Archive for November 8th, 2011



I got some ‘splainin’ to do!

To me the most noteworthy thing about reactions to yesterday’s post was all the scolds telling me to go to a doctor. I am deeply touched by the affection and care that are behind these earnest admonishments. But it’s not going to happen, and I’m going to tell you why.

Seventeen years ago I vowed that I was parting ways forever with modern medicine because, in my personal opinion, it has ceased to be a caring profession and has become an exploitive, money-making industry. This realization came to me through the losses, within a six month period, of the two most important women in my life: my wife and my mother. My mother was killed by the misapplication of antibiotics by a doctor who had the bad taste to hit on my sister while we were in the throes of our mother’s health crisis; my wife’s death was accompanied by the revelation that her oncologist had known all along that there had been no known effective treatment for her particular type of cancer cell—information that had been purposely withheld from us through the courses of numerous treatments that only intensified and prolonged Holly’s suffering. I felt betrayed by these so-called healers, lost all confidence in their motivations, and resolved that I would never become an object of their medical interventions even if it might shorten my life.

This decision represented a significant break with my past. I had grown up surrounded by doctors—most of my parents’ best friends were doctors and their wives, and I regarded these men (yes, they were all men at that time) with the highest trust and esteem. When I was a boy there was an active conspiracy afoot through which these doctors encouraged me to enter their profession; to this day one of my most prized possessions is an anatomy textbook that had been my pediatrician’s when he was in medical school. I loved that man and his love of me had informed his care.

He and his kind are long gone now, replaced by a soulless factory model of health care that has too much in common with modern meat processing. I am not a pork belly on a conveyor hook, and there is no amount of fear, vanity, groundless faith, or denial that will convince me to submit to the indignities of conventional health care.

This is a purely personal decision and it does not imply my disapproval of others deciding differently for themselves. I have simply decided to place my trust in my own body, genetics, and lifestyle. I am not neglecting my health but promoting it by alternative means. I believe the human body has the inherent ability to heal itself if it is not assaulted by stress and other deleterious environmental factors.

Living by one’s own lights is the best medicine… at least for me. That, and the love of family and friends. Thank you all for caring about me. I’m feeling much better today.


Groove of the Day 

Listen to Loudon Wainwright III performing “The Doctor”