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Jill B Blasius

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I'm glad to hear you found a Dr. who took your concerns seriously. I have had a lot of family and friends go to western medicine Dr.'s who "blow them off" that their concern is minor or all in their head and eventually die from a serious condition, mainly cancerous. And by the time they actually found someone to listen to them, it was too late. If anyone reading this isn't getting an answer to your liking from your current doctor - even if it is someone you've been going to for years and you have a great deal of trust for them - I urge you to seek out someone else for a second, even third opinion.

My Mom, she had peritonitis caused from taking lots of Motrin for rheumatoid arthritis pain, had severe stomach issues, vomiting and pain and her Dr.'s suggestion was to "just take some Maalox for your stomach pain". She finally checked herself into hospital and died 10 days later from it. It was gruesome.

My brother, who was having throat trouble singing in choir and later, swallowing food, had complained for a couple of years, was told to "gargle with salt water" and "chew your food better", ended up having esophageal cancer but wasn't diagnosed until it was stage 4 and in his liver and brain.

My father, complained of weakness and loss of energy. At 72 yrs old they dismissed it as "old age" but he was very active - a regular Jack LaLanne - swam every morning, golfed 9 holes twice a day - no cart - always walking, rode a bicycle *everywhere*, busy with church and charity groups. They told him he just needed to "slow down and take it easy - you're old!" After two years of hearing that answer he didn't like, he finally saw a different Dr. A simple finger prick blood test showed he had no white blood cells, he had myeloid leukemia, and had had it for a few years. He died 3 months after his diagnosis.

And my best friend of over 50 years. Sometime ago (about 15 years), her fingers swelled up, especially at the tips of her fingers. She was one of those ppl who religiously did an annual health exams, always pointed out her weird fingers to the Dr., who replied with "it's from biting your nails, stop biting your nails". For some reason after seeing the same Dr. for years she switched Dr.'s. When she mentioned her fingers, the woman grabbed her hands, asked "how long have they been this way?" and immediately sent her for a CAT scan during her appointment, then after getting the results, a PET scan. She had stage 4 lung cancer, also now in her brain, liver and lymph nodes. She died 6 months after diagnosis.

I have about 6 more examples of friends who have passed that have been completely ignored by so-called "health professionals", but those three are the closest to me.

I have little regard for western medicine and use the holistic/homeopathic approach. I recently went for an "annual physical" at 60 yrs old with a western medicine Dr. - first one in 18 yrs! Last one was when I was 42 and pregnant with my first child. At that time I was told I had the health of a 20 year old! I guess I was getting scared of my family medical history and concerns over my longevity. I had every test know to man and then some, which insurance only paid for my mammogram and pap smear, I had to pay for all the rest. When all my results came back, the Dr. calls me and asks me to come back in to her office. OMG, I thought, it's bad news! I go in and the doctor says "Looking at you on paper, I'd swear you were only 30 years old! You're the picture of excellent health." So why did she call me in for that?! So she could charge me for another $150 for an office visit. Ah, good old western medicine!

I guess I won't be scheduling another "annual" exam until I'm 90....
 

rdc1978

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I'm glad to hear you found a Dr. who took your concerns seriously. I have had a lot of family and friends go to western medicine Dr.'s who "blow them off" that their concern is minor or all in their head and eventually die from a serious condition, mainly cancerous. And by the time they actually found someone to listen to them, it was too late. If anyone reading this isn't getting an answer to your liking from your current doctor - even if it is someone you've been going to for years and you have a great deal of trust for them - I urge you to seek out someone else for a second, even third opinion.

My Mom, she had peritonitis caused from taking lots of Motrin for rheumatoid arthritis pain, had severe stomach issues, vomiting and pain and her Dr.'s suggestion was to "just take some Maalox for your stomach pain". She finally checked herself into hospital and died 10 days later from it. It was gruesome.

My brother, who was having throat trouble singing in choir and later, swallowing food, had complained for a couple of years, was told to "gargle with salt water" and "chew your food better", ended up having esophageal cancer but wasn't diagnosed until it was stage 4 and in his liver and brain.

My father, complained of weakness and loss of energy. At 72 yrs old they dismissed it as "old age" but he was very active - a regular Jack LaLanne - swam every morning, golfed 9 holes twice a day - no cart - always walking, rode a bicycle *everywhere*, busy with church and charity groups. They told him he just needed to "slow down and take it easy - you're old!" After two years of hearing that answer he didn't like, he finally saw a different Dr. A simple finger prick blood test showed he had no white blood cells, he had myeloid leukemia, and had had it for a few years. He died 3 months after his diagnosis.

And my best friend of over 50 years. Sometime ago (about 15 years), her fingers swelled up, especially at the tips of her fingers. She was one of those ppl who religiously did an annual health exams, always pointed out her weird fingers to the Dr., who replied with "it's from biting your nails, stop biting your nails". For some reason after seeing the same Dr. for years she switched Dr.'s. When she mentioned her fingers, the woman grabbed her hands, asked "how long have they been this way?" and immediately sent her for a CAT scan during her appointment, then after getting the results, a PET scan. She had stage 4 lung cancer, also now in her brain, liver and lymph nodes. She died 6 months after diagnosis.

I have about 6 more examples of friends who have passed that have been completely ignored by so-called "health professionals", but those three are the closest to me.

I have little regard for western medicine and use the holistic/homeopathic approach. I recently went for an "annual physical" at 60 yrs old with a western medicine Dr. - first one in 18 yrs! Last one was when I was 42 and pregnant with my first child. At that time I was told I had the health of a 20 year old! I guess I was getting scared of my family medical history and concerns over my longevity. I had every test know to man and then some, which insurance only paid for my mammogram and pap smear, I had to pay for all the rest. When all my results came back, the Dr. calls me and asks me to come back in to her office. OMG, I thought, it's bad news! I go in and the doctor says "Looking at you on paper, I'd swear you were only 30 years old! You're the picture of excellent health." So why did she call me in for that?! So she could charge me for another $150 for an office visit. Ah, good old western medicine!

I guess I won't be scheduling another "annual" exam until I'm 90....
I am so sorry about all this. I totally understand your reluctance to trust western medicine. If I were you I'd be wary too.

I feel there are a variety of factors at play, but how could that ever change your outlook and why should it? You've found what works for you.

I think both approaches have their pros and cons, but if I were you, I'd probably just go another direction.
 

JillGat

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I'm the one with the SCC on my finger who started this thread. Wanted to clarify a few things. I trust science. Having worked as an infectious disease epidemiologist and clinical researcher for many years, I have a respect for what is known, how it has come to be known, and how to prioritize options for diagnosis and care. For this reason, although I know that some herbal remedies and meditation practices can improve some health conditions, I am frustrated and saddened when I see and hear people trusting a worker at Whole Foods to recommend an herbal remedy but don't trust Western Medicine. You'll hear people say that Western Medicine is just out to get your money. ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE PEOPLE ARE TOO, AND IT'S EVEN EASIER FOR THEM. It's easier, because so many people have been treated inappropriately, have not been listened to, etc. by "Western Medicine" practitioners. Some practitioners of alternative medicine have their hearts in the right place and some are just taking advantage of people who are desperate and making a lot of money doing it.

Let me just add here that in my opinion (and I can back it up with a lot of data if you're interested), homeopathy is complete and total hogwash. I really can't imagine anyone believing that homeopathy could in any way effectively treat peritonitis, esophageal cancer, myeloid leukemia or Stage 4 lung cancer.

This being said, I DO know that, as in my experience, many doctors are like most other people: they tend toward either bending reality to match what they want to believe or what they *usually* see. They trust Occam's Razor. As an epidemiologist - a disease detective, basically - I was taught NOT to do that.

As a patient, it's really important to find medical providers who listen to you, who are curious and are critical thinkers. We have to advocate for ourselves and watch out for bias, always. It's a drag to shop around, but sometimes you need to push for a referral for a specialist or at least find a primary provider who is open minded and listens.
 
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rdc1978

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There is a very interesting clinic i visited at UCLA (part of a class on health care law) and they actually work on blending eastern and western medicines so both are considered when treating a patient. I think the people who started the program realized that there are pros and cons of both types of medicine. And where one was deficient the other could help.

Allopathic, or western medicine was better suited for a lot of acute problems but didn't offer a lot of therapies for just being healthy. It was more of a ",here is a problem. Let's fix a problem" approach and eastern medicines were better for just staying healthy.
 

SPowers

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I noticed a round (rough) patch on my back several years ago. Slight variation in the colour from my skin - it was roundish and about the size of a penny. After a number of years I finally thought to mention it to my doc or perhaps they noticed it (can't remember). Nothing had changed with it during the passing years but turns out it was the same thing - Squamish Carcinoma. I had it surgically removed as an out patient - I imagine it would be more difficult to deal with on a finger... good luck.
 

Jubilee8269

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I'm kind of glad, and at the same time sad to know I'm not the only one going through all this sort of mess. I'm making my own soaps now cause there;'s something in the chemicals of a lot of store bought brands that make me itch. Like feeling like I have bugs all over me kind of itching. So I can't use them.

I also have a skin disease along with a whole host of other problems. For years I had doctors telling me I had herpes, even though the tests kept coming up negative for that. My own family kept telling me I was exaggerating everything, didn't need a doctor, or meds, and was just being lazy and trying to get out of working. Even though I'm on SSI for disability. My current PCP keeps insisting the skin disease I have doesn't work the way it does and it can't possibly be in the places it is, while the dermatologists keep saying he's full of it and have put me on immunosuppressants to control it. I've also been telling people for years there's something wrong with my heart, and I'm showing signs of a certain disease. They finally did a heart monitor test to 'shut me up' and it showed them there was something wrong. Now I have to go to a clinic and get more tests done and be put on heart meds. When I've been telling doctors I needed that since I was in middle school and no one would listen to me. Cause I had to be making it up.

Sometimes Doctors can be great, and other times they can be jerks. So I can see why some people look for natural cures when they can't get the help they need from the providers they're seeing. I tried the essential oils, the certain ways of bathing. Eating certain fruits and veggies and cutting things out for my stomach disorders and my skin and my heart. None of it helped though. Sometimes it might for certain people.
 
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