I Want to Smack my Doctor

I have an Irish/Welsh background. Generally speaking, that means that I’m probably predisposed to having a bad temper.

I have spent most of my life learning to control my natural aggressive impulses when it comes to relationships. Life is just easier that way. Years of physical sports and martial arts have definitely helped me to “keep it together”.

I’m the son of a physician and to this day, I have never respected anyone more than my father. Of course he had his issues, but don’t we all? He was a great man in so many ways. My respect for my father extended to my respect for his trade…the medical profession.

Why I drifted away from western medicine

In recent years, I have drifted away from allopathic medicine towards natural medicine. That doesn’t mean that I have turned my back on western medicine. It is more about the respect I have gained for the wisdom of preventative care. It simply makes sense to focus our self-care on what we eat and drink, getting exercise, and relieving stress. There are endless books on the subject, but it is really simple…take care of your body and it will continue to operate as the most sophisticated machine in the world.

I stopped visiting my family physician three years ago. At that time, he had just prescribed Lipitor to lower my cholesterol level. The prescription was going to be my third drug that I would be taking on the “forever plan” as he also had me on Arthrotec for arthritis and Pantaloc to control acid reflux. He never sat me down and explained that all I had to do was change my diet and lifestyle.

My wife was responsible for changing my health…not my doctor. I have been feeling so great since I started drinking ionized water three years ago that I stopped visiting my physician. After all, it was my wife who helped me get better, not my doctor.

I haven’t had a cold or any kind of illness for the past three years. My allergies disappeared as did my arthritis and my acid reflux. In fact, nobody in our family (seven of us) has been sick for years.

Why I returned to western medicine

In June, my son was away on a “kids” weekend. A few days later, he developed a chest cough. My wife then caught it and so did I, which was extremely unusual. The next thing I know, I’m having trouble peeing. At age 54, having trouble peeing is a sign of prostate issues. I called my family doctor who was too busy to see me and he was heading off for a vacation the next week. He suggested I visit a walk-in clinic and I followed his advice.

The doctor at the clinic performed a DRE (digital rectal exam) and told me that my prostate felt good (smooth and soft) but it was enlarged. That prompted a PSA test. Now, PSA tests are known for false positives and generally causing alarm. However, a PSA test is one form of screening. The results came back and my PSA level was over 30…..yikes!

The clinic called me and said I had to visit again right away….not what anyone wants to hear. I popped by and the doctor told me that my PSA level was very high and a transrectal ultrasound was ordered. The doctor informed to me contact my family physician immediately to discuss the results. She also referred me to a specialist (urologist).

When I called my family doctor with the PSA results, I was given an appointment the same day. When I visited my family doctor, he was angry with me for not visiting him each year. He waved my file in my face and told me “you know you have cancer don’t you”. He then proceeded to refer me to the same urologist.

When my family physician of 25 years told me that I had cancer, I believed him. He didn’t say anything about the fallibility of PSA tests or that an enlarged prostate is not unusual for a 54 year old man. He just shook his head and told me that we had to get moving on this asap.

I don’t know how anyone else reacts when they are told they have cancer, but I just felt numb. I couldn’t believe I had cancer. I drink ionized water religiously and the water helps your body become alkaline. Cancer can’t survive in an alkaline body. I have referred the water to dozens if not hundreds of people with cancer over the past three years. While the results have not always helped, especially in late stage cancer, there are just way too many success stories to ignore. How could I have cancer?

Things change the minute you learn you have cancer. You tell your loved ones and friends that count. The out pouring of love and support is amazing, but nothing really helps and it is painful to see that the people you love are hurting from the news.

My personal battle against my cancer began immediately. Researching, drinking lots of water, eating a strict alkaline diet. There are also the visits to the doctor and the labs for tests. All in all, it made for a crappy summer.

The good news

The visit to the urologist brought hope. He performed a DRE and indicated that my prostate felt healthy (soft and smooth) and he didn’t think I had cancer. He sent me for another PSA test. A week later, I returned for another visit to the urologist and my PSA had dropped to 16. At that point in time, the urologist said I didn’t have cancer. When I asked how he could be so sure, he indicated that PSA scores don’t drop that fast if you have cancer. He prescribe antibiotics and ordered another PSA test in two weeks. I got the results back this week and my PSA level was under five. The urologist gave me a high five and sent me on my way with a referral for another PSA test in six months.

Why a nice Irish/Welsh lad wants to smack his doctor

My family physician put me through hell. He put my family through hell. He negatively impacted the lives of a lot of people with his careless and thoughtless behavior. The man had no right to tell me I had cancer without getting the opinion of a specialist and without performing additional tests. It is inconceivable that my family physician could act such an irresponsible manner. I don’t know if it is the Irish blood in me or not, but I would really like to smack the guy.

Ahhhhh….that feels better.

3 Responses to I Want to Smack my Doctor

  1. Rob, I discussed your case with a good friend of mine, a retired doctor. He says the DRE is next to useless. It’s there because if you as a doc DON’T do one, and the patient croaks, then the patient’s lawyers are going to claim negligence.

    What he DID say was that cancer can be in a perfectly presented prostate, and the only real indicator is the comparison of the two PSA’s. he also said that if the prostate presented as having hard things inside it… bye bye.

  2. Hey Rob

    Greetings from Galway, Ireland.
    The Doc deserved a belt from a Celt
    Glad it all worked out for you, we need you around!
    Really value all that you’re doing.

    Be well, be happy

    • Hi Maurice:

      “A belt from a Celt”….too funny, and very appropriate. My Mom was a Patterson from County Down. Thanks for reminding me of her fun and passionate heritage.

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