My mother was born to a good but poor family long ago. My grandmother was one of 11, and her parents were poor farmers. My grandfather was also from a farm family, but his parents were both gone by the time he turned 13 and he struggled to stay fed through the years that followed.
When my mother was born, the financial struggle was ongoing, and in that world, doctors were wealthy oracles of knowledge. Her mom and dad and baby sister could see a doctor once in a while, but they couldn’t afford a dentist. She only got regular dental care after she married my dad.
As a result of the struggles and cultural deference afforded anyone in the medical business, she did exactly as she was told by medical authorities for the rest of her life. Her parents did the same. The dental authorities told her she needed near-constant work, which included several caps, crowns, bridges, and a root canal. At one point, they cut open her gums for a deep cleaning and it was obviously very painful.
As a result of growing up around my mother and her constant and painful experience at the dentist’s office, I was far less compliant when my dentist told me I needed a root canal. I had gone in for a cleaning and told him I had recently had a sharp jab of pain when I bit on a hot piece of pizza. He showed me an x-ray of my teeth which included a portion of my jaw and stated that the shaded portion of the bone in my jaw was bone loss caused by infection draining from a cracked tooth. He wanted to perform a root canal and replace the cracked tooth with a crown.
Thoughts of my mother stopped me from allowing this, and I said I wanted to get a second opinion. When I booked a consult with another dentist in the same office, the consulting dentist stated that he saw the crack in my tooth but did not think the shaded portion in the x-ray was bone loss at all, and that if the tooth wasn’t in constant pain, I should wait.
So, I waited.
Eventually, I changed dentists, and the new dentist saw the same crack in my tooth, now a decade on, and he also wanted to harvest it. I again refused. He sent me to a specialist who declared the tooth ‘dead’ and I was again advised to have the tooth removed and a fake tooth put in. When I refused, the dentist said he wanted to test the tooth with cold and electricity to see if I could feel it. If I couldn’t, this would prove that the tooth was dead and needed to be taken out. I agreed to that much and felt viscerally the cold and electricity. The tooth was cracked but alive.
Over the years, other dentists have tried to induce me into various procedures and I’m now on to how they do it. The dentist or typically the hygienist will say something like “OK, looks like you need a new crown, so just stop by the front desk and we’ll get you scheduled!” In sales, this is called an ‘assumptive close’ in which you just start talking about something as if it is decided.
Except, I decide about my teeth, and I have decided for 25 years now not to allow what they wanted to do and I still have my original teeth. The cracked tooth is still cracked, but chewing food like a champ.
Since then, friends and relatives have conveyed to me similar stories about doctors doing things that were, possibly, not necessary. The medical literature and reports created by journalists dedicated to covering the medical (included dental) industry are now full of stories about corruption in medicine. Treatment based on the wants and needs of the doctors IS corruption.
Now, I must bear in mind the motives of every health care person who treats me. I am very suspicious of them, and the covert affect the device, hospital, and pharmaceutical industry has on doctors. This creates a new problem for me because I generally resist treatment even though I see the doctor regularly.
One day, I’m going to be wrong and resist the treatment I need. That is my greatest fear.
My mother did not resist any treatment from the dentists or the doctors and she died in the hospital under medical care. Her heart stopped and she died. My sister was right beside her. The death certificate issued afterward says she died of Parkinson’s but that is complete bullshit. One does not die of Parkinson’s because it’s a collection of symptoms.
In the weeks before she died, she would be found ‘unresponsive’ in her bed and taken to the emergency room, where she would eventually come around. The doctors there did not know why she was occasionally unresponsive but they said it was probably an ‘adverse drug reaction’ because, by this time, she was on 8 different medications. A few weeks later, she died, and I suspect it was an adverse drug reaction from drugs that several doctors had given her. There is no FDA requirement to test what that combination of drugs would do to an elderly female, and so she, and others, are the test subjects. The drugs were a factor in her death, possibly the primary factor, and they papered over the fact with a Parkinson’s assignment.
I could write about my grandparents, including the one orphaned at 13. He died in the hospital doing what he was told. So did my other three grandparents, and many friends. In some cases, the medical authorities were trying to save them, but couldn’t. In others, I’m 100% sure they were treated to death for profit.
Telling the difference between needed and unneeded medical procedures is tough work and I must be educated so I can deduce their motives whenever I must deal with them. Hopefully, when I’m wrong, the stakes will not be high. For my mother, she did was she was told and died in their less than sterile arms.
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