Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Venting my spleen

A saga of medical "misadventure"

These days, before my conscious mind full comes into play, I lie in bed and rail against a particular doctor that was recently fobbed onto me after my previous very good one left to go back to Canada. And I can tell you a lot of anger comes to the surface!

The latest episode i something that happened to a friend of mine. Packing things up for a move of house she dropped a jar onto her foot. There was blood everywhere and they ended up at the Emergency department of the hospital where she was stitched up and end home, no doubt with a generous supply of the ubiquitous painkillers. After a while she took her problem foot to her PODIATRIST who said her tendon had been severed and if she didn't have immediate surgery she would lose use of her foot.

You mean to tell me that the medical staff of a hospital can't identify something that a podiatrist can see at a glance?!!

One might think that this was a one-off example of lack of experience by a junior practitioner - except for the fact that in the hospital you're surrounded by nurses and doctors. You'd think that somebody might have seen the origin of the problem.

When I think of all my friends that have had medical problems (especially chronic ones) - every single one of them has had a bad experience  experienced medical 'misadventure'.

A history of a melanoma

I can't help but think of my partner who had a melanoma. First she was told that there was no problem with her mole, despite her friends and colleagues querying her about it. Finally, she had it checked after feeling that it was "not right".  She had an operation to remove the mole. She had regular visits to the hospital to check if there was any recurrence. Only a couple of weeks after such a check again she felt that things were "not right". Tests showed that a secondary growth had moved into her axillary glands and due to kind fate, she was operated on in a timely manner.

The follow-up was another matter. Basically it was, go home and come back for regular tests for the next five years - the oncologists spoke mostly in terms of statistics which tended to imply that she would have a return of the cancer. On her own bat, and based on word-of-mouth advice she organised to go to Australia to see Prof. Hersey of the Sydney Melanoma Clinic and take part in a trial of vaccine therapy. At that stage (and it possibly is still true) no one who had undertaken this treatment had subsequently did).  She was never once offered any alternatives by her oncologist and got no encouragement (or discouragement) from her oncologist but was offered the opportunity to take part in a double- blind placebo trial in Brisbane (which was politely declined).

The rest is history and twelve years later, Pam is in excellent history - totally due to actions that she took herself, on her own initiative, outside the (non)-advice given by the System.

Fast forward to 2013. I too had had a mole on my trunk that my partner, quite understandably was onto me to do something about. I ignored it with the connivance and encouragement of my then doctor who assured me there was nothing to worry about (but took a photo for the records).

During one of my periods of feeling completely unwell I also had a slight "tingling" feeling, that things were "not right", so, uncharacteristically I went to the doctor. I found a locum who assured me that everything was "probably" fine, but decided, on second thoughts, to check it "just in case". He must have had more second thoughts, for he later rang me at home to see if I was available to be operated on that very afternoon (by himself).

After a while I got a ring from the same locum to show that tests had shown that the mole was in fact a malignant melanoma, but that things would "probably be fine".

I had an operation to remove the melanoma as well as two lymph glands (something that wasn't done twelve years before). However, I discovered, that wasn't all that had changed. Immune therapy was out (and unavailable in Sydney) and chemotherapy was back in.

For the meantime I am in the situation of having regular tests and wondering when there might be a recurrence (although I have been assured that I am on the lower end of the scale of risk).

More cases

Coming back to my partner. She had a couple of falls, which she did nothing about. A third fall (off my horse Biscuit - she fainted and fell off) landed her in hospital. During an evening in the Emergency department she was X-rayed and sent home with painkillers (one of which, subsequently made her very sick), but not before I requested the doctor to send the X-rays to her chiropractor which evinced what bordered on a laugh of derision ("hmfff! Chiropractor?!"). 

Well things didn't improve at all, but got worse and finally it was the very same derided chiropractor who recognised what was going on, ordered a second round of thorough X-rays which showed a hairline fracture of the pelvic bone and arranged for her to have a private consultation with the best orthopaedic surgeon in Wellington who booked her in for a hip replacement.

Once again, no thanks to the medical system (except for the anti inflammatories).

A little bit before my melanoma I came off Biscuit in the hills and broke my arm. The first treatment was at Wellington where I was put into a cast and assured that there would be lots of follow-up. Bureaucracy decreed that I should go to the Hutt hospital, where I was taken out of the plaster cast and put in a plastic cast that left my arm with little support (that, apparently is the 'protocol' now) and told to go away (with plenty of painkillers) and come back in 5 weeks (or so) time.  A visit to the much-derided chiropractor and subsequent X-rays showed that the bones were healing completely out- of-alignment.  All the subsequent interactions with the orthopaedic department were marked by similar rudeness and disinclination to listen to what I had to say - and I have had to live with a bone that has grown out-of-alignment.

The whole experience also resulted in a marked dive in my overall health and well being.

Just to confirm my experience another friend broke her arm and had an analogous experience and was helped, once again, by the much-derided chiropractor.

I have another friend with a chronic and debilitating autoimmune condition that has a constant struggle in being taken at all seriously by the medical system
I have another friend who had a bowel problem and was diagnosed Metamucil, and suffered such huge pain that she had to lie in a hot bath for relief. I can't help feeling that if she had just gone to the 'quacks' that know something about colon health, intestinal flora and dysbioisis, she might have avoided all the trouble.

The case that I read about on RT sometime about (and can't find again) was the woman in the UK suffering excruciating, debilitating pain and went to not one, but three hospitals who told her (not-so-gently) that she was imagining the whole thing. When she finally died they found she had bone cancer. Just in case you think I'm making it up or imagining it -  (these stories often disappear off the Net after some time) there is this story.   

Kindness in the System

If you think that I am jaundiced in my views - and I think I have reason to be - you might be right.

However, I have to say that, despite the odds, there are exceptions and some amazing examples of competence and common sense. 

When, last spring I fell in the shower and broke my ankle, at the hospital they not only did all the requisite X-rays which showed that I needed an operation to pin it together but, quite by chance there was a nurse on duty (obviously not straight out of Polytech) who actually knew how to set the bone and did it immediately, with the help of laughing gas.

If it wasn't for that one individual, who knows what situation I'd be in now. Despite that, for reasons not entirely related, I still get around with a walking stick.

Speaking of the System

Something else comes to mind. When I went to see a doctor last time (about five months ago) she said that "the best person to diagnose a melanoma is you". Apart from sounding very strange coming from this right-wing, corporate representative of the medical System (which disregards such about everything patients report as unimportant in toto) on reflection it represented something about the current practise of medicine.

That is, that it relies on the latest directive from the medical bureaucracy (from the so-called 'Ministry of Health', an Orwellian name if anything!) and is totally in thrall to the drug companies.

In the not-so-distant past doctors actually practised medicine. They used their own training in differential diagnosis and the best of them were able to observe their patients (one locum I went to see not so long ago had me follow her into her surgery like a puppy and didn't once look at me or even familiarise herself with my history).

It's not as if they were successful at identifying and treating patients that successfully. The old age from the 19h century comes to mind "with homoeopathy patients die from the disease; with allopathy (western medicine) they die from the cure"

For all that, it does seem that there was a difference. Previously there was just medicine (or almost):now there are directives from On High, "Best Practise" (like no longer setting broken bones, or moving from treating melanoma with surgery and chemotherapy only) and regular visits (and perks) from representatives of drug companies that are peddling, not life-saving drugs like antibiotics, but drugs that can be prescribed for life - lifestyle, such as Viagra - or ones based on completely bogus premises such as Statins.

I sometimes wonder if doctors such as the one I went to see ever wonder how many deaths they have caused through their practise. Do they EVER survey their clients on satisfaction?  How many people do they really help (as opposed to "managing disease"

The suppression of nэtural medicine

As an acupuncturist,specialising in treating people with food and other allergies my criteria for success was that people felt an improvement in their symptoms or an increase in their well being.  Every time I failed in this I really felt it - and thankfully this happened far less often than patients going away happy.

One example of "managing disease" is the case of food and other allergies that many outside the system know is caused by a combination of environmental toxins, industrial pseudo-food and medical practises themselves.  I made a successful career for eleven years practising NAET, which, I will be the first to admit looks like hocus-pocus, but assisted me to help many, many people who were characteristically at the end of the road when it came to the medical system.

I can honestly say that many people were helped by my practise of NAET, (definitely the majority). Yet, by the time I gave up practise there were court case taken by the notorious ACCC in Australia against practitioners that were forced out of practise as a result of court case where it was  asserted that their claims were "bogus" because the "experts" asserted that "allergies cannot be cured".  

This, despite hundreds, maybe even thousands of testimonies of people who asserted the contrary.

My colleagues in Australia had their careers and reputations destroyed. I have no idea what they are doing now.

Medical fascism that thankfully hasn't yet made it to this country although the same attitude is there in abundance. My career was destroyed by a precipitous collapse in my own health - the ultimate cause of which was exposure earlier in life to the toxic pesticide, Paraquat.

There is nothing left on the Internet about this (on a Google search), but I did find this obnoxious hatchet piece.


What makes me so angry and makes me rail against the system so frequently are resonances with DENIAL of the collapse of human, industrial society and with abrupt climate change and near-term human extinction.

At present, i am able to work at the computer for only a couple of hours at a time - the only time I can almost forget that I am chronically ill. I am reminded every time I want to get up and go to the bathroom.

Others can see that I am exhausted and "not myself" and yet the only response I get from the medical system (despite a history of melanoma, accidents and an incorrect, I beleive diagnosis of sarcoidosis) is that there is nothing wrong - it is "just ageing", or it is caused by "depression".

Suggest to me that I should seek medical advice and you will get a pretty sharp retort - or worse.

"Modern medicine" definitely falls on the wrong side of the prevailing Paradigm and seems to be largely beyond redemption.

My two cents worth.

See other articles I have written recently - 

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