Sunday, November 6, 2016

Medicine or Voodoo?

I have resentments from my years of attempting to "fix" my infertility. I know my husband does as well. I tried very hard for a long time to not fault anyone and blame a particular doctor, during the treatment because it wasn't going to be very helpful or productive. I personally have been an advocate for better patient care since I was in undergrad. It is something I am passionate about. It sounds very broad, but it is my driving force for all the career decisions I make.... but I never really thought about my own care.
I believe I am decent advocate for my own health, doing my own research and speaking up when I am uncomfortable with something, or asking about alternative treatment options. But for the most part I removed myself from my passion because I didn't fight for me, I fight for others, it's what I am best at. With time having past and my continued work towards healing I found myself thinking about my own extensive healthcare experience thus far in my life.
I realized that my treatment felt like a trial and error, like a voodoo science kind of thing. I know from my education and research that the medical community can do better. I am incredibly passionate about personalized medicine, I think in part, because I wish it had been a real option for me during treatment.
Having visited 3 different reproductive endocrinologist clinics, I felt like all three had the same approach: Step one: Does she have all the plumbing working properly?, Yes, good. Step two: What do we think she has? PCOS, yeah sounds about right, ok moving on, Step 3: Start with treatment option A, that fails after a few months, then option B, then C... etc until she gets pregnant. Period. (No pun intended)
And I am sure this is not the only condition this reasoning is used for, maybe not exactly but for Depression, Anxiety, Adult Onset Diabetes, Migraines... Its a stab in the dark until something sticks. 
The reason I have a problem with that is because they are attempting to resolve the immediate issue, which in my case was barrenness. There was little regard for my own health and the risks taken were my own to bear. 
I would have preferred that they work harder on identifying WHY I was barren, and not just making assumptions based on past diagnosis and minor work ups. If you are looking for PCOS, you will find it, and that was reason enough for them as a cause. What about how I was responding to the medication? How about family history? Medicine as a means to an end, instead of treating the WHOLE patient, especially in something as emotionally charged as infertility is just cruel. And of course, there is the cost of it all, if you really want to treat the whole patient you need: an RE, psychologist, nutritionist, meditation/yoga classes, couples therapy, time off.... the costs are exorbitant, all for the privilege of having your body do the main function that it was created to do... reproduce. How humiliating is that? I think those of us that have gone through this become numb to that feeling, constantly having to strip down and spread our legs to whomever comes through the door, being poked, prodded, stabbed.. the whole thing is traumatizing, degrading, and then to not have anything to show for it?! 
I digress... the point of my post is that we deserve better. As patients, as humans, we deserve better care, we deserve for the medical community to find a better way to treat the barren. I feel for those who are given the awful diagnosis of Undiagnosed Infertility.What is that? How unfair to be deprived of having a child, and being told "we don't know what is wrong with you or how to fix it?" 
We can do better.... we must do better. The mindset needs to change, the humanity needs to be brought back into the practice of healing the human body.