Today's Quote

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The "Your Not a Doctor" Look

My mom's health has been progressively getting worse over the past several years. This is outside of her spinal disease which we knew would get worse. We started with heart failure 4 years ago. In the hospital every year since then at least once a year. She has congestive heart failure more than likely (doctors agree with me on this)due to the heavy pain meds she is on because of her spinal disease. She has been on them for about 15 years. When she had her heart bypass surgery 3 years ago they put her on a cholesterol medicine, despite the fact that she has never had a cholesterol issue. They also put her on a blood pressure medicine for high blood pressure despite the fact that my mother has always run low to normal blood pressure. Seems these are standard issue for any heart issue whether you truly need them or not. So a couple of years ago I mentioned to mom all of the side affects associated with especially the cholesterol med since she was complaining of pain in her legs and inability to sleep because of it. She wouldn't listen since the "doctor knows what he's doing". Then mom is sleepy all the time, she will literally sleep all day and sometimes is so hard to wake up that she can't even eat a meal without falling asleep. When I check her blood pressure it is low, real low. When I mention that she should stop taking her BP meds I get "the doctor knows what he is doing". So this last time we were in the hospital, just a few weeks ago, during all the ER tests to see what was going on they found she had a calcified pancreas and that her blood sugar was 236. Heart enzymes were slightly elevated but according to the ER doctor more likely to be the stress of being in so much Abdominal pain and nausea than anything else. So then the hospitalist, yes that's right you don't see your doctor anymore if you go to the hospital, says that the pancreas is a non issue. Anyway, long story short....I could never get anyone to address the pancreas and high blood sugar. I tried to get Mom to listen to me but I always got,"the doctor knows what they are talking about". Now, I go to Mom's doctor appointments with her because 1. because of her inability to stay awake she can't drive anymore and 2. because of her inability to get her brain out of a fog she can't remember anymore. So yesterday we are sitting in her cardiologist's office and he comes in and says blah blah blah her EKG is great and it looks like her heart is doing just fine. wasn't her heart, it was her pancreas. So I address this issue and he agrees that it might be a good idea to have her checked for diabetes or at least hypoglycaemia. Thank you...somebody finally listened to me after 2 years of trying to get a doctor to have those tests run. Then I approach the question of taking her off the cholesterol medicine and the side effects she is having, not to mention the myoclonic seizures that she is starting to have (that is a whole nuther story). He looked at me when I said "She has never had a history of high cholesterol and couldn't we at least try it until her next blood tests to see where she stands without it?" He said, "Well she has cholesterol and she needs it because she can't have that. She can't come off of it". At which point I started to explain to him that everyone needs cholesterol and Mom's heart issue was not blocked arteries or veins it was congestive heart failure (his diagnosis). I explained about the seizures she is now having (gee cholesterol is needed to maintain the myelin sheath of the nerves in the brain), the pain in her legs, the fact that cholesterol is need to maintain heart muscle health (important for someone who has congestive heart failure) and on and on. I explained that if you reduced the cholesterol too far all that happened was to trigger the liver to produce more, thus stressing the liver and having high LDL cholesterol( the kind you don't want). That is when it happened...the "Your not a doctor" look and his eyes glazed over as he emphatically stated that she was not to stop her cholesterol medicine that she needed it and would die without it. And then he rushed out of the room. So then Mom looks at me and says "See, I need it". Really?....Really?! Just because he is going by the playbook and hasn't actually done his own research means that he knows best. All of these pills that doctor after doctor keep poking in her are killing her faster and taking away the quality of her life (she can't even enjoy her grandchildren)than any disease could. I would rather die living a full life at age 58 than live in the bed sound asleep not being able to even stay awake for meals and having seizures all day long until I was 70. I was angry needless to say. I really don't like being dismissed because I don't have a set of letters behind my name because let me tell you those letters mean nothing to me if all you can do is follow a standard playbook of protocol to follow that someone else has told you to follow. If you can't make your own decisions based on the patient at hand and do your own research, then to me those letters are nothing. My background is biology, my dad was a chemist and I deal all day long with medical issues, health and nutritional issues of different species of mammals and aviary. Don't give ME the look. Ok rant over and my whole point is that if you let it modern day medicine will kill you quicker than anything and while they are doing they will make your life miserable. Blessings, Kat


Marmee's Pantry said...

God bless you & your efforts, Kat. My mom passed Sept of 2011 from complications of Alzheimer's ~ but I know exactly what you are going through. Stick to your guns. YOU know your family's issues far better than the Dr's, they don't have to live w/what they prescribe, either.

Blessings to you & yours. Merry Christmas!


Kelle said...

Kat, are you living my life in another state or what? My Mom has many of the same issues and add in depression(severe) and other issue related to the meds she's on, much like your situation. My Mom also self treats, self medicates and even stops taking meds altogether if it suits her*sigh* She also lies about everything and won't let us speak to her Dr. Praying for you, we can totally relate, plus my mom is now 100% our responsiblity, since my Dad just left her with us and went back to AZ to enjoy his retirement, so add in some anger and frustration on our part for that!
Hugs and Blessings,

Kat said...

Thank you ladies for your heartfelt wishes and prayers. Yes, Kelle we are probably living the same life!!LOL!! Mom is mine and my sister's responsibility since Mom and Dad were divorced and we lost my Dad in 1995. It is hard. My sister handles most of the finances because she lives far far away while I handle the everyday sort of stuff. I am very blessed to have my sis, don't know if I could handle it all on my own. And yes I understand where the anger and frustration can come in. I go there sometimes myself. Sometimes I wonder if it is because we might see ourselves at some point and future time and we simply don't want to go there. We thought Mom was lying about things for awhile, but came to realize when we investigated further that she simply couldn't remember the way things really happened and she lived in a state of denial. So because she really can't remember anything her state of denial became the truth for her. My prayers are with you. It's tough. Blessings, Kat