After recovering from a host of conditions conventional medicine said were chronic, or in other words, incurable, I still managed to do so. More amazingly, I did it all naturally, without pharmaceuticals or any conventional medical intervention. Does that make me anti-scientific medicine? Absolutely not, but I am realistic about their strengths and limitations and realize being an MD does not make a person God. Fact is, we rely on conventional medicine for too much and are too dependent on prescribed drugs. My journey made me cautiously skeptical and rightly so. Therefore, over the years, while recovering from rheumatoid arthritis, leukemia (twice), chronic allergies, psoriasis, hyperthyroidism and even neutropenia – I developed a set of rules by which I live, when it comes to seeking advice from conventional medical experts, this is what I do.
First, I always seek them out for the diagnosis. No form of medicine in the world is better at finding out what ails us than modern, scientific medicine. A good internist, with all the diagnostic tools now available, can come up with an answer lickity split. That’s always the first step for me when complex symptoms or symptoms I can’t figure out occur.
Second, I always listen to the recommended treatment protocol my doctor recommends and I’m always respectful. Sometimes I end up following that path, sometimes not. I even take the prescription they write but don’t always fill it. I weigh the risk versus reward of what’s recommend, drill down on what percentage of people actually recover from the treatment they suggest, and find out if this drug is meant just to mitigate symptoms – or cure the condition. I want to know if what they suggest is this a long-term or short-term protocol, and so forth. Then, I see what natural options exist I might try first, with fewer side-effects. If they work, great – not, my fallback position is always conventional care. It is, however, rarely the first option I use.
Third, I always ignore the prognosis. Why? Not because medical doctors aren’t smart, because they certainly are – it is just that have a limited range of information from which to draw. In other words, they are ignorant about all the other options out there and how those might help, even in combination. They only understand “quick fix” – they don’t understand a progressive and cumulative process in healing and they don’t understand holistic healing at all. They are trained in pharmaceutical and surgical treatments in medical school along with radiation and other more radical forms of treatment. That is the lane in which they operate and those toys are much more lethal than those used in alternative medicine, so when they make a mistake, the results are much more damaging.
I realized very early that conventional medicine is one of more than 43 other modalities of care, some which have been around 2,000 to 5,000 years and are still working for people. By modalities I mean methods like acupuncture, homeopathy, reiki, water therapy, aroma therapy and essential oils, naturopathy, osteopathy, chiropractic, chelation, colonics, Chinese herbal medicine, hydrotherapy, hypnotherapy, imagery and visualization, prayer, nutritional therapy and the list goes on. An MD’s scope of reference is limited, so he or she has no idea what else is out there that might help – and whenever approached by a patient about one of these options, they always discourage the patient with statements like, “There’s no scientific evidence that this works.” The reason they say this is because they only know how to evaluate a treatment within the confines of clinical research studies and most of these alternative methods don’t adapt to that type of evaluation. Still, many work – evident by my success. So, with limited knowledge of all options that exist – conventional medicine can only tell me what the outcome will be if I used their treatment and protocol. That’s why if I don’t like the prognosis or treatment protocol, I move on.
The Danger of a Bad Prognosis
This is where I am critical of conventional medicine - when doctors are arrogant enough to program our defeat. When a doctor tells you that you will have to live with a condition forever or that you might not live very long at all, it has serious impact. When words like that are spoken something powerful occurs. If you believe what they’ve just told you, it zaps you of any remaining control and strength, robs you of our self-confidence and creates a placebo-in-reverse effect. This is a powerful and damaging dynamic that’s created by physicians who overstep their field of knowledge by attempting to fortune-tell their patient’s future.
There are more truthful options for them, but the ego of most physicians won’t allow them to go there. After they tell you, “There is no cure for this condition. You will just have to live with it.”, or worse, “There is nothing more that can be done” – or even more shocking, “You only have three to six months to live.”, they have delivered a prophecy. And that, my friends, is above their paygrade.
All they had to do is add one caveat: “But, you don’t have to be one of the statistics.” That is not being dishonest – instead it keeps hope alive and allows the patient to feel free to experiment outside of their control. A physician would be even more truthful if he or she said, “We don’t have a good track record with this disease but help might exist in another form of care.” That’s not only more hopeful - it’s the absolute truth.
When a patient who is vulnerable and already fearful of a bad diagnosis hears a prognosis of doom, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy or worse; it can become a hex. When a message like that is delivered by someone a patient truly trusts, as I said earlier, the effects are devastating. Unfortunately, not enough people look past the scientific medical model to see if hope exists elsewhere; they expect to die and that’s exactly what they do.
This blog shares my personal philosophy about believing 100% of what my doctor – or any doctor tells me. I don’t feel guilty sharing this perspective because I’m living proof answers can be found in other places. I’m not advocating that position for anyone else, but I am saying that today, at 76-years of age, I look good for my age and none worse for the battles I’ve endured. I’m energetic, have a new life in front of me and wake up each day, looking forward to what life holds and am in excellent health. That’s my wish for you, too.