Monday, November 21, 2011

Going Organic

Monday! Are you kidding me? Four days to Thanksgiving. That means only four short weeks until Christmas. They say life is like a toilet paper roll: starts off going slow and then it just takes off. I believe that now.

It is fall (you wouldn't know it here, where it was 84 degrees yesterday) and there are tons of church fall festivals. It seems like I have been asked to be a part of them all. Most of the time I do it with a smile, but what gets me is when it is kind of a cold call.

Someone just showed up off the street and asked me to be a part of her thing. I told her how busy I am, but she wouldn’t have it. I bent for this woman because her church is right up the street (I think I told you about her a couple of weeks ago). Well, I did it last weekend and I want to tell you about it.

I got there a couple minutes late (being passive-aggressive) and found her and told her I was sorry. She said, "No problem. The guy before you was having AV problems so he is running a little late."

It looked like he was just getting started and it was 8:15pm on a Friday night. So we (my wife, my two oldest boys and I) took our seats and listened. This guy was unbelievable.

He is a chiropractor. I know the opinion about this profession is very polarizing, but I don't want to get into that today. He talked about eating right. He was definitely speaking my wife’s language, talking about how the foods nowadays are running us, how obesity is running rampant, how kids are eating a bunch of crap that is literally killing me. My wife was nodding her head in agreement.

I have to tell you: most of his stuff didn't sound too off. He was very animated, jumping up and down with a lot of hand motions. He is a conspiracy guy too. “The government, man. The government wants to force us to have to use modern medicine to treat cancer”. He was citing studies on how chemotherapy will kill you.

He has 6 kids and they live on a farm, and the whole family eats only what they grow. They all have chores: picking vegetables, feeding the pigs, churning butter and whatnot. My wife was totally digging this. Preservatives are bad. MSG is bad, Additives are bad. I get all that. I get that natural stuff is better, but I think he was just going a little over the top.

He talked about how we need to eat more bran and oatmeal in the morning and then spelled out what a good diet looked like. He talked about how if you are eating right you start having more bowel movements. Awkward! Not only was he talking about bowel movements, he was giving them adjectives. Great bowel movements.

Then he started to get a little weird (if the above was not weird enough). He said he doesn't carry health insurance for his family. They eat right and they exercise, so why would they need it? This is when I started giving my life the look. He went on to say that he doesn't teach his daughters how to do a self breast exam because that is backwards thinking. "Why would I teach them how to do something that is backwards? You do the right thing first, then you don't have to worry about breast lumps."

He was saying this with just as much passion and arm-swinging. I looked over at my wife and the head-nodding had stopped.

And then, "I went to the dentist…" Okay, here we go. "I needed a wisdom tooth out. I told him I didn't want any anesthetic."

He said the dentist said, "Chris, I am going to have to cut your gums and drill some bone away."

He told the dentist that he trusted him. "I have a relationship with him. I know he loves me and I love him. It is going to be okay. And then I had my tooth out!" I looked at my wife and she was in a full head shake.

He finished up and I had to go after him. Being the smart aleck that I am, I couldn't leave well enough alone. "I totally agree with loving your dentist. And if you come to my office, I am going to love you like Dr. Crazy (not his real name) says, but I am going to love you with lots of anesthetic." I went on to say that I am glad I am dentist because in all my schooling and in my 16 years of practice I have never had to say “bowel movement.”

We talked on the way home we talked. I was okay with the natural stuff and trying to take less medicine, but the guy lost all his credibility with the insurance and anesthetic stuff. I don't care what you say, modern medicine is good. My wife didn't know what to say. People are crazy.

Have a great week. Don't get rid of that insurance just yet.



Anonymous said...

I wonder if Dr Crazy is a disciple of Dr Oz. You know, he told Oprah that a "good, great, perfect" bowel movement looked like an S curve. He also triggered a lot of public outcry when he said dental Xrays were unnecessary and dangerous. Hmmmm. . . wonder if he has insurance?

Anonymous said...

I do agree that there are way too much chemicals in foods today. Unfortunately for me my stomach lets me know which ones are bad for me. I think some things look like and taste like food but they are just chemical made to look like it.

I also agree chemo basically kills you slowly. Some medicines are great, but I also believe some medicines are bad and just cause way too many side effects that require another pill to treat.

If you eat right the average person will stay healthy. I have not been to a doctor in 15 yrs.

When used correctly medicines are greatly. I just think they are not used correctly. Statins, bisphosphonates, cholesterol meds " we don't know if they truly work but good ahead and take them anyway?"

As for no anesthetic he is crazy. Insurance is a gamble that can go either way.

Anonymous said...

As a young grad, I had a chap come in with a decorinated tooth. The pulp was just sitting there looking like a sad little dog. He refused an injection so I removed the nerve without it. Never again- it was too painful for me!! He went a whiter shade of pale too.
Surprisingly he came back- always had local after that!

Anonymous said...

What?? You heard something crazy in church?

gatordmd said...

Dr. Jonathon,

A couple things....
1) People are going threw some hard times right now and venting on the internet is an easy release.

2) There are a lot of unhappy people out there. But you just got to do what you do. You have to please the 500-2000 people that are your patients and stop worrying about all the other stuff.

3)Some people just don't value dentistry. And that should be all of our life long goal is to change that. Little by little

4) I agree with a lot of those people's complaints.
Yes, our fees are high.
If I broke a tooth and had to pay $250 for a build-up and then $1200 for a crown. Damn.
I can't do anything about it. I have rent, electric, 7 employees, insurance out the wassu, the lab bill,and all the supplies.
And I have to make a little profit.
But it is still is a lot.

That is like having your transmission go out on your car.
It sucks. It is what it is.

So when it does happen, you want patients to think they need a dentist AND get the best work for their money.
That is all we can do.

But not listening to them would be a big mistake.

Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

I graduated in 2009 from NYU and then did a 1 year GPR.. didn't take out any extra loans or live the high life and my debt was about $380k
I was crushed, overwhelmed, devastated, and just really mad at myself for my choice of dental school, but what else could I do but suck it up and deal with it. I moved back home with my parents, joined the National Heatlh Service Corp and from 2011 to now the start of 2013 I am down to 150K. It took a lot of work and sacrifice but it happened. Would I do it again? I love dentistry but probably not. I had the chance to specialize, but I turned down the spot to pay down debt.
I have a 5 year goal and I'm no track. I live with my fiancé now who is in medical school and I'm going to be reliving this nightmare again with him in a few years. His debt should be similar.

All I can say is that this country and the dental and medical schools are greedy and out of control. No wonder higher education is going down the toilet.


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