Don’t be “Assumed to Death” by your doctor.

Dr. Weeks’ Comment: The successful practice of medicine requires that the doctor, as diagnostician, walk the tightrope between

a) over-analysis and unreasonably slow ruling out of various unlikely causes of the symptoms.  “Fever? Hmm.. Might be malaria. We need to test for that tropical disease.”  Patient response: “But Doctor we are in Alaska!”

and

b) making casual and at times incorrect and lethal assumptions:  “That is probably just a headache. Take an aspirin and call me tomorrow.”  when the pain was caused by an evolving brain aneurysm  and the aspirin thinned the blood to the point of causing a stroke.)

Walking that line is not always easy. For example, my last year in Vermont (1989), a new professor arrived in Burlington who was a specialist in tropical diseases and indeed, he found 6 cases of malaria that year, which had not been previously considered by local doctors.  The fact is, college students travel to tropical places for study or vacation and when they return to complete studies in colleges like University of Vermont. they may bring parasites like the infamous mosquito-borne protists of the genus Plasmodium falciparum or P. vivax.  In todays rushed sessions with doctors – typically lasting less that 3 minutes! – it is not surprising that most diagnoses are products of statistical probability:  Doctor muttering under his or her breath: “I have seen a lot of this lately, so I bet that it what you have. Take this and see me again in 1 month.” Sound familiar?

 

Today in Washington State, it is the law that doctors report to the Department of Heath any incidences of Lymes’s disease which we all know is rampant on the east coast and, when chronic, causes terrible debilitating symptoms. This summer in particular, mothers are terrified. But no one is botherer by Lyme’s disease in Washington state – despite thousands of our citizens, myself included, having moved here from…. yup!  the tic infested East Coast!

Why is no one in Washington state concerned about Lyme’s disease?  Because no doctors in our state are reporting to the DOH that indeed they are treating hundreds of patients who suffer from Lyme’s disease. Why? Because Washington state doctors have been censured and investigated by our state medical board (MQAC)  simply because they diagnosed and treated people with Lyme’s disease. Why would be they be sanctioned for caring for these people?  Well, bear with me:   Lyme’s disease is “bad for state tourism business”. Just ask the state of Vermont.  Tourism is down this summer because of reports like this notice of Vermont now having the nations’s second highest incidence of Lyme’s disease!   Furthermore, the treatment of Lyme’s disease is big business and the battle has raged for 20 years as to how best to care for people stricken. At one point, anti-trust restriction of trade charges were brought against conventional infections disease societies for illegally interfering with holistic integrative doctors who offered safer and more effective treatments for this terrible illness. 

So, if you, dear reader, have a bull’s eye target rash  or suffer with these chronic neurological symptoms and if you want to find a competent integrative and holistic medical doctor in Washington State to care for your Lyme’s disease…. good luck!! because these smart and courageous doctors have taken down their shingles and are keeping a low profile and NOT REPORTING to the DOH out of fear of unjust retaliation by MQAC which they consider to be more interested in protecting business than “keeping the public safe”.     Above all, don’t let your doctor assume you don’t have Lyme’s disease.

(Ironically, malaria therapy is one treatment for people with Lyme’s!)

 

Now, to end on an upbeat and humorous note, read the story below which teaches us best about how to not make assumptions about health issues but rather to be thorough and careful in our diagnostic work up!

 

 

The Church Dinner

A group of friends from the Cottonwood  Baptist Church wanted to get together on a regular basis, socialize, and play  games. The lady of the house was to prepare the meal.

 When it came time for Al and Janet to be  the hosts, Janet wanted to outdo all the others. She decided to have  mushroom-smothered steak. But mushrooms are expensive. She then told her  husband, “No mushrooms. They are too expensive.”
He said, “Why don’t you go down in the  pasture and pick some of those mushrooms? There are plenty in the creek bed.”
She said, “No, some wild mushrooms are  poison.”
He said, “Well, I see varmints eating  them and they’re OK.” So Janet decided to give it a try.. She picked a bunch,  washed, sliced, and diced them for her smothered steak.
 Then she went out on the back porch and  gave Ol’ Spot (the yard dog) a double handful. Ol’ Spot ate every bite. All  morning long, Janet watched Ol’ Spot and the wild mushrooms didn’t seem to  affect him, so she decided to use them.

The meal was a great success, and Janet  even hired a helper lady from town to help her serve. After everyone had  finished, they relaxed, socialized, and played ’42’ and dominoes. About then,  the helper lady came in and whispered in Janet’s ear.

The meal was a great success, and Janet  even hired a helper lady from town to help her serve. After everyone had  finished, they relaxed, socialized, and played ’42’ and dominoes. About then,  the helper lady came in and whispered in Janet’s ear.
She said, “Mrs. Williams, Ol’ Spot is  dead.”
Janet went into hysterics.
After she finally calmed down, she called  the doctor and told him what had happened.
The doctor said, “That’s bad, but I think  we can take care of it. I will call for an ambulance and I will be there as  quickly as possible. We’ll give everyone enemas and we will pump out everyone’s  stomach. Everything will be fine Just keep them calm..”
Soon they could hear the siren as the  ambulance was coming down the road.
The EMTs and the doctor had their  suitcases, syringes, and a stomach pump.

One by one, they took each person into  the bathroom, gave them an enema, and pumped out their stomach.

 After the last one was finished, the  doctor came out and said, “I think everything will be fine now,” and he left.
They were all looking pretty weak sitting around the living room and about this  time the helper lady came in and whispered to Janet:
“You know, that fellow that  run over Ol’ Spot never even  stopped.”
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THANKS to MARY PAUL, my dear friend and President of the Orthomolecular Support Group of Western Australia whose newsletter is always so informative and who sent me this humorous story this morning!
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 ….Have a great summer!

 

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