients that are dying of Lyme Disease (example) are being dismissed by hospitals and physicians and told to 'head on over to a psychiatrist'. These folks spend YEARS dying!!!!!!!!! And some do die. People that are debilitated from POTS Syndrome are told 'Just drink more water' and you will be fine' as they faint daily & cannot work. I know CEO's, pharmacists, lawyers, parents, children, etc. - all amazing people - who are stuck in beds at home taking pills because they haven't a clue how to get better. It's maddening. People are being given toxic medications that are diabetic when all they needed direction in was a change of diet. People are being treated with 2 meds + 10 supplements for IBS who actually had a parasite. People who are told they have 'emotional problems' when they were low grade hypothyroid the entire time. ARRRHHHHHH - I scream out 'STOP"!!!!!!!!!!
It seems the majority of us know at this day & age that Western Medicine is fabulous at diagnostic testing but terrible at 'healing'. Why? Well, Western Medicine physicians are trained to treat symptoms. They are literally trained in medical school, residency and potential fellowships how to mask symptoms with medication. We know this. So, we need to stop expecting so much more from them.
So, then came the mass surge of Functional Medicine - Integrative Medicine - Naturopathic Medicine - etc. And most patients (not all - most) are in the right 'arena' for finding their cause & healing but, the cost is astronomical.
I know people who have lost their life savings over trying to get well through holistic medicine. How do I know? I am one of them. And I know plenty more - I know hundreds.
Isn't that ironic?!?! 'Here, patient, I have your answer to heal but it will be $2,000.00 out of pocket for the testing, several hundred dollars for supplements per month and yes, it's $300.00 just for me to sit down with you for 45 minutes to share this news with you'. This is Functional Medicine. It can be effective but this is what you are walking into.
The majority of people cannot afford this so, they walk into their demise - aka a Western Medicine physicians office and they fill the prescriptions to mask symptoms. And they go their entire lives ill.
So, what do we do? What do the people suffering from the growing number of viruses, infections, etc. do?
We throw on our business hats. WE become the CEO of our health. Fair? No. Reality? Yes.
We thoroughly interview a physician before giving him or her a dime. We consult with their staff. We do our research FIRST. The physician won't consult with you free first? You take a pass. Next.
It's CRITICALLY important for people to realize that YOU are in charge of your health - YOU - not your doctor. And b/c YOU are in charge of your health, YOU decide who is going to work for YOU and who is going to be on your team.
Your physician is working for you. You are hiring them to be on your team to aid you in getting to the core of your ill health.
My advice (I am not a physician - just a gal on the internet so, take my advice with as much caution as you feel led to) is this: When you are interviewing a physician to possibly be on your team, focus on FUNCTIONALITY vs. how 'nice' the physician is -how glossy his or her website is or how promising the physician's protocols 'seem'.
When you are talking to the physician, let your focus be functionality. For example, 'Dr., if I decided to move forward with your medical protocol, what is my expectant increase in functionality per month"? Functionality is where your focus should be and of course, getting to the cause.
Patients tend to get caught up in the relief of finding a 'nice doctor'. I can careless if a physician is 'nice' or not. All I care about is 1). How invested in my care is this doctor going to be, 2). What is this doctor's approach to aid in increasing my daily functionality, 3). How knowledgeable is he or she on the particular illness I am presenting with, 4). Is he or she willing to experiment with approaches that I -the patient - think might work? Gosh this last point is so critical! If you have a 'hunch' via healing, you need a doctor who is willing to treat 'outside of the box'.
It's OK to fire your physician if after a specific amount of time (that's up to you), your functionality is not increasing.
If your doctor says 'NO" to trying a medical protocol that you have researched & you are certain might work, go to another doctor.
It is OK to challenge your physician on any medical protocol, research, clinical perspective that you would like.
It's OK to say 'NO" to whatever is not sitting well with you.
Here is the thing. You have to have a plan before you even choose a doctor. You have to plan out your approach to choosing one. You have to plan your questions prior to meeting with him or her. You have to have a plan every single step of the way.
Having a plan will require you to be assertive - determined - resolute - and organized.
We are living in a world where the majority of people are ill. It's astounding. And we are living in world where the food industry, media and well, I won't even go down this rabbit hole b/c it's another post entirely.
Bottom line, we are living in a world where we are being sold lies about health. We live in a world with governmental organizations & other conglomerates goals are to keep us sick. We are living in a dirty greedy world among MANY (not all) physicians both in Western Medicine & Holistic Health. It's gross. It feels criminal.
And we are sadly living in a world where it is so hard - absolute maddening - to find answers & heal.
With that being said, if you have any chronic compilation of symptoms, you CAN heal.
And you deserve someone to be honest with you:
It's going to be beyond hard. It's going to feel like you are not going to make it through the number of obstacles you will face. And you are going to maybe want to give up at times but don't. Don't do that. Keep jumping through hurdles. When one protocol doesn't work - try another. Prepare your mind that this might take long. Get creative financially b/c you are going to lose a lot of money. Do what you have to do to get in front of the right physicians. And when you are so exhausted that you don't feel you can do any more? Call on God's strength and do more. Keep at it.
Keep peeling the onion - the layers upon layers of illness - until you heal.
Healing is a battlefield that comes with a price. And it'll most likely be the most difficult road you walk down in your life. And you will not walk out unscathed.
Yes, these are hard truths for you today but 'truths' that those of you suffering out there already know but maybe needed to hear.
So, gear up. Put on your business hat. Do the excruciatingly hard work that isn't fair but necessary. Choose a physician team wisely. And do what it takes to get better. Do every single thing it takes to get better. And when others give up on you (friends, doctors, associates), keep your eyes on your goal of healing and not on the passerby's.
You will become a warrior when you reach full healing. You will have survived much more then illness. You will have survived the medical system.
Those of you who have made it through are the unsung heroes of our day.
Created and curated by Kelly, Snapshots of Wellness encourages all of you to cultivate your 'joie de vivre': Compassion for Animals via food, style & lifestyle.