Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Am I Getting Allergic to Medical Interventions?

I'm starting to re-think my whole belief system and rock solid faith in modern medicine.

Back when I was a child, people didn't visit the doctor as readily as they do now and our family was even less likely than most to turn to professional help for routine illnesses. The main reasons for this were twofold. One, doctor visits were expensive and, two, my parents were very self reliant and resourceful.

Sure when, someone broke a bone (my little brother - twice), we saw the doctor. When my sister suffered a bad burn on her leg, she was taken in for professional help. And I remember going to the dentist for a painfully infected tooth - maybe twice.

When I became an adult, I tended to be the opposite. When my kids were sick, my first thought was to take them to the doctor and my children's pediatrician was always the miracle worker I believed he would be.

I felt the same way where my own health was concerned and until recently, that's worked well for me.

Then in December, I became ill, was under treatment from my doctor, and, as a result, pretty much spent the entire Christmas season sick. I wrote about it here.

After that illness finally passed, I had an MRI on my shoulder because of chronic pain in my arm. It never seemed logical to me that a pain that felt like it was in my arm muscle was because of a rotator cuff problem but the MRI revealed what appeared to be a small tear and it seemed logical to have it repaired. I mentioned that surgery in this post.

Asa result of that surgery, I've struggled all summer with the niggling suspicion that I had unnecessary surgery because 1) my arm still hurt, 2) I'd lost quite a bit of mobility despite physical therapy and ongoing exercise therapy, and 3) I'm constantly troubled by shoulder pain that doesn't seem to be getting any better.

Friday I had a routine check-up with my General Practitioner. We mutually agreed that a flu shot and a pneumonia shot would be in order. Although I questioned the safety of having flu shots too close together since it didn't seem that long since I'd had one, my doctor assured me that now was the time to get one.

About 3 hours later I started to feel ill. By late evening, I was wracked with chills, fever, and extraordinary muscle pain. And that's pretty much how I spent the weekend. I even greeted Monday morning with some lingering low grade fever and accompanying moderate chills and muscle aches.

I won't elaborate too much on my red, swollen, painful arm from just below my shoulder to my elbow. But it was 'over the top'.

So, I'm thinking of RE-thinking my penchant for running to the doc at the drop of a hat. From now on, I think I'll give it just a little more thought.


  1. You have definitely had one-heck-of-a-year. I don't blame you at all for re-thinking office visits. I know they stopped using a live vaccine for flu shots quite some time ago, but what about pneumonia? It's so sad that you weren't feeling well, I do hope by now that bug is gone! Poor Momma :(

  2. Oh Mary, you poor thing. I am the worst for going to the doctor. I couldn't tell you the last time I went. Maybe if you mix you and I, you couldget just about the right mix of when to go see a medical professional. Stop by my Bacardi Mama blog. I have a Betty Crocker giveaway going on. Hope you feel much better soon.

  3. You know, everything you say is SO TRUE. It really does seem like ever since Christmas, it's been one thing after another. I don't blame you AT ALL for feeling this way. I just hope it all ends for you soon and you just start feeling good!!! And I really hope at Christmas this year you get to enjoy it!


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