Thursday, February 9, 2012

Doctors and health

 As we age, Nature is not so interested in keeping us healthy once we pass childbearing age - after all, we have either served our purpose to procreate, or else we're not going to.

However, talking about your health almost automatically labels you as an "old person".  It's on a par with talking about your diet - of riveting interest to ourselves, but not to others.  So I don't intend to bore you with details.  I shall attempt to talk about this subject from a broad perspective.

There's no denying that GPs (doctors in general practice, aka family doctors) are excellent if you have measles, influenza, high blood pressure or any generally common or straightforward medical condition.  However, complicated or difficult to diagnose conditions are another matter.

I have self-diagnosed,  after 2 doctors were unable to find a disease that fitted my symptoms - the tests were done some years apart, as Doctor #2 attempted to find what Doctor#1 had been unable to.  Although excellent GPS, the lack of a diagnosis meant they shrugged their shoulders and gave up.  The condition did not go away, of course, and I have learnt to live with it and manage it.

My current doctor must be at least 70 so will have had a long career and a lot of experience.  He has sent me for various x-rays which showed nothing specific - although I had no expectation that they would.  However, this has stymied my desire to see a back specialist, as the doctor considers I just have "wear and tear".  I do not agree.  And although I have told him of the daily random pain I experience elsewhere (sorry!), he hasn't offered any kind of diagnosis. Perhaps he thinks I just like to complain, or that I imagine things.  Not so.

Once again, I have been forced to consult Doctor Google.  I believe I have found a common condition that fits the symptoms, along with a bunch of Pilates exercises and stretches that could help, so I'll do these and see if I get relief.

Have you had any similar experiences?

1 comment:

  1. Oh yes, this sounds so familiar. I apparently am difficult to diagnose. I never go right away, taking time to assess or see if it will improve on its own, give the dr as much info to work with as possible, then have to either endure a blank stare as if he/she has never heard of such a thing, or be told it must be such and such that I am sure it is not, not if the doc had been really listening. Then it's off to one test after another, the dr often surprised at the negative results, which are always seen as "good news!" Well, it ain't good news if you still are sick or in pain and they have no idea why or how to treat it. But they often throw pills at you anyway in the same way as they throw tests. You are at their mercy, you want to believe these misdiagnoses, spend tons on testing, take the medicine, and then come to find out a solution was there, but not just the most common one. There have been times I've given up and just waited for things to rectify on their own, or like you, opted for my own research and trial and error.

    I don't understand why it should be this way. I know medicine is not an exact science, but with all the money drs spend to get educated, you'd think they could give better educated guesses.

    I've actually had pretty good luck with nurse practitioners, though. As one told me - they are trained to educate while doctors are trained to fix. When you're only focused on the easy fix as opposed to listening and educating, you can miss a lot.

    Hope you are out of pain soon. If you are considering Pilates and stretching, you might look into yoga. It has really helped me with pain issues in several parts of my body.