And You Believe in Your Doctor You Say?

I have for years been wondering why I know so many people with multiple knee replacements who would normally not do anything that would warrant even one, let alone multiple knee replacements, get them until one day I had a back injury. I herniated 3 discs in my back to such extent that I could not lay down flat in the MRI. The doctor had to send me to what is called a “stand-up” MRI, which is an MRI standing vertically and the patient, me in this case, sits in a chair outside of the MRI, sort of next to the two sides of it. It is an open MRI.

I never gave it a second thought until I started to heal and started to remember some of the things that happened and which made a huge impression on me and finally I was able to connect a few dots. Here you see the dots connect.

I back up now several years; in fact over 30 years. I used to have this pain behind my left knee and visited my doctor several times. He ran all kinds of knee tests (never a back tests!) and never found anything wrong so he just said “oh well.. go home, here are some pain killers.” I did.

Then about 10 years later we moved and the place we moved to was a very dusty one inside the house–it was a rented house on a termite hill as I later understood–and the dust really bothered my allergies so we invested in a humidifier, and then a larger humidifier so that I did not need to change water several times every day. But this humidifier was very big; it came with two huge water tanks, each many gallons. I used to fill them in the shower and carry them to the machine, load them up and go. One day, I popped my back doing this and ended up taking massive doses of NSAD medications for pain and inflammation and also going to physical therapy.

At one point the therapist set up some cage like trick where he tied himself to me and leaned back so that his weight pulled my lower half away from my upper half, letting my back get a little room between my discs so the fluid sacs could fill.

This treatment was so amazingly comforting that I remember giving this huge smile and it was only hours later that I realized that the pain behind my knee was gone!

I was still too young and way before my doctorate so I gave it little thought only I remember the moment of realization. Then came the big discovery after my doctorate when I popped 3 of my vertebrates in my back. It was at this time that the points started to connect and the knee replacements of so many people suddenly appeared in a different context.

You will not like to read what I write… so if you are looking for a happy ending, close the page. This will not have one. In fact it will end on the note of corruption.

Back to my back. When I injured my back, my left leg said good bye to me for 2 months. I was in a wheelchair. It took several additional months to be able to walk without any walking aid of some sort but part of my leg was still not feeling touch. It was at this time that I remember thinking “what would a doctor say if today, with impaired left leg, I would end up visiting one and not tell the doctor about my back. Would that doctor know it was my back?” Particularly as I started to heal and like now I only get a few toes hurting. If I went to my doctor today saying I had 3 toes on my left foot hurting and said nothing else (I am no longer in a wheelchair), would he have any ideas where to even send me to check what is wrong?

I can tell you right away that yes, they would all, without exception, send me to a podiatrist. Why? It is logical: podiatrist is in charge of pain in the foot and toes. If I have my toes hurt and nothing else, it must be my toes. Right? But if I went to a podiatrist and he looked at my toes that hurt to the touch but show absolutely no defect in any other way, would he send me to a back doctor? Absolutely not!

And here we come back to the knee surgeons who do multiple knee replacements for people who need none: what is their interest to send that patient to a back surgeon even if the pain is actually caused by a pinched nerve in the back? It is money out of their pocket! If they get paid for a knee replacement by the insurance company of the patient, why would they not offer to give one? The Hippocratic Oath says nothing about not replacing a knee that is healthy. It does not harm the patient. It does not cure the patient but causes no harm! And the knee surgeon can get paid. If the knee surgeon sent the patient to the back surgeon, the knee surgeon would get no payment. It is not in his/her interest to send a patient to another doctor!

This is why my doctor–as good a doctor as he was–had no concept of checking my back when the area behind my knee hurt! There was nothing in there for him to send me to a back surgeon–and perhaps he did not realize that it was a pinched back nerve either, since he was an internist. An internist would not have to know–or should they? I think they should. Bu they are not treated and paid accordingly and so they do not make the effort.

Is this legal? Absolutely! Do we all pay for it? You bet. We do pay in multiple ways: First we pay because many people who get these knee replacements (or hip replacements for that matter) are medicare patients and the tax payers pay for medicare. Secondly we pay for it because none of us gets proper medical treatment and we remain sick and get sicker. And we also pay for it because we keep alive industries upon industries that are not needed.

If there were only 2 knee replacements and 2 hip replacements needed per year, it would not have to be a specialty by thousands of doctors who make their living out of it. Of course if the medical system worked fine and we all got healthy faster, there would be less need for doctors and so the oversupply we now have would mean longer unemployment lines. It would also mean less money to insurance companies since healthy people pay less than sick people do so many jobs would also be lost there! Medical schools would suffer since fewer students would apply to a field that is over saturated already. And finally the pharmaceutical industries would take a huge blow since healthy people need no medicines!

Do you still believe your doctor?

I look forward to your comments and opinion.

Angela

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About Angela A Stanton, Ph.D.

Angela A Stanton, PhD, is a Neuroeconomist focusing on chronic pain, electrolyte homeostasis, and genetics. She lives in Southern California. Her current research is focused on migraine cause, prevention and treatment without the use of medicines. As a forever migraineur from childhood, her discovery was helped by experimenting on herself. She found the cause of migraine to be at the ionic level, associated with disruption of the electrolyte homeostasis, resulting from genetic variations of all voltage gated channels that modulate electrolytes and voltage in the brain, insulin and glucose transporters, and several other related variants, such as the MTHFR variants of the B vitamin methylation process and many others. Migraineurs are glucose sensitive and should avoid eating carbs as much as possible. As a result of the success of the first edition of her book and new research and findings after treating over 4000 migraineurs world wide, all ages and both genders, she is now finishing the 2nd edition. The 2nd edition is the “holy grail” of migraines, incorporating all there is to know and also hypotheses. It includes an academic research section with suggestions for further research. The book is full of citations to authenticate the statements she makes to be followed up by those interested and to spark further research interest. It is a "Complete Guide". Due out in the summer of 2017. Dr. Stanton received her BSc at UCLA in Mathematics, MBA at UCR, MS in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, PhD in NeuroEconomics at Claremont Graduate University, and fMRI certification at Harvard University Medical School at the Martinos Center for Neuroimaging for experimenting with neurotransmitters on human volunteers. For relaxation Dr. Stanton paints and photographs. Follow her on Twitter at: @MigraineBook
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6 Responses to And You Believe in Your Doctor You Say?

  1. Sadly, too many people in the UK also rely on others to tell them what’s wrong and expect the doctors to know everything and they never question anything. I question everything but then I have had enough experience of crap doctors and surgeons in the past to check the minutest detail. I am pleased to say, however, that my podiatrist has the knowledge, experience and decency to tell me when it’s something to do with my back and not my feet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are very lucky! In the US, since our medicine is not socialized medicine so each doctor gets paid based on what they do per patient rather than a salary, they will not send you to another doctor even if they know they should. In socialized medicine, from what I understand, the salary is standard and it doesn;t matter how many patients and for what are seen. here even the medicines prescribed change according to “kickbacks.” I cannot tell you how often I had to fight with doctors who prescribed to members of my family Lipitor (causes liver problems but comes with a kickback) instead of Simvastatin (generic for Zocor)(reduces liver inflammation and does not come with kickback). Simvastatin is more effective, you need to use less to achieve better cholesterol control, and apparently it also reduces liver inflammation whereas Lipitor causes it. The benefits of Simvastatin over Lipitor are amazing but doctors keep on wanting to switch people because that means more money to them. Shameful!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Utterly shameful. Not so lucky these days as the Coalition is running down the NHS and privatising by stealth (and not so stealthily) so that we will end up in exactly the same situation as you. Interesting about the difference between Lipitor and Simvastatin. I’m on the latter so will make sure no one tries to change me over to Lipitor.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Roald Michel says:

    “An internist would not have to know–or should they?” I don’t care. The thing is that, as it is in many other areas of life, people are too much relying on what others tell them and not interested to educate themselves. Yes, they consume, consume, and consume some more, making themselves dependent of the ones who bring to them all those consumptions, no matter the quality of it.

    I don’t need a doctor to tell me that when my knee hurts, the cause of it could be found in my back, as this was taught to me in highschool already. When my computer crashes, I mostly know the reason why. When there’s a fault in my house’s electrical wiring, I can find it myself. If I want to know what the weather will be tomorrow, I don’t need the weatherman. Get it? Of course you do. See? One more reason to make all them leaders hit the road. People should learn to take care of themselves again, become more self supporting, and at least know the basics of the important areas in their lives!

    I once was running a workshop, and asked the audience: “Where do tomatoes come from?” Answer of the enlightened ones: “From the supermarket.”

    You can blame the doctors for taking advantage of the situation, but their patients I blame more!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I couldn’t agree more Roald but then you are an exceptionally un-American person. It seems to me that the people in the US count more and more on others to tell them what to do and leaders are punished for whatever reason… Thus most people want to follow a herd.. and doctors are perfect herd leaders because people feel helpless. But I think that the problem is two fold. Yes, people are lazy-minded but on the other hand, this does not imply that the system must take advantage of that. And by the system I mean the medical system.

      In the US, as you have seen, the whole medical system is goofed up and most people trust their doctors–don’t ask me why. They do. I am trying to make them “untrust” their doctors… new word.. hehahah.. not an easy job and there have been quite a few arguments about this in my Facebook group since many here make their doctors into idol… It is not the fault of the system but it certainly is not helping!

      Like

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