Self-diagnosis of your illness on the internet?

Over the last seven years I’ve been to six doctors, including five surgeons, all of whom made the  wrong diagnosis on my medical problems. If I had accepted their suggestions for operations, I would have been disabled or not cured. But I was able to get the right treatment because I did my homework and prevented the doctors from receiving a malpractice suit.

I used to hear from people that if you diagnose your illness, you’re going to get it wrong or become a hypochondriac. Knowledge won’t make you a hypochondriac. But acquiring valuable information can  help you narrow the possibilities.

Since the 80s I have used a book called, “Complete Guide to Symptoms, Illness & Surgery.” It’s illustrated and to the point, with no confusing medical jargon, and suggestions on steps to take, including doctors to consult. It’s been accurate and directed me to the specialists I needed to see, plus possible treatments and outcomes. Click to enlarge image.

And now, with the internet, anyone can have access to the knowledge of the finest institutions, such as the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins and others. The information is there and all you need to do is print it for easy reference. Then make an informed decision about your medical problem and which doctor to see.

When I was working at Kennedy Space Center I visited a doctor who was a GP. He looked at the problem (I won’t be specific) and immediately gave me an opinion. He was wrong. I corrected him with the printout from the medical site on the internet.

He agreed with me and sent me to a specialist at Cape Canaveral, Florida*. His office took up the whole seventh floor. He, too, misdiagnosed  this simple problem. He wanted to do a major operation that could leave me partially disabled, according to him. I said I’ll think about it.

I went to another surgeon in Titusville and he immediately gave the same diagnosis. I told the expert no. I explained what it was and that the procedure required a knife only. Just incise and drain. No antibiotics are required. It takes about three minutes.

It took about three minutes and I left.

I  moved to Citrus County in 2006 and had the same problem re-occur. I went to another surgeon and, you guessed it, he made the same misdiagnosis. I corrected him and he did the same procedure.

A few months ago I woke up and discovered that I was completely deaf in my right ear. I made an immediate appointment with a specialist, a graduate of an Ivy League school. The doctor wanted to operate, cutting away somewhere back of the ear and injecting some “stuff” and see what happens. I didn’t go back.

I went home and scanned the internet. I found an experimental procedure, carbogen inhalation therapy, in which a mixture of 5% carbon dioxide and 95 % oxygen was inhaled for four minutes at each treatment. It had some success but was not considered acceptable as a treatment.

I had none of the equipment so I just inhaled deeply for four minutes each treatment through the right side of the nostril and began hearing the next day. After eight days I estimated my hearing at 85-90 percent compared to the good ear. There was some high pitch distortion at times and some wind effect for a while. But two months later I can only feel a slight difference in volume. And it didn’t cost me a cent.

Shortly after that I experienced severe pain in my left hip and couldn’t walk. (I work out a lot and I haven’t quite learned to step off the accelerator.) I went to another surgeon. He took an X-ray and said the hip bone and leg bone were scraping against each other and something about a sciatic nerve being involved. Result: a hip replacement. I said no.

Back at home I started a series of exercises that would increase the gap between the two bones. It involved positioning myself so as to achieve the widest gap and I held that position for at least a minute. Within a couple of weeks I was, to my surprise, able to sprint and even run at a fast pace, legging it out over two hundred yards.

I’m still doing the exercise and feeling no pain when I run. I also don’t push myself beyond my capabilities.

My point is that there are a lot of incompetent doctors out there and we, the public, need another source of information when it comes to our health. I have information that verified, for me, how bad it really is.

Become educated. Get on the internet and find the latest medical information that can literally save your life. And don’t be afraid to show your doctor, in a respectful manner, what you have on the subject from a “reputable source.”

An intelligent person can make the right decision with the right information. See “Sharing Internet Health Information with your Doctor.

*Cape Canaveral-Cocoa Beach area.

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