This experience with Silverlon taught me a valuable lesson: Doctors don’t know all the answers (my physician/dad’s mantra back in the 1950s and 1960s, and the theme of my first Healthy.net column). In fact, when a patient finds a good answer, doctors are often not open to learning about it.
I wondered: By not being interested in learning about a “new” (to them) treatment like this one, are doctors dooming their future patients to suffering and, possibly, to an earlier death?
Many people tell me that they think the answer comes back to money: i.e., that surgeons make more money by performing additional surgeries than they would make if they had used a product like Silverlon.
Yet, I cannot let myself believe that any doctor would be this callous.
All I can figure out is that, like many of the treatments I write about in my book, the principle of how Silverlon works is very different from what doctors learn in medical school, and that because of this, they are suspicious.
The inventor of Silverlon, Bart Flick, MD, explained to me that he thinks Silverlon helped to heal Tim’s head by changing the electrical environment, or the electrostatic field, on the surface of his body (i.e., on his skin). He hypothesized that this, in turn, affected the electrical characteristics of the dura mater—the layer surrounding the brain—allowing it to heal. This is a whole new way of looking at wound healing.
Dr. Flick also told me that silver foils were routinely used as surgical dressings at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University Hospital before antibiotics were invented. So, in essence, a precursor of Silverlon was being used many years ago to heal wounds. (You can learn more about Silverlon at www.silverlon.com.)
I am convinced that if we had known about Silverlon just eight months earlier, right after Tim’s 2001 surgery, his skin would have had a much better chance of healing. I will even go so far as to say that, if we had found Silverlon then, I believe that Tim might be alive today.
While I can’t be sure that this is true, I definitely believe that if we had found Silverlon earlier, Tim would not have been left with the cognitive deficits he had for the last three-and-a-half years of his life.
When he finally came home from the hospital, Tim was bedbound, incontinent, and nearly paralyzed. He never got over the surgical assaults on his body and he died in 2005. But his suture line never opened up again.
For years, this experience with Silverlon gnawed at me. I realized that something was terribly wrong with our American medical system—a system where expensive treatments and surgeries that often don’t work are used instead of inexpensive, often more effective treatments that do work.
My understanding of patient treatment irrevocably changed and I knew I had to do something about it.
I wrote my book to educate the public about these treatments—treatments that have a great deal of what I have come to call convincing patient-based evidence to back them up. I also wrote it in hopes that one day soon all patients will be able to use effective, time-tested, inexpensive treatments like the ones I feature in my book without having to look so hard to find them.
Note: This column has been adapted from Julia Schopick’s Amazon.com best-selling book, HONEST MEDICINE: Effective, Time-Tested, Inexpensive Treatments for Life Threatening Diseases (http://www.amazon.com/dp/product/0982969007/). She continues to write about treatments like these on her website, HonestMedicine.com.