A Tale of Doctors and wellbeing

Team doctors

I have heard and read it several times, people saying well my doctor never told me this or that, or he said this or that, and em that was or wasn’t covered by insurance. They were mean, no sympathy or empahty, oh so kind and compassionate…

I recall when my late and only brother (he died in 2014 at age 33 after 18 years with epilepsy and bipolar disorder) used to go the doctors all the time. We were close, and I took him to his appointments back home and sat in those consultation rooms, as well in the labs and all. Back home in Cameroon, all seemed to be going well and although he was on a few meds I think 2, he was also on a lot of food supplements, natural remedies, and mum made sure he ate vegetables and fruits like it or not. I discovered carrot juice via him and I still love it to this day, A lot changed when he won the diversity lottery and relocated to the US. Before we get there, let me tell you what I witnessed with most of the doctors we went to back home. They treated him with empathy, they took time to explain updates to us, the prescriptions and side effects, and even recommended alternatives to counter the side effects of those meds. He so loved some of those doctors and could sing their praises un end.

Come in Doctor N° 1 in my tale

The serene and reassuring doctor

My brother got worse somehow, we were helpless from this far and we prayed he atleast got some nice doctors. So, when he told us of his primary physician called Dr Daniel Gross, we were so happy. 

My brother looked forward to their appointments. My mother talked with that doctor. Dr DG encouraged him on, he went to therapy both group and solo. He still did some ‘shaggy’ stuffs, but those were better than the total isolation in which he lived his last couple of months. I later found out well he was taken off Dr DG ‘s roster or maybe Dr DG moved on…, and therapy was stopped (probably not covered by insurance…), and so he got assigned another doctor. By then he had started putting on so much weight and was on 6 or so meds.

Here comes almighty Doctor 2

No Comment

And so it came to pass, that after my family had voiced their concern about the drastic side effects of my brother’s cocktail in May 2014, that mum had complained through his nurses and his case manager in June (while on a two week visit with him), my brother went for another ‘doctor’s appointment in July.

Here is a recap of what Dr whoever said:

He told Gabriel (my brother) that he was aware of his mother’s concern about his weight and that he weighed more than Gabriel;

This doctor put and kept him him on the following meds + more ; and knew what was going on – in his own words to mum :

  • That he was aware of the side effect of Risperdal, which he prescribed, those included drowsiness, dizziness, drooling, nausea, increased appetite and weight gain;

  • That he also prescribed Zyprexa and was aware that the side effects include: Constipation, dry mouth, increase appetite, weight gain and stomach upset;

  • That he was aware that Zyprexa is taken in use with Benadryl it could lead to a stroke or heart failure;

I leave it at that for your interpretation, and I make a case for this other doctor I just found

Doctor N° 3

In my constant searching for information, not wanting to just let myself go and rely so blindly on what the doctor will tell me or prescribe, I discovered an ideal doctor online. This doctor is sharing information on how to make healthy choices for a healthier and happier life, and he seems like one of those not quick to prescribe medication. I recall a recent episode where I developed the dreaded mumps, and Doctor J advised me on natural remedies and yes sleep. Wow, he tries to sound wake up calls, demystifying disease and passionately interacting with all on his platform. I don’t know about his offline practice, but where I in the position to chose my doctor, I’ll chose Doctor J any time.


We all have a choice – at least the majority of us do. We could lose that choice for a reason or the other, that I dispute not. Yet my case is that it is awesome to realise sooner than later that we not only have a choice but we owe it to ourselves and our community to make healthy choices. We may not be able to avoid going to a doctor altogether, but we can change doctors or try to stay healthy and manage our ill health in alternative positive ways whether recommended by a doctor or not. I have read quiet some books (memoirs especially) by people with a mental illness or other illnesses like dreaded cancer and co. None relied solely on medications – a couple even got well without medications or worked to get their dosages reduced to a barest minimum while improving on the food they eat and their overall lifestyle. When it used to be said your doctor is  or should be your friend… I don’t know if that’s still true…



4 thoughts on “A Tale of Doctors and wellbeing”

  1. Marie, I am HORRIFIED that Gabriel was treated as he was in this country, and I suspect it had to do with the “diversity” (ha ha) issue…as well as with stigma..But that aside. let me tell you that in my humble opinion the combination of Zyprexa and Risperidone I(Risperdal) seems to me to be extremely ill-thought out. For me and most people BOTH drugs are very very sedating, and also both drugs cause enormous weight gain alone, let alone combined. When I took Risperdal, I became catatonic each time, sometimes for a week…And my weight on these drugs, which used to be around 100 pounds ballooned to 180 pounds and never went below 130 after that. The drugs are bad bad bad, and moreover do more harm than good.

    As for mumps. in my day, the good old days, there was NOTHING more we could do for mumps but ride them out, SO sleep we did, and sleep through them. Yes we were uncomfortable because it is an uncomfortable illness, but we did not die and we did not take anything at all for them…like your doctor who told you sleep was the best medicine for your mumps. it was indeed for mine too, back in the 1960s.

    You know, I did not quite understand that Gabriel had died so recently. For some reason I thought he had died maybe 5 years ago or more…I know you probably explained it to me, but it seemed to have lodged in my head that he had died around the same time as Joe did in 2011, and I never quite got it through my head that it was as recently as 2014. Oh dear! I am so sorry…

    Hope your mumps is long gone, by the way.. Love to you,

    1. Oh Pammy what a thoughful comment just as I am about to leave my home and soon network.

      Yep, my Gabriel was taught a lesson and us too I conclude. You can tell how it was all my love for you that brought me to that America in 2015, not sure I’ll ever wanna go near there again with your current administration.

      Yes, the mumps oh vanished in less than a week and I loved caring for myself, drinking all those yummy and not so yummy natural concoctions and telling my sibling in the US I don’t regret not taking the vaccin for ‘Mumps’ nor administering any on the boys. The got the barest minimum vaccins and am done with that regimen away. They behave out there as if with one more vaccin you wouldn’t die hahaha

      Thanks for your empathy darling, I know you know deep grief. And back to awful treatment, did you as an American or white etc get any better treatment all these years?

      Medication is another story, I have been on some too for two good years and even if nothing as compared to those awful psychotic and ani-epileptic meds, I bet you side effects trash you out to and fro

      Life is in stages, am at a different crossroad now

  2. What a great story to share with all your readers. People need to realize they’re not alone in the experiences you discuss. A doctor certainly has educational and clinical training, but these two components are only part of the equation to offering quality health care. Listening to patients and THEIR needs and working WITH THEM in a team effort to achieve THEIR goals, is another integral component in DEVELOPING into a quality doctor. In general, doctors DO NOT make people healthy; they help people learn and integrate lifestyle habits that support healthy outcomes. When the body is so far out of BALANCE, various tools are available to correct this including ayurvedic, homeopathic, nutraceutical and/or pharmaceutical intervention. The goal should always be directed to RESTORE HEALTH (if possible) rather than MAINTAIN DISEASE.

    Thank you for the very kind words you included about me. Although I have retired from active practice, I continue to stay HEAVILY INVOLVED in searching for those people without resources or guidance looking to discover a better, healthier and more REALISTIC way to live a life of quality health.

    1. Aww doc, thanks so much for your comment. Makes me cry especially the second paragraph honestly because today is turning out to be an overwhelming and emotional day. I am going to live through it, am not taking no anxiety or etc pill.
      What you say about doctors and methods of treatment or healthy living approaches has all its weight in Gold. We may not know about alternatives or ignore them for reasons varying from ignorance to flimpsy or outright laziness. Thanks for all you share and do

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