I cannot even count how often I've been to the doctor in the last year. Over the summer I checked in with my orthopaedic about every two weeks to fix my crooked hip (old ballet injury) and when I got pregnant, the doctor appointments just toppled over. Add the psycho and physiotherapy and you've got yourself an invalid, apparently.
Doctors and I have a very ambivalent relationship. Unlike my parents I don't belong to the super-alternative group who, as a principle, distrust doctors; however, it really comes down to how good your doctor is - and I have seen incredibly bad ones.
This week I went to see an orthopaedic in Innsbruck because my hip was acting up again and it was simply a disaster. So, first and foremost, I called ahead and told them I was eight months pregnant, so I wasn't sure if anything could be done anyway, but the scheduled me in nevetheless. Arriving there, I am led swiftly into one of the practices where a "doctor" tells me that, due to my pregnancy, there isn't anything he can actually do.
Thanks, that's two hours of my life down the drain (AND I have to pay for the stupid visit nevertheless!). In addition he drones on that he "doesn't believe in manipulation and only does injections".
Alright, I concede that doctors, too, have their personal opinions about their field, but I didn't come and pay to hear his "opinion" on manipulation, but to get better. I can't believe that someone who only pumps injections in people's backs can actually call himself an orthopaedic. I mean, if the hip is simply out of its socket or not well-aligned anymore, what's an injection going to change? It's ludicrous that someone like him can actually "help" people.
I asked him what the injections actually did - did they loosen the muscle and he, nonchalantly, said, "No, they just ease the pain."
So I asked what the long-term therapy would then be - for sure I can't be getting injections for the rest of my life, right?
Well, according to him back pain is incurable and regular injections are the only way to live with it.
Then I left. Dumbfounded and angry. How low can your bar as a doctor be to not even ATTEMPT to actually help someone but just give them painkillers? I am shocked once more how inadequate many doctors are - and worse how many people probably fall for their crap and instead of getting their skeleton fixed they live off painkillers and injections.
I think the problem is that doctors are still considered God-like by many people and they don't dare to disagree or call out their methods. As I said, I have nothing against doctors, but, like with everyone else, they are just people and some are better than others.
Sadly, I also have to say that more than often the NOT-doctor did much more to ease my pain and actually help me - energetics, masseurs, physiotherapists, etc. It often seems that doctors fail to see the person in front of them holistically but only look to the area you point at - even though the source of pain may actually be somewhere completely else.
Especially during pregnancy I have learnt how important it is to find doctors you trust - and most books encourage you to do so, too. Now more than ever, I feel it is pivotal to demand the best of doctors for my health, someone who thinks along my understandings of the body and who respects what I want to do to my body and what not.
So, next time you need a doctor, please really consider what this doctor wants to do to you - it's your body, after all, and you've got to live with it for the rest of your life. Not your doctor.
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