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  • Nathira Salim

Do they know?

My mum has been sick all my life. Not bedridden sick, but usually has some form of ailments every single day. She has the high blood pressure, diabetes, issues with her bones, back, hips, legs, feet, tummy , etc. I believe she has severe inflammation in her body, or some form of fybromyalgia. She's always in some form of pain every day. She gets to move around. She can walk, she is able to clean her environment, cook, wash and sleep.


I wouldn't say her quality of life is that great - in her perspective. Not at all. Of course she's has been to the doctors. Not one, or two but many so called specialists, specialising in each part of the human anatomy have seen her, prodded her and have done many consultation with her. Something is usually wrong, and she's sent home with bag loads of medical drugs, none of which actually cure her, but somehow manages her to get on with her daily life.


My point is sometimes I wonder if the medical technology of today has still. not made any advancements yet since 1980s.

I mean - they are still. not sure what ails my mother.


Let me tell you another story. Just as recently a week ago, my hubby had a bad fall in the shower which resulted in a oval shaped lump appearing on his wide forehead. He immediately went to the ER at the nearest hospital. He was sent home within hours.


The following day, he had vertigo. He again checked himself to the same ER. Again - he was sent home after being monitored for 3-4 hours. 3 hours later he puked out his lunch.

He was sent to the same ER again via the ambulance because I was still out from the surgery.

He was admitted the same day. And he was there, for the next 3 nights. At the end of the stay, they sent him home saying that they assume its vertigo and to take the meds that they prescribed.


Whatever drugs he was told to take after his 1st ER was to be stopped.

Guess what? He tried taking the drugs, his world kept revolving. So he stopped taking them. And he's been ok since. He shrugged off the whole drama as "incompetent doctors of Singapore" , label.


I was told that the hospital has lots of new young doctors and hubby was prodded by them. So what is going on? I have heard ever since I was young that the medical service in Singapore sucks. But then again, if it was true, I don't think the world thinks of it that way.


According to the alliance website here, Singapore has one of the best medical infrastructure in the world and that the medical tourism will drive the demand in Singapore more in the future. We definetly have good infrastructure, but I m not sure of the doctors.


If we are left to our own device on deciding whether to trust the drugs given to us by the physicians, I am doubting the capabilities of these physicians. I wonder if its the same world over.


In all the anti cancer books I have read, the authors have mentioned that doctors will not advise the patients to change their diet if they have been diagnosed with something terminal. In fact they will be told to carry on with their normal lifestyle because they have not been taught nutrition when they were studying medicine. I think they were taught about the what's, why's and how's of particular disease, but not how to cure it from the root. If you tell any doctors that you are drinking some tonic whose recipe was from your great great grandmother, they will tell you to discard it immediately and start on the cocktail of 10 different drugs all doing something to each of their body parts, or relieving the pain and symptoms of the disease but not curing the disease itself.

When I was diagnosed with cancer, nothing was told to me. I received no guidance on what to eat, what to avoid, what I should be doing - nothing. All I was told was to go for more scans and get myself ready for surgery and chemo. I wasn't pissed, but I was not surprised either. I am an educated woman and with today's technology with getting information at our fingertips on our mobile, I don't need the doctors to tell me what to do. I can get it from Google, medical journals and books. But what about folks who believe the people in the white coats or in some cases in blue scrubs. There are people who trust their doctors with blind faith. What about them?


I think patients needs to take the power back from their doctors when it comes to their health. Patients need to be educated and be knowledgeable about their diagnosis. They have to ask questions instead of trusting their doctors. I am not saying that we have to doubt whatever our doctors are telling us. I am just saying that we need to be on top of the game. If we have diabetes, then we should be learning all about it and find out ways such alternative, complementary and conventional treatments to go on about it. I am told that the landscape is changing now in the medical industry. We are all now living longer than before and this means that we have to be healthy for a long time to come.And to be healthy for a long time to come, we should arm ourself with all the necessary knowledge to live longer and healthier.


Pic courtesy from the following website

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