Remember the old days when you’d do something good and your mom or someone else would give you a treat? “Treat yo’self!” Treat.
Treat is the last word that I want to hear about any condition or illness.
I’m asthmatic. I have been since I was a wee child. It’s been a love hate relationship – the one I have with my lungs. I appreciate that they work, when they do. And they periodically decide they hate me and rebel like a couple of two year olds pitching temper tantrums. Way back in April, I was lucky enough to have bronchitis (and mono – again), and as a result I ended up in the ER. Fun. I had a chest Xray, received a couple of rounds of drugs I didn’t need (and that made me worse), and a referral to a provider.
Now, I’m sure there are worse things for me than going to another physician. But, I can’t think of any right now. After performing a test whose sole purpose is to decide how to prescribe steroids, I was told that I likely have inflammation in my lungs and they wanted to treat it. TREAT it. TREAT the inflammation.
Anyone that’s worked with me knows that I’m a scientist. I LOVE objective data. I love it. Madly love it. As in dreams about research studies love it. I also love finding the cause of things.
So, I launched into a line of questioning that went something like: “how do you know I have inflammation?” “what is causing the inflammation?” “how would we get rid of it?” After a lot of made up comments about eosinophils in my lungs (that couldn’t have possibly be detected via this test), I heard that of course the only possible treatment is steroids. Remember that the whole purpose of this particular test is so that they can assess whether someone will respond to steroids.
I’ve heard the word treat in this capacity more than a few times. I’ve heard it when they talked about treating my father’s leukemia (he died). I’ve heard it when talking about asthma (which I still have). I’ve heard it when talking about autoimmune disorders (which I also still have). Not once have I heard the word “treat” along with “cure”, or “resolve”, or even with the phrase “we know what is causing this so we’re going to treat it”. It doesn’t work that way. I MUCH prefer the words “eradicate”, “eliminate”, or “functionally reverse”.
The problem is, we can’t do any of those things unless we know what the cause of that problem is. We HAVE to find the cause.
I left their office pretty disgusted. If all I wanted was drugs, it would’ve been fine. Rather, I would’ve loved for them to tell me WHY I have asthma, and how I can get rid of it. Even though I was diagnosed over 30 years ago, I still believe that I can find answers that will make it so I never need to be “treated” again. The answers are there. We just have to find them.
Maybe you have similar questions….