Thursday, February 07, 2008

Medical intelligence

A brief break from quilt related matters. At last there's transcription work and it proved to be promo interviews for Web MD online site. I've gone to other medical online sites but not that one until a brief break between jobs. So much information is available -- and so much lopsided, even, in a sense, misinformation in the media which report every tiny study as if it were a major breakthrough while putting almost nothing in perspective. One of the interviewee said, in different words, when it comes to having a disease you are the person in charge and knowledge is power and knowledge is available to even those who are not computer wizards nor medically trained. He's so right. I am often appalled by the depths of ignorance many people wallow in with the entirely erroneous belief their GP will provide what they need to know -- in the 7 minutes he can give them once a year. Sure.

I actually had a call from a willfully ignorant neighbor the other evening who said, "How come I have these veins suddenly standing out on the back of my hands?" I said, aren't you nearly 60 years old? Did you ever look at your hands before? Did you ever look at the hands of other people your age? And I said, I promise you some day you'll look at your hands again and scattered among those blue veins wlll be brown spots on your skin. Why? asked he. Because pigmenation changes as we grow older, just when depends on how much you had in the first place. I remember my mother hating the spots on her hands; I rather like mine.

The people in the interviews were diabetics. Perhaps no chronic disease demands more of an individual -- one can live a "normal" life, if willing to understand how to manage the diseaee. This is true of many other diseases, of course, also. The medical system in the US if a very sick system and it doesn't work for most people. It's one of the last patriarchial systems that has to fall. Yes, the good MDs know a lot but they are few and mostly academic. We have the power of knoweldge available, to remain ignorant is to shirk our adult responsibility to ourselvs. Knowledge is power. Web MD looks pretty good. I'm sure there are other good sites as well. We have entered the information age; is any information more vitally important than the knowledge of how to stay healthy?

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