Category Archives: malpractice

A bright, beautiful life is gone. Thank you, Big Pharma.

This morning, I awoke to a newspaper article about a local dental hygienist who was killed by a hit and run driver while walking by the beach.  I held my breath as I read further because they initially used her first name in the article and she didn’t go by that name.  But shockingly, it was indeed our friend and hygienist of 20 years, Stephanie Collins, who was lost.  This is my first post that I’ve written through tears.

We are heartbroken by this news as are all of the people who knew Stephanie.  She was an absolute ray of sunshine!  I never saw her when she wasn’t happy and glowing. She was 49.  She had a son.  She had a great relationship.  She was loved by her co-workers and her patients and her friends.  The worst part of this is that it didn’t have to happen. The sidewalk was very, very wide – maybe 15 or 20 ft wide. To run someone over like that, the driver would have to purposefully aim and jump the curb.

The woman who hit her kept going and was eventually stopped by a witness who saw it, when they blocked the road with their vehicle, and she was unable to continue.  The woman was obviously on drugs – PRESCRIPTION DRUGS – and even told the officer she’d been aiming for a bicyclist!  This is just heartbreaking on so many levels.

We all have so many questions and may never get any answers.  First, this woman who hit our friend appears to be age 43.  In the newspaper article which detailed the police report, she’d been taking Xanax and Benadryl for sleep, she said. One doesn’t expect a 43 year old to have sleep issues.  Those are more common with older individuals.   She said she was trying to quit the Xanax and was taking another drug, Trazadone which is an anti-depressant and sleep-enhancer.  The big question?  Who prescribed these drugs and why was she not supervised?  It would seem that this ‘medical professional’ would be complicit in this crime.  Yes, I know doctors can’t be responsible for their patients when they’re out of their sight, but still, they ARE responsible for making sure the patient doesn’t have that many drugs available at once.  Of course, the drugs could’ve been obtained illegally.

Still and yet, this is just another tragedy that has been brought on by this country’s dependence on and adoration of prescription drugs.  PrescriptionDrugsDrugs are prescribed to sleep, to stay awake, to lose weight, to gain weight, to allow those with heart issues to eat crap, to allow smokers to stop smoking (though in reality, they’re just substituting one addiction for another), to allow drug addicts to stop taking the hard stuff and become addicted to a lesser drug.  Drugs are taken like candy by those who are looking for a quick buzz, a long high and a big ‘down’.  Big Pharma counts on the addictive habits of Americans for their massive profits. Reports have shown that the main desire of pharmaceutical companies is indeed to ‘hook’ patients on their drugs, thus gaining a lifelong customer.

Drugs are readily available to most all people because doctors’ have a ‘cut ‘n’ drug’ attitude.  If they can’t cut it out and can’t drug it out, then they don’t want to deal with patients.  In my experience with myself and family members, doctors these days are truly not healers.  They are interested in the billing.  They spend the minimal amount of time with you, rarely making eye contact, and watching the clock so they can hurry you along to the billing window and they can go to the next patient.  Disgustingly, a doctor visit isn’t complete unless a patient walks out with one or two scripts in hand.  Because of this tendency in the current ‘Western Medical’ thinking, very few people are really healed.  The big band-aid is the script.   The sad part?  So many patients aren’t happy unless they walk out with these scripts.

THIS is how so many drugs become available illicitly.  Doctors just write the scripts and that is that. Out of sight, out of mind.

When did the sense of personal responsibility disappear?  When did doctors decide it is ok to hand over dangerous drugs to people who are incapable of understanding what they’re taking?  The concept of ‘the magic pill’ is drilled into the public’s collective minds every single night at the news hour with all of the commercials by pharmaceutical companies. “Ask your doctor…”  Seriously?   A GOOD doctor who knows what he or she is doing or who CARES about patient care will prescribe only the minimal amount that might be necessary.

I can’t help think during this sad time, how a beautiful, bright life was taken because of greed by doctors and Big Pharma, and an ill-informed patient.  How many others are suffering because of these bad decisions?  And how many more will be affected by similar medical malfeasance?

As for us?  There is a reason that we refuse prescription medications.  If we keep ourselves well and if we make sure we never become ill, then we won’t need any of these poisons.  And should we have an issue, we try going the natural route first.

And today, we’re just sad.

 

 

 

It pays to invest in wellness

My husband will turn 65 the end of November, and thus I’ve been forced to look at Medicare in detail.  Let me tell you, it’s ugly!  The many myths I’ve believed have now been shattered.  Medicare is not a panacea.  MedicareAs a matter of fact, my husband’s Medicare will cost us more for basic annual services such as blood work and checkups than our existing ACA coverage does.  (Affordable Care Act)  AND he’ll pay $104 monthly which is higher than current premiums, with far, far higher potential financial exposure than the current coverage offers.

It’s discouraging to think that our government pushes those at age 65 into a program that really isn’t the best thing for anyone.  Luckily for us, we do everything in our power to stay away from the standard Western medical community by remaining well.  Unfortunately accidents do happen and my husband was hospitalized because of an accident in 2010.  He was also hospitalized because he ate some bad stuff in 2012.  In looking at our coverages, it appears that we would pay far, far more using Medicare than we’d have paid with our previous insurances.

So, it’s become increasingly clear that we MUST keep ourselves healthy.  This country is not like France nor is it like Canada, where quality health care is available for all at a minimal cost, if any cost at all.  In the US it’s every man for himself.   Thank goodness for the wellness-minded providers!  At least you are getting quality for what you pay where with the standard medical community, your results are always questionable and quality is long gone.

I invite you all to contribute to a list that we can all share, of health-minded providers, natural healers and alternative healers in the comment section below.  You can include health food stores, wellness providers, integrated medicine providers and any other alternative provider that you deem worthy.

I should also add that the same holds true for our beloved furry and feathered family members.  The same lack of respect towards wellness, the same cut ‘n’ drug thinking applies to veterinarians.

And if you have been reading this blog, you know that I am a strong believer that reading labels, organic eating, healthy choices and meditation will go a long way towards healing.

I’ll start the list here, but urge everyone to please, please add to the list!

Mitzi Schardt, MSN, NP – Fort Myers / Cape Coral, FL

Robert Murdock, NaturalFamilyPhysicians.com / Fort Myers and Cape Coral, FL

Whole Foods nationwide

Natural Pet Care LLC – Metarie, Louisiana  (They do phone consultations)

Cats Love to Meditate

You need not meditate alone.  My cats love to meditate with me.  My older, recently transitioned cats Mei Mei and Maggie really enjoyed meditating with me, even though it was not a daily event then.

SleepingCatBuddhaOur fur-girls are age 6 months and 2 yrs 3 months.   I’d actually assumed that they would be too rambunctious to enjoy it but they’ve surprised me.  What is especially surprising is that Mhysa, the 6 month old, is the one that loves it most.  She has become adamant that she be with me when I meditate.  Mei Li still comes and goes and is taking it all in.

With her current issue involving the ovarian remnant from the veterinarian’s surgical mistake, I have concentrated very strongly on Mhysa’s healing in my daily meditations.  She appears to understand and even digs in deeply by my side, trying to touch both my body and my upturned left palm.

If you share your life and home with these amazing creatures, you probably know how intuitive they are.  They can easily access your meditations and understand what you’re doing. But did you know that you can also communicate to them using pictures, without saying a word?  I’ve been doing it for years.  Yes, I talk to them all day long anyway, but they can grasp the pictures you send very easily and they understand.  It is, of course, important to send positive, loving pictures, or just factual pictures.  Please don’t freak them out with negative pictures or scenarios!

Before we moved over a year and a half ago, I’d been sending our girls pictures of the new home.  When they arrived, with boxes everywhere, they were very cool, calm and matter of fact since they knew what to expect.

Another instance involves long-distance communication:  Our kitten, Mhysa, came from California but we couldn’t bring her home with us because she was too young.  So she flew by herself on what ended up being a relatively short, easy flight with only one change in equipment.  You would expect her to be freaked out, right?  I mean, she was only 12 1/2 weeks old at that point.  For many weeks, I’d been sending her pictures of her new home in my meditations, I’d sent her pictures of her new sisters (at that time, Maggie was still with us).  I’d sent her images of us, of the sounds of the house and of the many kitty beds and her dining area.  And then, when I knew she was on the way to the airport, I started ‘sending’ her a gentle, calming heartbeat soundtrack that I’d found on iTunes, to keep her company with all of the frightening noises, sights and smells that go with travel. I listened when meditating and sent the energy to her.  If only I had such a calming influence when I travel!!!   I hate flying these days!  It isn’t what it used to be.

When she arrived at our local airport, we expected a frightened little girl.  Instead, we found a calm little one, very happy to see us.  When we got home and opened her carrier, she marched right out, looked around as if to say “Yes!  This is what I expected.”  She immediately made herself at home.

36 years ago, in 1979, I’d seen an animal communicator on late night TV, who explained the visualization process for communicating with our pets.  I was lying in bed with my then-4 yr old sleeping toy poodle, Brigitte.  She loved more than anything to ‘go out’ to play in our fenced yard.  All I had to do was just mouth the words “do you want to go out?” and she would be beside herself.  This was long past her last ‘out’ trip at that time.  I just concentrated on seeing us get up, walk down the hall, through the foyer, the dining room, the kitchen to the back door and opening it.  I only had to do it once.  She lept up out of a sound sleep, and went racing down the hall in a frenzy to go out.

There are many ways to communicate with our furry and feathered family members, and this is but one option.  We work with an animal communicator if we feel that there are conflicts between them, if there are behavioral issues, if there are health issues or if someone just can’t seem to follow the rules.  It’s wonderful to have that resource available for us, because after all, this IS our family.

I will write more on that subject soon, along with contact information should anyone wish to find out more about it themselves.  Should you have a need now or need a referral, please feel free to comment below and ask any questions you might have.

In the meantime, I strongly recommend including your cats, dogs, birds and other pets in your meditation rituals.  They feel it, they understand it, and they love it.  We all benefit.

More Info: Ovarian Remnant Syndrome in Cats

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, I have more information to share.  This issue is far more common than known, based on my experience.

BabyMhysaFor instance, in my last four kitty girls, two have suffered from these surgical ‘errors’ as vets prefer to call it.  I’m afraid I could come up with far stronger terminology.  When my babies are hurt, I become a very protective monster.

Thanks to being put off by vets who either did not know what they were doing, or who didn’t want to accept their own failures, my 20 year old Maggie who left us in May lived an entire life of anxiety and stress from the ovarian remnant(s) left behind in a sloppy surgery.  Even the vet who DID the surgery (and who charged me $1,500 in tests) claimed to be clueless as to why she had such problems.  The vets just tend to chalk it up to a ‘goofy’ cat or to some sort of feline anxiety disorder.   I’ve only come to the realization of what my sweet Maggie went through all those 20 years when I began to research the symptoms of my new kitten, Mhysa.  I suddenly realized that Maggie had struggled with this her entire life.  I’m not about to let Mhysa do the same.

Now, I have run into what appears to be more issues with vets, just trying to determine when to test Mhysa for estrogen levels.  I asked a local vet tech and she said she thought perhaps anytime would be fine and she said she’d have the vet call me.  I’ve not heard from him as of yet.  But since I am on natural bioidentical hormones myself, I know my high and low days in my cycle for estrogen.  We test once a year to be sure everything is in line on those days.  We don’t test on ‘baseline’ days.   So there is no reason to believe a cat would NOT have a similar cycle.

I found what appeared to be a very knowledgeable blog post by a veterinarian in Manhattan (NYC). He confirmed what my instincts told me were true – we would need to test when Mhysa was in the throes of estrus (a heat episode) to be sure of her estrogen levels.  After a few days of that, this vet states that the levels drop to baseline quickly, sometimes in as few as 48 hours.  http://catexpert.blogspot.com/2015/01/feline-ovarian-remnant-syndrome.html

SO, now the trick is getting the vet here for the blood draw on one of those few days, and then, another tech has told me that it is best to do the surgery when she’s in heat so they can more easily find the swollen ‘active’ ovarian tissue.   :::sigh:::  The vet we used for her spay, who said he’d ‘make it right’, is not in town so that means a hasty, long-distance trek and of course, the usual ‘fasting’ routine before the surgery.   Then, we can just hope this doesn’t happen on days when he is not there, since he only does surgery one or two days a week.

This is yet another reason it drives me crazy to live in a place where wellness services for humans and for pets are almost non-existent and where up-to-date health care is very rare. This is why we use a wellness, integrated health practitioner 6 hours away.  I’m more and more concerned about the wellness of my family when it relies on others.

Please, pet owners, be aware of this!  It appears these surgical errors are even more common in dogs.  Please, please, don’t let the veterinarian blow you off if your female pets are exhibiting symptoms of estrus when they’ve already been spayed.  This is really important to their lives, their overall wellness and their mental well-being.  AND it can be important for your HOME since often animals that are in heat mark their territories.  You can’t blame it on a ‘bad dog’ or ‘bad cat’ when it’s hormonal and they can’t help it.

 

Wellness for our pets: It’s a constant challenge

Wellness for our beloved furry and feathered family members is every bit as much a challenge as it is for us.  My particular frustration today is with the veterinary world.  I have known a lot of veterinarians over the years, and I continue to have problems with the care they offer our pets.

Our 6 month old kitten is struggling right now.  We had her spayed when she was BabyMhysa4 months old, and surprisingly, she was in heat when they spayed her.  However, we were told all was well.   A few days later, after she’d gotten over the worst of her surgery, she started to show minimal signs of actually being in heat.  I mentioned it and was told it was some sort of ‘dominance’ dance with the other cat.  Well, it’s gotten worse.  This past week, she has cried and shown every sign of being in heat.

I have researched on-line and this appears to be what is known as Ovarian Remnant Syndrome.   This occurs when during the surgery the vet fails to remove both ovaries and/or fails to remove ALL ovarian tissue. I was told by the vet who did the surgery that ovaries can pretty much ‘regrow’ if tissue is remaining.  It’s unusual but there have sometimes been additional ovaries other than what is expected.  And the problem with this is that she will remain in heat her entire life!  That is an awful prospect for our little girl.  So now, because of a mistake, which the vet swears has never happened to him before, there’s a good chance she will have to undergo another surgery.  This has me horribly upset and it breaks my heart to put her through this.

Mhysa SleepingNext, we will do blood testing to see what her estrogen level is.  If it’s 25 or over, then there is ovarian tissue still there and that means she has to go under the knife yet again.  I honestly can think of nothing else that would manifest these symptoms.

The vet indicates that this is extremely rare, but my research and personal experience proves otherwise.  My adored 20 year old girl who transitioned in May, had often displayed estrus symptoms and had an alarming full-blown episode when she was 16 years old.  She had been spayed by a local vet as a kitten when we adopted her from Friends of Animals.  Through her entire life, she had been a very anxious girl with a lot of odd symptoms and now, I know what it was.  Sloppy veterinary surgery.

Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of disturbing behavior and heard a lot of disturbing comments from vets.  I’ve had one vet tell me that our pets don’t feel pain, when of course, they do.  I’ve had vets try to induce me to euthanize when it wasn’t necessary.  (I will go into that another time.)  When attempting to diagnose my older girl’s issues, the ‘second opinion’ vet didn’t accept the tests from the first vet, and insisted on doing tests again.  Not surprisingly, the test results were identical, and by then, I had a $3,000 total vet bill between the two of them.   They claimed they could find nothing wrong, declared it psychosomatic and then, with her x-ray on the light box, I could see she had spondylosis.  I knew because I had something similar, which is a degenerative condition of the spine from injury or from spinal arthritis.  I asked about that and they blew me off.  YET I know exactly how painful that is!

These are only a few instances.  I’d hoped we were finished with all of this, until recently when our baby began to suffer from estrus symptoms.

My husband put it very succinctly:  Vets consider our pets to be patients that won’t tell on them.   Vets are not counting on pet owners like us, who are very intuitive and who educate themselves.   Our pets are the center of our family and nothing is too good for them!

This, however, is reminding me of the surgery my husband underwent in 2012 where the local surgeon made some serious mistakes and to correct them, it would take more surgery.  It seems to me that doctors AND vets make an inordinate number of life threatening mistakes every single day.  To put your life in the hands of a surgeon (or in the case of today’s post, the life of my adored kitten in the hands of a vet yet again) is a a risky proposition no matter how you look at it.