Ever since I was 12, I was fascinated with medicine. My dad bought the family a set of 3 medical encyclopedia books back in 1972, well before any symptom, disease or treatment could be easily sought out by the click of a mouse. My dad said the books were for the family, but I knew he really bought them for me. For over 3 decades, my healthcare experience has run the gamut: at 16 I was feeding and toileting the elderly, in my 20s I was participating in life saving hospital crises, in my 30s I was introduced to the world of holistic medicine, in my 40s I leaned heavily on treating patients "naturally", and in my 50s I have come full circle. At almost 52, I use a combination of conventional medical therapies and naturopathic medical therapies. I may prescribe a pharmaceutical drug for a patient, and at the same time test for food allergies, while for another patient, I may prescribe botanical therapy and help the person wean off of a pharmaceutical medication.
First and foremost, I believe in the attainment of the quality of life for each individual person. I am not attached to any specific type of therapy. The type of medicine that is best for each person, is the type of medicine that affords him/her the best quality of life, both in the short term and in the long term. While I strive to respect my patients' choices regarding their own bodies and the types of medicine they desire, I struggle with some of my patients' choices, that from my perspective, appear to be extremely unwise at times.
I once saw a young man with a young family choose to opt for only alternative therapies to cure his cancer, instead of undergoing a radical operation that would have likely saved his life. The pleadings coming from myself, his GP and his oncologists to opt for early (and likely) curative surgery, fell onto deaf ears. He knew what he wanted. All of us healthcare providers disagreed with him. That was a hard "one size does not fit all" for me to swallow.
Eventually, after numerous surgeries, greater limitations of what this man could and couldn't do followed. A marked decrease in his quality of life and an early death ensued.
Conversely, there was a time when I strongly encouraged a patient to not opt for surgery. It was another very hard "one size does not fit all" pill for me to swallow. I saw a young woman with severe hemorrhagic ulcerative colitis that had completely healed her disease with the use of botanical medicines, nutritive therapy and the elimination of food allergies and intolerances.
She still opted to remove her bowel and have a colostomy not because her symptoms hadn't completely disappeared (because they had), she opted for this procedure because her restricted diet had interfered with her social life of food and alcohol and get-togethers with friends and colleagues.
There is beauty, power and assistance with all types of medicines. For those who write books and blogs about the evils and perils of modern medicine, or at the other extreme, profess to the panacea and magic bullets that drugs and surgery provide, I'd say to you: grow up. The truth is found somewhere in the middle. And it is VERY individual. One size does not fit all.
For those who write books or blogs about the quackery and ineffectiveness of alternative medicine, or at the other extreme, also profess to the panacea and magic bullets that homeopathy, botanical medicine, nutritive medicine, chelation therapy and numerous other natural therapies provide, I'd also say to you: grow up. The truth is found somewhere in the middle. And it is VERY individual. One size does not fit all.
There are pitfalls and victories regarding all types of medicines. The question is always this: Does the benefit of the therapy outweigh its risk? Only the patient can ever answer what he or she is willing to risk.
One size does not fit all.