blog (category: health)
I need a new dentist and general practitioner.
Would you suggest anyone?
I haven't had a dentist appointment since I moved to Cleveland ~4 years ago. The ridges formed at the base of my lower premolars/molars look to be storing coffee nicely for a winter emergency, but are becoming worrisome. It's time.
My doctor lives some 10 miles away -- not a quick bike-hop from work -- and is too cold and condemning; makes me not want to go. (So I don't.)
If you know of a good dentist and/or GP/PCP not too far from downtown Cleveland, please drop a comment!
[...] 'all of us know more than any of us' (including the professionals) and that self-experimentation combined with information-sharing with millions of other self-experimenters could lead to a much healthier population at much lower cost than the dysfunctional system we have now. This is another example of the Wisdom of Crowds [link mine].
While self-experimentation may lack objectivity [...] it has the unarguable advantage of taking into account individual variability (our bodies and minds are all different), and the personal engagement of the 'patient' must inevitably improve its efficacy. [...] It is only learned helplessness, and the outrageous prohibition of self-experimentation [...] that diminished self-experimentation from the principal means by which we accepted responsibility for our own health, to "inadvisable", "rash", and "irresponsible" behaviour. We now defer to 'professionals' to tell us what's good for us, at huge and arguably unnecessary cost to the 'health care system', our self-reliance, our independence, and our sense of personal responsibility.
Experts certainly have a role, but they can hijack the agenda and deprive the whole process of legitimacy just because they have so much knowledge. So one of the problems with democracy that we have in the world right now is that people just don't think it achieves anything for them - that's why you get participation declining so dramatically in many Western democracies. [...] The experts have to provide the information that allows lay people to make informed decisions, without taking over the process.
With my move to Cleveland and medical insurance benefits from the new job, I recently signed up with a local Primary Care Practitioner. A colleague at work recommended a few to me, and Dr. B sounded like a good match: his "style", as she described to me, balances typical Western (allopathic?) medicine with an openness to alternative methods and focus on health and prevention. That his office is just three miles away and none of the other PCP's were available helped sell me Dr. B's care.
I arrived today after work for the introductory appointment I'd scheduled, just barely late, down the drab thin-walled, thin-carpeted hallway into his office's small waiting area. The receptionist-cum-nurse led me through necessary paperwork and tests -- height (69.75"), weight (145lbs), pulse (66), blood pressure (110/70) -- then opened the door to leave, and was about to close it, saying "the Doctor will see you shortly," when the doctor pressed his palm and stretched fingers against the door to hold it open, while she chuckled and removed herself.
Bearded, mid-50's, just as Carole had described him. I'm thinking Dr. Andrew Weil-ish, right?
Wrong. This man is a warm-hearted, gentle, unforgiving bastard, I decided on my way home.
I managed to stay relaxed in spite of his barrage of questioning into my and my family's medical history. I smiled and "umm"ed, dumbly failing to provide solid information for each question and its follow-up that marched down the conveyor belt at me. Every broken bone of every dead great-uncle... and what time of day did I get my tuberculosis shot?
Well, no, not that bad, really. I smirked at his illegible scribbles on clip-boarded paper after each unsatisfactory answer.
He moved on from past to present. "Taking any medications?"
"No, just some vitamins."
Many doctors would be pleased, no?
Dr. B let me know his own opinions on how vitamins can be toxic and are absolutely no replacement from natural sources of nutrients -- and I'll be damned if he wanted to hear -- nevermind acknowledge -- any good in my own thoughts, trials, and learning. And not pleased was he, either, to hear I'd decided to cut meat from my diet, and even less that I try to sharply limit dairy intake. He could only vaguely site studies and as well as I, but was much more confident and authoritative in his presentation, and so I continued to play the role of the accused on trial. He tonguelashed me for drinking, finding it quaint I should worry about hormones in milk and at the same time "hand-grenade brain cells and drown my liver in poison."
No positivity -- it still bugs me. But I think he's darling for caring, and I need someone (new) to challenge me, my ways and my thinking.
I have to get my records sent to the office, schedule an appointment for an EKG, urine test, and post-fasting blood test, then ready myself for the cross-examination that will be my physical in four to six weeks.
Time for bed -- I'm lucky to have slipped being asked about sleeping habits.