July 27th, 2009
04:19 PM ET
Ask Dr. Sanjay Gupta your health care reform questions
Do the health care reform headlines leave you with more questions than answers? Dr. Gupta is your health care reform insider – and he wants to hear from you!
Post your questions for Dr. Gupta in the comments below or tweet him @SanjayGuptaCNN.
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.
There does not seem to be enough emphasis on cost control in the healthcare debate. What is the cost of malpractice insurance in total and as a percentage of total healthcare expenses? How much wasted cost could be saved with liability caps?
Why doesn' the government allow me to use pretax dollars (IRS Section 125, or the commonly called "cafeteria plan" provision of the tax code) to purchase health insurance that is mine and not tied to my job? I would not have to fear losing my health insurance if I lost my job or fear having to pay a penalty in the form of COBRA, and I would not have to worry about "portability", previous condtions, or waiting periods. Right now I am penalized if I do not take my company sponsored health insurance even though I do not care for the plan or it's particular limits.
My mother has had 3 strokes in the last 2 yrs, under the age of 50. She had some scans done that revealed that she has a major vessel in her brain that is partially blocked and her neurologist says that this is the cause of her strokes. She needs surgery to correct this. Without the surgery she could have another stroke at any given time and it would likely cause even further permanant damage or worse, be a death sentance.
She is currently living on disability and gets state insurance . She just got a call stating that medicaid/medicare will not cover this surgery and that it is "too expensive". The neurologist is willing to waive all surgeons fees (do the surgery for free) but the hospital will not waive thier fees and my husband and I (or anyone else in my family ) do not have the 200,000.00 to pay for it.( we would, in a heartbeat, if we had the money)
I am afraid for my mom's lif and not sure if there is anything that can be done to get this surgery performed. Not sure where to turn, not sure if this is a fight that can be won? This isn't right. isnt there a committee or something , in which we could pleed our case?
The reason for the high cost of medical malpractice actice would seem to be the amount of malpractice that occurs:
*Doctors spend too much time as bookkeepers, and not with patients,
*Insurance company limitations prevent appropriate procedures,
*Competition, instead of cooperation, means that groups of salaried physicians like those who cinduct the Cleveland Clinic are not working together elsewhere to fully care for their patients.
he solution to tort reform, I would suggest, is to establish a true Hippocratic system that reduces the number of torts- instead of the hypocritical insurance insdustry that wants to subsidize them!
My question is why 30 or more other countries can handle having National Healthcare, yet our 'advanced' country cannot? I wonder If it's that we just don't care about 50 millionwithout health insurance? Or is it because business just won't allow a sensible everybody in-nobody out system to exist. With 14,000 losing their health insurance every day and the insurance companies doubling their premiums every ten years, it appears that we are ready for a grand crisis of crisis. This right about the time a panepidemic might very well occure. This issue is not going to go away after the meager Public Option or no change is brought in. People just won't put up with it. I'm hoping for honesty and support from the media to help get a fair and equitable health plan that covers all Americans.
Fortunatly, as part of my retirement I received free health insurance. Does the new plan affect this in any way or will I still have it?
How will the different proposals affect t he situation where an employer provides the opportunity to buy health insurance but no subidy at all. It is pre-tax under a 125 plan, but unaffordable for most.
Will employers be required to provide some subsidy?
Will employees be able to choose a public option if they cant afford the plan available but too expensive thru employer?
I think that people definitely need greater access to healthcare, but the proposed plan is definitely a bad idea. Our national debt is already out of control. Our grandchildren should not be burdened with having to pay for this. There has to be a better way.
Nothing is free!! Either you pay for it once or you pay for 10 times!!
The best way to have a health care system that will take care of you is for you to pay for it; for you to take care of it. The more directly you fund your health care system the more directly your health care system can take care of you!!!
That is the REAL Free Market System at work... Anyone that tells you that they will take care of your health care if you pay him every month and that person is not YOUR doctor or, YOUR hospital that person is a crook!!!
I have a friend that has millions of dollars of hospital bills and still climbing. That sounds like a lot. It is for one person, but not for the nearly one million people who live in his county. That would be 2 dollars each. Now how many of that bill for millions of dollars are the result of letting the insurance company and Medicaid and Medicare dictate the price of health care?? Don't they need a high priced heath care system to justify their high premiums that your employer can no longer afford? Do you think they set the price high or low? Look close. Are they paying that bill or adjusting it away?
If each of us would pay toward the cost of taking care of the sick and injured among us, we all would be richer and healthier... he is not just your doctor he is your neighbor; take care of him so he can take care of you and your family if the need arises. He IS THE REAL GOOD NEIGHBOR. And he doesn't cost anywhere near as much if each of us pays him every month.
It is not that complicated. I am a small town boy in the big city. Maybe you city folk need to slow down and use a little third grade math. General Motor ain't suppose to go out of business. The only way that could happen would be somebody must be stealing....A LOT!
In the hospital all you see is doctors and nurses. No Medicaid, Medicare, or Insurance companies. Never seen a blue cross, or blue shield, never seen a Met Life, wouldn't know a Aetna if I did see one. United Health Care with its 122 million a year CEO never seen 'em.
All I see are tired doctors and nurses. Why not pay them? DIRECTLY!! You could save 90% of your cost right. No Medicare, no medicare, no insurance. We sent a man to the moon. We can do anything we decide to do!! We are Americans! We do no follow, we lead. Any nation with a national health care system will be bankrupt in 20 years, it is unsustainable!!
We need to change our approach. We are not helpless. We all have cell phones, that is an engineering marvel yet the majority of us can afford one or two or three. But we cannot afford to fund our hospitals? That is absurd!! We have billion dollar stadiums and arenas that are usually empty!!! Why can we not simply pay for our own health care like we pay for our own fire departments!! Directly!!!
The city provide the fire protection, so we pay the city, the hospitals provide the health care so lets pay them. It is just that simple. I don't know why no one else has thought of it... or have they??
I am a 62 year old female who has a history of breast cancer. Why is the pre-existing condition not valid for 5 years. People with pre-existing conditions NOW need insurance NOW not in 2014. Sure I can buy insurance but I have a 5 year waiting period and my premiums are sky high. Not old enough for Medicare to take care and can't afford the coverage. Why?????
Hello.......I have a friend that has millions of dollars of hospital bills and still climbing. That sounds like a lot. It is for one person, but not for the nearly one million people who live in his county. That would be 2 dollars each. Now how many of that bill for millions of dollars are the result of letting the insurance company and Medicaid and Medicare dictate the price of health care?? Don't they need a high priced heath care system to justify their high premiums that your employer can no longer afford? Do you think they set the price high or low? Look close. Are they paying that bill or adjusting it away?
How will the healthcare reform effect Physician Assistants
I retired @65 & 10 mos., My wife, never worked, was on my health ins. and is 4 yrs. younger. She went on Cobra, and is going to expire 4-1-10, and needs 10 more mos. of health ins. ( we're upset)
we were told when i retired that she would get 36 mos. of cobra, after two years they say she was done. we ask how come? and they said because when i turned 65 and it starts then, not when i retired. i will be 68, 4-24-10
Are they right?? In other words dose she get 36 months from my birth date, or when I retied which 1 yr later. I was working for 10 mos. after my 65 birthdate, and payed medical Ins. at work.
I saw your program about the shortage of primary care physcians which implied that it was all about money. In my experience of 42 years of general internal medicine practice both in and outpatient work where I interracted with colleagues and doctors in training there is a stronger influence than money. Future doctors are trained and influenced almost exclusively by hospital based sub specialists who care for critically ill patients with very complicated illnesses and require highly specialized and technical care. Doctors is training rarely get any significant training in outpatient care where an entirely different skill set is used. Thus these trainees want to emulate their teachers. More emphasis should be placed on a better balanced training. This is not in the hospitals' interest however.
Our health insurance is a self insurance plan through our employer. Currently, they are exempt from the law to insure recent graduates will that be the same with this new law.
My wife has a pre existing heart condition which might require surgery at the age 24-25 (She is currently 22). I am aware the health care reform will take place in 2014 for pre existing conditions. She might need surgery before 2014 since she will be 26 by then. The surgery is well over 80,000 dollars and her health plan does not cover pre existing conditions. I wanted to know if there is anyway around this. Is there any way she can get help with this health care reform before 2014? Thank you for your time.
we spend 17.3 % of GDP on our Health care, we live 2 years less
than industrialized world like Enaland ,canada and host of others who
spend less than 12%. Do you think our health care is better than theirs
It is so pathetic. If you pay more to do some procedures I do more of those even there is slight indication. Is it necessary.
It is so pathetic
The way I am understanding this last minute Executive Order there is some insurance coverage (with limits) for elective abortion. My wife and I can not have children naturally because my wife is a cancer survivor and has been in remission for 22 years. Therefore, what about insurance coverage for those of us who want children via IVF? Are there any such provisions in the reform for IVF?
My primary job(50+hours a week) provides me with insurance and I opt to have my kids on my policy. I pay for that. My second job (40 hours a week) does not pay for insurance, but now will have to; making me doubly insured? Correct?
On top of that I own part of a business with my wife, do we now have to insure the only two employees? Do we have to have insurance from these 3 different places due to the new healthcare bill? Or is there some provision that will allow us to maintain 1 coverage without being penalized???
I'm certain there are many American's working more than one job and trying to start or running their own businesses. How will this health reform effect workers who have more than one job and a business?
i am a 60 year old healthy" diabetic, with no health insurance. My diabetic care is taken care of as i am in a clinical program comparing byetta and levemir.
I need a colonoscopy. I am supposed to go every 3 years as they keep finding pollups. I am close to 4 years. I have been holding off waiting for health care reform. When do you think i can get this treatment done and get into the "high risk pool", they speak of and what might it cost?
I need to decide whether to wait for this, or whether to negotiate a deal with my doctor and hospital as an ininsured person and get it done now.? Thanks so much.
I am very happy for "the 95% of Americans" who will soon be covered by insurance and have their healthcare protected. However, what about the other 5% of Americans? Who are the 5% of Americans (1 in 20) who will NOT be covered? Why will these citizens not be covered?
Will it continue to be me? How do I determin if I am in the 95% or the 5%?
I am 65YO Male on Social Security. Medicare is deducted form my check. I also pay 81.00 per month for advantage Plan. How is the new reform going to help me?Reduce monthly payments, Less coverage,I have a out of pocket expense of co-pays now.
If I were divorced and showing my status as single, not working would there be more advantage? That way I could show less income.
This is very confusing and can't find the answers. When can I expect all the changes in my care?
I am currently, and always have been, insured by an employer. I am female and 47 years old. I am contemplating a cross-country move that would involve quitting my job and looking for employment after my move, thus leaving me unemployed for a period of time. COBRA may not be a feasible solution for me because my current coverage is for local in-network only – my only option out of the network is a hospital emergency room. I have several pre-existing, but non-life-threatening, medical conditions. (Obesity, umbilical hernia that has not been repaired due to obesity, arthritis in knees – probable replacements in my future.) Given the state of the economy, I'm afraid I won't find a new job with benefits quickly, and may have to insure myself for a period of time. How does the current health care reform protect me and ensure that I can get private coverage while between jobs and not get denied because of pre-existing conditions? Or am I screwed until 2014?
I know the new bill cover preventive care, but what does that cover? My current insurance says I have to wait untill I have diabetes to see a nutritionist. I would rather see one now so that I do not develop the condition. Will the new bill make my insurance company cover the nutritionist?
WE HAVE BEEN HAD!!! The congressmen and senators in DC are lying to you. We can afford health CARE!! We cannot afford health INSURANCE!! If you would simply do the math you will see that the POLITICIANS (aka LIARS), Republicans and Democrats are not telling you the truth. Either because they are too stupid to realize that health care is inexpensive if you pay for it every month just like you do for your house or apartment. Or your electric bill or your phone bill. 50 bucks whether you call anyone or not!! Health care is no different. If we all (all of us who can) help pay the cost of taking care of the few of us that are sick DIRECTLY TO THE SOURCE OF HEALTH CARE FACILITIES (THE HOSPITALS AND DOCTORS) EVERY MONTH LIKE WE DO FOR THE FIRE HOUSE AND POLICE AND ARMY AND NAVY AND MARINES etc. the cost would be so low it would be laughable verses what we are doing today which is paying the HEALTH CARE INSURANCE COMPANIES (aka PIMPS) 1000X the cost of HEALTH CARE. Americans must wake up. We can afford health care... After all does an aspiring really cost $10.00? HELL NO!! But that mark up is across the board because we are not DIRECTLY funding THE most important business in the nation... our HOSPITALS. We have no problem paying for our cell phones every month, or our gym dues, or our hair dressers or our landlords.. THEN WHY IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY DO YOU HAVE A PROBLEM PAYING YOUR HOSPITALS 200 DOLLARS A MONTH SO WHENEVER ANYONE NEEDS MEDICAL CARE THEY CAN GET FOR LITTLE OR NOTHING. THE COST OF HEALTH CARE WILL DROP. BECAUSE IT IS ALREADY PAID FOR BY US... OF THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE AND BY THE PEOPLE. (Sound familiar) TAKE CARE OF YOUR HOSPITALS DIRECTLY– ALL OF US AND THE HOSPITALS WILL TAKE EVEN BETTER CARE OF YOU. DO NOT TAKE OF THEM AND YOU CAN GUARANTEE THAT WE WILL ALL GO BROKE BECAUSE THE CROOKS WILL TAKE OVER. THAT IS CALL THE FREE MARKET SYSTEM.
The cost that you see on your medical bill is not for the procedure that was done. Don't be fooled. It is you share of the overhead cost of that hospital. Now divide the total cost of you bills by say 360 (30 years) and that is what your bill would have been per month for the time you started work until you retired. So if you have say a 100,000.00 dollar bill (which includes cost like Medicaid and Medicare and more health insurance) you bill would have been 277.78 a month. (LESS THAN 1% OF US ARE ACTUALLY SICK AND IN THE HOSPITAL) NO MEDICAID NO MEDICARE NO INSURANCE SIMPLY PAY YOUR LOCAL HOSPITALS AND DOCTORS EACH AND EVERY MONTH AND THEY CAN TAKE BETTER CARE OF YOU CHEAPER!!! WHAT IN GOD'S NAME ARE YOU THINKING PEOPLE DO NOT LET A MILLION DOLLAR HOSPITAL BILL SCARE YOU IN TO BEING STUPID. IF WE ALL PAY THE MILLION DOLLAR BILL IS 50 CENTS. DO THE MATH!!! YOU CAN ADD, RIGHT?
Insurance companies now have to cover pre-existing conditions,have no limits on how much they have to pay, etc. How much are premium going to go up because of this added risk and exposure?
Dear Dr. Gupta,
I am 62 years old and my wife is 57. I worked 27 years continuously, but was laid off in 12/2008. My wife is a part time self employed.
We are on Cobra until 6/2010, then we have to shop for Medical Insurance, which will be very expensive due to aging. I also have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes is on the border line, not sure if these would be considered as "preconditioned".
What health care reform will do for us during this difficult time (if any) until I can get Medicare which is 3 years from now.
I have a story that is not uncommon these days. On July 9,2009 I
was told to go home from my supervisor and not return until I had
a Medical release from my doctor as I suffer from Chronic vertigo which the symptoms caused me to be a danger to my self and my coworkers. I was disabled by the company on July 30 and went on their disablity plan. I also suffer from insulin dependent diabetes high blood preasure, severe sleep apneah (spelling?), and severe recurring depression. I am 56 years old and not a lot of options. I also had a severe back injury that disable me by 30 % however I never tryed for benefits as I felt as long as a man could work he should. I went through addiction to hydrocodone to control my pain so I could work. Conceled and coped with the vertigo and hide my depression under the work. On september 1, 2009 I was informed that my job had been outsourced to a Chinese locaction and would be
severred on September and that I would be offered COBRA insurance the premium would be $254. a month with the Obama plan that I would qualify for but all other benefits would cease on September 30.
Then the deppression took over I made a plan to be dead somhow before September 30. I took an over dose of fast acting insulin on September 14. I ended up in the mental hospital for 13 days. Knowing I am mentally ill is a hard reality to self confirm. It was recommended by a patient advocate to apply for ssi/ssd as they felt I would not be able to return to work. This was done and I found out I was approved in December while I was in the mental ward for a second stay of 17 days for the deppresion. As you see I am in a rather sticky wicket. I do not qualify for medicaid as my ssd check is 102 dollars above the limit. My COBRA will jump to 754 dollars in January of 2011 as the Obama plan runs out. SSD people do not qualify for medicare for 2 years. I will have from January 2011 to Sept.
2011 that I will have $754.00 to pay for cobra to stay in treatment. As
far as I can see I am just screwed regardless of this health care reform. Am I correct in this assumption?
Dr. Gupta , will the health care reform bill pay for ,or help pay for ,methadone treatment ? After an exhaustive search of the internet, I have found almost no information concerning this topic. The little bit of information I was able to find lumped MMT into the same category as the abortion controversy. Would there be any difference for suboxone treatment?
My wife is paying extra 50% for health insurance because the insurance company has decided she is high risk . She has controlled hypertension and controlled high cholesterol.
Under the healthcare bill does the insurance company has to reverse this and charge her the same rate as others in this group?
Will Obama's health care plan go into effect immediately? How will this plan affect current insurance plans? Will "pre-existing conditions" be eliminated effective immediately? How does this impact our citizens who have insurance bnefits with $1 million lifetime maximum" coverage?
My spouse is currently a patient on a bone marrow transplant unit. He received a bone marrow transplant two years ago and has now been hospitalized due to set backs. His insurance has almost depleted his lifeterm max benefits. Please respond to the above via my e-mail, if at all possible.
Thank you for ALL the hard work you do to help so many people! You and Anderson Cooper are truly one of God's special angels! God bless you both!
You didn't mention anything about Nurse Practitioners who are very able to fill the gap in the primary care shortage. I work as a hospitalist and have a private practice in NYC. I assure you the patients in my care are getting comparable care to that rendered by my physician colleagues.
The answer to the shortage is in our midst.
I am a senior (72 yrs old)and am very concerned about what the health care bill will do to my Senior Advantage coverage. I'm being informed that the new bill will prevent Senior Advantage from going to doctors or hospitals. I am with Kaiser Permanente and my Advantage coverage goes directly to that provider from I believe Medicare Part D. Can you give some clarification regarding the Health care's effects on Senior Advantage coverage?
Under health care reform will doctors be able to continue to own or have financial interests in labs, physical therapy treatment centers, surgical centers, etc. ? I thought I had read that doctors would NOT be able to do this any longer, but have searched the internet and can't find anything on this.
Greetings Dr. Gupta,
I have been diagnosed with tinitus and was told by my doctor that the only solution to alleviate the rushing and ringing sounds in my ears is to take prescription tranquilizers or have periodic injections into my inner ear. I like neither of these options and have seen a TV commercial for a natural product called "Quietus" (I think that is the spelling) which can help me with my symptoms. Would you please give me your opinion on this product?
Dear Dr. Gupta,
I am interested in how the health care reform laws will impact transexual patients. My husband is transsexual and we currently have to be very careful about getting him healthcare because some doctors refuse to give him proper treatment, especially to help him with any transsexual specific matters. Also, he is required to be listed as female to recieve insurance coverage for certain care. Will he gain or lose any rights under the new laws?
Thank you for any information you can provide me!
Re: Health care fraud
In particular doctors testing MEN for pregnancy.
Be careful with this, as pregnancy tests assay Human chorionic gonadotropin which is sometimes released by testicular tumors.
A PREGNANCY TEST IN A MAN IS A LEGITIMATE TEST FOR TESTICULAR CANCER, WHICH IS A DREADFULLY SERIOUS CANCER FOR MEN.
Thank you. Peter Dion, St Catharines Ontario CANADA
I have health insurance thru my employer and I have worked for this company for less than 3 months after being out of work for more than a year. I had to choose my health insurance plan for the next fiscal year. I was surprised that my monthly premium shot up from $320 to $607. It is an Aetna PPO with $500/person and $1500/family deductible. Is this possible under the new health insurance law? I thought the Blue Shield's planned premium increase of 35% was outrageous but this just blows my mind. I cannot afford $607 so I had to choose another Aetna PPO with a $2500/person and $7500/family deductible whose premium is $287/month. My copay has also gone up from $20 to $30.
Is it possible(lawful) to jack up the premium like this under the new health care law? It is outrageous what these health insurance companies get away with.
My 13yr old son was recently dx with an avulsion fracture anterior inferior iliac spine after feeling a pop of his lt hip while practicing soccer. Will this injury happen again if he contines to play compentative soccer? The orthopedic doctor also dx that he has acetabular retroversion. Would this make him more prone to injury during soccer? Should he avoid sports that could potentially cause osteoarthritis later in life. Would this condition increase his risk for injury during any running sport ?
I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea and prescribed a sleep apnea machine. It works great but I travel a lot and it is very inconvenient. I heard about a mouth piece that seems to be successful for some. How effective is it? Do you advise it? If so what brand and supplier do you suggest? Or are there any other alternatives? I am not obese, I'm in good health, and I am in very good shape, I just snore a lot.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response.
I am watching CNN Toxic Childhood, and a question that has been bothering me for years popped back into my head. Propylene Glychol... has to be toxic, dopesnt it? Especially in children? It is in everything, even baby lotion. All I've been able to verify is that propylene glychol is in some way related to anti freeze. And,we all know what anti freeze does to dogs. I think about all the kidney related diseases that americans are developing. Did we ever have a chance w/the chemical in almost everything, it seems, that needs to be slippery or sweetened(even in dog foods). What is the truth and how warranted am I to be concerned?
Thank you for your time.
My question is regarding the fertility limits and whether they will ever be unlimited or more than the usual 10-20k that most places offer? Thanks
I am a 43 yr. old man with a serious health issue. I went to my Dr. March of last year to be treated for diabetes. He put me on this medication Byetta Injection Pen (5mcg) and told me it would decrease my appetite and therefore make me loose weight. I began taking the medication and after a few weeks my appetite didn't decrease but I began having diarrhea which in turn resulted in weight loss. I went back to my Dr. for a follow-up visit and told him about the diarrhea. After weighing me he told me that the medication was working and upped my dosage to the 10 mcg Byetta Pen. He never took any blood work before upping my dosage he just put me on the stronger pen. The diarrhea got severly worse causing me to go to the hospital and damage to my G.I. tract. Now I have a serious case of Chron's Disease. I have done some research on this medication and the FDA states that if diarrhea occurs this medication should be stopped immediatley! This was not done in my case. My question to you is this can misuse of this medication cause damage to my G.I. tract. I have spoken to two doctors in my area and cannot get a straight answer. One doctor even told me off the record that no doctor will speak out against this doctor because they are a community?... Really? . Dr. Gupta I'm just looking for some answers and pray that you will assist me on this. Could all of this damage I am now having with my stomach be caused by this medication? Another reason why I think something is terribly wrong with this whole thing is because I asked my doctor for a copy of my medical records and it was like pulling teeth. Once I finally got a copy I noticed that not only did he omit the fact that he upped my dosage of Byetta he aslo LIED on the report and stated blood work was done. Something is not right and I need some help as soon as possible...PLEASE.
This was a very good post by the author hope to visit more really soon.
I recently saw Dr. Gupta on television (in passing) with a female doctor in Hati working with the cholera epidemic. I want to lend my support – how can I get in touch with that doctor.
I was diagnosed in April of 2008 oh having various cavernous angiomas in my brain, after several MRI's.Nothing was done as the Neuro-Surgeon claimed that it's hereditary and I should not be alarmed. Having said this the Neurologist put me on the drug Lamotradine which he says will prevent the occurence of seizures. He also showed me the last MRI which showed an angioma which was leaking on to my neck area.Nothing was done. In April of 2009 I awoke at 3.00AM and there was no feeling in my left leg and was rushed to the trauma hospital (St.Marys) in Flrida where I reside. Another Mri was taken only to discover that there was a blood vessel that leaked on to my spine and formed a tumor on the C1 of the Spinal Cord. Surgery was performed to remove the tumor and after the recovery I was sent to the Rehab Area of the Hospital for a month wthout much improvement.On returning home I had home therapy which was useless so I decided to go to a Therapy Center(Palm's West Hospital)nearer to where I live. I did therapy for 60 days to no avail. To date I have seen several Doctors who have given me nothing but negative responses to my ailment. I am suffering and am still walking with a walker at home and of couse a wheelchair when I am out, which is very rare.From doing many researches on line I realise that this ailment is very rare but can you recommend anyone or anything that I can do at this stage because I can't bear the pain.Thanks in advance for your insight.
In July 2010, I(45 yrs of age) had some strange symptoms...shaking, shivering, raised heart beat, twitching of chest muscles etc and a trip to the ER revealed nothing...they said it was a panic attack. After two months it came back...my extremities went real cold and instead of calling the ER I just blew hot air on my fingertips and the shaking stopped. I noticed I had intolerance to temps below 77 F. A few days after this, I was woken up by the buzzer of the my dryer. My heart went into overdrive- thought I was going to die.The rest of the night I couldn't sleep- woke up my doc friend and he said I shld go see a good internist.
So next day I go see this doc and he puts me on Lorizapem 0.5 mg. That night with the aid of the pem drug slept well. Suddenly thght I was macho all along and never had a family doc. So I find this doc on the net and see him. This doc(quack?) put me on Zolipedum 10 mg without any tests and said to take it for a month and come back and see him. Normally I check on the drugs I take...I left it off for a few days...And since the sleep was good I wasnt bothered. But whence I knew it was a sleeping pill I was into the dependent-state. So every night for the next 3 months I took Zolipedum 10 mg. One night it stopped working! So I increased it to 15 mg on my own and that worked...But the side effects like blurred/double vision was making life hell for me- I had to be at the office in good mental state every morning. After a month I begged him to find a way for me to get out of this drug...All he said was, I don't think it is possible – confirming my long held theory that the best drug peddlers in the US are in fact some docs like these!
So after Thanksgiving decided to leave for India -my last chance to get a cure before 2011 started in full swing...My long flight from the US to India(20 hrs) was hell for me...was tired, but couldn't sleep. Eventually (using a lot of breathing techniques and neck massages from my wife) I landed on Indian soil. Saw a doc who did all blood tests and did a a thyroid ultrasound and a CT scan(all for 140 USD...compare that with the cost in the US :). Now I have been off the Zolipedum drug for 2 weeks...and I feel great. I have sleep for 4-5 hrs a night(the doc here put me on iron tabs since my Hemo was 39%...which was the only thing wrong in blood report).
The thyroid ultrasound showed no issues. The CT scan however showed I had a pineal calcification of ~1cm long. Now planning to see a neuro doc. Read a lot and found that Splenda could cause this ...insomnia, panic attacks etc. Pineal calcification reduces melatonin, I learn...and perhaps this is the correct diagnosis. I might ask them to measure my aMT6/melatonin secretion in my urine. Wanted to know more about Pineal calcification and sleep..literature on the internet is kinda shady and hence would like to know your thoughts
My wife has Degenerative Disc Disease. She has already had 1 surgery about 4-5 years ago to remove herniated disc material on a couple of levels in her lower lumbar. She is only 29 years old now and she is now in so much pain and is losing mobility fast. She cannot even lift the baby from the floor, or get herself off the floor. She is considering artificial disk replacement, but that can only be done on 1 level right now. When will it be approved for multiple levels? Do you recommend this even though there are no long term studies? We feel that fusing vertebrae would also be a bad alternative since she is so young and it puts stress above and below. Please help us.
I don't understand why so many people are against our government requiring individuals to carry healthcare insurance. We're required to carry automobile insurance. I know not everyone can afford to carry automobile insurance but they are required to carry insurance none the less. Please explain how healthcare insurance is so different?