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A sluggish rush of blood

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Occasionally I manage to see eye to eye with doctors.
Mainly when one of THEM is gouging some foreign object out of one of MINE.

Doctor’s eyes appear like a pair of intergalactic flying saucers when viewed from my side of a surgical magnifying glass.
Through these portals you can see all the way into their generous, caring, modest, sensitive souls.


Astute readers will notice that normally, when an opportunity like this presents, GOF’s little story would be embellished with a surplus of gratuitous and totally unnecessary sarcasm. …….well, I would like to proudly announce that I’ve just successfully completed a course at Sarcastics Anonymous this week.

Praise the Lord.  I am reformed.


Five years ago I found a doctor who accepts my conditions of engagement, which severely limit the types of diagnostic tests he is permitted to carry out, and bans totally any digital examination in places where it has no right to be.

He is my emergency trauma repairer, and just one of several consultants in the field of my health management.

On those occasions when I had to visit him, I always requested a blood pressure check so I could feel as though I was getting a little more value for the money he expected in return.

It’s not like I felt bad about the amount he charges….I know that he desperately needed my little donation just to buy a litre or two of benzine to put into his derelict outdated 2009 model Mercedes horseless carriage so that he could go home later in the day with enough survival rations to feed his starving family and support their meagre subsistence lifestyle.

On the last appointment with Doctor Wonderful my blood pressure was 140/95 which he said was “OK……considering.
Perhaps he was “considering” the stress I was under, thinking about having to hand over the cash.

My own assessment was that both values were too high, so I decided to do some monitoring of my own with one of these nifty devices (below) before beginning a program of self-medication with aspirin like most of my neighbours, including our now famous spiritual leader Saint Martin of FOT.

So, elated with my new toy, whenever visitors arrived at GOF’s Place, the first thing I did was to slap a blood pressure meter cuff on ’em.

Good entertainment for me, but so many of them left with a dreadful fear that they might be struck down by massive coronary attacks before they had driven the 6 kilometres back up the mountain through the bush to the bitumen road where there is the medical safety net of mobile phone coverage.

The Bush Telegraph however still works well around these parts.
We don’t get many visitors anymore.

Smartarse behaviour inevitably attracts comeuppance.
Mine was in the form of consistent BP readings around 90/60.

I don’t really want to know why all the red stuff is apparently just sloshing around inside me willy-nilly without much direction from the conductor of my circulatory orchestra.

If I don’t feel broke, then I don’t need to fix me.

Does anyone want to buy a stupid sphygmomanometer?  Cheap.

Oh yes, and I might need to attend just one more S.A. meeting.

I came very close to having a relapse back there.

“Adverse events”

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Occasionally I get urges.

Today I have one which will see me sink my critical yet professionally unqualified commoner's boot into the medical profession.

I acknowledge that the vast majority of doctors do not lack compassion, competence or dedication, yet their services (despite Australia's generous health care rebate system) are increasingly unaffordable to many of us.
The "Doctor Industry" however, still insists upon retaining it's unethical and incestuous business relationships with pharmacists, pathologists and pharmaceutical big business.

In coming years because of their unaffordability not only to us as individuals, but also to the nation as a whole, they will be forced to take a long hard look at themselves.
Either that or the Government will probably need to do it for them.

The concept of "elective surgery" is not something that I understand.
I will never "elect" to have someone stick a knife into me if there are softer alternative treatments available, or modifications which I can make to my lifestyle to alleviate a problem, or preferably prevent it from occurring in the first place.

Last year Australian Health officials were unable to deny the claims of an insider that there were "more than 10 jumbo jets-full of adverse events in Australian hospitals each year."

For "adverse events" please read "unnecessary deaths".

The whistleblower also suggested that we should never schedule surgery for January or February for this is the time of year when new anaesthetists and doctors were most "unfamiliar with equipment".

Even proponents of elective surgery admit that whilst such procedures can bring about great improvement in health, they may also result in disability and death, especially in weaker patients.

There is consistent evidence to suggest that when unnecessary surgical interventions cease, the overall death rate in communities decreases.
Such was the case when doctors went on strike in Israel in 1983, then again in 2000, Finland in 1984 and for a period in Toronto during 2003 when all elective surgery was cancelled at 4 hospitals because of the SARS epidemic.

Until now, doctors seem to have been afforded immunity to prosecution for surgical ineptitude, because of their long entrenched powers of influence within successive Governments.

For the first time, at least in my memory, a doctor is now facing the courts in Australia charged with killing people by surgical malpractice.  He was eventually extradited to Australia after hiding out under the protective skirts of America's medical fraternity and legal system for some years.

I hope that a satisfactory precedent will be set with this trial.

For far too long doctors have remained unaccountable for their mistakes, and accordingly behaved with an aloofness, arrogance and air of "untouchability" which is no longer appropriate or acceptable.

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Doctor, go heal thineself

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This morning I consumed an entire box of Kleenex tissues mopping up copious tears of sympathy as I listened to a radio spokesperson for doctors telling me that some inconsiderate patients like you and me are presenting with more than one ailment at a time.

Apparently some of us have had the audacity to arrive at their thoroughly disinfected hygienic portals with up to FOUR things wrong with us at the same time.

Why was the good doctor so aggravated?

Did she not understand that the foot bone is connected to the ankle bone, and the ankle bone is connected to the leg bone, ad nauseum, and that it is entirely feasible that a foot malfunction can also be accompanied by pain in the hip joint and at other points in the skeletal and muscular system.

I have taken the uneducated liberty of assuming also that a circulatory deficiency in the heart might simultaneously manifest itself with symptoms masquerading as separate ailments in other organs and tissues throughout the body.

It is just possible that the body might benefit from assessment of it as a whole, rather than a collection of individually treatable parts.  

Now I am in a generous mood and will assume doctors already know these things along with thousands of other things that I do not.

So what was this spokesperson really angling for?

Maybe doctors think $55 per 10 minute appointment is inadequate remuneration for their workload.
$330 per hour may be insufficient to trade up to a new model Mercedes Benz again this year.
Perhaps $55 per symptom would fix their problem.

Now there's an idea that might just jolt a few people into taking health matters a little more seriously, if it is linked with some restrictions to avoid the common abuses of Australia's generous health care rebate system.

We would then not run off to the doctor at the first sign of a sniffle ($55 thanks) or sneeze (oops there goes another $55 thank you), but I would suggest that an increased fee structure needs to go hand in hand with one more thing.

Doctors need to be sent off to work with my car mechanic for a month and be taught how to tell the truth to patients.

If I deliberately fill my truck up with cheap contaminated fuel, before overloading it to twice the recommended gross weight, then subsequently break some springs and shock absorbers, before blowing a head gasket and big end bearing chugging my way up the next hill, my mechanic will tell me how much of a bloody idiot I have been before presenting me with the exhorbitant bill to repair all the damage I stupidly inflicted on my own vehicle.

Doctors similarly need to start handing out some tough lovin', especially if they are as overworked and underpaid as they suggest.  
Stop mollycoddling those patients who refuse to do anything to help themselves.

And for my own final medical evaluation, rather than receiving some smokescreen of polite medical bullshit and being sent on some futile expensive program of limited life extension, I would prefer my doctor to tell me;

"GOF, your entire fuel, lubrication and exhaust systems are worn out and totally stuffed, your chassis is fractured and the synapses in your electronic control box have fused through devious misuse.  
You are not worth fixing.
Take yourself off home and wait for the Eternal Towtruck to deliver you to whichever wreckers yard is closest."

The message from this disjointed dissertation is this;

I know most doctors are well intentioned, but the world desperately needs them to become more actively involved in preventive medicine, dietary guidance, lifestyle advice and holistic health care.
And they should cease the practice of pussyfooting around the truth when it needs to be told, and stop wasting resources on those who are able, yet refuse to help themselves.


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