About Me

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Deep South, United States
Consultant, inventor, mentor, chess coach,. Current projects involve No Till Farming and staving off blindness due to cataracts among other projects. I also do confidential ghost writing (without taking any published credit. My current blindness makes me put this on hold for a while. I should have one eye working again in about four months. Fact, fiction, all subjects considered. I have heard My daughter Jennifer is alive. I would love it if she were to contact me here. I understand she would like to know me. I have sent a message by circuitous route. I can only hope. My posted Email works as well. We have four decades to catch up on.

This blog has been up for more than a year. The intent was to generate dialogues about serious problems and ideas. It has been almost exclusively a monologue. I have not been looking for large numbers of participants.

I would be quite happy with a few dozen imaginative, creative, thoughtful and inventive people who wish to address serious problems and issues. If anyone has any ideas about how to attract such a talented group I will certainly pay attention. I am not as computer conversant as I would wish. Anyone who could help in this regard would find me receptive to sharing my skills in other areas.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Some More Medical Heresy

This is a response to a lovely and helpful lady on Skin Cell Forum with whom I have an ongoing lively and beneficial dialogue. Her name is Bunnie. You can find the rest of the thread in her profile or mine.

Have we diverged from the subject? I don't know that we have. I am definitely not within a(n expert patient) programme. But I have taken considerably greater interest in the subject of eyes than all but perhaps 1/10000 of the patients out there.

I would certainly have stayed to view the introductory tape on cataract surgery if the doctor's (a cataract surgeon I was going to employ) player had not been broken. I was invited to come back to watch it on a later (unspecified) date, a 140 mile trip for me. I was not offered the chance to play the tape on my working machine and mail it back to her.

I am the only patient who has ever done an eye removal successfully under field conditions on a patient initially so close to death that I thought there was virtually no chance he would survive. (Fractured skull, eye in front of the orbit, clearly sightless and unrecoverable). I had to wait many days before removal of the eye for the patient to gain enough strength to survive the operation, forcing fluids and other nutrition. The patient clearly was just ready to die. I would not have it.

All of this, with more detail, is in a rarely read old thread in General Nutrition, titled Kombucha and Kefir, perhaps a half year back. The patient survived and is currently purring in my lap looking up at me with one very large Exotic Persian Cat eye.

This is some small qualification as an "expert patient." Here is more. I invented a very simple device about forty five years ago with which to easily screen groups of children simultaneously for monocularity. The earlier the diagnosis the more successful the intervention, generally speaking. It worked fine. The optometrists I showed it to agreed that it worked well, but were disinterested because they already had equipment in their offices that could do this quite satisfactorily, one patient at a time. They did not see a need for group screening. Go figure.

Why do you think I am so unenthusiastic about even approaching doctors of unknown calibre? It is NOT that I have never done it before. If I want to whack my head against a brick wall a half dozen times, I think I will just go find the nearest brick wall.

I am reminded of Carlson, inventor of the copy machine. Admittedly, it had some serious, difficult to resolve problems, and he went into major debt while he was perfecting it and trying to interest industry. Know what the typical response was of the CEO's that he presented it to? "What do we need that big thing for? We've got carbon paper!"

But there is a Happy ending. After all those years of struggle, Haloid Corporation picked up the machine and ran with it. They gave Carlson 1/10 of one percent royalty, insightful robber barons that they were. They eventually evolved into Xerox. And as for Carlson, he eventually got back on his feet and philanthropically gave away more than $100,000,000. My hat is off to him.

But as for me, I will not spend the rest of my life, hat in hand, struggling to find the right doctor. My eyes are not good enough to find a needle in a haystack. Total cost of rejecting my current surgeon candidate after one visit? About $400. I am also dealing quite effectively with slowly elevating blood pressure, and with the stroke I had two years ago, all without outside medical intervention. My extensive variety of skin lesions (of several years duration) have disappeared, also without medical supervision, with only my ministrations.

I guess the thing that disqualifies me to be an expert patient is that I am almost never a patient, and that I have become rather impatient with the general state of the art, in spite of the strides that have been made. Doctors NEED patients like me and generally have no notion that that is the case.

Why is it that no doctor has ever shown up here, or on my blog to tell me what a fathead I am and list the variety of ways I am full of **it. It is a complete enigma to me. EVERYONE is invited to go tell their doctors on me and give them copies of my relevant posts. The dentist of Biting the Dentist infamy knows my screen name and that I post regularly on Skin Cell Forum and on the blog Eureka Ideas Unlimited at eurekaideasunlimited.blogspot.com So does the ophthalmologist I visited once.

The silence is CONSPICUOUS. I am NOT trying to pick a fight. A constructive dialogue will be just fine, and it will serve the interests of all concerned. I am not out to get anybody or sue anybody. I went on a forum which was medically attended and asked a question dealing with their guideline that questions needed to be confined to two thousand characters (about 400 words). The question was deleted.

I have said very complimentary things about several doctors and at least one dentist, and have NAMED them. Those who have inspired my lack of confidence or disdain have been kept anonymous. I do not know how much more considerate I could be.

Let me close by once again quoting a doctor I respect and admire. This is a short portion of one of his books, permissable in a review, and not a violation of his rights at law. The author is Lewis Thomas. I commend all of his books. In this excerpt he is talking about the state of medicine beginning in 1776 and up into the twentieth century, but the focus is 1830 on into modern times.

"Beginning around the 1830s, medicine looked at itself critically, and began to change. Groups of doctors in Boston, Paris, and Edinburgh raised new questions, regarded as heretical by most of their colleagues, concerning the real efficacy of the standard treatments of the day. Gradually, the first example of science applied to clinical practice came somewhat informally into existence. Patients with typhoid fever and delirium tremens, two of the most uniformly fatal illnesses of the time, were divided into two groups. One was treated by bleeding, cupping, purging and other athletic feats of therapy, while the other group received nothing more than bed rest, nutrition and observation.The results were unequivocal and appalling, and by the mid-nineteenth century medical treatment began to fall out of fashion and the era known as "therapeutic nihilism" was well launched.

The great illumination from this, the first revolution in medical practice in centuries, was the news that there were many diseases that are essentially self-limited. They will run their predictable course, if left to run that course without meddling, and, once run, they would come to an end and certain patients would recover by themselves. Typhoid fever, for example, although an extremely dangerous and potentially fatal illness, would last for five or six weeks of fever and debilitation, but at the end about seventy percent of the patients would get well again. Lobar pneumonia would run for ten to fourteen days and then, in lucky, previously healthy patients, the famous "crisis" would take place and the patient would recover overnight. Patients with the frightening manifestations of delirium tremens only needed to be confined to a dark room for a few days, and then were ready to come out into the world and drink again. Some were doomed at the outset of course, but not all. The new lesson was that treating them made the outcome worse rather than better.

It is difficult to imagine, from this distance, how overwhelming this news was for most physicians. The traditional certainty had been that every disease was aimed toward a fatal termination, and without a doctor and his energetic ministrations, or barring miraculous intervention by a higher force, all sick people would die of their disease. To recognize that this was not so, and that with rare exceptions (rabies the most notable one) may sick people could get well by themselves, went against the accepted belief of the time. It took courage and determination, and time, to shake off the old idea.
Looking back over the whole embarrassing record, the historians of that period must be hard put to it for explanations of the steadily increasing demand, decade after decade, for more doctors, more clinics and hospitals, more health care. You might think that people would have turned away from the medical profession, or abandoned it. Especially since,throughout the last half of the nineteenth century and the full first third of this one, there was so conspicuously little that medicine had to offer in the way of effective drugs or indeed any kind of technology."

Okay, I'm going to stop there. I do not disparage the many advances of medicine. But many of the advances are not true advances. They are widely accepted bullsh**!

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