Tuesday, June 4, 2013
"Let's see," said doctor #1. "I have observed a disease that causes inflammation of the joints and deterioration of the cartilage. Let's call it rheumatoid arthritis."
Doctor #2 was studying and thinking about heart failure and said, "I think we should call this acute myocardial infarction."
Then there was doctor #3. "Hey this guy's got a liver with fat oozing out of it. I'm thinking fatty liver disease sounds pretty good."
I can't believe the guy even made it through medical school. What was he thinking? I mean if you tell someone that you had an acute myocardial infarction, they're gonna say something like, "Oh, that's terrible. I'm so sorry." Even if they don't know that it's just a fancy way of saying "heart attack." But try telling someone you have fatty liver disease. They usually have a hard time not busting a gut laughing out loud. Nobody is going to take you seriously when you have a disease with a name like that.
But nonetheless, my doctor–after he wiped away the tears from his eyes because he was laughing so hard–gave me a stern look and said, "Bart, you need to lose about 20-30 lbs. If you do not, you risk serious liver damage down the road a few years. I would recommend that you cut everything you like out of your diet."
It's not bad enough that I have a disease that sounds like an elementary school kid made it up, but the cure for the disease is to cut edible foods out of my diet. Oh, I can have the old fruits and vegetables, blah, blah, blah. But fundamental foods like pizza, cake, pumpkin pie, ice cream, coke, buttered scones, and Cinnabons have to go. What kind of a cure is that? Don't they have a pill or an operation or some cool machine that would solve the problem? For example, I looked up the recommended course of action for someone who has had a myocardial infarction on Wikipedia. It said, "Most cases of myocardial infarction with ST elevation on ECG (STEMI) are treated with reperfusion therapy, such as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or thrombolysis. Non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) may be managed with medication, although PCI may be required if the patient's risk warrants it."
Now that's serious therapy, even if I have no idea what it means.