“We have been taught our whole lives to be consumers of modern medicine.”
Dr Andrew Saul
Why is it we believe whatever a doctor says is gospel? Why is it that doctors are put on a pedestal by society that their opinion is taken as fact? How often do you seek out a second opinion after you have received a diagnosis? How often have you blindly accepted the prescription written out for you and just taken the pills because the doctor told you to…?
I am not a fan of the medical profession…. Modern medicine certainly has its place particularly in emergency situations or if surgery is required however most doctors simply treat symptoms (usually with drugs) and rarely do they dig deeper to find the underlying cause (how can they when they give you 15 minutes…) They also, like all of us, have certain beliefs and views which are based on the particular line of study they have chosen to undertake.
Prior to the marvels of modern medicine what we now call “alternate” medicine was the only way to treat any ailment or illness. Using herbs and food was all our ancestors had available to resolve health issues and in many cases they did. There is no doubt that with the advent of modern medicine (which was only some 200 years ago by the way) we have now conquered many fatal diseases however outside fatal there is still very much a firm place for addressing some health issues simply through food and supplementation. How often do we consider this first?
Some doctors have provided us, and continue to provide us, with truly miraculous cures and back in the 1800s they would have appeared to be gods. Just imagine 1,000s of people dying of the plague and then a doctor comes along with a cure that stops nearly all deaths! Perhaps this is the reason that we have elevated all doctors to this god like status.
Recently I had a little medical issue with the women’s only area of the body as all us girls encounter at some time in our life. I do have a wonderful GP that I have seen for 5 years within a medical practise that I have attended for 10 years. Yes; despite my view on the medical profession I do believe it is important for my health to have a good doctor that knows me and my medical history. I rarely visit the doctor’s office but as my health is my number one priority in life when I do need a doctor I want it to be the best possible.
My doctor is not one to try and diagnose outside her capacity as a GP and will refer me on to a specialist immediately without delay if she feels I need a more specialist care. She also refers me to the best of the best; she is well connected and keeps up to date with her profession to ensure quality referrals and care for her patients. She also ensures I have all the necessary tests done prior to my specialist’s appointment so bloods, ultrasound etc. She’s a good doctor! Of course she is, she is my doctor 🙂
I waited 6 weeks for my gynecologist appointment. Who looked at my test results asked me a few questions gave me only one option to resolve my issues, which was a hysterectomy, and then proceeded to tell me that as I am a bodybuilder she would not touch me! She advised that it would seriously damage my pelvic floor which would make lifting heavy very difficult for me. Really? This is all in a matter of 15 minutes!
I walked out seriously confused and perplexed. With the issues I was having there was potential that I would not be able to achieve my fitness goals for 2016 and yet if I take the only option offered to me I would not achieve my goals anyway.
This wasn’t the first time the medical profession had told me that my weight lifting days were over. Back in 2013 prior to my second competition I was told the same thing. My knees were causing me so much pain I was having difficulty with every day activities like going to the bathroom…. I went to bed every night with pain killers and ice. I was having 10 glucose injections in each knee weekly plus physio, baths; I was in serious pain! I was told I had knees of an 80 year old and the only solution was two knee replacements and that my training would consist of swimming for the rest of my life. Pfffffft!
Prior to the internet access to alternate treatments, opinions, options could only be obtained by seeking out a second opinion. We even call it opinion rather than fact and yet we rarely seek it out! I know googling symptoms is not always a pleasant experience but given we now have access to endless amounts of information on any topic why do we not use it? Seeing a second specialist can be a serious hassle; obtaining another referral, waiting for the appointment, the cost, etc. But isn’t our health kinda worth it?
I started asking around a few people both in the fitness and alternate therapy field and was receiving conflicting information. If you ask enough people about any illness or ailment you will receive conflicting information and this alone should warrant seeking second opinions and further investigation rather than just accepting what the first doctor you see recommends shouldn’t it? Doctors are no different to all of us, they have their own beliefs and views and really, unless your life is in danger or you need surgery isn’t it worth obtaining an opinion from someone who doesn’t administer drugs for a living? (and often gets paid commission from the drug companies…)
I decided to go back to my GP and ask for another referral. Lucky for me my doctor knows me well; she knows I am just a tad determined and tenacious when it comes to my training 🙂 And to point, it is always good to have a GP that not only knows your health but knows your character. So with the knowledge that maybe a hysterectomy is needed she refers me to the Head of Gynaecology at a private hospital.
Yes; more time to wait, yes more expense, as I am a private patient, but I would rather spend the money on the best health care possible than a Prada handbag…. Or the latest iPhone 6… And for me, I needed to explore all avenues before I was prepared to give up my fitness goals.
So my new gynecologist looked at my ultrasound results, blood tests and gave me two options to resolve my issues… With a hysterectomy being the last resort! He explained that just whipping out organs is an old school approach and he would recommend a much smaller, less evasive, less expensive, day surgery procedure prior to making a decision on a hysterectomy. He also recommended that given my symptoms are escalating rapidly that the procedure be done sooner rather than later. And on the point of damaging my pelvic floor, for either option, and giving up weight lifting? He responded professionally but I could see in his facial reaction that he thought the first opinion was complete waffle. He said your pelvic floor is intact as you have not had children and he could assure me he would be keeping it that way…
Just think of the impact to me, my body and my life if I had accepted the first opinion. In this case, I could not turn to alternate medicine to resolve my issues however I can still ensure the medical profession is working for my best interests. If you have not watched the documentary Doctored yet I highly recommend you do. The truth about the pharmaceutical industry and the influence they have on the medical profession will shock you. Click here to watch now!
“The medical profession just treat disease. They don’t go back to the primary cause of a lot of things, because they can’t.”