I am mad. No, I mean, I am honestly mad. Maybe sad, angry and disappointed would be better ways of expressing how i feel.
Why? I hear you ask.
Well, a few months ago, I wrote to my Doctor and sent him a copy of the “Forks Over Knives” DVD. I delivered the parcel with the DVD and a covering letter to my local surgery, to ensure that my assigned Doctor received it. I am tempted to say who it was addressed to – Dr Sikorski, at Sydenham Green Group Practice, in Sydenham, SE London – but then that might look like sour grapes on my part! No, on second thoughts, I think naming and shaming him is the right thing to do.
What happened to make me so angry?
I sent the DVD & a letter offering to run no-added fat, whole food, plant-based cooking classes FOR FREE either at the surgery or at my home. I asked him to watch the DVD and to come back to me.
I waited. Nothing. Not a word.
So about 3 months later, I sent this:
Dear Dr Sikorski –
I am writing to ask if you received my previous note and the DVD of “Forks over Knives”. I hand delivered this to your reception, so I wanted to check that you got it.
Assuming you did receive it. Did you watch it, as per my request? If so, I’d love to know your reactions to it and too my offer to provide free cookery demos of no-added fat wholefood, plant-based recipes to your patients, if you think this might be beneficial. I ran a similar one of these recently and my videos from the event are on my web site. (www.plantalicious.com)
I want to reiterate that my website and my endeavours in this field are strictly non-commercial. My website is a means of sharing what I have learned on the e-Cornell Plant-Based Nutrition course run by the T. Colin Campbell Foundation to help people take responsibility for their health and to use plant-based nutrition to help imrove their health destiny. If you are sceptical about this as I imagine you may be, please take a look at the Happy Heart Course run by the team behind the Happy Pear in Wicklow, Ireland. http://happyheartcourse.com/ Even if you and your colleagues are skeptical, let me ask you one question: “what harm can it do if some of your patients improve their intake of plant-based foods?”
In the few months that I have been following a mostly no-added fat, wholefood, plant-based diet, my blood pressure has reduced, my weight has reduced by 35lbs and my cholesterol has reduced, all not bad whilst travelling the world with a very stressful job, including wining and dinning clients all whilst not being on any kind of deprivation diet. After years of yo-yo dieting, I seem to have finally found something that works for me, which I am passionate to share with others.
Ironically I had a ddisagreement with one of your Drs a couple of years ago, where he wanted to prescribe me a statin drug, which i refused asking him to look at my cholesterol history as it had been reducing over time. He would not discuss this and became angry. At a subsequent visit to Sydenham Green, I saw the splash screen that came up before my notes. This Dr had added an unvalidated note indicating me to be an “aggressive patient, who should be handled with care”. I was livid and spoke to the Practice Manager who told me the note had been removed and wrote me a letter of apology, and at my request told me that you had changed your procedures for such “value judgements”. I use this to illustrate that I am pasionate about taking personal responsibility for my health and where possible using my own resources, such as nutrition.
So, can you let me know if you received the DVD? If you watched it? If you interested in how this might be used within Sydenham Green.
Even if you do not want to pursue this, I would love to have your feedback and to get the DVD back please, which I am happy to collect, as I have a number of others who I want to share this with so if you would be kind enough to return it to me.
One idea might be to host a screening of the DVD, maybe to your heart and diabetes patients and let them discover what the films has to say. The DVD is circa £15, so it might save them the cost of buying a copy themselves.
I look forward to your reply and in the meantime wish you and your team a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2014!
Kind regards –
I got a very short note back, it basically said “Sorry – too busy to watch it”.
What? Too busy to really care about the health of your patients? I wonder if he and his colleagues would spare an hour to meet the representative of a drug company who are selling a new statin? I know, I totally understand that he is busy, but to just dismiss this out of hand, seems to me to show a real lack of care about patient health. A 10 minute appointment where the answer is invariably a prescription for a drug seems to be the modus operandi rather than caring for the long term health of patients.
Could it be that Dr’s and my Dr in particular is more interested in disease than health? Is it more rewarding to have patients taking statins or diabetes drugs than genuinely helping them to find a way of becoming responsible for their own health? How can it be? My Dr is not a bad person, in fact I have always liked him. He is kind and caring. I think it is more that he is busy to the point of being overwhelmed and that he does care passionately but is working in a system that operates in a certain way:
I want to make a change in the above system to make it more like:
Personal Responsibility->Less Dr’s visits->Less cost on the NHS->more healthy vibrant people
Am i in cloud-cuckoo land?
I genuinely want to share what I have learned, and to be an inspiration to others to take responsibility for their health as much as they can, so what can I do?
Having given this some thought, I am going to create a Press Release that says that I am looking for a Dr’s practice or similar to work with, where I will provide some cookery lessons and some information. Maybe I will find a Dr who unlike my own, does have the time to work with me and lets see if between us we can make a difference.