My job is to be aware when to contact the doctor or go to ER or go to a walk in clinic or solve my issue at home. It is up to me to understand my medical issues. In long years past, our families might rely on an herbalist, folk wisdom from grandma or a trusted family doctor who made house calls.
Today, house calls are few and far between with the advent of ‘corporate medicine’. Your doctor may now be aligned with a medical group giving you less direct connection with them. You may communicate with your family practice doctors via a portal on the web. Not as nice and cozy as walking into a local office with an issue and be seen by a general practitioner who would refer you to other doctors as needed. The doctors are not necessarily fond of this new system of health care but in many locales, it is how primary care medicine is now practiced.
When you find yourself in the midst of a medical dilemma what do you do? How can you find what is wrong with you? Can your doctor fix your issue? How proactive should you be? How many specialists will you be sent to? Is it advisable to consult with a variety of practitioners from different points of view?
The world of medicine—both alternative/eastern and allopathic/ western—is complex and confusing. Every doctor or practitioner you visit may give you different reasons for your condition and different scenarios to take care of your issue. Please note that not every modality or pill or surgery or treatment works the same for everyone. The doctor or chiropractor your neighbor raves about may not be a fit for you. This is why you experiment with what works for your body, not for friends or the statistics at large.
There is a divide between the schools of thought in allopathic or western medicine and alternative and eastern medicine. Allopathic follows a scientific method treating just the presented disease while alternative medicine looks at the body in a holistic manner. Many people (me included) may start off looking for answers to dis-ease by trying acupuncture, chiropractic, Ayurveda, energy medicine or homeopathy first and then move towards western medicine. Or visa versa.
The wonder and sometimes effectiveness of taking a pill for a pain or having surgery for an aliment is alluring. However, you may need a different approach as you research how a pill or surgery can help or hurt you, if some other modality is needed and if the doctors are really listening to your needs.
There is nothing wrong with the approaches of either eastern or western medicine—in fact, combining the two may give you the best possible chance of relieving chronic pain or a hard to diagnose illness. If you have an undiagnosed chronic ailment and the western approach has been unsuccessful, you may find yourself looking at a variety of other options, including medical cannabis. It may take time, investigation and countless trials to make you better. You may need to change your mind about the efficacy of either western or alternative medicine for your health.
Once you have a diagnosis and ways to proceed from experts, it becomes your job is to tune in to your body as you examine the pluses and minus of treatments. And, if you are like me, you will become a proactive health advocate for the betterment of your health.