Wellness is about pushing employees into the healthcare system, almost always both against their will and their better judgment. This story is a perfect example of the consequences of how too much healthcare can be hazardous to your health, and why your best defense against overdoctoring is knowledge.
Once you start asking questions, doctors have to start answering them. While many doctors welcome that, others start fidgeting. If your doctor is one of the latter, it’s probably time to switch.
I myself get occasional bladder tumors. Ironically — and once again, showing the unintended consequences of wellness — I got bladder cancer from eating more broccoli, which of course is exactly what wellness programs would have us do. (And which, in all fairness, is generally a good idea.) The problem was that the broccoli was grown in a garden that was way too close to railroad ties, which leach creosote into the soil. Creosote causes bladder tumors.
So every few years, one grows back and has to be scooped out “non-invasively” (that’s easy for the doctor to say). And every year I go in and get checked, also “non-invasively”. After my last check, the urologist — a new one, whom I had never seen before — suggested a CT scan of the kidneys and ureters.
I asked her why, and she said, because I had had bladder cancer for 15 years and never had this scan.
I replied: “Well, I founded a company, Quizzify, that educates on overutilization. CT scans have 500 times the radiation of x-rays, and that particular set of views is likely to spot tumors on my adrenal glands that are completely clinically insignificant, and yet once spotted will be tracked and possibly removed, for no good reason other than that they are there.”
She said: “OK, why don’t we just start with a urinanalysis.”
From a hazardous and likely counterproductive $1000 scan to a $10 urinalysis in 30 seconds. That’s what knowledge is worth.
Access to medical doctors does not equal better wellness, seeing the doctor needs to be viewed as a safety net, not a way to get healthy. People need to take some personal responsibility for their own health and that of their loved ones to take the time to ask questions…I totally agree if the doctor fidgets…that’s not a good sign. It might be a sign that he’s spouting practiced lines rather than truly analyzing you condition.
When my son was in the PICU several years ago, the pediatricians doctors (whose care helped put him there) asked us to let them be the “Captain” of his care.
My response was that they could be Captains on the team, as long as they recognized that the Parents were the Coach, and the coach tells the Captains what plays to run!
Tim, thank you for sharing this unfortunate and personal story. It took a lot of nerve to say what you said but it was certainly the right answer. I hope everything turned out OK.
I had something similar and I also stood up to them. My wife had ALS and the doctors kept wanting to do things to her to extend her life. She could hardly communicate but I knew she just wanted to be left alone. Here is the full story http://www.whytheheck.com/2010/12/27/my-own-story-of-als-and-how-this-site-came-to-be/
My story involves advocating for my 92 year old father. He lived alone and fell. He had to endure lying on the floor for 12 hours before having the strength to call 911 (yes I tried to get him to wear a life alert device, he wouldn’t). Once in the ER he had a high fever and was delirious. First we were told he had sepsis and would die soon. He didn’t so next came heart disease. Nope not heart disease after lots of tests. Then his delirium was suddenly diagnosed after several scans as full-blown Alzheimer’s disease. A neurologist tried to convince us that Dad went from being completely coherent to running off the dementia cliff in less than three days. It was a week of whiplash talking with all kinds of specialists who seemed to have no interest in speaking to each other. Finally a PA diagnosed … are you ready?,,, a flu virus!
In the meantime I argued with a cardiologist that he didn’t need blood thinners as a preventative measure, neurologists that he didn’t need dementia drugs, etc., etc.
He’s still probably on too many meds, but now since he’s living in a wonderful assisted living facility he is doing great! Why: because he has a great nutrionally sound diet, his meds are monitored by a Registered Nurse, he gets daily exercise and physically therapy, he’s socializing more and has lots of mentally challenging encounters and activities, and he sleeps well.
While the experience was difficult for everyone…especially my Dad…I learned a lot and have come up with my own life plan for my health. I called in a MAP to SNAP. It means as Much As Possible…Sleep well, focus on well-balanced Nutrition, be physically and socially Active and finally have a satisfying Purpose to my life.
Janet Speers Lewis, forever loved,forever missed,but never forgotten, REST IN PEACE,HAPPINESS AND LOVE.