Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ready to take off your gloves?

The gloves are off and I'm ready to rumble!

Up until now, I've been really politically correct with my blogs. I've tried to see what the general consensus is among our members, but now I'm ready to let my words fly! Watch out...I apologize in advance if I offend anyone, but honestly the only people I could be offending are the people that deserve to be offended. So stiffen up sissy butts and let the opinions of Susan roll! I think I've gained some trust among many of you and it's time we start tackling the tough issues that ARE the 400 lb. elephant in the room. Today, I'm beginning my new blog format with my complete and honest opinions. As all of you know, I am the mother of four amazing kids, a wife, and a generally liked and respected woman, but first and foremost, I'm an educated individual with many issues and a desire to make changes in my life and the world in general. I've decided it's time to open the flood gates and begin a series of discussions among all of you, and hopefully, we can come up with some solutions instead of regurgitating the same old poop over and over again. Ya ready? GOOD!

I'm hearing some frustration regarding Doctors and the way most of them practice well-being and health. I believe that Doctors are just now starting to view people as a whole instead of treating symptoms. If you're anything like me, you have plenty of symptoms, but not enough support to dissect those symptoms. I've been on countless medications since I've been 21. I'm only 37 now and I feel like I'm 90! I got tired of hearing the same old answers every time I went to a new Dr. I always left feeling like most of my problems were in my head and self induced. Or worse yet, I had issues that just had no resolve, and I would just have to find a way to grin and bear them. My husband's worried since my warrenty has expired and he didn't purchase the extendo plan! ;)

I began investigating gluten and the effects of it when I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. I've had psoriasis since I was 21 and it was getting worse with each passing year. I had red, itchy splotches over 90% of my body, I was in constant pain because my skin always felt like it was going to literally break apart. My self esteem was lower than it had ever been, and to top all of this off, I began gaining weight and always felt bloated and exhausted. Nice combo for anyone to have to deal with.
I was on thyroid medication for my hypothyroidism, was constantly rubbing prescribed steroid creams all over myself to ease the discomfort of psoriasis, and was constantly having joint pain. I got to the point where I couldn't even pick up my own baby girl anymore because of the pain I was enduring. I finally had to go see a Rheumatologist who placed me on Humira. I am going to tell you that Humira is a wonderful drug that eased my joint pain, and also cleared up my skin 99%. I was delighted with this injectable, but at the end of the day, it is still a drug that was lowering my immune system and putting me at risk for illness. There had to be a better way to solve these symptoms!

See what I mean here? Not once did any of my Doctors acknowledge that perhaps I had an allergy that was the root cause of my problems. Not once did any of them even think to run blood tests except to allow me to begin a new medication. Not once did I ever hear that perhaps all of my symptoms were related as all three are autoimmune disorders. Not once did I ever get any positive answers or solutions. All I ever received were prescriptions for more drugs! I grew tired of Doctors telling me that most of my symptoms were in my head and if I tried yet another medication, I would feel better. My last Doctor actually placed me on an anti-depressant to help me deal with my issues. Are you kidding me?? ENOUGH! My cupboard looks like a pharmacy for Pete's sake! This is not even including all of my ointments, lotions, and herbal concoctions. Nor is it including the fees that I spent on acupuncture based on a suggestion from one of my many Dr.s It was worth a try, right? No, it wasn't!

Okay, okay...enough of my personal ramblings about the lack of holistic practices from the medical community in general. I guess medicine is a big money maker, and it is in a lot of people's best interest to keep patients coming back for refills, check-ups, and constant ineffective care. I just am at a loss for any other reason why most health care providers would continue such practices if it isn't for the big green buck!

I truly believe as patients, we need to speak up to our Doctors and insist that they listen to us. I'm firm on my position that YOU know your body better than anyone else. YOU know when you don't feel right, and YOU know what is right for you. We're our own best advocate and we need to stand up against modern medicine and the drug companies. Wake up people...Pfizer doesn't have your best interest in mind.

We need get back to basics as a country and it all begins at home. I know, I know, actually taking your own health and diet on is a lot of hard work. Teaching your children about nutrition is hard work. Cooking nutritious meals is hard work. Shouting out to the food manufacturers that you no longer want their crap is hard work. It's all soooo hard! Well, nothing worth while is easy in this world, so get working! Everyday that I spend reviewing products, reading labels, teaching and working with my children in the kitchen, and eliminating gluten from my diet is one day closer to being the change that I wish to see in our lives. Everyday that I veto McDonalds and show my children how many awful things that kind of food contains is one step closer to the life I want for them. Every week that passes that I don't need my Humira injection is one step closer to me telling my Doctor that I don't agree with his practices, once step closer to the drug company not making money off of me when their medicine is unnecessary, and one step closer to my insurance company not having to pay for a completely wasteful trip to my pharmacy. (I have MANY views on insurance companies, but that is an all day sucker! Perhaps for next weeks blog ha-ha) Who knows?? Maybe in a perfect world, I can control my psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, hypothyroidism, fatigue, weight, and hair loss all with MY diet and what I choose to NOT put into my body!!!! *GASP* What a concept! Are you Doctors out there listening?? Pull your script pads out and start taking notes! (I know that was sassy, but it's something I've always wanted to say to my old Doctor!)

I just got a comment on my blog from one of our awesome followers, ("Hello Georgie!"), who's Doctor told her that she should try yoga for her bloated tummy. I'm all for yoga, but seriously? Is yoga going to cure your ailments? To quote Georgie, "*sigh* Um, noooo!!" Still giggling from that...thanks Georgie! (And before I get that comment that tells me yoga has many health benefits, I know! I do yoga...but as a form of exercise, not as a replacement for correct diagnosis!)

Enough is enough people. When are we going to take the wheel of our lives and begin telling our health care providers to stop with the drugs and unnecessary treatments? I used to feel very intimidated with my Doctors. I would always sit there and listen to them and not speak up. Why? I have no idea! I was somehow taught that speaking up against an "authority figure" was rude. This happened until I realized that doctors pull on their pants the same way I do it doesn't matter how many years of medical school they've been to....they're not an authority figure. They work for US! Without US, they would be out of business, so it's our duty to be diligent about our own health. If your Doctor doesn't treat you with respect and make you feel like it is their privilege to work with YOU, kick them to the curb and get another doctor. Trust me, you'll save yourself many headaches!
I have many areas of interest that I will be covering in my upcoming blogs, so stay tuned! In conclusion, I want your comments! I value your opinions, good, bad and ugly. Let's shake it up and see if we can't come up with some solutions. Maybe we can be quicker and more efficient than our Government! Ha-Ha

Peace out for now ~ Susan
The Celiac Shack
Making gluten free fun one day at a time!


Amanda said...

Thank you for this post, Susan!! I appreciate your "newfound" openess and frankness! I could NOT agree with you more. I was sick for over 10 years before I figured out what was wrong with me, keyword "I" and was it a doctor that figured it out for me? NO! It was a friend of mine who knew someone with a gluten-intolerance who used to have a lot of the same problems that I had at the time that suggested I try going gluten-free. I haven't looked back since and I feel really good but, I know, that ALL of the damage that was done by the gluten for all those years may not be reversible but I'm sure going to give it a try! I mean I'm not looking to bash doctors, well maybe I am a little, but I'm hoping that with the increased awareness of celiac disease I've noticed that things will get better.

I love your blog!

Young Wife said...

Hello, I just found your blog. My husband has Psoriatic Arthritis. It is a very painful, debilatating disease. His problem is mostly joint pain. He only has psoriasis on his scalp. I can't imagine how awful it must have been for you to have it on 90% of your body. We use a combination of traditional medicine and holistic medicine. I'm so glad you're doing better!