By: TLB Contributor: Ken LaRive
Last month I went for my yearly exam at the Veteran’s Administration. Most men my age are carrying a full zip-lock bag of drugs to show the doctor. I carried my iPhone and a book to read while waiting. I’d say I’m pretty lucky at sixty-five.
We are hearing a lot these days about the lack of viable health service administered to our Veterans, from long waits for very needed operations, administering a wrong or unneeded drug, to being grossly underfunded. The following is my first hand experience…
The Doctor Visit
The first thing I want to note is that the preliminary nurse, the one who weighs and checks my pressure, asked me three different times if I thought I had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder… mentioning that they could help me with that. Saying no twice seemed not enough, and so when it was mentioned again later on, I said emphatically. “No, I do not have PTSD. I am of sound mind. There is nothing at all wrong with the way I am thinking and feeling. DO NOT, put anything in my records to indicate otherwise.” She gave me a sharp look, but who cares. I know first hand how just a simple notation can follow you for the rest of your life. No, I do not trust the government, not when I was 67 on the draft, the lies told me when I enlisted in the Navy, and certainly not now that I’m 65 with a bit more knowledge of history. Some may think it laughable, but I really think if I was diagnosed to have PTSD it may be a reason to deny my application for a new gun, take away my ability to carry concealed, because my mental stability might be in question.
My blood test came back all-good but for a slightly elevated Cholesterol, and so they asked me if I would like to see a staff Dietitian. That little voice inside told me to say no, but my curiosity got the best of me… “Sure.” I said. “And I’d also like you to check my prostate, my eyes, ears, nose and throat…and I’d like to be scheduled for a stress test.”
“Well, are you having problems urinating? And why a stress test? Are you having pains in your chest?” He said.
“I’m having no problems,” I said. “But I’m now 65, and have never had a stress test. I’d like to see if there is the potential for a problem, before there is one.”
“Well, I can’t order one unless you are having a problem.” he said. Note* My doctor here is an MD from Africa, and though I do like him as a person, what I need is a good physical, which he seems somewhat reluctant to provide… it seems to me it is more about money, the cost of these tests, then my general welfare. Why would I have to ask him for a through check up?
“Really?” I said, “How about I’m feeling tired sometimes, is that enough?” He laughed as he started putting on a set of surgical gloves, “Okay, I’ll order one.” …he kinda laughed, “You are the kind of man who likes to get what he wants. Pull down your pants and I’ll check your prostate.” But he did not check for hernias, or my gonads when I coughed… for whatever. And in less than two minutes I was out of there… Seemed more like a drug dispensary for symptoms, and not a promoter of health.
A week or so later I got an order in the mail to report to the Dietitian.
She was a young, strong-willed Hispanic who wanted and overtly demanded me to sit back and listen to a speech about eating right and exercising to lose weight and lower cholesterol. Of course, I could not do that, injecting my thoughts onto her many propositions, and before we parted company she indicated that most likely I would not want to come back for another visit… Her information came from a thirteen page pamphlet, and I was given one to take with me called: Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes to Lower Cholesterol/ TLC for Your Heart… Registered Dietitians Department of Veterans Affairs… leading the way to better health.
The following are what I find questionable in that pamphlet…
Page two gave four good suggestions to promote heart health. Suggested to adopt healthy eating habits, lose weight if you are overweight, quit smoking, and be physically active… All good advice for overall health… There was also a contact phone number. her name and credentials, an LDN, RD, also good to have.
The real problems started on page three, and they continued for the next ten pages. They talk, in essence, about avoiding saturated and trans fats, and keeping calories down to control weight. Now, overall it would seem to be good advice, but my research has indicated that not all saturated and trans fats are the same, and so too the people who have both chemical and allergenic intolerance not mentioned…
“Fats like olive and canola oils are best for your heart.” was emphatically stated there, and several times throughout the paper, and though that may have been taught 10 years ago, are being refuted from many reliable sources today, including what is not mentioned, several other beneficial oils, with Coconut at the top of the list. In fact, Canola oil testing has been determined to possibly be the very worst of all oils to consume. Also, not all saturated fats react the same in a human body, and trans fats are the most controversial of all. She did not like my injections, and seemingly took offense to my contradictions, stating she had a degree, and that I was the one with an elevated cholesterol level. That was true.
And then, it isn’t the truths presented that concerned me, but what wasn’t mentioned… Saying to use skinless white chicken meat, for instance, and not mentioning using Organic, was suspect. All chicken meat is not the same, and the many variety of hormones can have grave health risks for some, along with antibiotics, steroids, and growth stimulants. And that was not mentioned once.
The three categories, best choice, choose less and limit for each food group…
One “best choice” for the meat food group was the use of fat free hot dogs and lunch meats, without one mention of the dangers of mechanically separated processed meat, and the many carcinogenic additives like flavor enhancers, corn syrup, Sodium Benzonate, Sodium Ascorbate, and Sodium Nitrite…. all of these linked to obesity, heart disease, and cancer. Ham, was also in the category of “best” with copious amounts of salt, nitrates, as most all processed foods are… so saying you are eating low-fat hotdogs and lunch meats does not make it a “healthy” choice, and there was no mention of that.
I did like their paragraph on exercise, and found that true.
Their warnings about mercury is in keeping with what others are currently saying, but there is also another very viable question we should be asking these days: What is the radiation levels of North Atlantic fish? And then, at the top of the margin called “limit,” i.e., foods to limit, it was written by hand, “One cheat day per week.” …indicating to the person subconsciously that the food in that column are the tastiest and most wanted, a prize for your suffering, indicating the more nutritious a meal the less well-received it might be as a viable life style. Eating is a habit, and suffering while waiting for a cheat day is no way to live, so why promote that?
It promoted the use of dairy products, low fat of course, to be healthful, and the use of non-dairy beverages, non specific, for coffee. Hundreds of viable studies are now linking mucus promoting milk the greatest link to human allergies, harmonies given to stimulate milk production with breast cancer, and a hundred other negatives… and the use of synthetic milk in coffee, ether very ignorant, or intentionally vague so as not to harm a viable industry who lobbies our congress… no, not one mention of this….
Promoting sugar-free, if you want to lose weight, and not question what a healthy substitute to use is indeed negligent. And I suppose their advice to drink an amazing 64 oz of water daily might dilute all of these poisons they fail to mention.
New studies are indicating the negative benefits of eating grains, from inflammation to allergies, yet they say that the best choice is 100 whole wheat, soft tortillas, rice cakes, and bread sticks, when the number one enemy to sound health is processed foods, is indeed, insanity. Yes, there are more vitamins in whole wheat, or “bran” but this does not indicate that every person can assimilate it, just as some are lactose intolerant of milk. And again, not mentioned. And they suggest at least six serving a day of bread, dry cereal, and 1/2 cup cooked cereal, rice, or pasta, without any question or regard to the amazing degree that low quality carbohydrate from processed food play on our health, though several times whole grains were mentioned to be superior…
Honey, not indigenous to your area, may also be causing havoc with your immune system, where allergies originate…. And the lack of D3 linked to breast cancer.
In the vegetable section they again mention canola and olive oil to saute’ your vegetables, only once mentioning the benefits of eating them raw. Or the wide range of canola oil quality as well, but promote it as number one.
Said to use canned fruit, without one mention of its amazing lack of nutrition, or the processed sugar found in 80 percent of all canned foods. Not once. Or that about 70 percent of the food sold in grocery stores are unhealthy if eaten on a regular basis… Or if the water you are drinking has fluoride in it, a known poison…
In the sweet section, more emphasis on calories, while promoting both fat free and sugar free. Not one mention of the amazing studies on the negative effects that some sugar substitutes have on our health. Said that fruit was a good choice to replace desserts, but not mention the use of pesticides that are causing havoc on our immune system. Not one mention of buying organic, in this or any other section.
So this pamphlet wasn’t about the promotion of overall health, as they suggested in the title of the paper, but only about losing weight and lowering cholesterol. Only in the very last sentence do they suggest eating a snack of raw vegetables or fresh fruit, an ounce of nuts, and a cup of low-fat yogurt… Yogurt, another dary product that studies have found to promote allergies. Allergies, controlled by their drugs.
Note from the author: There are many very different takes on nutrition found on the internet. It seems the primary purpose of some clams to be a black bottom line for a product they are promoting, a magic elixor, a diet weight-loss breakthrough from a nut found only on a Pacific Island, longevity, energy and sexual stamina, and thousands more. Even the type of protein is in question, depending on who is promoting, whey from the milk industry, soy from the farming community, and most all of it based on biased speculations, for profit, and the cornering of a market…
Here is my idea… Organic, even if you can’t afford it, or wash and wash again. Get a blender and drink a mixture of leafy greens, spinach, kale, wheat grass, and colored vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, celery, parsley, anything that is alive, is clean, fresh, and palpable, and make a smoothy. I put an apple or a few grapes in my green smoothy too, and I just love the fresh green taste as a snack. I drink that with, or after every meal too. I bought a blender called The bullet, and it does the job of pulverizing it… so all of the roughage is there… nothing is better for inflammation, our number one enemy in America, other than lobbyists.
I don’t drink store-bought fruit drinks, because one glass gives the equivalent of 8 oranges, and no way would you ever eat so much. All that is doing is putting on weight…and that was not mentioned.. I don’t drink cokes, or any soda for a reason, though the Veteran’s administration told me in that pamphlet to drink diet coke instead of regular coke. What? No person who is interested in their health would ever drink a coke, and I tell you I don’t miss them one bit! Energy drinks are not good for you ether, substitute a good attitude for the copious amount of stimulants they pump into you… exerciser to fail, something new every day, if, of course, you are healthy enough. I have a pull-up bar and dip-bar in the back yard, a tread-mill in our spare bedroom, a bow-flex in my office, a bicycle, and a broken lawn mower that I have to actually push. I run with my grand-kids, crawl on the floor with them, laugh, and play hide and seek. And try till the day I die to be romantic, even it ends in laughter! Indeed, laughter is the best medicine.
Looking back I do miss several foods, like a big bowl of vanilla ice cream at 11:00 at night, with a half cup of Crown Royal on top, or chocolate moose with whipped cream, and I have a real weakness for white birthday cake! But… I like to live far more… Ha!
I wish everyone on earth a very Merry Christmas, and the very best New Year Ever. Peace and good will toward all men, with Love and Liberty. And remember, we all pray to the same Loving God… The difference in our perceptions is our earthly ego, as taught to us by our flawed teachers… No Loving God would ever require you to kill another in His name. So If you are told to do so, take a long and hard look at the man telling you to.
And oh, not one mention of GMOs.
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