Doctor, why am I so sick? Navigating Through the New Paradigm of Medicine: Lyme Disease and Environmental Toxicity.
by Pamela Costello MD PC
“You should not honor men more than truth” Plato
A question asked me by patients on a daily basis is “why am I so sick”….? So many people are suffering on this planet, unsure of what exactly is wrong with them. By the time they’ve seen me, they’ve been to a multitude of practitioners who’ve been unable to diagnose what has caused them to be ill and, consequently, have not been able to help them heal. However, by asking the proper questions and addressing the core issues underlying the patient’s neurologic and immunologic imbalances, a path to recovery and healing can be obtained.
For centuries, civilization addressed illness and disease as an art of mysticism and the occult. With the discovery of Penicillin in the early part of last century, however, rapid inroads were created into dealing with microscopic disease, and an onslaught of technological advances in both medicine and surgery was soon to follow. What was neglected in this pursuit, however, was the humanity of medicine and the ability to see the holistic perspective of the patient’s illness. Under the intense, but restricted, focus of technology and the ever expanding pharmaceutical industry, the idea of ‘one pill for one symptom’ may well have narrowed our perspectives to such a degree as to diminish the ‘art of healing’, an approach which involves seeing the whole being when diagnosing an illness.
From the battlefields of World War II, increasing numbers of patient’s lives were saved due to new discoveries such as Penicillin, whilst at the same time treating physicians began to lose their holistic approach to the human body. It was the emphasis on disease, rather than health, that widened the gap between modern allopathic medicine and the longstanding, yet relevant, more holistic homeopathic approach.
In spite of today’s physicians’ ‘illusion of certainty’ that we have all of the answers due to the advances of modern technology, the sobering truth is that the current toxic state of the planet and the microbes which inhabit same, have outpaced even our best modern technological skills at diagnosing and treatment. This false sense of certainty that we know all that we need to know upon completing graduate medical training has offered the illusion to the masses that there will definitively be a diagnosis and curative treatment after their medical consultation. Newly pandemic microbial and environmental toxins, however, have eluded modern medicine to a great degree, leaving the patient without either effective treatment or diagnosis and, more than ever, in need of a more holistic approach.
To keep up with the technological advances, medical education has become more intense and lengthy, as well as exorbitantly expensive. Physicians leave their training saturated and, when challenged with something as illusive as a diagnosis of modern day Lyme Disease or mercury neurotoxicity (and their textbooks do not hold clear answers or directions), they defer to traditional symptomatic treatments. Not so long ago, in the 1980’s, those of us in medical training at the time found ourselves dealing with a disease that was also not found in our textbooks. Thankfully, we treated those patients to the best of our ability whilst the HIV diagnosis was being defined.
In conclusion, what is a patient to do in their varied attempts to achieve wellness? The answer seems to lie in the practitioners maintaining the curiosity and willingness to investigate in a manner required by our rapidly increasing toxic environment and global medical challenges, allowing them to transcend the oft times myopic paradigm of the medical educational system. Health care practitioners are employed by the patient to effectively diagnose and treat them. Patients therefore need to choose those who subscribe to similar healing philosophies and maintain an open mind, with sufficient investigative curiosity to search further for potentially non traditional answers to our modern day medical challenges.
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light” Plato