Conspiracy Theory

4 Aug

Big Pharma wants me dead. Ok, so it wants me alive but doped up on medications because a dead patient = $0. No, I’m not crazy, I’m not paranoid, and I’m not schizophrenic (insert off-color joke about how I used to be, but we’re ok now here…), I’m merely frustrated at the reality of my current situation. If you are short on time and would rather skip to the TL;DR (too long; didn’t read) version, I’ll sum it up for you:

IT IS CHEAPER TO STAY SICK.

http://rlv.zcache.com/the_doctor_of_the_future_print_poster-r175396a9f4b34ab5bd7689610cd7ea90_abjlc_400.jpg

It would be cheaper to allow Big Pharma and the insurance company to treat my chronic illness. It would also be deadly.

When I first started overhauling my diet and had my initial consult with the local functional MD and things began looking up, I was ecstatic. I thought, “Why doesn’t EVERYONE do this??” Why can’t other patients with similar chronic illnesses take the time to research and realize that nutrition is a vital part to wellness? It became frustrating reading social media statuses from sick friends who continued to eat processed foods, fast food, sugar, and other crap despite failing health. Now that I’m exactly 4 months into my healing journey, the reality of the situation is crashing down on me and I’m realizing just how twisted our healthcare system really is. The honeymoon phase of, “Wow! I’m feeling better…Could this work?!” has come to an end and I’m learning little by little exactly what I need to do in order to restore my body to a state of wellness, and it is frickin’ EXPENSIVE.

The other day I took the time to calculate exactly how much it is currently costing me in supplements to continue on this journey and the result of my itemization sent me into a whirlwind panic attack for 2 days.

For posterity’s sake, allow me to share said itemization:

  1. Metagenics – Ultra Flora IB – 30 Capsules
    Cost per month: $51.06
  2. Metagenics, Zinlori 75, 60 Tablets
    Cost per month: $21.50
  3. Enzymedica – Digest Gold – 240 capsules
    Cost per month: $27.60
  4. Vital Nutrients Glutamine Powder 8oz. 225 Grams
    Cost per month: $8.14
  5. Designs For Health – Magnesium Malate Chelate 120 tablets [Health and Beauty]
    Cost per month: $6.25
  6. Heritage Store Castor Oil
    Cost per month: $4.67
  7. Enzymedica – CarbGest – 60 Capsules
    Cost per month: $40.80

Totally monthly cost: $160.02

I tried to rationalize stopping some (or all…) of the supplements I’m currently taking and attempted to convince myself that maybe they “aren’t helping that much”, but the truth of the matter is that they are invaluable. My body is in such a state of disarray that it truly needs the extra support I’m giving it right now. I have read up on healing with whole foods and I am implementing as many as possible, but the food budget isn’t any better, especially when my body can tell the difference between organic and conventionally processed chicken (and reacts violently to the later)! I am attempting to take comfort in knowing that it won’t be like this forever, especially with my fiancee on the hunt for a better job in a more specialized field (that will likely result in a cross-country move), but the fact is that I need an overwhelming amount of nutritional and supplemental support right now and it’s impossible to manage the costs on SSDI.

None of the supplements or treatments I have implemented are covered by my insurance because they are deemed “not medically necessary”. My diet is incredibly restricted because it needs to be, but while most on a budget are able to vegetize a few meals per week with rice and beans, I’m SOL because grains and complex starches send my body into insanity. Even the functional MDs I’ve consulted with in the past 4 months have had to be paid entirely out of pocket. Dr. Guru’s consultations alone have been hundreds of dollars and yet she and Dr. L have been the only medical professionals able to help me make any sort of remarkable progress. The number of chronically ill friends who have tried alternative treatments and have made progress is remarkable, but when the money runs out, they go crawling back to Big Pharma and their disease kicks in full-force.

The bottom line is that it’s just not cost-effective for Big Pharma if doctors actually, oh, I don’t know, GET ME WELL! The crazy thing is that it’s costing me under $1K every month to work on healing my body to a state of functional wellness. If I stopped doing everything I’m doing and went back to being “the problem patient”, insurance would be paying for:

  • meds for my neuro issues
  • meds for GI issues
  • ER visits for dehydration and electrolyte imbalance (because of the constant IBS symptoms)
  • ER visits for intense stroke-like episodes that need to be evaluated to make sure THAT isn’t the time I am REALLY stroking out
  • routine CTs/xrays/MRIs
  • tri-monthly bloodwork (and we’re not talking about your run of the mill CMP here)
  • hospitalizations (my most recent hospitalization was upwards of nearly $40K)
  • more meds to treat the symptoms of the underlying metabolic dysfunction that no one could accurately diagnose
  • even more meds to treat the side effects of the meds used to treat the symptoms!

Is anyone else noting the insanity?? How does this even make SENSE? Why would the healthcare system be content paying out hundreds of thousands of dollars per YEAR to KEEP ME SICK when they could advocate a nutritionally-based, comprehensive approach for a FRACTION of that cost? Our society values complex, elusive medical conditions that have no answers. The answer is not more drugs, more procedures, more tests, and more money. The answer lies in understanding how our metabolic pathways function and how we are poisoning our bodies with processed and genetically modified mutant veggies. Why do we think we can put crap into our bodies and expect to live long, healthy lives with the understanding that we can just run to the nearest MD for a pill to throw at any unpleasant symptom that may pop up?

Financially, things would be a hell of a lot easier on me if I let Big Pharma and the insurance company foot the massive bill it would cost to keep me “alive”, but as Dr. Guru pointed out – I would be dead by 30 because my condition was deteriorating THAT rapidly. It is mind-boggling to me that I can know, learn, and understand exactly what my body needs to repair itself so that I can (hopefully) becoming a fully functional, productive member of society again (and scamper off to med school…), but what I need to accomplish this feels so out of reach. The amount of stress this situation causes is surreal and stress is one of my worst enemies! I am learning to resolve that I will simply trust that the best possible solution will work its way out and that in the end, all will be well…including me.

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3 Responses to “Conspiracy Theory”

  1. Diane August 6, 2012 at 6:33 am #

    So glad to see you addressing Nutrition. We started in Feb. for our Mito plus allergy daughter- she has stabilized and is much better. Learning about food, and learning about what food is the best fuel for each individual has been an eye opener.

  2. Andy Pep August 6, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    I’m in the same boat, although you do sound quite an extreme case if you’re needing hospitalisation. And you’re absolutely right, the western world is all about popping pills. However, you could always look east – eastern medicine is rubbish at cure but great at prevention. I was at my all-time most healthy when I took regular exercise and did a lot of Tai Chi. Now I feel I’ve let myself become too unhealthy and it’s almost impossible to reverse the damage.

    • theprogressivepatient August 6, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

      I agree re: Eastern practices. I think some of them are fantastic to begin incorporating into daily regimens. I have been paying particular attention to my Buddhist practice and doing yoga as well. I don’t think it’s impossible to reverse the damage at all, but it might take a slightly different approach…

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