Second Opinion

This posting has nothing whatsoever to do with marketing or advertising.

It has everything, however, to do with your life.

Over the past few months, an ever-widening circle of friends and family have gotten sick. I come from hardy working-class stock that, in normal circumstances, is pretty stubborn about allowing illness to win. If anyone ever gets sick enough to admit being sick… then they are really friggin’ sick.

This latest bout of God’s most serious reminder that we’re all fragile creatures on a bacterially-hostile planet has nothing to do with age. I have young friends hobbled with problems that used to be reserved for seniors, and older family members catching stuff that once bedeviled only kids.

It sucks. With most other problems, you can sort of call a “time out”… by, for example, declaring bankruptcy to stall off debtor’s prison, or finding another job when yours becomes unbearable, or hiring a detective to gather some info (maybe take a few Polaroids) before you go off the deep end with suspicion.

In business, you can have another meeting.

But with health… there are few time outs. You get something, and that something will pretty much define who you are until you get rid of it. Or it gets rid of you.

The thing is, though… you can’t take your doctor’s word for anything serious.

It should be a no-brainer… but please, if you’re ill, get a second opinion before you do anything drastic.

I’ve seen friends allow unqualified doctors to rip out their prostate — and screw up the operation horribly — without a second opinion. I’ve experienced being slammed with wrong prescriptions (even contraindicated ones) myself — doled out by docs brimming with confidence. I know good people who have been reduced to reluctant couch potatoes because their doctor has given up trying to find out what’s wrong.

I shudder when I think back to my younger days… when the very idea of asking for another doctor’s opinion was disrespectful. The notion existed that health was a matter of simply “looking under the hood”, and finding the “right” course of action.

Like there was only one right course of action in the universe for any given problem. What the doctor said was true… because the doctor said it was true.

It’s bullshit.

People who have never gotten second opinions may be shocked when they finally do. Shocked to discover vast discrepancies in diagnoses… shocked to hear that the medicine they’ve been prescribed is killing them… shocked to discover that many doctors simply don’t know what to look for when looking under your hood.

The world seemed safer before. The doctor knew the magic. He would divine what ailed you, and give you potions that cured everything.

It was happy voodoo.

And, in many cases, complete and utter malpractice.

Look — just insist on a second opinion before agreeing to anything, all right? Check out the feisty, too… and the more doc-friendly… and when you’re really ready to go deep, the Harvard medical school sites.

Your body isn’t a car, and when your health goes sideways, there is almost never an easy solution. Some illnesses are symptoms of deeper problems.

And remember: The big pharmaceutical companies took over the teaching hospitals a long time ago. Doctors are trained, now, to prescribe cures rather than look for organic ways to treat anything.

I’m not playing doctor here. When I get seriously sick, I head for the guy with the stethoscope, just like everyone else. I just augment everything with Eastern medical wisdom, common-sense health store additives… and second opinions.

If you’re one of those people “who never gets sick”, good for you. I hope you stay that way until the night you die peacefully in your sleep at a ripe old age.

For the rest of us… sometimes illness just happens. This is not the time for stubborn beligerence and denial.

It’s time to get hip, and get real.

We are, indeed, hearty but ultimately fragile little beings in a cold, cruel universe. Our best tool for suvival is information. Good information.

For any medical professionals reading this… I wasn’t referring to you.

Stay frosty.

John Carlton

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  • Curtis says:


    As a Doctor of Pharmacy I want everyone to pay close attention here. What John said is absolutely 100% on the mark. Including the part about Big Pharma having it’s thumb on the carotid artery of ‘medicine’.

    I’m not saying don’t go to the doctor or the pharmacy for help. But, before you do anything you have to educate yourself. Most of the pharmaceutical conglomerates cures really do come straight from mother nature.

    This is not opinion, this is fact.

    And then, when they modify it enough to apply for a patent they plug it into their marketing machine and watch as mucho fungolas flood into their coffers.

    Of course, as a capitalist, this is all hunky dorey with me. But, don’t be nieve enough to think that they are really trying to ‘help’ you. Only you can help yourself. And as John already said, it all starts with what’s between your ears.


  • I have to agree with you. My son in law is in the army where his Doctor is dictated by whoever is available. He has been fighting an illness for almost 3
    years now and they still do not know what is wrong. As a last resirt they have
    diagnosed chronic fatigue syndrome as a result of a viral infection. This is
    going to result in his being put out of the service not to mention the catastrophe he has gone through while they tried to decide what was wrong. I have told my daughter and him to see another Doctor when he is out and can select his own care to get a second opinion.

  • Aaron says:

    Hey John,

    “Doctors Are The Third Leading Cause Of Death In The U.S.”

    Your posting was of particular interest to me, and I appreciate the links your provided.

    As an echo to this post, allow me to also provide a link for those interested in this topic.

    As you know, I have been involved in the health world (having served in a physical therapy clinic, as well as owning, operating, and developing personal training studios) and have had some the very best training offered.

    The link below is from one of the “world class” institutions I’ve had the privilege of learning under.

    Hope you and your readers enjoy the read.

    Aaron Crocker
    2003 National Personal Trainer of The Year

  • Aaron says:

    Hey John,

    “The Fastest Growing Infectious Disease In The U.S.”

    It’s Aaron again.

    Forgive the double posting this time, however I felt the need to make sure I included a link that reveals the fastest growing infectious disease in the United States, yet each year thousands are misdiagnosed.

    This is so urgent, that a documentary film is being released to warn, and inform the American people of this disease.

    Here’s the link –>

    Take care,

    Aaron Crocker
    2003 Personal Trainer of The Year

  • Doc Mike says:

    Never forget that your doc no matter how much you like him.
    No matter how fantastic or decorated she may be…
    unless you’re reading this from mars…
    your doc is HUMAN and has a house payment, car payment, tuition, etc…
    your doc runs a business just like you.
    Your doc gets tired, distracted, depressed, disinterested,etc…
    Its NOT pretty but its true.
    You’re right on the money John.

    Doc Mike

  • Dan Gallapoo says:

    Thanks for sharing that, John. I write copy for a lot of alternative health stuffand have learned A LOT doing the research into that. It seems that many other countries have much better health care than the US. If someone is really sick and can afford it, I highly recommend seeking medical treatment in several other countries.

    When my mom had cancer the latest new tretment is what actually caused her death… NOT the disease.


  • Nick Wright says:

    I’ve been considering a career in pharmaceutical sales…but it’s pretty discouraging to know the pharmaceutical companies are teaching the hospitals now.

  • budhababy says:

    Right on John.

    120,000 people die in the U.S every year from misdiagnosis or maltreatment by the medical profession.

    3,000 people die in the WTC disaster and billions of dollars get spent every year chasing terrorists.

    How much is being spent to clean up the medical profession?


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