Doctors (Only) Care (About Your Money).


NarkSide: Captain’s log – May 11th 2013

Tonight, I ran in to a friend of mine. She is 2 years younger than I am… a retired volleyball player, and avid gym-goer. When I saw her, she was much larger than I remember. Swollen really. As we spoke, she informed me that she had nearly died. Apparently, she went to her doctor with sudden (and increasingly) high blood sugar…and, instead of investigating the cause(s), her doctor immediately t…reated her as a diabetic… putting her on injectable insulin. Her conditioned continued to worsen, and her doctor continued to increase her dosage of insulin. Her foot swelled.

Everything deteriorated.

Flabbergasted, and quickly deteriorating, she sought out the advice of an osteopath who, having considered her prior lifestyle, immediately investigated the underlying causes. Blood work revealed that her progesterone was low. ‘Low’ wasn’t even an apt description. This was the cause of her blood sugar issues. Further investigation in to this satellite problem revealed that her progesterone was low because her cholesterol was low. As most of you might know, hormones are synthesized from cholesterol.

Why was her cholesterol low however? Systemic E. Coli infection (and stomach/intestine perforation). The kicker? The E. Coli overgrowth had been caused by the constant antibiotic therapy her original doctor would prescribe whenever she went to him. “Oh, you’re sick? Here’s a prescription for some antibiotics.”

Antibiotics killed off her good intestinal flora, while the E. Coli continued to generate resistant strains and thrive… thus her immune system (which is what the intestines are: An adaptive immune system; a platform of sybiotic relationships with intestinal microbiota); was destroyed. Did I also mention that her kidney and liver were both failing? Yea. They were. Her medical bills for 3 months with her original doctor? $10, 000

Currently her osteopath has her maintaining her insulin therapy, albeit at a lower dose (which is coming down from month to month). A moderate dose of Lantus (a long-acting isomer) in the morning and Novalog (a short-acting isomer used in the post-prandial capacity) after meals… while they fix the underlying issues. Her condition has improved markedly by adding probiotics (to correct the imbalance/nonexistence of intestinal flora), as well as a laundry list of nutritional substrates and diet changes to rebuild her compromised immune system. Her organs are no longer failing. Her blood sugar is no longer skyrocketing. Her extremeties are no longer swelling. And, more importantly, she is no longer scared out of her fucking mind that she won’t see her 30th birthday.

Now, this may offend many doctors on my list… including my sister who is about to start her residency. But, that does not bother me in the least. What bothers me is the horror stories and callous disregard for quality of life that I encounter daily as a wellness professional and a fucking human being.

That said…

There are surely good doctors out there (as there are good [insert any profession here]). However, juxtaposed with the good are those who enter the profession with the aim to make as much money as possible.

I encourage each of you to ask questions. Have opinion… informed opinions. Get second opinions.

No one can care about your health like you do.

No one is interested in your quality of life as much as you are.

It is your responsibility to query and probe to ensure those who are taking your cash are also doing everything within their power to see a positive resolution to your situation.

-C. “Narkissos” Springer
Owner of: 
“The NarkSide” Fitness Forums
Apollo Fitness Barbados
NarkSide Apparel

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6 comments

  1. There are huge problems within institutional and individual medical practice in Barbados, especially with regard to fitness and nutrition; but you are grossly misdiagnosing them.

    Too many doctors speak from a position of overconfident ignorance with regard to nutrition;
    but you seem to be speaking from a position of overconfident ignorance with regard to the mindset of “doctors”.

    My recommendation? Get to know some. Work with them. Form alliances. See what makes them tick.

    Most of the time, “money” isn’t the answer.

    1. While you are entitled to your opinion, much like I am, your statements assume that I haven’t “Gotten to know some”, “Worked with some”, or “Formed alliances.”

      If a decade and a half of unpleasant experiences, and horror stories experienced personally and by my clients and peers equates to ‘overconfident ignorance’ then, respectfully, I must align myself with the ignorant.

      We can respectfully disagree on that perspective, and with the entire rant’s call-to-arms which states: “It is your responsibility to query and probe to ensure those who are taking your cash are also doing everything within their power to see a positive resolution to your situation.”

      Respectfully,
      -C. Springer

      1. So, “doctors only care about your money” because people have bad experiences? Should we generalise that way about nutritionists, or fitness instructors?

        I applaud your call to arms.
        I condemn your generalisation that demonises doctors.

        It makes no sense for you to disrespect me and then sign off “respectfully”.

        Respectfully,

        “doc”.

      2. I don’t deny negative experiences. I’m not making excuses for bad doctors.

        But overgeneralising doesn’t help; nor does assuming callous greed where the problem is deeply-rooted ignorance.

        This is an insider’s view. Don’t dismiss it lightly.

      3. ‘It makes no sense for you to disrespect me and then sign off “respectfully”.’ ~ I fail to see how disagreeing with your perspective equates with ‘disrespecting’ you… or how your ‘insider’s perspective’ (particularly as I don’t know you from Adam) negates my own above-mentioned experiences/opinions.

        Again… you are entitled to your position. Further, you are entitled to elucidate. You creating a blog entry/video/article would go a long way to educate/enlighten the Barbadian public… and/or your peers.

        I look forward to reviewing your entry.
        -C. Springer

  2. No, actually, a blog entry wouldn’t be the best way for me to enlighten my peers.
    I’m doing that privately. I’m working with two nutritionists, in two organisations. I’m having private conversations.

    Again, if you work with (more?) doctors, you’ll know more about the problem with doctors. As it is, you know your perspective and not theirs, and thus shouldn’t be making broad claims about what doctors care about.

    And you don’t disrespect me by disagreeing with me. You disrespect me as a human being and as a professional by saying that I, as a doctor, only care about patients’ money. And, you make it harder to address the actual problem if you make those kinds of attacks and needlessly put people on the defensive. It makes it HARDER for doctors to admit ignorance and listen, which are key elements of improvement. In general, ignorance is the problem, not avarice.

    You’re also entitled to your position. I think that you’re doing great work. I just think that you need to listen to actual doctors, if you’re going to make claims like the ones you have.

    Thanks for your attention, to the degree that you’ve given it.

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