Honesty – A True Story

This is a true story, and all of my stories are true, but this one will seem a stretch for a moment. You will nod your head (or shake it) as you either agree with its honesty or become shocked when the words this man said to me settle into your consciousness. This all took place in an elevator in my hotel.

I prefer the ground floor. I wouldn’t say I like elevators because of the tight space I endure with strangers. Several movies have been made about trapped people in these moving boxes. Once the doors were almost closed and the button box started to smoke, the noxious stench of burning wires seared my lungs with pain for nearly a day. I learned then that the automatic doors wouldn’t cut off your foot as they close.

It is strange, though, that I ask for the top floor when I stay in hotels with high floors. I love the view but hate the climb. For this reason, I will endure lung damage and small talk with strangers. A man with doctor scrubs, a shouldered briefcase, and a name badge shared the ride with me on this day. My go-to entrance phrase starts with, “Going down?” We are in the lobby with no floors below. This confuses people but breaks the ice.

My next question was, “What do you do?” as I pointed to his scrubs. He proudly but with a slightly condescending tone said that he worked for the such-and-such company as if I should know it. I didn’t. He explained that his company owned doctor offices throughout the state, and it was his job to go to each one to audit their procedures and books.

He was an undercover cop in his business dressed like a doctor or a nurse, but in reality, he was a bean counter watching over the working flock. I didn’t like him, and I countered his tone with, “I’m a doctor.” That got his attention. Then I asked what the leading disease was in his company’s practice. He said diabetes. I already knew that diabetes and heart disease are the two leading human diseases. Then I asked if he had ever heard of Carbohydrate Dependency.

At this point, the elevator doors opened, and we both got out. His room was in the same direction as mine, forcing us to continue the conversation. He replied that he had not heard of this carbo, whatever. I burst into my elevator pitch, thinking he might be interested in helping the patients.

Carbohydrate Dependency is when people (and horses) ingest excessive amounts of carbohydrates daily without rest for the winter months when carbohydrates are limited in the environment. This leads to mitochondrial exhaustion, cell dysfunction and protein destruction as muscles become the fuel for the person (horse).

Then my punch line came. “If you taught your patients about carbohydrate dependency, you would prevent insulin resistance and diabetes in them.” I was NOT prepared for his response.

He replied without even blinking, “I would never do that. If we did that, we would all be out of a job!”

Sometimes “honesty” to one is a lie to others.

I stood with my mouth open, then mumbled to him to look up the subject if he was interested. He mumbled back that he would. I entered my room and thought hard about what I had just heard. Did he really say that? Are human doctors, or at least the companies they work for, really only interested in the business of medicine? As I tell this story to people, they all agree that this is the case, but if I hadn’t heard it with my ears, I wouldn’t have believed it.

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  1. Years ago I went to the doctor because I knew I had pneumonia… As he wrote out the prescription for an antibiotic he proceeds to tell me I was of an age that I should have blood work done. For what I ask… Cholesterol diabetes, etc… If he had bothered to read my chart he would have found I had no other health issues. I was done at the gate, haven’t been in a doctor’s office in 20 years.

    1. Thanks for sharing your story. I have a similar story as many people do. We joke that the doctor’s job is to search for something wrong and they won’t stop until they find a problem. Wouldn’t it be noice if they took this energy and worked on making us healthier by trusting the miracle system we all have? We need to start with the food we eat.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. I sometimes wonder what these individuals with this
    mindset would think and say if it were someone from their own
    family with diabetes or worse.There appears to be by many
    in the medical community that have shut themselves off
    from exploring unfamiliar territories,which could cause a
    paradigm shift in how we treat each other.

    1. Well said John. Some of the medical doctors are joining a movement called “functional medicine.” As my daughter (a medical doctor in Norway) says, functional medicine doctors are looked down upon as quacks yet what she is learning from these blogs is having her review her own paradigms.

  3. I worked in both doctors offices and in the pharmaceutical industry. Yes, unfortunately it is more about money in a lot of cases than caring for the patients. That is one major reason I am no longer in those industries.

    1. It is more than just the money. Doctors are overwhelmed with information and no longer have the time to update what they know. Add to this their belief that there is no more to learn about something – that what they are saying is working. But answering the question, “Is it really working?” Then they are forced to think and change their beliefs. Changing beliefs is very uncomfortable because it challenges their certainty in what they know. And uncertainty can be fun (surprise birthday party) but it can also be uncomfortable (you are in a car wreck) and both are rocking the boat.

  4. As a dentist, I never treated anything that wasn’t clinically present. I did not have to make things up or withhold dietary information to help my patients heal themselves. There was always plenty to treat.
    This person’s words and deeds disgust me, both as a human and as a healthcare professional.

  5. Hi Doc. Worth noting that he wasn’t a real doctor, he was a bean counter in a doctor costume. This makes it easier for me to rationalize his response. The vast majority of human doctors put patients first.

    1. I agree to a degree but often they are entrenched in the dogma of what they are told and resist thinking. My real experience came when my son lay dying in the hospital a few years ago but as his advocate I was able to stand up to the doctor’s point of view and help him through the process.

      1. Hey Doc!This reminds me very much of a situation my wife Elba encountered
        some years ago.Elba is a nurse and had studied natural medicine as well in California.
        One of Elba’s granddaughters was laying in a hospital bed at a very young age
        with a severe heart condition.They(doctors and staff)had already nearly lost
        her once,and told Elba that they did not hold out much hope for her.Elba decided
        that despite their opinions,she knew that she needed to try what she had learned.
        She started giving her hawthorn root.She continued this for several days.
        A short time later she was improving and doctors could not explain this.
        Today this granddaughter of Elba is doing very well and attends university
        in Florida.

        1. We all need advocates in medicine, auto mechanics, financial decisions, etc. When we need a professional we must remember that each has a business either to run or to support. Ethics and integrity apply to all and as you said in your other comment, what if the patient (or car owner or young couple planning for their retirement) was a loved family member? Often the advice and care is different than for them than for the unknown person.

          As I review the comments here please know that there are so many professionals in all industries who try to make the decisions as if they were making them for a loved one. Their honesty and integrity are beyond reproach. However we must all be aware that there are some who, for whatever reason, do not advise in the best interest of the horse / patient / customer etc. It’s just human nature.

          I’m glad your granddaughter is doing well in spite of the best intentions of her doctors. Her angel / your wife were there for a reason.

  6. Let’s just hope he was trying to be funny. I wish someone would have told me abt carb dependency before I started suffering from insulin resistance and diabetes.

  7. It is so frightening what the medical world has become. What ever happened to the vow the doctors take when graduating? Aren’t they supposed to heal and keep us healthy?? Not the case anymore. So many people are taking things into their own hands to try and do the right thing to stay healthy. And I do think the times are changing that we are getting wiser. It does scare me to death that If I need to have major doctor care in my lifetime will it be safe?? Very Scary. Save travels Doc!

  8. It’s all about the money! Medicare and Medicare spend $400 billion annually just on drugs for diabetes, not even counting doctor visits and surgeries. It’s a financial gravy train. There is an easy fix, just as we do with our horses when we feed them properly. It’s diet, but doctors won’t make any money that way…

  9. I would hope you met the worst of the medical field and that there are certainly better out there. But I’m not so naive to believe he’s the exception. We need to challenge ourselves to 1) become more informed so we can actively participate in our own health (and the health of our animals) and 2) broaden our horizons for the type of medical care we receive. I have a doctor of complementary medicine who tells me the same things you share about diet and who espouses using supplements and dietary changes to the greatest extent possible–leaving traditional prescription medicine as a last resort. Sadly, I’m a bit more proactive about my animals’ health than my own, but I’m working on that. 🙂

  10. They whole system of medicine is closed minded unless you can find a more holistic doctor which I can’t. If you can they do not accept insurance which is unaffordable. I recently went to the emergency room feeling like I was going to die and I didn’t know what was wrong. After all the testing, I was diagnosed with an active Lyme infection. I was given 24 days doxycycline. I asked if they would consider giving me a longer course because I’ve read that many people go on with chronic lyme because the two to three weeks of antibiotics did not knock the infection out. Of course their answer was no. I finished the 24 days and still have some symptoms of Lyme so like most of us, I take my health into my own hands and take natural antibiotics. To make the whole experience worse, I told the doctor that I’m basically healthy but suffer with migraines sometimes. He looked down at me and said will “how would you know you suffer from migraines if you haven’t seen a doctor in many years?! ” I just gave up at that point and wanted to get through the testing and get out of there. The doctors that I’ve seen think that a patient has no brain and can’t possibly diagnose but I know my body better than anyone else. Sadly, I’ve never had much luck with doctors. By the way, my infection came from a mosquito bite/bites. I have a picture of the mosquito bites on my thigh with what looks like a partial bullseye around them. I do have a horse with chronic lyme so you can figure out how I became infected. Just a fair warning to everyone who still believe that they can only become infected from ticks bites.

  11. The only “Unbelievable” thing is that he admitted it… I’m quite sure that the pharmaceutical industry is more (much more…) interested in developing new expansive drugs than finding a real cure that will eradicate a disease 🙁

  12. Yes I always thought that the doctors were in it for the money. I’m sure there is some good ones, that do the right thing. Thank you so much for helping me and my horses.

  13. It really is true! Part of what drew me to your teachings regarding nutrition and ultimately your nutrition course is that is resonates with what I’ve gone through after being diagnosed as pre-diabetes. My diet was always “organic” and “clean”, but after years of following advice to eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, I found myself with an elevated A1c and my doctor talking about Metformin. Ultimately, my research lead me to a Ketogenic diet. My doctor balked and ran through the litany of downfalls regarding heart disease, fat gain, low energy, blah, blah, blah. She then gleefully explained the advantages of prescription meds with just barely glossing over the list of detremental side effects. Six months later of strict Keto diet and I was declared no longer pre-diabetic, however now my doctor recommended blood work every 3 months to “monitor” A1c and cholesterol (those numbers were fine, also). I rebelled and bought a home glucose test kit.

    I feel the system is designed to get our money one way or another…keep us hooked on prescriptions or keep us coming in for blood work.

  14. You are one of a kind my dear Doc T! Top floor, bottom floor and all floors in between, I can imagine how taken aback people are when you so forwardly introduce yourself. You shock them Into conversation and much of it an overt challenge to learn something new. I wonder what he told his colleagues about you the next day in his bean counting scrubs!