So When Your Mother is Lying on the Sidewalk ...

I know.  You don't know whether to laugh or cry.  Well, I wasn't there when it happened.  I came in after the fact when my mother over a plate of pasta casually mentioned that she got dizzy, practically passed out and fell in front of the CVS and how nice the people were to help her up.  Not typical dinner conversation I admit.  But this is a growing theme in our conversations and the conversations I'm having with patients every day. My mother is on numerous medications, some for high cholesterol, some for high blood pressure and some for various other ailments and side effects of the first group of medications.  The problem is that these are all based on the few times my mother is in front of the doctor or in front of a test, but not daily throughout her entire day.  As a result, my mother is overprescribed for her blood pressure and it has had times where it is so low she can't even move.

My second issue is that most doctors don't have the first clue about what is healthy to eat or drink.  Case in point ... my mother said her doctor thought it was fine that she drink a liter or more of diet coke every day in place of water.  He even suggested she could switch to zero coke for less sugar.  Please!  Are you kidding?  Telling someone that drinking a chemical concoction that takes blood off the roadway after an accident is perfectly healthy?  Or telling a colitis patient that living on mashed potatoes is fine.  Or reassuring a professional basketball player that the fact he eats three meals a day at McDonald's has no bearing on his lack of healing from injury.

The other thing that comes to mind is that this entire medical community coaxes us into a state of somnabulance (don't run to the dictionary - it's sleep walking).  They convince us that a prescription drug is our solution to a symptom or an illness.  They never explore why we develop a symptom or an illness, nor what the root cause is.  I have so many patients that say "Why doesn't he want to figure out the cause?".  The answer is because he can't.  He has been taught to diagnose which drug to administer and when to provide surgery.  He has had no nutritional training as that is generally offered as an elective in medical colleges and poorly attended at that.

And what about hospitals?  Have you eaten the food provided in hospitals?  A place where people are supposed to be provided with the tools and treatments that will help them get well.  In point of fact, it is more that they try to keep you from getting worse, or from developing some infection that could end your life right under the doctor's nose.

I know I make it sound bleak.  It is bleak.  You can't even go into the hospital without having someone to advocate for you.  Otherwise it is a slippery slope into multiple problems, not the least of which is nutritional deficiency on the order of a military excursion into the arctic.  We cannot rely on doctors to provide us with the answers we need.  We have to take responsibility for our own health, wellbeing and solutions to our health problems.  A doctor can give you a band-aid, but he can't heal the wound.

Don't let your mother end up lying on a sidewalk ... it's not pretty.