If the metaphor is “The Death of Experts”, then its companion is “The Rise of Your Health.” This is how you begin to take responsibility for it.
Your Support Network
In the matter of chronic disease, it is all about you. Sure you have a support network of family and friends, but unless they have walked a mile in your shoes, the best you can hope for is sympathy.
In my experience close family and friends, are more likely to keep you down the normal paths of medicine. It is a recommended strategy to receive the best management from conventional treatment while you find and evaluate alternatives. Not unlike your ‘medical team’, they will perceive any alternate strategy as being riskier than the standard advice.
Your Call, Not Theirs
Remember though that “The Experts are Dead.”. Unless they can offer an effective cure, all you are guaranteed is continued ill-health. While, in general, your support network (family and friends) will point you down the most conventional path out of concern for you to get the best possible care, unfortunately, they do not appreciate that the experts are dead. As you evaluate other treatment options, it is your decision as to make whether the risk of any ‘trial’ exceeds the risk of the expected outcome. No one else will take that decision for you. It is your responsibility.
In a sense, I am advocating that you need to be your expert. You don’t need to have Albert Einstein’s intellect, but start with his attitude:
Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.
It’s hard to accept that you are not getting the best treatment known. Medical treatment is costly, and we have justifiable pride in the medical knowledge of our society. We expect our health systems to be on the ball, our experts up to date, and to be offered the best possible treatment. Unfortunately, health systems have one of the slowest rates of the adoption of new ideas. We will examine some case studies and the reasons for this in future blogs. For now, understand that it often takes decades for new therapies to be accepted into standard practice.
Medical Innovation Takes Time
In my case, at diagnosis, the solution that I now employ, a low carbohydrate diet, had already been employed for treatment for more than a decade. A major magazine had already published it as a cure! In fact, in times well past it had been a standard treatment for my problem. The fact that nearly 20 years on it is still not the first line of therapy for type 2 diabetes seems astounding. When you know about medical innovation, it is less astounding, but none the less still absurd causing you to ponder another of Einstein’s quotes
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.
You can live for those decades with your condition (and possibly declining health) until it is offered to you (presuming that you survive) or you can take the responsibility to actively seek a solution earlier.
Which are you going to do?