I may have written about this already, I don’t recall.
Fact is, I have a back problem. I don’t know what the problem is, specifically, because I’ve not consulted someone with access to medical imaging technology. I have good reasons not to have done so, and I have reasons which some of you will probably find dubious at best.
I find, as I get older, I have less and less faith in the medical community than I used to. As a boy, I admired and loved my doctor. He’d saved my life on more than one occasion. I’ve made no secret of how many times my parents were told to consult clergy and make preparations for my death. All before age five.
But that man is passed on now, and men like him have largely gone the way of the dodo and great auk. More like the dodo, I suspect, but that’s my opinion.
My doctor took time to hear me out, ask questions, and do some things needed to ensure his diagnosis was correct. When he found my course of treatment wasn’t working, he moved to a new one and watched. He did everything for me a doctor can do for another human being. The last time I saw him was after eighth grade, when I was going for my entrance physical to high school. He had a distinct smell I never forgot, and remember to this day, a scent unlike any other I’ve ever encountered. He was kind and intelligent, and thoughtful.
But, as I said, he’s gone now. And in his place have come a new breed of doctors who are driven by different goals than he was. In his stead are doctors who won’t listen, who have nurses collect symptoms and then come in with a preformed diagnosis. If they ask questions, they won’t listen to full answers. They spend moments with each patient before rushing onto the next. They don’t really care about my concerns or my input to my health care regiment. These new doctors aren’t doctors at all. More appropriate titles would be technicians, like so many other hospital workers have now. Lab technicians, X-ray technicians, MRI technicians, maintenance technicians, landscape technicians…
These “doctors” don’t much care about their patients. They don’t have relationships with them. They can’t. They have huge, high-volume practices demanding their attention, and insurance-dictated quotas and time limits for each patient. Not to mention dollar-value limits for each treatment. They’re shills for drug companies and medical manufacturers who have a direct interest in seeing you don’t get well.
I don’t mean to offend anyone, but medicine isn’t about wellness and it hasn’t been for a long time. It’s about dollars and cents, like everything else. Some doctors are still caring and try to genuinely help people, but even a precursory examination of how certain high-dollar diseases are treated will tell a reasonable person something’s not right here.
Being sick is a multi-billion dollar industry. Those who are in it aren’t in it because they want to work themselves out of it. They’re in it to profit from it. They have a direct interest in seeing that people remain sick.
Sounds conspiratorial, doesn’t it? Sorry, I don’t mean to come off as a paranoid sitting in my basement wondering who’s spying on me. But the fact is, drug companies don’t want you well, they want you to buy their drugs. If you get well, they can’t sell them to you any more. Why is diabetes so rampant? Depends on who you ask, but follow the money.
So, what’s all this got to do with butt pain? That is the title of the post, after all, right?
My wife, beloved soul that she is, wants me to see a chiropractor. She swears by them. She went to one after a car accident in 2002 and he resolved not just her shoulder injury, but other back issues she had for years. Years. She loved him and still gets a little weepy when recalling Dr. Goodbar.
But I’m still skeptical. And for the reasons I’ve already outlined. This person isn’t interested in seeing me get better. How can he be? If all his patients get better, he’s out of business, and no one is working for that. How can he continue to tap into the monetary artery of your insurance company if he heals you? How can he make you a steady cash-cow if he’s going to get you better and send you on your way?
So, the pain I have is in my upper hip/lower back area and I have pain in my buttocks on the left side, as if the muscles deep in the cheek are extremely tight and painful. I can hardly walk, and most times I limp. Sitting can offer some relief — depending on the chair, of course — but even laying down causes pain in some positions. I thought buying a new bed would help but it hasn’t. Not much.
Last time I felt this poorly, I accidentally discovered I was using the wrong pillow. By changing my pillow I solved the problem almost entirely. After the pain flared up again to the point of being debilitating, I remembered the pillow change. Next time I hit Walmart, I bought another pillow, but that didn’t work. And it still hasn’t. I can get lucky once or twice a week — like I did night before last when I slept on a throw pillow and had my regular sleeping pillow between my knees all night — but I can’t usually duplicate the success. Last night, no luck, and today, major pain.
I’ve been reading about symptoms similar to mine online, but there’s something different on every page I find. This doctor who specializes in trigger-point therapy says it’s connective tissue. That chiropractor says it’s the muscles from my lowest rib to my iliac bone(s). Two different treatments — this one says get an adjustment, that one says get trigger point therapy — and ’round and ’round we go.
And meanwhile, I can’t walk for more than a few steps, I can’t stand for more than a couple of minutes, and I can’t sit in certain chairs or for extended durations without pain. This puts a serious crimp in my writing. My entertainment. My exercise. My eating. My living.
What to do?
I’m on the cusp of giving in and going to a doctor. He will likely tell me it’s a bulging disc or something horrifying like that, and I’ll either need therapy I can’t afford, or surgery I can’t afford, and with both there’s no guarantee of success. But I can’t do nothing any more. It’s a long-term problem. I started having back issues in 2005 or 2006, and they became life-altering in something like 2008 or 2009. I have to address them.
It’s incredibly difficult to find honest, trustworthy information on things like natural healthcare on the Internet. Books are made to generate cash for the author more than provide information to the buyer. I don’t know who to trust anymore, if I ever did.
I sure wish my old family doctor was still around. He’d know what to do.