The Medical Community

All my life—but particularly in my later years—I have been poorly served by the medical establishment. The worst occurred a few years ago when I coughed up blood and my doctor told me not to worry. When it happened again a few months later, he sent me for a chest x-ray. I had a large tumor in my right lung. I spent the better part of a year in chemotherapy and radiation, then had the upper lobe of my right lung removed by surgery. It took me another year to recover. I never returned to that doctor.

A little before that, I hurt my right knee running—I had been a runner most of my life. As a consequence, I had knee replacement surgery. The operation and recovery were the most painful experience of my life. Only after my children beseeched the surgeon for three says did he finally prescribe pain medication. Since I was limping after I recovered, I went to another surgeon to see what could be done. He recommended that I have the surgery done over again. But I refused. The whole thing had been too painful. I still walk with a slight limp.

Before all that, in April 1975, during my escape under fire when Saigon fell, I came down with dysentery, pneumonia, and exhaustion. My visit to a doctor brought no diagnosis, so I struggled on my own. Eventually, another doctor diagnosed the ailments and prescribed treatments. It was another long period of looking after myself.

And that doesn’t count office incompetence. Three different times, I have quit the practice of a doctor because his staff’s bungling. I attributed that ineptitude to physicians’ almost universal lack of management skills.

So my experience with the medical profession has been a long way short of satisfactory. Despite that, I am a pinnacle of health for my age. That’s because I go out of my way to assure a healthy lifestyle—a diet of primarily vegetables and fruits, regular strenuous exercise, plenty of liquids, and plenty of sleep. I credit myself, not the medical profession, for my good health.

3 thoughts on “The Medical Community”

  1. Tom,

    I really commend you!

    I have long believed that one’s personal lifestyle – diet, exercise & sleep – are critical to maintaining a healthy life.

    Thanks for the post.

    Rob ______________ Robert Ausfresser (H) 410-461-2322 (C) 443-538-2110


  2. I attribute my good health first to great gene’s..My mother and granny were amazingly natural beautiful women. that never gained the extra 50 lbs. in later yrs. as most women do.. I have also chose a healthy diet , ( maybe an occasional Taco ) and plenty of exercise with not much sleep though. Still an early bird.. Get up at 3 or 4 am.. Seems like I wait forever before the rest of the world awakes !! I give God most of the credit for my amazing health and stamina at 73.. Coming from a family of alcoholics. and chain smokers. I chose not to go down that road.. If I do have a little problem of anykind. I get into prayer and meditation.. God is my healer and therapist.. I go through most days, with a little prayer going on in my head constantly.. Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea.. But I know. it sure works for Pauletta.. more later…


  3. Thanks, Pauletta. We’re very alike except in two respects: I sleep a huge amount and I’m an agnostic. My parents, too, were alcoholic and chain-smokers. And I smoked for about half of my life (hence my lung cancer). I claim credit for my good health: I work hard to stay healthy and in good shape. Right now, I’m out of shape and gaining weight because I haven’t been able to work out due to my eye surgery in early summer. But I’ll get back to it soon.


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