Following is a stream of consciousness I wrote in a comment on a Facebook post. It describes the absurdity and reckless behavior of the so-called healthcare industry that I've encountered most of my adult life that has only gotten worse the older I have gotten.
Now in my 50s, whenever I see a doctor, they take my history, which invariably leaves me rolling my eyes.
Doctor: “Any history of diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, etc. etc.?”
Me: “No. My A1c is perfect (typically around 5.2). My blood pressure and resting pulse are perfect. My cholesterol is perfect. You’ll see my blood work from the last five years, including my most recent labs. They’re all perfect and all controlled with diet and lifestyle.”
Doctor: “I see. You know the guidelines for all three have been lowered. You may want to consider meds for all of them, you know, to continue keeping them under control. You’re getting up there in age.
Me: "Thanks, no interest."
Doctor: "How about exercise?”
Me: “I live on a farm. I usually crawl into bed exhausted.”
Doctor: “We should take a look at why you’re so exhausted every day. You may need to check your iron levels and take something to improve anemia.”
Me: "I'm 55 and post-menopausal. I haven't had a period in over 20 years. I’m exhausted because when I’m not writing, I’m in my farm sweating my ass off. Did you check out my blood work? My hemogloben and white cell counts are in perfect range, as they have been for 20 years."
Doctor: “I see. How are you sleeping?”
Me: “Great. I consume cannabis for insomnia.”
Doctor: “Oh insomnia?" They look at me with a "Gotcha!" expression. Finally, a prescription I can write, they tell themselves. "Cannabis?" They continue, "I’m uncomfortable with that addictive and dangerous drug. Ambien is clinically proven to…”
I start checking out. I may even be rolling my eyes at this point.
Doctor: "Do you get the flu shot each year?"
Me: "No, why would I? I haven't been ill for more than a day in the last 10 years. If I do have symptoms, I increase my daily intake of Vitamin C from 3,000 mg a day to 6,000 and start on Elderberry. I can always knock out anything within 24 hours. No interest in vaccines, but thanks."
Doctor: “And how’s menopause going?”
Me: “Fantastic! I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for almost two years. Apart from losing my menopausal weight gain, all of my menopausal symptoms disappeared overnight. No hot flashes, no night sweats, and my menofog has completely dissipated.”
Doctor: “Have you considered HRT (hormone replacement therapy)?”
I must have replied with my outside voice when I said, “This is why I stay on my farm and don’t leave the house.”
Doctor: “Are you depressed? It sounds like you're isolating. We should discuss medication for that.”
Me: “Nah, it’s good. I have several good strains of weed that regulate serotonin levels naturally. I’m good, thanks.”
Doctor: “How’s your digestion? I see your last colonoscopy was clean, but there are lots of hidden issues."
Me: “All good. I’m noticing some food intolerances as I get older, but I’m learning to live without dairy, sugar and seed oils, and I’ve reduced my gluten. I’m a lifelong vegetarian and I eat a balanced diet, full of green, leafy vegetables, eggs from my own farm that are free of antibiotics and growth hormones and fruits, all from my farm. To counter the effects of store-bought foods, I eat supplements and the vitamins I'm lacking. I'll figure out how to improve my digestion on my own with supplements, if necessary."
Doctor: “How many eggs do you eat a week?”
Me: “At least a dozen, some weeks more.”
Doctor: “We should check your cholesterol and get you on statins. And given your age, your gallbladder may be inflamed. Any history of gallstones or kidney stones?"
Me: "My cholesterol was perfect when I walked in here. It's been perfect my entire life. You have my labs. And no, it's highly unlikely my gallbladder is inflamed, not with the clean diet I eat combined with zero symptoms. I drink a gallon of water a day with lemon, which prevents kidney stones."
Doctor: "I see. how are your joints? 55, surely you've got arthritis. There's a new Rx pain reliever with minimal side effects."
Me: "Nope, cannabis is a plant and it keeps any aches and pains at bay ... naturally. I also take glucosamine daily. The combination is unbeatable."
Doctor: "I see you have a history of asthma. When was the last time you filled a prescription for Albuterol and Advair?"
Me: "I stopped filling them when I started consuming cannabis. It cured my asthma. I haven't had an asthma attack in seven years. THC is a natural bronchodilator. I am breathing easier than I have in decades."
Doctor: "I see you had your subluxated ulnar re-attached. Any nerve pain? Gabapentin is excellent for neuropathy."
Me: "Actually I took Gabapentin while I was waiting for hospitals to re-open after Hurricane Maria before I could have the surgery. Once I got my Internet back and could research it, I realized how incredibly habit-forming it is and damaging it was to the liver it is, so I weaned myself off. I consume a strain of cannabis that targets neuropathy."
Doctor: "How much alcohol do you drink?"
Me: "None. I discovered I have Asian Glow and stopped drinking all alcohol."
Doctor: "You didn't have to stop. You could just have taken this pill that controls the symptoms."
Me: "But they do nothing to prevent the heart attack I'd get if I continued drinking alcohol. All it would do is control the short-term symptoms, not the long-range risk of heart attack."
Doctor: "Because you're in menopause, you should start taking calcium to avoid osteoporosis."
Me: "Now that's horrible advice that you doctors have been peddling for decades. Excess calcium is known to increase the risk of heart attack. So I get a heart attack and have to be on statins and BP meds the rest of my life? No thanks."
Doctor: "So you're refusing all medications, despite the fact that at your age you should be taking several? You understand that supplements aren't FDA-approved or regulated and they have been known to be dangerous."
Me: "The FDA approved Fen-Phen, Aspartame, Thalidomide, Glyphosate and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), you'll forgive me if I don't exactly have trust in an agency that approved drugs that caused birth defects, heart attacks and cancer. I think it’s time to leave and go back to my farm."
Had it been up to this doctor, I'd have walked out with 12 prescriptions, a flu vaccine, a consultation to look at my gallbladder and an appointment with a psychiatrist, because clearly I must have lost all of my mental faculties by believing I can live a healthy lifestyle.
Doctors don’t like me.