Our medical system is broken.
Politicians from both parties are only making it worse.
The Democrats just want to completely destroy it at a faster clip.
So, I’ve spent eight months in agony and no one knows why.
Last September I got sick. Nothing unusual for me, I usually get two or three bad colds a year, one or two flu bugs and at least one bout of pneumonia.
I have a severely compromised immune system so if it’s catching, I catch it.
One theory offered up by some of my doctors is the compromised immune system comes from multiple bouts of mononucleosis through the years, with a couple bouts of shingles for good measure.
So, whatever the cause, or underlying medical reasons, I am prepared to be sick a few times a year, every year.
Last fall it was all different. I knew it was different. I could just tell. Believe me, I take no pride in saying I’m sick enough to know.
The doctors may not always agree, they may not know or may have different theories, treatment plans, diets and exercise routines.
But, therein lies the rub.
I was right; there was something more going on. I ended up in the emergency room in total respiratory failure, literally on the verge of death, my wife watching the entire episode.
All I could think as I gasped what I thought might be my last breath was, “she is going to be so mad at me, I should have come to the hospital sooner, because… I knew.”
In my first article for Freedom Health News I wrote an article entitled “But it Can’t be That. I’m a Man.”
That article focused on one aspect of my health struggles since September, a diagnosis of fibromyalgia that may, or may not, be the correct one. With a plan of treatment that includes Cymbalta, muscle relaxers, a low inflammation diet, physical therapy and light exercise.
All of which I’ve done since January, and not only has there been no improvement, I’ve been arguably worse. And my rheumatologist keeps telling me I will feel better when winter is over.
Well, doc. Winter has come and gone, and I feel worse.
And now I’m being told it is likely something else anyway.
Through these last 8 months I’ve seen my family doctor, two neurologists, a rheumatologist, an orthopedic surgeon, had three hospital visits, 3 MRIs, EKGs, EEGs, EGTs, and more blood work than I ever thought possible.
I’ve spent entire weeks being unable to even move out of bed, let alone try to write. My joints and muscles constantly feel like someone is burning them from the inside out, while I am being crushed by a car.
My headaches have become the thing of legends here in my small town. And I have never been so tired in all my life.
On top of all that, I catch every single bug that goes around; I just came off another one; a double ear infection, sinus infection and strep throat.
I have been told not to take aspirin, Excedrin, Tylenol, Aleve or even my go-to Goody’s powder. In short, I can’t take anything over-the-counter to help my headaches or my pain.
And it gets better. I fall. A lot. On stairs, in church, in private at home, and in public at the grocery store. I never know when it’s going to hit me.
Finally, there is the memory loss and constant brain fog.
Through all of this I’ve learned a couple things.
First, socialized medicine is not the answer, it is already the problem.
Our current system is a hybrid free market/government-run system which has crippled the industry and lowered the quality of care significantly.
I only make this point because after eight months of doctor’s appointments, hospital stays, EKGs, EEGs, EMGs, CAT scans, x-rays and blood work, I’ve seen up close and personal how bad our health care system is getting.
Many tests that should be run are not because of insurance. Some tests that don’t need to be run, are run over and over again, because of, that’s right, insurance.
Doctors, nurses, hospitals and care givers are almost all now part of major corporate conglomerations with only two concerns; making a large profit and following outrageous government guidelines.
I have no problem with the profit part of it. I am a proud capitalist and am rational enough to know that health care is not a right, it is a service. And a service most were happy to pay.
But then the government got involved. The paperwork started, the lawsuits, expensive tests were mandated, and others were all but forbidden.
Congress mandated that insurance companies cover a ton of things they never had before, doctors had to take out outrageous amounts of insurance, and all these government mandated programs are of course paid for by the patients.
Medical costs skyrocket, so to “fix” it Congress passes even more bad legislation and the prices go up further.
The simple fact is, it is the meddling in the health care marketplace that has destroyed the greatest medical system ever seen.
Second, doctors aren’t perfect, and there are misdiagnoses, mistakes, and miscommunication.
My days of just quietly listening and taking whatever drugs I was put on, are over.
If for no other reason than sometimes doctors countermand each other.
Here’s a silly, but true example. A patient has been diagnosed with GERD and a hiatal hernia; he also has high cholesterol and diabetes.
One doctor puts him on diet A, another on diet B and the third on diet C. Turns out the patient has to all but stop eating.
Currently I am on a cocktail of drugs to help me cope with, and frankly survive, the severe pain all over my body as well as the crippling headaches.
Also, I was recently put on a powerful antibiotic because, as I mentioned earlier, I am in the midst of a double ear infection and sinus infection.
I’ve been given at least eight different diets to try to make sure I eat only healthy foods that will help me cope with this disease. I’ve done yoga and physical therapy; I’ve tried to get back to walking and running.
And now, to top it all off, a new doctor has informed me she is absolutely positive it is not fibromyalgia at all but rather a tick-borne disease.
I informed her I have been checked three or four times for Lyme disease, all negative. She laughed and told me some people go years being misdiagnosed while having Lyme the entire time.
That’s when she hit me with the other tick diseases. There’s Babesiosis, Bartonellosis, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, Rickettsiosis, and Tick-borne relapsing fever (TBRF).
The point is, it means more tests, more blood work, another cocktail of drugs, and more doctor visits waiting, in agony, wondering if it will ever get better.
On the one hand I’ve got a couple good doctors doing everything in their power to try and make me better, or at least be better able to cope and have a somewhat normal life.
On the other hand, I am so done with medical tests, especially the seemingly never-ending blood work.
And I am done with the guessing games and treatments that may actually be harming me.
Things continue to get worse; the doctors continue to argue over what I have and what treatments I should be on. The pain is sometimes unbearable, just typing this article took everything I had left in me for today.
My fingers, hands and arms feel like they’ve been put in a meat grinder and then pounded with a jack hammer.
And to top it all off I am waiting for the results of biopsies from my throat and stomach, and awaiting my next visit to get more skin cancer removed.
I want to think that somewhere, there is a doctor who could look at all of this, and say Eureka! We’ve found it, take these two pills and rest for 72 hours and you’ll be good as new.
But, thanks to big government, big insurance and big pharma, that is highly unlikely to ever happen, so I will soldier on.