Title: From "Oh My What A Rotten Song" [YouTube]
Fast, painless, knee replacement surgery and no hospital stay because you're up and walking in just four hours.
So proclaims The Toronto Star
Miraculous, maybe. But maybe not.
While the children of Syria suffer unthinkable misery at the hands of their self-proclaimed Christian liberators, one can't help feeling somewhat embarrassed at what a soft lot we are in the West to have come to expect nothing less than fast-serve total comfort.
OHIP - funded by the Ontario tax-payer - is literally on its way to decimation due to the knee replacement fad -- even with the latest quick-fix scheme that, while grossly expensive in itself, doesn't require the additional cost of a hospital stay -- partly because many patients end up in worse straits in the long run (CBC).
Why do people run to doctors at the first sign of any kind of discomfort? My guess is that they've been trained by the media to do exactly that. The Toronto Star article noted above was literally a commercial for this extremely expensive procedure.
We live in a society where comfort is everything; where, sadly, too many people have no inner means of support. The slightest thing goes wrong and some sort of parent figure is sought out.
The minute a knee starts screaming, we stop using it. The thought rarely occurs to walk through the pain. There is no faith that recovery can occur without the laying on of the hands and scalpel of someone claiming to be an expert. Even some devout Christians have given up on praying for healing, and instead ask God to guide the hand of the surgeon.
And then there's the social status to consider. Knee surgery is all the rage now. Rages are the stuff that window-blind hemlines and on-again-off-again facial hair fads are made of.
Oh, the embarrassment of being seen in last year's style. One gains a sense of importance from being seen as one of "in" crowd. So naturally the latest surgery is the thing to talk about when old folks get together: "My problem was way worse than yours, and my surgeon is the toppest notch".
All those authority figures focussed on you alone; every patient assured that he/she is the favourite. People don't want to hear "it's no big deal; just work through it". Working through things is such a lonely, grown-up activity.
Even the CBC article (above), in the very last line, acknowledges the left-outedness of working through it:
Yes, by all means, think positive.
I'm not often impressed by the Globe&Mail but here's an article that may point you in the direction of a different kind of positive thinking:
Yes, knee surgery virtually guarantees a considerable amount of repeat business for the specialists in that area. As for myself, I used to look at those sheepskins proudly displayed on doctors' office walls and wonder which subjects they did poorly in.
General practitioners refer you to specialists to get themselves off the hook, and specialists know only their own speciality, and often apply it unnecessarily due to a lack of general medical knowledge -- and because they like the ca-ching sound.
Yes, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool skeptic. When my own knee went on the fritz, I merely got mad at it, and told it to shape up. Walk, damn you, I said. And it screamed back at me the whole way to the shopping centre or to where I did my volunteer work, and all the other places I normally navigate to on foot.
Sometimes it brought me to tears and the desire to give up, but eventually it got the message. Now, when it occasionally starts to whine and complain, I put some Blue Ice on it (dirt cheap at the Dollar Store) and haul out the same old lecture.
Yes, it did start a new thing to get my attention - it's recently begun clicking sometimes when I walk upstairs. "I'll give you something to complain about," I tell it. And I walk up the stairs again (4 flights because I live in an apartment) and, guess what, the clicking stops.
And stays stopped until the next time I haven't exercised it enough.
Pure and simple: people generally don't get enough exercise. Use it or lose it is something you should ask your grandma to embroider on a pillow for you because that's the real kind of positive thinking. Much better than the kind where you think positive that you can get the surgery quickly.
Safer too. I've personally known a few doctors who aren't quite in their right minds -- possibly due to the effects of the rigors and anxieties of internship, where sleep deprivation is the norm, and possibly due to dependence on one drug or another.
One guy, a Resident in Gynaecology said that he would encourage women in their 30's who've had a couple of kids to "get the whole apparatus yanked out" in order to prevent cancer.
I've known other doctors who self-treat -- exercise to lower blood pressure, for instance -- rather than risk the ministrations of a colleague. That alone should tell you something.
I personally, in the late 60's had an exploratory during which my appendix and gall bladder were "yanked out" in case they were the source of my chronic abdominal pain.
During that same hospital stay, a skin specialist was allowed to weigh in on my steadily increasing aversion to sunlight due to loss of skin pigment (vitiligo - but I call it "Michael Jackson's Disease"). He was convinced that the pain and the sun sensitivity combined were a sign that I had King George III's ailment, acute intermittent porphyria. He said he had it himself, and was doing research in this area. So I became his guinea pig and he bled me to the point of serious anaemia, to "lower the porphyrins" in my blood.
I eventually decided the guy was a nutter. But I visited the Mayo Clinic just to make sure and they couldn't confirm one way or the other. I knew the pigment loss was hereditary, since a maternal uncle had it as well, and now I'm whiter than white, which makes me pretty special, in some quarters, I guess.
When the pain returned, excruciatingly, a kidney specialist operated and said it was due to a stricture of the ureter. But there I was, slashed every which way from Sunday, still with the problem. It took a chiropractor to figure it out, and how to stop the pain.
You may think I made all of this up ... sobeit ... but, as a result of those experiences, I've stayed away from doctors for a lot of years and have never been healthier. This is not a result of courage, it is directly due to fear of the health system. I have no alternative but to think positive about my health.
Think doctors aren't in the business of sales? Become a specialist in anything and you're narrowing the business field, aren't you? Lucky for the medical profession, it has the news media - and hence then word of mouth - to do its advertising for it.
Meanwhile, it's biting off the hand that feeds it because our medicare system is being way over-used and, sooner or later, something will have to give. I don't think designer surgery-on-demand was the aim when the system was originally devised.
AND NOW -- drum roll -- like the mainstream media when they wish to drive home a point, I'm going to use this last section as the main purpose of this whole diatribe:
We have an opioid epidemic. All those lucky, happy people who got sent home the same day they had their miraculous knee surgery, were prescribed OPIOIDS. In other words, they were feeling no pain even if it existed. And they're going to have a devil of a time getting off the drugs.
And that's only one of the iatrogenic (doctor induced) illnesses plaguing society.
Very sorry for the lecture, but I love you and it's for your own good. Of course, if you'd rather complicate your life, or possibly die, than put up with any kind of pain, then who am I to tell you not to?
Related YYC article: Why I Avoid the Medical Profession
Image: Doctors and nurses have one of the highest rates of addiction in the workforce.
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