Money: The Part it Plays in Getting Well

First let me begin by saying I know what’s like to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars in search of the holy grail. A few years ago a practitioner referred me to a local doctor who should not be in practice. My first impression of the man was that he was only interested in money and could care less about people. I sat there speaking with him as the fan from air conditioner blew on my back. I left his office so cold the nurse could barely draw my blood. To make a long story short, in two visits I spent $10,000 only to be treated like I was a number. His entire staff operated like a business and to engage warmth let alone information from one of his secretaries was like finding a strawberry in a blizzard. I received a letter one day
saying that he believed I had Lyme and referred me to another physician. The reason I went to this particular doctor was he said he specialized in Lyme.

There are other stories I could tell, although after my experience with Dr. X, I became leery of doctors who treated Lyme patients simply because so many practicing physicians recently jumped on the Lyme bandwagon when they realized that there must be a reason people don’t get well the way they used to. But a doctor doesn’t learn about Lyme overnight and as I tell people in my talks, if you’ve never had a baby you don’t know what it’s like to have a baby. Ditto with Lyme. A physician can read about it but basically he’s taking someone else’s information/recommendations and regurgitating it. He or she will pull a remedy out of a hat and hope it works.

Lyme doesn’t work that way.

But let’s get back to money. I’ve noticed that people who resent spending money on their illness make slower progress than those who willingly trade their money for a service that can really help them. I recently spoke to a chiropractor at an Autonomic Response Testing (ART) seminar and she told me about a patient who begrudged her her fee but thought nothing of buying a karaoke machine.

It’s common for a spouse to resent the money that their husband or wife spends on out-of-pocket health care. In fact, if their significant other is so sick he or she can’t drive herself to appointments, that can compound the resentment. The patient wants to get well but does not have the freedom to get well. In some cases, one needs to ask, does the spouse of the patient really want her or him to be well? And the patient herself might ask, how would my life change if she weren’t saddled with Lyme or another chronic illness.

Of course patients bring to their holisitic practitioner their stories about not having enough money although it’s rare that people will say anything to their MDs
about their financial situation. I am all for charging a fair fee for services, but I have to tell you that those individuals who bring up money every other minute while being treated, are injecting negativity into the equation. A holistic physician has the same overhead and expenses as an MD. We all have our malpractice insurance, continuing education credits to keep up with, dues and the list goes on.

I do appreciate when a patient tells me what their limitations are and I will keep that in mind and try to offer treatments that are in consonance with their ability to pay. On the other hand, the remedies that are pure and that may work well may have to be tabled. There are many occasions when practitioners such as myself feel like their hands are tied. We attend seminars learning about the latest findings and spend our spare time reading new literature.