Are you satisfied with your health care? I’m not. I think that our doctors are somewhere near the bottom of a long learning curve, and we’re they’re “practice.” Meanwhile, they’re more concerned about retiring young as millionaires.
If we really have the best health care in the world, then I’s say you have to look at it this way: On a scale of 1 to 10, if everyone else scores a 1, and we score a 2, we’re still much closer to the bottom than the top. Doctors still have much to learn about of medicine, even though most people believe that doctors know more than they really do. Doctors continue to learn every day by experimenting on us and then writing studies that result in the wrong conclusions. One of the things they’ve learned is that they’ve been providing patients with wrong information and the wrong treatment–and causing more problems with side effects than the benefits of the medications. Sometime in the future, we will look back and see how ignorant doctors were back in 2016.
Some 200 years ago, doctors still routinely treated patients by “bleeding” them, until they determined that this wasn’t such a great idea. Today, specialists continually change their recommendations for daily intake of protein, carbohydrates, caffeine, salt, vitamins, etc., which means that what they’ve been telling us for years has been wrong. Dentists fill our mouths with silver fillings, then a few years later (when the fillings fail)they decide that those weren’t such a good idea, so they replace them with porcelain crowns that will also need to be replaced with an implant in a matter of years. What a great marketing strategy? This way they can charge their exorbitant fees two or three times for the same tooth. The cycle never ends, and seldom helps.
My cynicism extends from my own personal experiences with health care. Here are a few examples:
– Before my cataract surgery I could read a newspaper without glasses, but not now (and never again).
– I woke up one morning to find that I suddenly had floaters and a severely dotted background pattern in one eye. I went to the doctor immediately and was told there’s nothing they can do about it.
– I’ve had five (painful) procedures on the same two ingrown toenails–three unsuccessful, and two successful (so far). If they can’t get these simple procedures right, our expectations should be quite low for anything more complex.
– When I’ve gone to the doctor with my backache or knee pain, they couldn’t help. However, while I was in their office, they treated me for high blood pressure and cholesterol which weren’t causing me any problems, and who knows if they ever would have ever caused a problem at all. So, they treated me for what they thought they knew how to treat, but they couldn’t help me with my problem. Their medical studies showed them that blood pressure could be a problem for me some day, but meanwhile my back and knees hurt today.
– I went to a doctor because my hands became cold and painful whenever I usea a keyboard or a mouse, due to the repetitive motion. I told the doctor that I was having to curb my use of computers, and I had to wear gloves when I did use them. She (and all twelve of the specialists in her extensive medical network) tested me for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, arthritis, lupus, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, and an extra rib. (Yeah, that one’s even laughable). Their various preliminary diagnoses included everything from tendinitis to Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy to sleep apnea (what a stretch). They tried treating me with a dozen or so medications, paraffin treatments, ultrasound treatments, an electro-therapy glove, and a CPAP machine. Their final diagnosis was Raynaud’s Syndrome, which basically means that they don’t know what’s wrong. So, after about six months (and about 50 expensive doctor visits), what was their suggested treatment? You guessed it: Because of the repetitive motion, I should limit my time on the computer, and I should wear gloves when I use a keyboard or mouse–-the exact things that I told them on the very first day. What was the result after all the tests and expense? My hands still become cold and painful whenever I use the computer.
– Many years ago I was diagnosed with severe depression. The doctors started a long cycle of prescribing an antidepressant, waiting six weeks, discovering that it didn’t work, and then prescribing another one. It’s no wonder that so many people with depression commit suicide. They endure all the suffering that they can before the six weeks is up, and they realize that their doctors can’t help.
– When I contracted poison ivy, I went to the doctor immediately. He gave me a prescription and sent me home, but after three more days I was so miserable that I went back. The second prescription did no good, so, on my third visit, he referred me to a specialist. Meanwhile, I would wake up in the middle of the night because my skin was so itchy. I felt so miserable that I sometimes considered calling 911. I would bathe in every soothing liquid I could think of, and then sit in front of a fan dabbing various medications onto my skin. Again, I can see how one could have thoughts of suicide, even for this common problem. Then, after two visits to the specialist (five doctor visits in all), and increased dosages of a steroid, my symptoms finally subsided, but not before I endured six weeks of intense suffering, and this wasn’t even a serious disease.
– I’ve had allergies for since my teenage years, and for the past 45 years doctors haven’t been able to do much to relieve my symptoms. The one medication that brought me some relief (Drixoral) was taken off the market by the federal government because people were using the ephedrine to make meth (or seemingly because it helped allergy sufferers too much).
– I’ve had more fillings and crowns that I have teeth–several have been re-done multiple times.
– One of my best friends from high school submitted to a routine surgery. The surgeons botched it, resulting in his death.
– My niece had a sore ankle and the doctors first diagnosed a strep infection. Then they decided that she had cancer, and they amputated her leg–Civil War-era “treatment.” After declaring victory stating that she was “cancer-free,” her cancer returned.
– My mom had congestive heart failure, which on the doctors’ list of what they know how to treat. After five years of angina, depression, ineffective medication, and hundreds of wasted visits to doctors and hospitals, she died a painful death.
– My dad submitted to an angiogram on his heart, on the recommendation of his doctor. Following the procedure, the first time he got out of his hospital bed, he had a massive heart attack and died. The doctors claimed that it was just a coincidence, and it had nothing to do with the procedure. Shouldn’t they have at least admitted that it was possible that the test caused a blood clot?
– My father-in-law underwent artery bypass surgery upon recommendation from the doctors and surgeons. After eleven days of suffering in the hospital, the doctors sent him home to suffer–forgetting to prescribe any pain medication. They said that he would feel like new in six months, and they congratulated themselves, and recorded another “success” on their spreadsheets. In a matter of weeks, he went back to the doctor because of fluid on his lungs. A few months later, when he still had no energy, they diagnosed atrial fibrillation; “shocked” his heart; and, sent him home. A couple of years later, he died. I suppose that the doctors can claim that now he’ll have no more trouble.
– My mother-in-law is still living. I guess she hasn’t been to the doctor enough.