What if your healthcare provider said to you they will only see you for 1 symptom at a time? Would that be acceptable? Recently, I spoke with a fellow autoimmune sufferer and this is exactly what she was told. When she insisted that the doctor address all of the issues she was feeling, guess what happened? Her doctor fired her! Can you imagine how that must make a person feel? You're already dealing with the tumultuous symptoms that battling an autoimmune disease brings with it and now the very appointment you probably waited months for, the issues you've chronicled as the most important ones highlighted to speak with your doctor about and now that PROFESSIONAL refuses to see you because you won't play roulette with your health. When did this happen, why did this happen and how the hell do we stop it!?
Recently, I opted to take my healthcare to an entirely new country and man the difference is literally a world apart. I came to Thailand for my care and almost immediately I was hospitalized (not because of the trip but Lupus just does what it wants). I initially went in because my heart was hurting and since lupus seems to like my heart (my first symptom before diagnosis was the outer lining of my heart swelling). So as I was saying, I took myself to the hospital only to learn that based on the tests they gave me, I was also at a very high risk of a spontaneous brain bleed in addition to the fact that my heart lining had indeed swelled again. There was an autoimmune party that day let me tell you, but let's just say I happened to have the aforementioned doctor as my caregiver. Which ailment do you think I would have selected? Let's spin the wheel shall we, heart, brain, heart, brain.... Do you see the issue here?
I took some pretty drastic measures because I really felt that in the US I had no options. Treatment such as the real life example I have shared are all too common. I could fill my blog up with the horror stories of poor treatment by the very people who are charged with our care. They are careless in so many cases. Please don't get me wrong, this is not about bashing the actual dedicated doctors out there and there are many but the sad truth is, the spotlight will always be on the horrible ones. The shame of it all is I am certain many of them had some real altruistic values when they took that oath and then the bureaucracy of insurance, big pharma and hospital legal departments jumped in and muddled the waters. The people feel they have no real recourse, our legislators are proposing bills that don't affect them, they are courting the people with the deepest pockets and all the while we the people are suffering. I will be honest, I obviously don't have any solutions that would help on US soil but I will tell you all that since arriving in Thailand and experiencing medical care in such grand fashion that I want to share with you all how you too can do what I did. You don't have to come all the way across the world, there are countries right outside the US borders with wonderfully trained doctors, truly affordable healthcare and no ties to the big insurance companies that keep us bound. I can't and won't do your research for you but I will share with you my experiences, offer insight where I can but know that you do have options. Options that really cost you less than you think. Lets get proactive in our healthcare, we do have options.