Tag Archives: Doctors

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

doctor1
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

obese1
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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.

Afterword

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…

 

When your doctor says he weighs more than you…


Who is obese now?
Who is obese now?

Foreword

This post is inspired by two things. The first is another soulful post I read on the blog takingthemaskoff, entitled a tale of two physicians. I shouldn’t be saying more about Cortland’s work and all instead of just urging you to check for yourselves. But, I will briefly explain what about his post got me on. He narrates his personal ordeal and how while one doctor made him long for ‘death’, the second is his number one on his fabulous 5 list ( his list of those who saved him).

The second, is yet another of my mum’s desperate plea to even get some clarifications of her deceased son’s death. The struggle isn’t only to keep him alive it seems, now they delay in releasing his autopsy results too.

My Brother’s un-narrated tale with physicians

I can narrate it to near accuracy from what I gathered. His tale is the reverse of Cortland’s. He had a previous physician out there called Dr Daniel Gross, we all knew him.

The serene and reassuring doctor!
The serene and reassuring doctor!

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.

Bridgewater Saga interupts

The post I did on Bridgewater State Hospital, tells of what happened then and after. It was after Bridgewater that I started hearing about different doctors. All I heard about those doctors were the prescriptions they dished out. My brother was scared of them and didn’t want my mum to contact them. He had lost faith. They didn’t care about him and he didn’t trust them. I am sure he was by now dependent on those meds, mindful or mindless of the side effects thereof. That is when I concluded his shaggy life had been reduced to ‘call my meds’.

Almighty doctors?

These 'luns' are driving me crazy!!!
These ‘luns’ are driving me crazy!!!

Yes, they sometimes are. They can make or mare. They know they have that power. It is bestowed on them by the system and by your own ‘desperation and frustration’. As Cortland also states in his post, they are running on time, max is 15-20 minutes with one ‘damn lun’ and then a prescription. And so it came to pass, that after my family had voiced their concern about the drastic side effects of Gaby’s cocktail in May, that mum had complained through his nurses and his case manager in June (while on a two week visit with him), Gaby went for another ‘doctor’s appointment in July. Therapy had long been stopped of course!

Here is a recap of what Dr whoever said:

He told Gabriel 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 and knew what was going on:

  • That he was aware of side effect of Risperdal, that he prescribed, that 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;
  • That Gabriel had been rushed to emergency more than once for complaints reflecting the side effects of the medication above. His colleague prescribed the following at the same time:
  • Benadryl, Anusol, Colace, Lactulose, pyridoxine and Senna; fully aware of the potential side effects and interaction between Benadryl and Zyprexa;

What was there to look forward to?

What hope do you have after your god tells you he is aware of the concerns but there is nothing to worry? How do you care further about your drastic weight gain, poor breathing and eating disorder when he brags that he weighs more than you? Is this doctor also bipolar or schrizophrenic or just clinically depressed? Are these the assurances to be gotten from so called professionals with all those abbreviations added to their names? This one is a RNP don’t ask me what it means!

  • That we sought a conference with his medical and care team in June that was never granted;

How many families have been halted in their futile search for healing for their loved ones by such attitude? How many more will go through this? That’s the system we say. You are a pauper when thanks to this cocktail of drugs and their debilitating side effects, you are reduced to a Simpleton and now live with the miser disability ‘pension’ of 92$ a month.

I wonder why it still isn’t obvious that some patients out-rightly prefer to do the drugs on the streets (being junkies altogether) and at least still keep their merry!

Dear gentle readers and followers, if we continue to suffer in silence, no wind of change can blow our way. Although no amount of damages awarded can return a lost life and take away that everlasting grief, I think they would gradually nerve the system. That is the final hope we have. My mum and family now join the ranks of those families of small davids trying to take on Goliath. We can’t give up and I hope you don’t stop your advocacy either.

One of his last selfies, his stare tells it all!
One of his last selfies, his stare tells it all!