After my long journey with benzo withdrawal and recovery, I started asking myself a lot of questions, and I was hoping that other people were asking the same questions. Did our doctors let us down? Did we have some kind of responsibility to educate ourselves better about these drugs? I don't know about anyone else, but there were many days that I didn't know if I was angry at Big Pharma for selling these drugs, the doctors for prescribing it, or myself for taking it like a compliant, good little patient. I still wonder how much accountability needs to be allocated to the patient; you and me who trusted blindly that our doctors really had our backs with this whole healthcare system.
So, when does the business of marketing drugs take priority over the health and well being of people, and how do we as consumers find some balance between knowing when to take a pill or not? Especially if we are now all skeptical about whether to trust our doctors to really know about all of these drugs. If your not skeptical at this point, I'm surprised. I keep asking myself how much is a healthy level of skepticism to have? I mean seriously? I went to the ER for pneumonia last January, and I drilled the ER doctor and the internist that treated me when I was admitted about every pill they wanted to give me. Even the decongestant. I mean I will hardly take anything anymore. I honestly think I drove the doctors and the nurses completely crazy. On the other hand, when the ER doctor wanted to do a spinal tap on me for meningitis after first getting a clear diagnoses that I had pneumonia, I felt my questioning was justified. I had to wonder how much this unnecessary testing was spawned by a need for the doctor to cover his ass, or the hospitals need to make money. I was so overwhelmed that the idea of having a spinal tap on top of the pneumonia, was more than I could handle. I ask him why we didn't just see if the antibiotics worked first before they tortured me anymore. I mean really?
Here's another one for you. While I was in the revolving door of running from one doctor to another before I knew it was the benzos causing my health issues, I kept wondering why my health wasn't getting better. I got fired from two different doctors for asking too many questions and refusing to take anymore drugs. I think I have heard a few other people tell me this happened to them as well for questioning too many things. I would bring articles in to these doctors and ask them to read them and see what they thought. Meanwhile, their only suggestion was for me to take another pill. I kept telling them I didn't want to take the one I was on. The next thing I knew, I was getting a dismissal letter from their office that they could not longer accept me as a patient. Really? I was totally unaware that I could be fired as a patient for asking questions about MY own health. Given what I have been through with the benzos alone, it appears it was a good thing that they fired me.
Is it any wonder that healthcare costs continue to rise in this country? I think we have seen the outcome of trusting too blindly that the FDA and AMA will have our backs. So, is the answer going to be that we all have to get medical degrees in order to make well educated healthcare decisions, or would it ever be possible that we could find some answer to that never ending revolving door question as to how to make the healthcare system safer and more affordable for everyone? I think that is a complicated question, and I'm not sure how we would even begin to build something from what we have. I think this is a question that will continue to be debated for years to come.
Unfortunately, I think it is heading toward patient accountability whether we like it or not. The only thing most of these companies understand is the bottom line, so it's up to us to change our lifestyles in order to change how our healthcare model is structured. As long as we continue to "NEED" pills, they will continue to produce more and more and try to convince us how much we need even more. Most of the marketing tactics used by drug companies and healthcare institutions are aimed at the average American that has a hard time disciplining themselves to eat right and exercise. Yet, I did do all of that, and I still ended up getting sucked into the whole "pop a pill for instant healing" mentality.
It still really all comes down to mostly the stress in our lives. Even though I exercised and ate healthy, I was going at this crazy pace all aimed at staying WAY too busy and distracted in this world. If anyone had told me to slow down then and meditate or take some time out for myself, I don't know if I would have listened until my life got so far down the toilet that I had no other choice. Unfortunately, it seems that it is human nature to wait until the eleventh hour to change anything in our lives. Personally, I believe that is what we are starting to see with pretty much everyone that is going through this reality check of awakening to the hard facts about healthcare. I think if we don't shift our focus, everyone of us, things will never change. That requires each of us to do a lot of soul searching and to see healing in a different way.
I know many, many people that come off these drugs like myself, who literally changed their whole way of doing things from diet and exercise to spiritual focus and stress management. I think this is a good example about people really not changing until their backs are up against the wall. I know I was so sick the last year or so of my taper, that I was willing to try anything just to turn my life around. I guess you just have to get to place where you are so uncomfortable with how you feel that you are willing to do anything. I hope that it doesn't come to the point for other people where they have to have a horrible experience in life in order to make good lifestyle changes. I wouldn't wish what happened to me on my worst enemy. I guess that's how we learn though. I would never have the amount of knowledge I have now if I hadn't gone through this experience.
That's why I write these blogs and post You Tube videos. I hope in some way my message will find its way to people's hearts and help them understand what's really going on with all these medications. I hope that it will help them make more informed decisions, rather than trusting this system so blindly. I hope that many more people come forward with their stories as it's the only way we will begin to see real change. If any of you have stories, please contact me so I can post them on our site.