It never ceases to amaze me how much bullshit there is involved in the medical industry. I’m not just talking about the fact that most of the industry is run on how expensive shit is, and what they can get past the insurance company. Nor am I just talking about the arrogance of some of the doctors, nurses and other patient-interacting individuals.
I am upset by much of the ignorance and prejudice that is rampant among doctors and nurses. I’m upset by the biases of which they cannot seem to rid themselves. In particular, how they treat many people with chronic, “invisible” illnesses.
In my case, this list includes the listed “invisible” illnesses to the right.
However, because I am overweight AND have diabetes, many of those “invisible” illnesses are considered to be “part of” or “caused by” the diabetes and the weight.
The first item, the mutation, was not diagnosed in order for my doctor «who is a proponent of the concepts involved in functional medicine» to be able to load some woo-woo, poorly tested or completely untested ways for me to supposedly get more healthy.
In fact, while we do discuss the options available via herbal or vitamin/mineral support, that is happening more from my own past experiments and understanding on my own health. I brought up wanting to support my doctor proscribed medications with herbs or vitamins/minerals. Because the results I have gotten with my past experimentation are both extremely positive AND have been independently repeatable, I won’t put up with doctors who refuse to believe that such items can be a good adjunct to regular medical thought. In fact, I include the list of supplements in my list of medications so that ANY doctor I have can understand what medications they wish to prescribe me and how they might interact with my supplements. For example, I had been eating grapefruit fairly regularly. However, when my doctors put me on a statin for cholesterol, both they and the pharmacist warned that grapefruit can both exacerbate the random muscle pain that is a fairly regular side-effect of most statins, and can increase their toxicity. So, I had to remove grapefruit from my regular diet and only eat it sparingly.
But, based on my reading of scholarly articles in peer-reviewed journals of medicine, I was able to modify my diet to support those processes that the mutation causes difficulty with. All it really did for me was to finally give me an answer to the concept of 〈why?〉 that I have been straining under my entire life.
The final item, the neuropathy, is almost ALWAYS blamed on the diabetes. The problem is, when you read the current journals, that it requires high, uncontrolled blood sugars to do the damage to the nerves. And supposedly, the better the control the more likely the neuropathy will stop at the levels it was at when the sugars are controlled. Supposedly, you will never regain full feeling in the areas with neuropathy.
Couple of problems with that in my case.
- I have never gone above an A1C of 9.1. While that is still rather bad, it’s not wildly out of control. In fact, while I was at an A1C of 5.7 the year before I left my ex, and the doctor wanted me to go ahead and stop taking the medicine, I requested to stay on them until we could verify that I would continue at that level. Sadly, in the last 3 years since I left, it has been slowly creeping upward, and I now am at a 7.5. But I have also not been able to purchase my mineral supplements which supported my diabetes meds for quite a while now. My current doctor wanted to change my medication, when the test came out that high, but I requested to reevaluate in 6 months, to see if I could get it back under control on my own.
- The neuropathy only gets worse in an inverse proportion to the control of my blood sugars. In other words, the better controlled my blood sugars are the worse the neuropathy gets. It starts creeping up my legs, making the symptoms start happening in new places. Those symptoms aren’t just numbness of the skin (small-fiber neuropathy numbs the skin, but seems to leave the underlying muscles and etc. completely alone). No, it includes random pain, charlie horses that seem to worsen the higher the neuropathy creeps, and so many other symptoms. The higher my A1C, the better it feels. In fact, it starts to recede back down my leg – in other words getting my feeling back. I’m not ruling out diabetes as a part of the reason for the neuropathy, but I am not convinced it is the ONLY reason.
- The chronic pain, the fibromyalgia and the osteoarthritis are ALL conditions that are supported by more activity and exercise, as long as you do not over-tire yourself. The problem, however, is that the higher the pain level the less likely you are to be able to exercise. There is a level of pain that just doesn’t allow you to do anything active. That’s when the fight begins. Things like Oxycodone/Percoset help with that maintenance for me at least. I’ve tried many of the non-opioid pain killers, but they don’t seem to help. Yet, taking a single Percoset before bed allows me to be more active during my waking hours, partly because due to my pain I rarely sleep deeply enough to help extend my pain endurance levels. Being pain free for the first four hours of sleep actually allows my brain to reach those deeper levels of sleep. Sadly, at worst most of the medical community immediately assumes you are a drug addict if you ask for any opioid. At best, they will just tell you that it can’t be as bad as you are acting like it is. But I can’t exercise to make the pain lessen during the day without it.
- The depression and anxiety also make it sometimes difficult to exercise. I’m not talking about just feeling sad and slothful. Depression is RARELY like the assumed stereotype. It’s about so much more than that. What’s worse is that chronic pain and fibromyalgia have a side-effect of depression as well. So, not only am I dealing with my past, but fighting the depression for my physical issues. And the anxiety makes me sit there freaking out, dealing with heart palpitations and hyperventilation – not exactly things that make it conducive to exercise.
Some days are great, and I can do more. Other days are the hard ones to go through, when sitting on the computer watching movies is about the extent of my ability to do anything.
So, yes, I get very angry with medical staff at times. I have to remind myself that they are human, and therefore just as biased and prejudicial as any of the rest of us. I just need to find ways to persuade in a positive way in order to ensure my health is supported correctly.