Self prescribing vitamins., I’ve been doing it for years. After my stomach cancer and subsequent surgery, I was thrown into a world of supplements and nutritional deficiencies that carry lifelong consequences if I don’t keep on top on things. Fortunately for me I have blood tests every three months so I can see how most levels are going. To stay at my optimum every day I religiously down at least 20 vitamin tablets, ½ aspirin and an antibiotic and occasionally throw a few other things in depending on my blood test results. I don’t do this willy nilly, I do a fair bit of homework on what will work for me, what I’m already taking and speak to professionals in their field to gauge if my homework reflects their professional option. This helps me make educated choices but even so I still don’t know if I’m getting it right. I can only go on how I look, feel and how my body is responding to life. People in my situation are left in a very vulnerable position when it comes to wanting to take care of ourselves and we have to be wary of those who seek to take advantage of that.
I am raising this topic today because I can’t help but feel really upset and angry at myself at a situation that happened to me earlier in the year. It was recommended to me that I seek out the help of an Integrative Medical Naturopath. This is a person who understands western medical practices and can incorporate both medical and naturopathic medicine for the best possible outcome. As I am not about to leave the comfort of my own home to live naked, eat organic and grow hairy armpits in the rainforests of Brazil, I thought ‘Perfect this is exactly what I have been looking for’. This person was highly recommended to me by a couple of people so I sent an email entailing my situation and made an appointment.
Let me start by saying, this person is AMAZING. She was extremely professional and certainly knows her stuff. She was all about what I could do moving forward and being proactive with my health and how we could monitor my funky cancer genes. She gave me a few things to try and this ended the consultation. I made a follow up appointment, go to pay and OUCH $270.30!!! First consultation fees and very little back with my private health (not to mention a 35 minute drive from my house) made for a very expensive round trip.
Second consult, just as good as the first one. I had handed over my supplement sheet, medical records and blood tests in my previous consult and she had gone away to do her analysis. More encouraging outcomes and a prescription that needed to be filled by a Compounding Pharmacy. (Pharmacy compounding is an established tradition which allows a physician to prescribe a very specific medication, prepared by a pharmacist, for a patient’s individual needs.) End consultation, make follow up appointment, go to pay….still ouch $129.00 but not quite as bad this time.
A few weeks had gone by and I was following up the prescription with the Pharmacy, turns out one of the ingredients was obviously coming from the arse of a Lama which was sitting on the top of Mount Kanchenjunga in Nepal. So I waited a few more days and then they called to tell me it was ready. The conversation went something like this…. (names have been changed so I don’t get sued!)
Them – ‘Hello, this is Tina from ABC Pharmacy, I am calling to tell you your prescription is ready’
Me – ‘Oh, great how much is it?’
Them – ‘$379.40’