One problem with doctors is that they assume you will fit in with their suggestions and decisions – and you may not want to. I faced this situation myself just the other day. I have high blood pressure and my consultant shouted at me that even though I didn’t like the side effects of a certain drug I had to start taking them again. If I didn’t I was increasing the likelihood that I would have a stroke. She certainly scared me into getting the prescription filled and taking the drugs home. But then I started to think. There were three risks. The first was that my blood supply might coagulate. But I take a blood thinner so that was unlikely. More likely was that the arterial walls would break under the pressure of the blood – but I take a lot of vitamin C -around 5 grams a day (and now plan to take much more – 10-15 grams a day). Vitamin C makes tissues stronger. The third risk is a heart attack but I am also taking Vitamin E 800 iu a day which helps the heart and also coQ10 200 mg which provides the heart with energy. But I can’t explain this to the doctor because they don’t have any knowledge of high dose vitamins – and even less faith in them. Maybe the doctors are right and I will suffer a catastrophic stroke or heart attack. If I do they will be proved right and I will be shown to be wrong. But since I also have an active life – I cycle three times a week for an hour each time. I also have a good social life and this has been shown to be life extending. All my other blood test results show a very healthy picture. At 70, I don’t suffer from arthritis, and have no need of knee or hip replacements. I feel well and happy. I also take Niacin (1,000 mg per day). I don’t know all the benefits of this supplement but I am assured it will help me live longer and is perfectly safe. I have a tranquil temperament. So, for now, I am going to ignore the doctor. Watch this space 🙂
This is what I mean by taking responsibility. It is deciding your own agenda – what is important to you (not the doctors). From the doctor’s perspective all health measures should be within the healthy zone. But at 70, I have long since come to terms with the fact that I can die at any moment. My agenda is not to live as long as I can but to enjoy the life I have left.
I know of a man who decided to have corrective surgery when he was 92 years old – and he died on the operating table. I have recently heard of an 84 year old undergoing chemotherapy for his cancer! I hope it works out for him but I know that after the age of 80 you might as well let cancer take its course. It will grow slowly and you -as likely as not – will live just as long. Another woman wrote to thank me for saying ‘doing nothing’ was a viable approach. Her mother was 82 at the time. She wrote again, ten years later to say her mother was 92 and the cancer was developing to the extent that her sons/brothers were insisting she should take chemo. Did they expect her to live forever?
A classic book on taking responsibility for yourself is Norman Cousin’s book “Portrait of an Illness from the point of view of the patient. Cousin had a severe metabolic illness that he felt was not being dealt with correctly. He booked himself out of hospital and developed his own programme which was eventually successful. A great – and wise – read.