Friday, July 17, 2020

My Breakup With the Medical Profession

Over the years, my relationship with conventional Western medicine has become more and more distant. You could say we've broken up, although I still respect and appreciate the two areas in which they shine...acute, life threatening situations and traumatic injury. Alternative medicine does a better job of calming symptoms without the toxic effects, but even my relationship with these forms of medicine has become more distant. We're still friends, but we don't see each other very often.

Growing up, my Mom took us to doctors whenever there was a health concern. Injuries were fairly routine for me and my three siblings. Mom was even-tempered and matter-of-fact when someone got hurt. If first aid wasn't enough to address it, she'd calmly put us in the car and take us to the doctor's office. Broken arms, broken leg, front tooth knocked out, deep fat fryer spill on a leg, head split open (from jumping on the bed), and so on. The broken arms (four times) and deep fat fryer incident were mine. 

She handled other health issues just as calmly, which for me included having my tonsils out (twice), allergies (including two rounds of allergy shots, in elementary school and again in high school), asthma, and surgery on my left ankle bone. In my teens, I began having pains in the general area of my appendix. As we were prepping to go to the doctor to have it checked, my Mom calmly told me to pack an overnight case...just in case it turned out I needed surgery. Fortunately, I didn't. 

She was no different with her own health challenges, which were numerous over the course of her lifetime and several of them life threatening. She was diagnosed with Lupus when I was in high school and it was not uncommon for her to be in the hospital now and then. As I was starting college, my Mom went back to school and got her nursing degree and license. After that, she spent even more time at the hospital, often as a nurse and sometimes as a patient. She died in 1991, at the young age of 56, from complications relating to the Lupus, six weeks after making the decision to refuse dialysis.

This was my medical upbringing. Doctors have the expertise, medications and recommended treatments can help us, stay on top of your own care, ask questions, keep a positive attitude, and quality of life is more important than quantity. These are the things my Mom taught me by example.

I carried on this way for several years with my own kids, but it didn't take long for cracks to start forming in my medical belief system. Part of that had to do with changes in the medical industry and how doctors practiced, but the bigger issue for me was when I started seeing that doctors didn't know as much as I was led to believe. 

The first crack formed with my Mom's Lupus diagnosis. She explained her condition as her body being allergic to itself, and essentially attacking itself. This made no sense to me. Why would a body do that? Do these doctors even know what they're talking about? A second crack appeared when our older daughter, who was 7 at the time, started not feeling good a couple of hours after we dropped her off at school. After several days of this, I took her to our pediatrician. He gave her a checkup and said she was perfectly healthy, giving the impression that she was just trying to get out of going to school. After we left his office, Kathleen looked at me with an expression that said, "He doesn't know jack! There's definitely something wrong." I replied out loud to her unspoken comment with, "I know. He's wrong. I'll keep looking." 

A third crack formed when our allergist saw that our younger daughter, at the age of 5, had chronic sinusitis, probably for years. When I asked her pediatrician why he didn't point this out at her regular checkups, he said he just thought she had a every visit. I stopped taking our kids to regular checkups after this one. I figured, what's the point? He's not really paying attention anyway. A fourth crack formed when our son's speech therapist, who was recommended by his preschool at the age of 3, said to me, "You might want to try Ritalin. You might like it." I told her I would homeschool Lewis before I'd drug him. After that, my faith in the medical system continued to crumble.

I started studying. If I wasn't able to rely on outside professionals for my family's health care, I had to learn as much as I could on my own. I studied conventional medicine's approach to various conditions, as well as medical history, herbalism, homeopathy, Chinese medicine, rolfing, massage, energy medicine, diet, nutrition, orthomolecular, and more. When people saw what I was reading, they often asked if I was a nurse. When someone in our family developed a specific condition, I would look into that one more deeply. 

I found it quite easy to think like a conventional doctor. Pretty soon I was able to pre-diagnose my family member's issue. It was also easy to know advance what a doctor would offer for it, since conventional medicine has a pretty limited toolbox. If we wanted what the doctor was going to offer or even just a confirmation of my pre-diagnosis, I would make an appointment. If we didn't need either, we wouldn't go. 

When my older daughter was 20 and living in Wisconsin, she started having joint pain. She saw a doctor there who told her she had early symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis. The doctor said the treatments they had were too harsh for her early stage symptoms, so he told her to come back when her symptoms got worse! Well, that got me ranting. It became glaringly obvious that they don't have a clue about what really causes these conditions. They know nothing about real prevention. Their medications and treatments don't cure. They're just addressing symptoms. Alternative medicine has many of the same problems, but at least it tends to be less toxic...although the explosion of bad nutritional supplements out there is forcing a change in that conclusion.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Where chronic illness is concerned, both conventional and alternative medicine focus on symptoms. Now don't get me wrong. Symptom relief definitely has its place and can be seriously helpful when going through a rough patch, but settling there will not result in a cure. In hindsight, even my current back issues were aggravated by chiropractic and surgical symptom relief. 

When my springtime allergies became especially problematic again in my 30s, I gave my third round of allergy shots a try...with no lasting benefits. This time it dawned on me that the allergy testing only addressed natural things. What about the barrage of toxins and chemicals we're exposed to every day? Wouldn't those be a factor in creating sensitivity in the body? And yet, these were not even discussed. Plant pollen, dust, cat dander...yes. Toxic household products, pesticides, fungicides, mercury, chemical odors, solvents, car exhaust...not even on their radar.

Over the years I've tried what felt like everything, and I was gaining no forward progress in reversing any of my family's conditions. The medical profession's lack of knowledge about the true causes of conditions is astounding. How can anyone know what will help if they don't even understand what's causing the symptoms? 

As the number and severity of my own symptoms were on the rise, and my frustration was at it's peak, the first Medical Medium book was brought to my attention. This was in July 2016. I noticed there were no letters after the author's name indicating a professional designation. There was no bibliography and no references. The first chapter explained where he got his unique information. Okay, I thought, let's see what he has to say. When I finished the book, I declared that it was the best book on health and healing I had ever read (and I've read a lot of them!). I knew I had finally found the answers I'd been searching for...and they actually made sense! 

Lupus is viral. The body isn't attacking itself. It's attacking the virus. It's the toxins released by the virus that are causing the symptoms. Allergies are caused by an antibiotic-resistant streptococcus bacteria. The body isn't being overly sensitive. It's the bacteria that's causing the inflammation and mucus production. Rheumatoid Arthritis is viral. The body isn't attacking the joints. The virus is releasing toxins that inflame the joints. Cancer is caused by the combination of a virus and toxins. Both are necessary for cancer to develop. Get rid of one or both and cancer can't grow. And the answers continued. 

The growing number of problematic pathogens, combined with toxins and heavy metals in our bodies, are the reason chronic illness is on the rise. To heal, we need to stop feeding the pathogens, kill the pathogens (with plants and quality supplements), get the toxins out (gently and carefully), strive to minimize the amount of new toxins getting in, and give our bodies the nourishing tools they need to heal. The proof that this information is the truth, is in the millions of people worldwide who are healing "incurable" conditions with it. 

I will totally vouche. I've been able to cross several items off the list of chronic symptoms I had in July 2016. All other symptoms have reduced and are continuing to improve. With each additional Medical Medium recommendation I embrace, my healing takes a leap forward. And all of his information is available for free. There is no profit motive behind what he does. You can even check the Medical Medium books out of the library.

With this information I am finally empowered to take charge of my own health...and actually heal! Both conventional and alternative medicine have been put in the back seat. In the event of an injury or acute condition, conventional medicine may be asked to step up. For calming, strengthening, and rejuvenating, alternative medicine will be asked for support. 

With Medical Medium information as my foundation, symptom management can be relegated to the past...and health and healing will be my future.  

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