Monday, May 20, 2013

The point of it all....



After years of traditional medicinal attempts to curb some pains and discomforts I’ve concluded that in the west they really don’t have a clue.  With exception of some major advances in medicine like heart transplants and the ability to diagnose rare diseases the western style medical care is lacking and with it the essential aspects of what makes life worthwhile.

I do believe that western medicine is helpful and to some extent has created the illusion of an almost God like persona that solves the unsolvable and cures the incurable, raising men from near death and even from clinical death, restoring limbs even if those limbs are prosthetic .  Western medicine has made astounding advances. However, those issues solved and the myriad other problems tackled by our medical system must be balanced with the harm and destruction associated with the overall health scheme now present in most industrialized worlds.

With cancers still on the rise, heart disease still the number one killer, with pesticides and hormones on all our food, genetically engineered food and processed sugars it’s a miracle that we’re actually living longer and in some accounts healthier lives, go figure.

Years ago I had an incident that literally blew out a disc in my lower back.  After consulting with the doctor it was decided that surgery was needed in order to solve the issue of herniation and the subsequent pressure on my sciatic nerve.  I agreed, but truth be told I had no basis of comparison, no understanding of any alternatives that might mitigate the need for invasive cutting and removal, I trusted the doctors.

The surgery went well with the exception of a few minor details.  When the doctor came to visit, while I was still purely intoxicated with the anesthetics and only barely able to open my eyes let alone have a conscious discussion he told me he accidentally clipped my sciatic nerve and I would probably lose some feeling in my right leg.  I scarcely remember the conversation and when I became aware of the issue other doctors told me (there is that trust again) that I would heal, it takes time, let’s monitor the situation and keep a close eye on your recovery.  I guess I’m still recovering, 12 years later and the feeling is still absent and the issues continue to plague my life.

I’ve learned to deal with it, but the point of medicine is to improve our lives not simply be forced to endure as I did for over 11 years as these same style doctors prescribed hydrocodone, morphine,   and finely fentanyl and each year brought a higher dose and more dependency with a growing need to relieve the pain the associated need for more medications.

I had no idea what my true level of pain was, if my body had progressed toward health or was it worse and all the while the doctors vacillated between giving me more medication and telling me to take a “drug Holiday”, like a vacation from the drugs would revitalize my system and make all things better.  I did decide on that holiday but decided to make it a permanent retirement from their way of doing things, I stopped cold turkey and went through hell for about two months while my body screamed at me “what are you doing, are you crazy, don’t you know we need that stuff?”

It’s been about a year now and I still crave the drugs at times and want the feelings of not caring, knowing the pain was still there but not caring, the feeling of euphoria and the high that made everything so much better, that is until the hunger returned.  I was like some fabled vampire seeking my next feeding and only being able to satisfy those needs with the drugs prescribed.

Let me make something very clear here, I was not considered addicted I was dependent and the difference is quite astounding even though the line between the two is so very thin.  That’s when I discovered acupuncture, or TCM (traditional Chinese Medicine) and the meaning of the word qi or chi, the life energy or for you Star Wars fans the “force”.  

After a few treatments and some uncomfortable but stimulating shocks as the doctor (yes they are doctors) strategically placed tiny needles all over my body with some literally causing an electric shock, the symptoms of my pain and past surgery, the accompanying effects of long term drug use, depression etc… are now in abeyance and I do see the glorious light at the end of a long and very dark tunnel.

In retrospect I should not have had the initial surgery and even remember my body telling me that I was getting better and should have listened to what was being said.

Like the old adage “there is more than one way to skin a cat” why would anyone want to skin a cat but you get the idea.  Stop and look before you cross the road, there are two sides to every issue (probably more than two) and if a doctor tells you that you need immediate surgery, step back a few paces and take a few days at least to consider the options, options that include balancing that life force, that qi or chi and discovering what your bodies potential is before you take that fateful step reserved by Western Medicine to entrap you, ensnare you and make you dependent on what they alone are peddling.