I’m sorry Western Medicine.

Dear Western Medicine, Doctors, Nurses, scientists, and all manner of other technicians,

 

I was already stuck in a mental loop, I refer to as hamster-wheeling, over writing this letter. I sat down to word press and found myself drawn to read 2 blog posts before commencing on this letter. Needless to say they only fanned the flames.

If you care to be informed:

Weeds Reads

and

Patient Caps

Now for what I already had been mulling over:

I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you. Western medicine, I am mad at you, very upset, and I’ve lost faith in you. I’m sorry if this angers and upsets you. Many of those that I have dealt with, that are supporters of you, make this blatantly clear. I am not supposed to express a dislike of your ways. However, I need to point out that this relationship we have; it’s like the relationship between a lying child and a parent. You can only be lied to so many times before you begin to dis-trust everything that is being said. I have definitely hit that point with you western medicine. Furthermore, I’m not alone in this, many are just like me.

Why, you may ask; it’s a long sad journey that brings me to my current reality. No longer trusting any tag line, any generic description or disclaimer, not trusting anything until I’ve read, researched, and talked with others in depth about it.

When I was 12 years old I went from sightly plump at 105 pounds to 168 obese pounds in about 6 months. My weight gain brought a deluge of bullying from kids in school. I became very depressed immediately. I was hearing my parents discuss my weight, my lack of signs of puberty, my father calling me a tattle-tale-little-bitch and then turning around and questioning my mother as to why I wasn’t menstruating. She took me to the doctor, and they tested my thyroid for the first time. Low side of normal, she’s fine, the weight is just probably a side effect of puberty and will eventually back off, she’ll also eventually start cycling- it might take several years for puberty to fully take effect, and the depression is probably just because of the tormenting kids at school. My mom believed it whole-heartedly and took the news to my father, who informed me I needed to suck it up and ignore the other kids and focus and lose the weight.

I spent the next year sleeping my depression off. That year I spent most days going to school, coming home and doing my homework, eating dinner and going straight to bed. More days than not, I slept 12 hours, still feeling exhausted and depressed when I was awake. That was the first year I contemplated suicide, dreaming of putting my head in the oven or taking too many pills. I decided if an option hurt, it was not really an option, because I was more afraid of the pain than death. Death was the solution to ending my current level of pain. By my 13th birthday I was up to 195 pounds.

The pain and depression continued. By the time I graduated high-school I was 265 pounds and at that point we’d moved 3 more times, and I’d been to 3 more doctors in 3 more states. All of them getting the same lab results and telling me the same thing. My menstrual cycle didn’t start until I was almost 17 and even once it did, it was irregular and excruciatingly painful. My mom would only say, “I don’t know what to tell you kiddo, I had the same problems when I was your age, maybe you’ll grow out of it.”

I went through college in like fashion. Same excruciating pain, heavy flow, exhaustion, and depression, often feeling like I was dragging a 1000 pound body around trying to get through my days. I sought the advice of yet more doctors, first private, then through the University of Iowa, then through the Iowa Cares public assistance program. I had my thyroid tested every time I saw a doctor. Hindsight being 20-20: probably because all of my symptoms pointed that direction. By the time I graduated from college I had seen a dozen doctors and was already being told I was borderline diabetic. Yet, no-one could help me fix anything. I finally went to a shrink, tried Zoloft, tried Paxil. All they did was give me dry mouth, I got more benefit out of taking B-complex vitamins and magnesium- that is, when I could afford them. The bathroom scale by that point hovered between 280 and 295. I was walking miles per week, as by that point I lived rural, and a rural square block was just shy of 4 miles. I did that 3 to 4 times a week. It never helped me loose a pound, but did help me maintain some sanity. When it got cold with winter, I fell, that was the year I almost drove myself into the pond down the street.

When I went back to school for massage I lost about 30 pounds and would hover between 250 and 260. I followed all of the advice I was getting in school. My diet started changing, more veggies, less carbs, lean meat only, cooking meals one day a week so that I could serve up measured portions for the fridge and freezer. I was taking supplements, I was meditating, and via school I was getting 3 massages a week, and giving about 20 massages a week- many deep tissue. All of those good habits and I could never drop below 250.  The depression came back with a vengeance.

I’ve struggled through another 8 years since then. More of the same. I tried Gerson Therapy, which by the way is not only massively difficult, but most western doctors call it quack medicine and the FDA and AMA will not let Gerson Institute set-up shop in the United States. Despite this opinion it was the best luck I’d had yet, enabling me to get back down to 240 and maintain, but I could never drop any lower than that, despite walking a mile or more every day while walking our dog.

I was exhausted trying to figure out what was wrong with me. Why couldn’t I loose weight even when I was doing everything that healthy people were supposed to do. Strength was not an issue- I could pick my husband up, and he weighed as much as I did, and do 9 deep-tissue massages a day- though I’d rather not because it took all of my energy to do so.

It was shortly there after we were on an Amtrak train riding to my husband’s sister’s funeral. The funeral was very unexpected because she died after having what seemed like an anxiety attack in which the ER had blown her off as having such, after she died in the waiting area the pathologist never could tell us what actually killed her, but said it was “likely and aneurysm” (though he admitted he couldn’t find evidence of one in autopsy).  Anyway, on the train ride I had a conversation with a woman. The conversation lead to her story that eerily matched mine. She said she finally found a doctor in Colorado that had made some discoveries about thyroid conditions and iodine. She told me what she was taking and how much and what it was helping with. I was so very excited. I had something that I could try, and maybe, just maybe it might help.

After the funeral I went home, found the iodine from kelp and started taking drops in my water. It helped so much I could feel it providing me energy. I would literally get an energy boost 30 min after taking 3 drops. The pounds started melting off.by the end of 90 days I’d lost 45 pounds and got pregnant! Now mind you: I hadn’t been avoiding pregnancy for the previous 8 years. I found it amazing that 3 months of iodine could result in that much weight loss and pregnancy after everything else I’d tried. I simply couldn’t believe it at first.

The pregnancy made me though! When I got pregnant I started having real trouble with blood sugars, but only with certain foods. I was discovering food allergies, but the doctors I saw were not agreeing. They were essentially saying you are just diabetic, take the medicine and insulin and shut up. I kept pointing out with my pages and pages of logs that they refused to read that I could eat sweet potatoes or brown rice and be fine, but other foods were not ok and some things (regular white potatoes) would send my sugars well above 300. I was infuriated. I also pointed out the iodine enabeling pregnancy issue and all they could do was tell me I shouldn’t take iodine because too much would shut the thyroid off. They cited cancer treatments where radioactive iodine is injected near the thyroid to shut the gland down to allow cancer drugs to have more of an effect. I kept pointing out that supplement iodine is ingested not injected, thus taking longer to disperse through your body, and that it is a safer and more stable compound of iodine to begin with. I spoke of information I’d read citing studies where iodine had helped breast cancer and heart disease and intestinal disorders. I kept saying “If it’s so damn bad then why did it help me lose 45 pounds and get pregnant!!!!” They couldn’t respond with anything other than you shouldn’t be taking iodine. I was so infuriated that I told the doctors to eff off. Eventually, I finally found an Endocrinologist that would leave me alone as long as my numbers were good. I used him to be able to get testing supplies covered by medicaid, and that was it. I found a midwife willing to work with me- mainly because of my binder full of logs and blood-work. The midwife helped me finish the pregnancy in tip top shape, helped guide me with iodine intake, and helped monitor my diet and baby’s growth. I gave birth at home in an inflatable birthing tub full of warm water after 12 and a half hours of labor. My baby was beautiful, healthy, full head of hair, and a perfect 7 pounds 14 ounces. I couldn’t have asked for a better non-medical birth it was so perfect and easy! For a first birth I think it went spectacular. Don’t get me wrong there was pain- lots of it, but the water helped, and I had an amazing support team with my midwife at the helm!

100_1277

After birth I breastfed for 3 months while taking my encapsulated placenta (something western medicine frowns upon, but I am adamant that it helped me). About 2 months in I started to run out of placenta, spacing out the remainder, and the depression returned. By 3 months I’d completely run out and my breasts quit producing milk. I did everything I could to try and get milk production up: teas, frequent nursing and pumping (at the peak an hour apart), supplements, massage, nothing was helping. Finally, I had a massive fall off, and after almost driving myself off the bridge over the Missouri River, I went back to a doctor for help. Hoping that they would care enough to do something. They tested my thyroid again. My TSH was 80- astronomically high. Her solution was a basic dose of Levothyroxin- 1x per day. It was not nearly enough, and on top of that it had Red40 which causes my asthma to flare. So essentially I was getting less than 4 hours of thyroid relief, and then having to use my inhaler 3 to 4 times a day. When I brought that issue up, they just wanted to try Synthroid, which again I had no ingredient list, and no consultation on possible allergic reactions, and they were going to just do 1 – 2x’s /day. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

I went on OverTheCounter natural desiccated thyroid or NDT and told the doctor to eff off again. I increased my iodine intake, but the OTC solution was not perfect- I was still having some symptoms, and it was horribly expensive. Finally after much research and debating with friends, I finally decided to give another doctor a try. This time I went with a referral from a friend and paid cash. He allowed me to try NDT based on symptoms, but said he needed to do blood-work to make sure I didn’t go too far. It’s still very expensive at $265 for 90 days, but it has virtually fixed things.  Finally, at this point I’m mostly OK. I still have dips, induced by my allergies- I’m having a hard time with having enough willpower to eliminate all of my food allergies now that I’ve given birth. It seems making decisions for 2 is the deciding factor for me. I’m tired of hurting and having dips though so I’m working very hard to find that willpower again, and at least now I know what to look for to know I’m starting to have a dip, and I can compensate.

Regardless, doctors have not helped figure out the allergies- I did! Doctors did not figure out the hypothyroid, I did. They didn’t even help sufficiently when I had the really bad fall off after birth, I had to increase using OTC on my own! They haven’t helped with my willpower or desire to fix things, that is all me too! They didn’t help with the depression, they slapped 2 drugs on it and when neither worked all they had for a solution was lets try another. They haven’t done anything for me except cost me hundreds and thousands of dollars throughout my life. They didn’t even get me through a pregnancy safely because when they wouldn’t work with me and acknowledge me as an intelligent person, I found a midwife that would!

Western medicine has failed me time and time again over 22 years, yet I’m supposed to trust it.

I am supposed to believe them when they give me a vaccine with a very vague disclaimer that says “in rare cases persons may have reactions to vaccines, and in very rare cases reactions might be fatal”. Who determines what rare is? What reactions happen when not fatal? Why don’t I get to see actual numbers, especially for each type of reaction? Why, because they don’t even keep track. They might tell you that it’s 1% of the population, but that is based upon the study results, not actual real life occurrences. Even if it was an accurate 1% of the population, 1%  of the United States is currently 3,233,954 people, and of the World it is 731,956,752. I’d hate to be one of those people. And even at 1% that’s a crap ton of people that are “OH WELLS”in the grand scheme of vaccines or any drug for that matter. We are not people: we are numbers. And someone else determines what is a safe risk or not, and no one is concerned about creating any kind of guideline for any drug or vaccine that will help determine if you are going to be in the  “OH WELL” list or the “OK” list. And forget about allergies, good luck asking for ingredients. The doctor didn’t consider my allergies when prescribing the Red40 laced Levothyroxin, I didn’t even get the ingredient list on the first fill. I had to ask for the ingredient list on refill, and then  I had a month’s prescription I didn’t want to take because I knew the Red40 was what was causing my asthma to flare.

And speaking of vaccines, I was given the ultimatum when I suspected I might have either a tetanus infection or a severe allergic reaction that I take the vaccine to receive treatment. If I didn’t take the vaccine I wasn’t going to be treated for tetanus. They didn’t give me the ingredient list even though I asked for it. They didn’t give me details or numbers, only that vague risk description I stated above. And after the injection, then they gave me the breathing treatment and antibiotics. In reality, to cure tetanus in modern medicine they could have skipped straight to the breathing treatment and antibiotics and never touched the vaccine. And that is if tetanus is known to be the infection, they never actually tested me to find out if it was tetanus or allergic reaction. Yet, I was given no choice other than take the vaccine or walk out of the hospital and risk not living.

In my experience, any time that someone is willing to cut corners and avoid disclosing information– it is for a reason!  It doesn’t matter if it is a divorce, business deal, trade transaction, product marketing, or medical concern, if information is undisclosed they are hiding something.

In my situation I feel that vaccine caused my already severe allergies to get worse. I have no idea what all was in that vaccine, but I’ve had worse allergies ever since.

I am educated, I know 3 things:

1) Vaccines are intended to force your immune system to work, in effort to prevent illness due to a specified disease.

2) Allergies are your immune system over-reacting to inanimate objects in your blood stream or body, be they food particles, pollen, mold spores, dust particles, or chemicals.

3) Vaccines have many more ingredients than they used to, and many ingredients are completely unrelated to the effect of the vaccine at all.

This is an ingredient list for some tetanus vaccines found on :

Vaccines.procon.org

 26. TD Vaccine
(tetanus & diphtheria)
PROPER NAME
COMMERCIAL NAME
(click for package insert)
MANUFACTURER
PACKAGE INSERT DATE
GROWTH MEDIUMS & PROCESS INGREDIENTS VACCINE INGREDIENTS
(not in order of quantity; see package insert for quantities)
Tetanus and Diphtheria Toxoids Adsorbed For Adult Use
DECAVAC
Sanofi Pasteur, Inc.
Mar. 2011
Mueller and Miller medium, peptone-based medium, extract of bovine muscle tissue,formaldehyde, ammonium sulfate thimerosal, aluminum potassium sulfate adjuvant, residual formaldehyde
Tetanus and Diphtheria Toxoids Adsorbed For Adult Use
TENIVAC
Sanofi Pasteur, Ltd.
Dec. 2010
modified Mueller-Miller casamino acid medium without beef heart infusion, formaldehyde, ammonium sulfate, modified Mueller’s growth medium,aluminum phosphate, 2-phenoxyethanol, sodium chloride aluminum phosphate, residual formaldehyde, 2-phenoxyethanol, sodium chloride, water for injection
Tetanus and Diphtheria Toxoids, Adsorbed
Mass Biologics
Feb. 2011
modified Mueller’s media(contains bovine extracts),formaldehyde, ammonium sulfate,aluminum phosphate aluminum adjuvant, residual formaldehyde, thimerosal
Tetanus Toxoid
Sanofi Pasteur, Inc.
Dec. 2005
peptone-based medium,formaldehyde, ammonium sulfate, physiological saline solution thimerosal, formaldehyde
Tetanus Toxoid Absorbed
Sanofi Pasteur, Inc.
July 2005
peptone-based medium (contains extract of bovine muscle tissue),formaldehyde, ammonium sulfate,aluminum potassium sulfate (alum) thimerosal, physiological saline solution

Why is it that I have to look this information up online after receiving the offensive vaccine, and it is not provided in the office in which the injection is received? I don’t even know if the vaccine I received is one of these or another that is not listed, they gave me that little information on it. I believe that is wrong, especially since I requested an ingredient list while sitting there trying to decide what I was going to do.

Regardless, what all of this boils down to, is less about the physical and more about the interpersonal and legal. If any one of the doctors over the last 22 years had listened to me or my mother and actually put forth effort to help me, I may have never spent 22 years in pain and battling depression. If any one doctor had stepped up and really cared about the depression as a symptom I could have had real lasting treatment. What if I had lost the battle to depression? Would anyone have cared or even known that it was a medically based issue? Or would they be doing what people did with Robin Williams and other suicide victims. It is not selfish when your brain is malfunctioning and misfiring causing the depression and resulting suicidal thoughts. Robin William’s wife has come out and stated he had Lewy-Body, that is the same if not worse than Thyroid related depression. My heart goes out to him and his struggles, especially knowing that Western Medicine doesn’t really care about fixing the problem if they can continue to milk you for your money. Yet, society repeatedly called him selfish. If you only knew what it was like to be in that place you would never utter those words. Depression is not selfish, when you are the one dealing with it, all you want is out and when no-one can help you out, then you are left facing the fact that death might really be the only way out.

That’s interpersonal, that is a real issue that is being ignored. Then legally, doctors are allowed to over-ride decisions made by people if they decide it is their prerogative to do so. Doctors can decided for you if you are treated, how you are treated, what you are treated with, and if you decided you don’t like their choices they can make life hell for you or your family, or you simply have to start over and find a new doctor. I think that is wrong. Be it a cancer patient choosing not to do chemo, a parent choosing not to vaccinate, a depression patient begging for real solutions instead of randomly trying any one of a number of psych drugs that may not solve the problem if depression is merely a symptom (as in my case), or a patient wanting a drug that will solve the problem without creating another through allergic reactions (Levo). Patients, or in children’s cases- parents, should have the final decision, and ALL of the information should be provided to make an informed decision.

I am literally begging for western medicine to hear me, because the real problem is that I want western medicine to find solutions. I want to have a trusting relationship with western medicine. I want to believe that doctors really do care about me as a person and not just the numbers of my labs or the numbers I represent statistically. I know that if I broke a bone or had a heart defect, western medicine could step in quickly and effectively and fix that problem. But that is where my faith in doctors stops. I’ve worked on too many people that have had 3 and 4 back surgeries to still have pain.

I currently work on someone that had a car accident 5 years ago. She’s had 3 back surgeries, had both shoulders worked on and then replaced, both knees worked on and then replaced. Yet she is still in massive amounts of pain and unable to function normally. She’s loosing her teeth, loosing her hair, can’t turn her head more than 30 degrees to either side, yet she still has faith that the doctors will find her some healing. I’m doubtful.

I want western medicine to quit milking the American people and find real solutions. You are telling me that in 100 years we’ve gone from steam engines and no electricity to computers that can speak and listen and are the size of your hand and make phone calls. But in that same time the only things we have definitively done in healthcare is perfect mending bones and removing/transplanting organs. We can’t cure most diseases, because even bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics. We have multiple diseases (diabetes, asthma, heart disease, COPD, AIDS, and a variety of Cancers/Leukemias) that are so unsolved that they have moved into the realm of permanent money makes for Western Medicine, that is unless the patient dies from the disease. I’ve known people that went into remission with cancer 3 times before finally ceasing to live through the treatments. I know someone now that has type 1 diabetes from a childhood illness, and she’s had an insulin pump for as long as they have existed, currently spending $1500 a month for her insulin and other diabetic supplies. It is wrong. I want medicine to work, I want doctors to listen to their patients and care, I want medicine to fulfill it’s promises, I want medicine to care about people not numbers and money. Medicine is supposed to “First Do No Harm”, well, I think it’s failing at that.

I am obviously very passionate about this issue, and I’m sorry if you don’t agree with me. However, I find that most people that disagree with me have never had any significant issues to deal with. They haven’t spent 22 years trying to solve an invisible problem. So in a way, I’m happy for them, and I hope they continue to have such wonderful health. I just wish they would understand why I feel they way I do, and quit trying to argue with me that western medicine is great. It’s only great if you don’t really have anything invisible to deal with. If it’s a bone, or an organ that needs repaired- they’ve got you, you’re good to go. Otherwise, it’s a hopeless battle to figure it out on your own and hope you can find one anomaly of a doctor to agree to let you try what you want.

May you all have wonderful health, and never find yourself in a 22 year long hopeless battle!

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One thought on “I’m sorry Western Medicine.

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