Saturday, April 28, 2007

Doctor Logic

Because this is one of my favorite topics lately.

My mom was discussing Lyme disease with a doctor at CPMC who happened to be from Mendocino county where according to him, 70% of people get Lyme disease. He added that, in most people, it's a relatively mild disease, but in some cases it can be severe and take up to two years to get better. Most doctors don't acknowledge it exists in California, and most don't acknowledge it can be a severe illness. Since he lived in Mendocino, he's seen more.

On the topic of whether Lyme disease can be transmitted from person to person, through blood to blood contact... at first he said, no, it's not possible. Then after thinking for a little while, he revised that statement, saying that it could happen if you injected blood from a needle into a large vein. But it couldn't happen even if you rubbed two people's bloody wounds together. Hm...

Okay, then how does a tick, less than one millimeter in size, transmit the bacteria into people? It only goes less than one millimeter into your skin and doesn't go into a large vein.

Why do we put antiseptic on children when they scrape their knees?

Would you want to rub wounds with a person who has AIDS?

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Pharmacist Logic

Says that the Lyme bacteria doesn't live in the blood, so that's why it can't be transmitted from person to person even with blood to blood contact.

Okay, then why do doctors try to culture the bacteria from people's blood???

And how does the bacteria get from the tick bite to the rest of the body?

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Collective Logic

Take what one doctor says and what another says, and it just doesn't make any sense.

But what can you expect, when doctors don't even believe it's possible for a person to have Lyme disease after they were bitten by a tick and had a diagnostic bullseye rash.

***

Through my Web-stalking habit, I found that the doctor/resident who had chronic fatigue syndrome, was treated successfully, and now does volunteer work for the Stanford research study, is in family practice. When she finishes her residency, I might have to go seek her out to be my primary care physician... if she moves to this side of the bay. Because you will hardly find one doctor who acknowledges chronic fatigue syndrome exists, even with the CDC stating that there are now thousands of studies showing that it is a real distinct entity. Though she might not even believe that it was induced by a tick-borne illness.

My current primary care doctor is supposed to be one of the best and raved about in the area by both patients and other doctors, but even consultation from a Stanford doctor/research doesn't seem to make an indentation in him. And even that doctor doesn't actually treat chronic fatigue syndrome except for his research focus.

***

But when I really need something done, I'd probably have to go to my doctor sisters. This story came to mind, about a doctor who found her way into treating arthritis with antibiotics. I had come across it a while ago, and found it again with an interesting Google-age: "I'm your mother" arthritis.

1 comments:

Adit said...

Today I read an article on BBC that said that scientists had simulated half the brain capacity of a mouse on a super computer.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6600965.stm

Considering that it takes a supercomputer to simulate half a mouse's mind, we are far from understanding many things about ourselves and things around us. Hence you see all the varieties of opinions on all topics related to health. Like Moore's law in computing, I do believe there is a similar law in medicine, where our understanding of health and medicine doubles every x months. X is not 1-2 months, and its not in decades. Its somewhere in between (-: