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Some days it’s just hard to not take things personally!

Written by Wellness Club on June 27, 2008 – 11:39 pm -

Today was one of those days.

First, we were notified that despite our best efforts we are the victim of a several hundred dollar fraudulent order. We’ll report it to the police, but it is unlikely to do any good – we are out the money and the products, and worse, there is someone else out there whose credit card was stolen and used to place the order. The person whose stolen card was used will get their money back – we’ll take the hit – that’s the way it works.

Ouch!

Then, even though we repeatedly tell people that we cannot provide individualized medical recommendations to someone who is not our patient, and that complicated illnesses like cancer should never be treated as a a Do-It-Yourself project, Dr. Myatt received this letter:

Hello Dr. Myatt,

My name is Linda Xxxxxxx, I am a 47 yr. old single mother with a 14 yr. old daughter, and no other family to speak of. Recently, after a routine mammogram, I was diagnosed with Stage II Breast Cancer, and also in a couple lymph nodes in right axilla.

I am refusing conventional treatment, "the Big 3", slash, poison and burn, so could you please advise me as to what alternative treatment I should try and what supplements to take? DIM, Citrus Pectin, Larch, Essiac Tonic . . . .

I am on a low-budget, therefore, cannot afford a consult with you, so if you would be so kind as to just let me know what to start taking asap I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you and God Bless,
Linda

Now, neither Dr. Myatt nor I consider ourselves to be uncaring or unsympathetic – quite the opposite in fact. Dr. Myatt took time out of a busy patient day (during her break, actually)  to send Linda the following response:

Linda:

Sorry about your diagnosis.

Let’s see… you have a potentially life-threatening illness and you want me to "shoot from the hip" with advice without benefit of knowing the many details that make your case different from all other breast cancers? That’s far too dangerous for both of us.

Since what you are asking for is really "generic advice," please check out this page on my website: http://www.drmyattswellnessclub.com/cancer.htm

I NEVER recommend that anyone make their treatment a "do it yourself" job. You need to be working with a physician on this.

I can already see where you’re going, and I warn ALL my cancer patients about it. Once you have a diagnosis of cancer, "everybody is an expert." That means you are going to hear and read on the internet about 1,783 proposed treatments and remedies. And you’ll have no clue as to which of those, or which combination, would be best for you. And that’s how most people get into trouble making cancer treatment a "DIY" project.

Sorry I can’t be more specific but you really need to have someone review your entire medical history, family history, lifestyle, diet, stress, weight, hormone levels and medical tests in order to make more targeted recommendations.

Best success with this. Please let me know how things work out for you.

In Health,
Dr. Myatt

So, let’s look at Dr. Myatt’s reply here before we continue:

She is sorry to hear of this diagnosis. Gosh, I am too – it is a very serious, frightening diagnosis. I feel badly for Linda and for her daughter.

She summarizes that this woman is asking for specific, individualized advice about the treatment of a life-threatening disease based on the most minimal of information. She correctly suggests that this is dangerous for both doctor and patient. She points Linda toward a very detailed, well-researched page with plenty of generalized recommendations and strategies for dealing with cancer. These recommendations are as detailed as they can be without incurring the ire of the FDA, FTC, or any number of other government groups who would like to suppress this sort of information and without having the benefit of individual and very detailed medical records, history, symptom surveys, lab workups, and more – the sort of information that we have when we are working with someone in a patient / doctor relationship.

Dr. Myatt then goes on to offer the advice that she routinely offers to her cancer patients: beware, because everyone who knows you, and a lot of people who don’t, will all suddenly become "cancer experts" – your mom will deluge you with newspaper clippings about cutting-edge cancer research, your brother will have sage advice and counsel, your neighbor will know about something that helped his cousin when all else failed, the lady down the street will want to sell you miraculous, health-restoring tropical juices and coral calcium, and the internet will make you crazy with competing claims for cures. Dr. Myatt’s advice? Work with a physician who can help to cut through all the static and snake oil, and don’t try to "Do-It-Yourself".

She then apologizes for being unable to offer more specific recommendations, and again encourages Linda to work with someone who can make more targeted recommendations. Since Linda has made it clear that she will not spend any money on a consultation with Dr. Myatt or presumably anyone else, she wishes her the best of success in her quest for a cure and leaves the lines of communication open, asking Linda to let her know how things work out.

That all sounds pretty fair to me; above and beyond the call of duty even – given that Linda made it clear that she would not be consulting Dr. Myatt, but just wanted some very detailed free advice and treatment recommendations for her life-threatening disease.

I thought nothing more about it – I returned to our case of fraud, and to trying to juggle Dr. Myatt’s schedule to squeeze in a new, emergency consult – yet another person with a nasty diagnosis asking for our help.

Then Dr. Myatt received this reply from Linda:

oops, I accidentally hit "send" before finishing . . so anyway, as I was saying,

the reason I contacted you was because you are a physician . . .

yet you told me I need to contact a physician.

You warn against the dangers of trying to "do it yourself" . . .

yet have a website with supplements and suggestions to aid in the treatment of cancer and other ailments.

How confusing is that?

Anyway, I wish you the best of luck in your naturopathy practice, and maybe you can try to be a little nicer to people and not so condescending.

Let me know how things work out for you.

Have a Nice Day

Yikes! Condescending?!? Be nicer to people?!? Where did that come from? Did I miss something in all of this?

Dr. Myatt just shrugged, and said "I’ll just ignore it, delete it. – It’s ok."

But it’s NOT ok – not at all! Not to me, anyway.

A reply like that hurts, Linda. Dr. Myatt has spent long unpaid hours researching and gathering together information, distilling the best of her recommendations to countless patients with similar illnesses, and publishing those recommendations on her website – free of charge, for everyone and anyone to take advantage of and benefit from, and you accuse her of being condescending and not nice because she cannot, and will not, she dare not, attempt to give you detailed, individualized, doctor-patient advice when she knows nothing more about you than a vague diagnosis? SHAME ON YOU!

Linda, I’m hurt by your comments to Dr. Myatt; we all are here, because every one of us on her team shares her same zeal to help people. We recognize that some people cannot or will not spend the money for a consultation, so we all spend unpa
id hours providing as much information as we dare in order to help those people.

I’m hurt, but when you decide to get serious about your illness I hope you’ll call or email me so that I can get you scheduled for a consultation – I know that, as a patient, when you give us the information we need we can certainly help you through this.

Whew! I sure am glad it’s Friday – I think I’ll go have a beer and hammer on some metal in my little workshop for a while… dull some cutters, make some chips, and relax for a bit…

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