My Adventures with the Big Sea and C
Dr. Ross Andersen DC, ND
The Miracle Hunter
Medical Mistrust, and the Journey to Self-Advocacy
My saga as a medical patient in dealing with my shoulder injury was both alarming and educational. On two separate occasions, in Peterborough, Ontario, I waited eight hours in the ER to get seen by a physician for an evaluation of my shoulder. Both times I walked out exasperated and was not evaluated. The next morning after the second unsuccessful visit, I got up extremely early and drove 50 minutes to Scarborough, Ontario, arriving at the hospital at 4 AM. I was in a cubicle within 20 minutes and seen by a doctor 10 minutes later. I’m not sure I would give him the honour of being called Dr.
Unfortunately, he was a complete idiot and knew nothing about how to examine a shoulder injury. His examination was approximately 30 seconds long and was inadequate at a level I could not imagine. He ordered x-rays, but the technician did not understand how to properly evaluate a shoulder injury with an A/C joint tear. Consequently, the injury did not show on the x-rays and the doctor said he didn’t think there was much wrong with my shoulder. At this point my lack of confidence in the medical profession was justifiably supported by this rather dismal performance. How many people have suffered over the years or died because of these incompetents? I also wondered about the adequate education that they must not have received in their expensive, modern medical training.
I continued my practice for a few weeks in extreme pain and had great difficulty working on clients. I painfully realized it was not fair to them and that I should look after my shoulder situation before continuing my practice. My first cancer adventure had begun.
Luckily, I had disability insurance and filed a claim to survive without practice income. I learned a lot about insurance companies and their lack of compassion through this venture. After dutifully paying me for many months, they found a frivolous reason to cut off the payments after they learned about my cancer situation. Thanks a lot Manulife! It took 18 months and $10,000 in legal fees to get the disability payments reinstated. Luckily, my father was doling out early inheritance to his children prior to his departure.
Two weeks after the injury, which occurred on American Thanksgiving weekend, I noticed a small lump on the lower left side of my neck while I was in the shower. Initially, it was the size of an olive pit. It grew very quickly and by mid-January was the size of a very large olive or small plum. It was sticking out the side of my neck and I resorted to turtleneck sweaters in order to cover it up. This fit well as it was the middle of winter and I quickly came to the conclusion that it was likely some sort of cancer. Lymphoma was my first guess and I was not overly concerned, as patients with lymphoma had responded very well to my protocols. There was good and bad in that assumption, but I’m still alive. I decided to book a medical consultation.
This was a challenge as I did not have a GP. As a skilled naturopath, I had never needed one. A chiropractic friend booked an appointment for me with a general practitioner in Toronto for late January. The doctor was a very nice oriental fellow and at first seemed quite interested in my concerns. I pulled down my turtleneck sweater to show him the lump on my neck and he immediately altered his demeanour. He did not want to know me or deal with me at all. My sense was that based on his experience, he immediately saw me as a corpse. He stated that I needed to see an ENT doctor and should see his receptionist to be booked for that appointment ASAP. I left that office in dismay with an ENT appointment a long three months hence. Time went by slowly.
It had become obvious to me that I had to take matters into my own hands.
...to be continued in Part 3.
Dr. Ross Andersen DC ND
Electromagnetic Radiation Specialist Live Blood Analyst/Instructor
Quantum Muscle Response Testing (QMRT) Practitioner/Instructor
Natural Health & Wellness Practitioner