Last Entry: Experiences: April 15, 2013

Sunday, April 3, 2011

You're Depressed...Take Some Prozac and Get the Hell Out of My Office

When I went to see the conventional neurologist, I mistakenly reviewed the work I was doing with the chiropractic neurologist not thinking about the antagonistic attitudes of conventional medicine toward alternative approaches. He examined me with suspicion and sought proof of validity in working with my naturopath and chiropractic neurologist.  I felt victimized, rather than cared for.

After examining me, he found nothing of significance. He suggested that I was depressed and offered me a prescription for Prozac.  Of course I was probably a bit depressed, since I hadn't been able to function normally for almost a year. But this wasn't causing my dysfunction. Also, none of my other alternative care physicians, who had been seeing me consistently for more than a year, saw me as depressed.

So, I didn't take the Prozac offered. For one, I didn't think I needed it. For another, if I was depressed, this wasn't going to help me get out of it. 

Although he didn't specifically say it, Mr. conventional neurologist made it clear to me that I should take the Prozac and get the hell out of his office and stop wasting his time. I didn't take the Prozac, but I gladly got out of his office and never returned.

A Binocular Vision Problem is Diagnosed

By Spring, the chiropractic neurologist decided that I probably had a vision problem, recommending that I consult a optometric specialist for vision therapy. He made this recommendation after spending many months of observing my eye movements in relation to particular stimuli and through the use of specialized goggles with video output.

So, I was off to see this optometric specialist whom I was told did excellent work. But, sometimes being referred to doctors with excellent reputations means a long wait for an appointment and a lot of time spent in the office. The normal wait for this optometrist was 2-3 months. I was lucky, however, because someone had just canceled an appointment. The date of this appointment happened to be my birthday.

Good thing I didn't make any plans for this day. Since, an appointment that shouldn't have taken more than an hour extended into 3 hours. Not because I was being looked at during all of that time, but because the optometrist was so far behind. However, I would come to understand that he does do a lot of good work and deals with a lot people who have neurological dysfunction.

After the examination, he found that I appeared to have a problem with my binocular vision, which could be resolved by adding a prism to my eyeglass lenses and doing vision therapy. The optometrist, however, was concerned about proceeding. He'd had a similar case in which his patient was found to have bleeding in the brain. So, he wanted me to see a conventional neurologist before doing further work with me.

I asked for a referral, so that the optometrist would feel confidence in the resulting examination, since he obviously wasn't confident in the examination done by the chiropractic neurologist. This referral was slow in coming, so it wasn't until August that I saw this physician.

Meanwhile, my condition was not improving significantly. I also realized that my work environment was not helping me to resolve my health problems. So, at the end of July 2005 with my sick leave was running out, I decided to quit my job.

Quitting my job was a hard decision to make, but I really couldn't handle it anymore. It meant going down to one income or about 38% of our previous income. It also meant depending on different health insurance, which offered a benefit of $300/yr vs. 70% coverage on alternative care. And none of the vision therapy that I would soon begin would be covered at all. Thus, the next two years became a very difficult period for me.