Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?!

What the hell is going on any more? Why is everyone I am in contact with being diagnosed with major and/or rare medical disorders?

My daughter has something called pseudohypoaldosteronism. And some unnamed sleep disorder. And maybe autism. Sort of. They don't even know. They just throw up their hands and say developmental delay. Next patient! Next door: 8-year-old with autism. Two doors down: 14-year-old with cancer. My mom had a bout with lung cancer last year. My cousin (er, step-cousin? One of those relatives by marriage that we see around holidays and family gatherings) has multiple kinds of cancer. So did her brother. One of my closest friends has been diagnosed with pseudo tumor cerebri (during pregnancy, no less!). Half the women I know have thyroid problems. Then there's a couple people with celiac, extreme food allergies, more cancer, more sleep disorders... Even our male cat is on canine birth control pills - for a skin condition!! WTF, man?

I don't want to make light of it too much, because some of these problems have huge impacts on people's lives. But the phrase "thoughts and prayers" keeps coming up all too often, and I don't understand why there's so much of this happening any more.

Did the previous generations have all these problems and just not know it? Has the medical field just lost the ability to make people healthy? Do all the tools and technologies just give them so much information that they get in over their heads? Has the cumbersome health care system addled their brains? Do they even know what they're doing at this point? I want answers!

I half expect to go into the doctor's office and have my physician tell me, "Well, it looks like you've got, um, pseudo...thala...druidinoidism. But it might be, uhh, hyper-cranial..... octopi...? Hell, I don't know. Tell you what - try some of this Florephidol. I've got free samples. If that doesn't work, I'll write you a prescription for some Zaloxodil. It says the side effects include intense dreams and euphoria. Can't go wrong with that, eh? What's wrong?... You wanna take a swig of scotch from my flask here?"



At 10/25/2006 9:52 PM, Blogger Suzer said...

That's exactly why I don't go to the doctor. Haven't been to one in over 8 years (of course not counting being pregnant.) I figure if it doesn't go away on it's own, it'll just kill me...and I'm still alive.

My husband went to the doctor for a check-up two months ago. The doctor scared him into multiple tests costing us hundreds of dollars (even with our insurance) only to report that everything seems o.k. and he's not sure why my husband's heart "does that".

Gotta love the medical profession.

At 10/25/2006 11:46 PM, Blogger Morgan said...


Some of us have bodies that hate us!

At 10/26/2006 6:30 AM, Blogger JBTW said...

I definately believe that in the past people were not diagnosed - be it accuratedly or at all. Especially in the autism department -- many were treated as they were MR.
Yesterday I read an article online saying something along the lines that the human population is going to use up all the natural resources by [whatever year]. That we would need 5 planet Earths to continue/sustain at the rate we use now.
... Makes part of me wonder if the death/desease/etc. is some way of carma trying to rebalance things... (Not that I'd ever be content with loved ones going in that way...)
Now I'm rambling...

At 10/26/2006 8:17 AM, Blogger Madcap said...

I think one of the pieces of the puzzle is that far more children with chronic conditions live to become adults who pass on their faulty genes. Like me, for instance, lest anyone think I'm pointing fingers outward. I would have died several times over before hitting adulthood if it wasn't for modern medicine, but as it is, I've managed to produce two celiac, allergy-infested children. Hooray! My daughter is seriously talking about not having birth-children, and though that makes me sad that she feels her life is that difficult, how can I argue?

At 10/26/2006 9:01 PM, Blogger Mia said...

*sigh* I think there's a lot to it. More accurate diagnosis? That's hard to say though there is more to diagnose that they know about. I do think a lot of it is genetic and was never recognized. My Dad's condition was just "discovered" in the past few years or so. Of course they can't do anything about it right now, so I'm avoiding the doctor too. I don't want to find out what else might be wrong with me that isn't fixable. One day at a time. I also think that there's a lot more junk and a lot less good in our environment and diet. Bleagh.

At 10/26/2006 10:14 PM, Blogger gtr said...

Sorry to hear about the health challenges of your friends and family: best wishes!

Two words:
Environmental toxins. It's scarey, but it's been proven in some cases, where people are able to connect the dots. It's not ALWAYS the cause, of course, but pretty darn suspicious.

I just heard Sandra Steingraber speak. She's an amazing scientist, writer, mother and cancer survivor. I highly recommend her books "Having Faith" and "Living Downstream"


At 10/26/2006 11:02 PM, Blogger Morgan said...

I agree wih the theory we "the ones sick" would not have lived to adulthood. Okay if I had lived long enough ago I would have been burned as a witch. Other then that Meds have given me my oldest child and my husband. Ask Liam about downing a bottle of pills when he was 5. Thought they were candy.

At 10/27/2006 2:25 PM, Blogger network weasel said...

There are more of us than ever before on the planet.
We are living longer and able to treat a growing number of medical conditions that, as pointed out earlier, would have prevented us from surviving in earlier generations long enough to reproduce.
In the US we have a growing problem of the diseases of the "wealthy." (Which I thought was a nice way of saying we make ourselves sick becuase we have too much rather than not enough.) And these problems are now being documented in other post industrial countries like the UK.
Add to that we are exposed to chemicals etc that just did not exist 100 years ago, or even 50 in many cases, and you get a medical landscape for which we have no basis for prediction.

At 10/27/2006 8:35 PM, Blogger Beo said...

Sorry to hear about all your relations. I just attended the funeral of a 22 year old fried. Brain Cancer took her in 22 months.

I am firmly in the environmental toxin camp. Dr's saved our son (surgery on larynx at 3 months) so I have a hard time blaming them-though we have been blessed with good ones.

We went 100% organic with our son and are slowly 'greening' our home's furnishings and avoid chlorine and 'chemical' cleaners whenever possible. Mia and I may be doomed, but damnit our kids will have a chance!

At 10/28/2006 8:28 PM, Blogger e4 said...

Wow, touched a nerve I guess. So we have, as candidates:

1. Toxins and environmental factors
2. Perpetuating faulty genes
3. More specific diagnoses
4. New discoveries
5. Nightmarish health care system

I'm voting for all of the above.

As much as I hate to think about it, I probably wouldn't have my daughter, and I might not have my wife, or even conceivably my son.

So I'm glad we have modern medicine, but let's all hope we have as little need for them as possible!

At 10/28/2006 8:28 PM, Blogger e4 said...

And thanks for stopping by gtr! :)


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