How I Became a "Doctor" by default

How I Became a “Doctor” by default

Before I explain this, let me give you a brief history of my interaction with doctors:

The medical profession and I have had a rocky relationship right from the start . . . literally. One might correctly say that my entrance into this world just 11 months after my brother was due, in human terms, to physician malpractice (enough said). While I’ve thought about suing, the idea of arguing in court against the validity of my own existence isn’t exactly comforting. :)

The next hostile encounter with medical incompetence came when my then fiancé, PWR, was told by the off-campus clinic that they would call the college health center if her mono spot test came back positive. PWR became sick in March 1987, our senior year at the Conservatory of Music. Since she didn’t hear back, she assumed that her incapacitating fatigue was due to something else, so she continued to push herself. After all, she had to prepare for her Senior Piano Recital and complete her course work in order to graduate on time. Well, you can guess what happened. They “forgot” to call.

That critical time-delay resulted in numerous detrimental effects. Needless to say, it greatly increased PWR’s likelihood of developing what became known as CFS in the 1980’s.

Approximately six months later, I was promptly and correctly diagnosed with mono as well. But by that time, I was in my first year of seminary training for overseas missionary work. I dropped all but one of my classes. . . the early morning one. Completely backwards, yes I know. But with no medical information about CFS, how was I to know?

Then, when both of us were unable to recover, we sought help from a specialist. My GP, thinking he was all-knowing, told me that there was nothing wrong with me, to get up out of bed, and to get on with my life. He refused to refer me (as I had requested) to the viral disease specialist at OHSU, Dr. Mark Loveless. Finally, both PWR & I had to see another physician in the same practice who would refer us to OHSU.

In December 1988, we were finally diagnosed with the misbegotten name, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Dr. Loveless, as most of you know, has stated one of the most accurate and helpful quotes about the comparison between ME/CFS and other diseases, “A CFIDS patient feels every day significantly the same as an AIDS patient feels two months before death.” At least, this was one small step forward for the medical profession.

Then, a final blow to my confidence in the medical profession came in late 1991. The only local wholistic MD who treated CFS and MCS (which PWR had developed by then) had just told me that there was no way she could be that chemically sensitive, so she must be crazy. So, with nowhere to go, I suddenly became a “doctor” by default.

I had to research by cordless phone outside a neighbor’s house due to PWR’s EMF sensitivities. I had to store all paper in our car instead of inside the house. I had to beg anyone & everyone who would talk to me to help me because we had no doctor.

One bright spot was a naturopathic professor & physician who had just finished writing his forthcoming Complete Botanical Prescriber. I had been looking for an antibacterial herb that was powerful yet safe for PWR. He told me about berberine, and he agreed to help me learn as much as I could. He allowed me to purchase the textbook even though I was not a student there. Again, one small ray of hope for the medical profession.

Since then, I have had many more negative and positive experiences with the medical profession, but this explains how I got here. While I am a trained Classical pianist, for various reasons over the last 30+ years, I have spent 10X more time studying and researching health than I have teaching piano lessons, which I loved. I used to joke when I was teaching at my fullest capacity that I was a piano teacher by day, and I moonlighted as a “doctor.”

What I would like to do with my upcoming blogs is to integrate the research I’ve done from the past 26+ years with the current theories on this website. I will try to make it clear and informative.



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