Children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children born in one's youth. Blessed are they whose quivers are full. They will never be shamed contending with foes at the gate. ~Psalm 127:3-5

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Disappearance of Doctor Do

Today I was reading a random issue of Readers Digest, one of many that for some unknown reason, come in the mail despite the fact that I haven't paid for a subscription....and I was shocked over something in a short article I found within. I actually never read the unsolicited magazines, I usually just recycle them unopened but I was bored and feeling quite sorry for myself today so I opened it up and found this interesting article, titled, "13 Things Your Pediatrician Won't Tell You". The article itself wasn't very shocking in general, but the #2 "thing" your pediatrician won't tell you certainly gave me food for thought. Or rather, it was more like the icing on the cake; something I could have probably guessed at and only served to add to the smorgasbord of already-appalling facts I know about the world of doctors and medicine.

#2 stated "Even though studies show that antibiotics for ear infections are rarely better than watching and waiting for the kids over age two, many of us prescribe them anyway. We want to feel like we're doing something. If I prescribe an antibiotic and a few days later your child feels better, I look like a genius." Um...OKAAAAYYY... So, in essence, this Ped. thinks that it's better for him to feel like he's doing something and to look like a genius in your eyes. Wow. I am not sure I realized that being a doctor was more about ego and feelings than it was about a person's - OUR CHILDREN'S - well being. Hmmpff.

Let me just say here that this was not a biased article. It was as compilation of things - 13 to be exact - that the writer of the article picked up directly from a host of pediatricians, one of which didn't want to be named (gee, I wonder why), and it contained things that made the pediatricians look honest, too. My favorite was #11 - "Don't tell your kids the doctor will give him a shot if he doesn't behave. I won't." Good.

In any case, of course this article (i.e. #2) got my hackles all up and I was bristling with frustration as I was once again brought to a new low of disappointment with the medical field when it comes to the care of not only my health but that of my children. As my friend Shelly pointed out, there are SOME doctors who do take other things into consideration when making a decision about medicine, which I believe is true, too; and she followed up by saying her family has spent 7 years searching out - and drive 4 hours to see - their perfect pediatrician. There ARE doctors out there who do actually care about your health and well-being. Somewhere.

My question is....WHEN did doctors stop being doctors and become these egocentric drones who take your money, give you a prescription and send you on your way without actually finding the ROOT of your problem or taking the time to really search out the BEST way to aide your healing? When did they become so caught up in feeling like they have to be doing something, yet in reality, all they're doing is attempting (half-assed, I must say) to make themselves look like "geniuses" while pumping your kids full of drugs that might do more harm than good? When did they actually stop DOING and start just....I don't know.....being?

OK, let me calm down a little and say that I DO know that there are good doctors out there. I know this. I know they aren't all like this. For instance, we met a lovely gentleman who was our son's surgeon when he was in the hospital for an infection and what they supposed might be Lyme Disease. A "gentle giant," very quiet and patient, he sat with us discussing things for quite awhile. After surgery, he walked with us almost all the way back to post-op recovery explaining how everything went and when we kept pressing for more info, he was very patient and kind and thorough. At our post-op visit weeks later, he was so laid back and caring. He didn't act like he had anything else in the world to do that day except answer our questions and talk to us about our son's progress and any issues that may arise from his surgery. He was very knowledgeable and gave us a lot of information about things we can do to help keep him healthy. None of which included drugs. So there's that.

I'm just so concerned with how the medical field seems to be in general. I was interviewed recently for an article for the Patriot News about vaccines. I read the article after it was published and found that a certain pediatric office was interviewed as well, making comments about how if you don't stay on their recommended vaccine schedule they'll "suggest their practice might not be the best one for you." However, they don't just suggest that their practice isn't suitable for you, they have signs posted everywhere in their office, lobby and exam rooms threatening that if you aren't going to take care of your child properly, you're not welcome there at all.

What concerns me is that doctors don't seem to be trained anymore to DO anything but suggest the things Big Pharma controls - drugs - and they don't know how to get to the source of your issue or how to treat it with out having to take drugs. Yes, I do believe that some pharmaceuticals are needed for some things. I don't, however, believe that they're needed for EVERYTHING, which seems to be the case these days. Our society, our children, are heavily over-prescribed when health problem could be easily taken care of by a healthier diet or exercise regimen, a natural food source, drinking more water, avoiding certain things like processed foods and artificial flavors and colors... The human body is an amazing thing and God created it to be able to heal itself in so many ways without ever needing much more than an extra vitamin or some fruit. He created nature to work in much the same way - for us - creating fruits and vegetables, plants and seeds that are each healthy and healing for specific parts of our bodies.

A few months ago, I went to my doctor complaining of a host of problems. After an exam, and blood work, at my follow-up appointment, she went through my list and told me she didn't really have any answers for me. All my blood tests came back "normal," (which I have to confess I'm not sure I agree that their recommended box of "normal" is where I fit....or where a lot of people fit for that matter.) She said that if I wanted some sort of medication, we could talk about that. I left her office feeling sort of defeated. I had all these problems that had just sort of cropped up and had no idea what to do about them. I started taking vitamins derived from a whole-food source and I took about 4,000 - 6,000 i.u.'s of Vitamin D per day also. One of the problems I had been having for almost a year by then was severe pain in my elbows - mostly in my left elbow but sometimes also in my right. My doctor told me she didn't know what it was and told me to take extra strength Tylenol for awhile to see if that helps. (I had already been doing that and it hadn't helped. One. Bit.) After just a few weeks of taking Vitamin D, my pain was gone!

A lot of the time, drugs just mask the underlying problems and don't do much else. There is so much evidence out there showing that we can be healthy and fight diseases without the use of drugs. But what are our doctors doing about it? Nothing!