Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day 14

Today was one of those days when you realize that you are so close to something that you lose perspective.  We started out from Mactier, Ontario, just after 7 am and were the 29 km into Parry Sound in no time.  After getting supplies, we went to the town pier and met a man from Mississauga that was looking after a 100 plus foot vessel for a friend.  When I explained what we were doing, his faced literally lit up.  He had a tremendous working knowledge of Lyme as well as various other diseases that ticks are the carriers of.  Furthermore, one of the most matter of fact comments he made was that I must have been diagnosed by a Naturopath.
This naturopath comment is something that I have had directed at me many times.  The fact is, I was diagnosed by a Steve O'Neill, a Practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine.  What continues to surprise me, whether knowledgeable about Lyme or not, is the shear number of people who have made such derogatory comments about their doctors inability to properly diagnose the illness and how so very many times that peole have had to rely upon Naturopaths to identify the problem. 
Without a doubt, one of the most frustrating comments made by the people of Ontario that I have spoken to is the rushed feeling they receive from their doctors.  And it is without a doubt that the overwhelming majority of these people are of the opinion that this rushed method of providing healthcare is ultimately why it is taking people so much time to be diagnosed.  The comments I receive reflect the exact reason why I believe my own doctors could or would never have properly diagnosed me in a thousand visits to his office.  The very manner in which my doctor looks at treating his patients is designed to fail.  In every examination room in my doctors office is a sign on the wall that says, "One health complaint per visit." 
The very nature of providing a sign with such a narrow minded view of the complexities of the human body speaks volumes a to what the doctors method of public funding is based on.  My doctor wanted me to come in Monday to tell him about my chronic chest pain, then Tuesday to tell him about my chronic migraines, Wednesday about the chronic muscle pain, Thursday about the chronic fatigue, and Friday about chronic sore throats.  Why get paid $40 in 6 minutes when you can get paid $200 in 30 minutes.  Ultimately, by simply refusing to look at the big picture, it is all but impossible for a physician operating with such a self-gaining mandate to ever diagnose a disease as complex as Lyme.
It is no wonder that so many doctors hold such open contempt for alternative medicine.  When a Naturopath or practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine evaluates a patient, he or she looks at the big picture as the starting point.  How can anyone formulate any opinion in what is potentially wrong with a patient unless then are aware of all the negative aspects that the patient is facing.  It seems like such a basic principle, yet our healthcare system has designed a payment schedule for doctors that promotes the opposite.  I mean really, as our society continues to get sicker and therefore needs to rely on our doctors more, the doctors continue to make more money through more visits, as in my case, without every having to identify what my actual disease was.  The truth is that there really is no money in good health - and the signs in my doctors examination rooms sadly promote the fact.    
We also stopped in Britt, Ontario.  For anyone who has read my personal website, , yes that is a pun, you will know that the first symptom I had from my July 1989 tick bite was in August of 1989, when I had the worst flu-like symptoms while parked in my boat at the government of Canada pier at Britt.  I was sick for days and when I left the pier the rash on my leg was huge, inflamed, and very sore.  However, at the time, I had no idea that there was such a major connection between the flu-like illness I had just gone through to the thing on my leg.
It simply did not occur to me until I was a few kilometers away that the 84 kilometers that I already cycled by the time I got to Britt were the most significant kilometers that I have cycled to date.  To arrive under my own power to a place where the course of my health had taken such a terrible change, was empowering to say the least.  To just sit on the pier with my bike and realize that I have come full cycle from a disease that many simply never recover sure made the day real.
I cycled straight through to Grundy Provincial Park.  For the day, the old insurance scamming drug addict guy with MS, Lupus, Chronic Fatigue syndrome, Fybromyalgia, Autoimmune Disease, and the best of all, the faulty heart valve, cycled 102.8 kilometers today,  and I must say loved every second of it. 

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