Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Pet Peeve

For awhile now I have been like a chicken sitting on a egg, and inside that little egg is incubating a Brand. New. Pet. Peeve.

Internet: the egg has hatched.  It's time to unleash on the world my new pet peeve.

Are you ready for it?

Here it is: people who no longer get their medical advice, or make medical decisions, based off of information given to them by their doctors.  You know, doctors: those individuals who went to school for a squillion years to learn as much as possible about the human body and how to effectively treat it.


Those guys and girls.

Before leaving Canada I noticed that people were becoming incredibly leary of Western medicine. With the healthy and holistic lifestyle machine pumping out propaganda faster than McDonald's could crush it with a cheeseburger, I started to notice that people were more and more often venturing into the health food store and asking if the person behind the counter could wave their patchouli scented magic wand and give them some sort of all-natural vitamin that would turn them into health-machines.

Of course this person had the answer, and then sheer mental determination gave the consumer the power to believe it worked. After crunching on those same alfalfa cubes that I used to feed my horse seemed to do the trick for giving them energy, the consumer seemed to wonder if the same store would have the answer about this bizarre and contagious rash they had? And this weird pain in their side? And the fact their hands were always cold?

Because if there's one thing the healthy and holistic lifestyle propaganda machine has done incredibly effectively, it's to make you think that the products prescribed by Western practitioners poison your body.  Hey, didn't Suzanne Summers cure her cancer just by living on her beach front Malibu home and drinking a lot of slimy drinks? She didn't let anyone poison her body. I CAN DO THAT TOO.

Am I being an asshole who is oversimplifying? Yes.

Of course I have a lot of respect for traditional Eastern medicine and for actual licenced and medically accredited naturopaths who also went to school for a squillion years.  I have no respect for the wispy man or woman behind the counter doling out vitamins with absolutely no authority other than 'they look the part'; I do not put any stock in the insane amount of holistic information being published in health magazines and on the internet; I wouldn't take nutritional advice from someone who isn't a nutritionist; and I have zero respect for celebrities and their publicist machines who are making a load of money doling out medical advice. Oh sure, usually in the fine print you can find an MD who's lent their name to the book to avoid liability issues, but that MD is probably just interested in becoming the next Dr. Phil. I don't trust 'em.

So why has this particular egg hatched, all of a sudden?

Well during the course of this pregnancy I did get a lot of raised eyebrow comments like: "You're having caffeine? That's bad for the baby."

"You're having baths? That's bad for the baby."

"You're not sleeping on your left side? That's bad for the baby."

"You're eating [insert anything]? That's bad for the baby."

"You touch your cats? That's bad for the baby."

None of the above is true and I know this because I asked my doctor. My doctor who is a specialist in birth and pregnancy.

But what finally caused this little chick of a pet-peeve to peck, peck, peck, its way to freedom is  because of the whooping cough reports that I've been reading about in the Canadian publications I pay attention to.  Do I think media might be slightly overplaying the current situation? Yes. If I was back in Canada I'd phone my local health authority and actually ask, "What's the deal?" because media can be just as dangerous as celebrity in spewing shit. However, the very fact that there are so many reported cases of whooping cough is what has made me annoyed.

I know that it's a cyclical thing (rising once every five to six years) but it's generally not rising with such numbers that health authorities are opening up vaccine clinics and asking people to please get a booster shot. So why is it more potent this year?

Well, one reported reason is because people have become afraid of vaccinating their kids. This annoys me because does everyone remember about six or seven years ago when Jenny McCarthy decided to cover up her tits, put her shirt and smart-girl glasses on, and start loudly telling everyone that vaccines caused her kid's autism? But through diet, she cured it. Yeah. Last time I checked Jenny McCarthy was a Playboy Bunny and not a doctor.

But she wrote a book and everything! I believe her!

I do believe that a lot of people noticed a change in their child's behaviour after certain vaccines, I do believe I would be devastated if I thought I had been responsible for causing something to happen to my child, and I do know that if a generally preventable disease like whooping cough or even the measles killed my kid because they were exposed to it before they were old enough to be vaccinated, out world because I'd be all up in your face.

But the pharmaceutical companies are making doctors give our kids vaccines they don't need because they want to make money!

Then ask smart questions of your doctor or your licenced and medically accredited naturopath! Keep asking questions about your own health care if you don't feel entirely comfortable with the answers you're being given. Be aggressive. Go on a vaccine schedule you feel comfortable with, but for God's sake the fact that diseases like whooping cough and measles have been making comebacks because people have shunned one of the greatest achievements in medical history (because of suspicions started by a Playboy Bunny which have been roughly propped up by a handful of doctors out of all the millions of doctors out there--who stand to also financially profit from her propaganda) is fucking bullshit!

Can we please stop thinking that whatever comes out of a celebrity's mouth is crystal clear truth? Suzanne Summers is one rich lady and who knows how many hundreds of thousands of dollars it cost her to fight cancer her way. The average person will not have these resources. Jenny McCarthy is also equally loaded, and who knows how many hundreds of thousands of dollars it took to 'cure' her kid's autism. Your unlicensed, unqualified, holistic flower child at the local health store does not have the answers to your medical questions, and if they do: run. Run far and fast and get as many different qualified opinions as you consider necessary.

Also, Google MD should lose its licence.

People won't even let their kids play on playground equipment if it hasn't been child-proofed past the point of fun, so why would you ever let a celebrity plant the seed that influences your medical decisions, why would you let a bunch of faceless forum commentators tell you what's safe for your pregnancy, and why would you choose to take the word of a vitamin pusher over your doctor?

Rant over.


mom said...

Well said Cait!

Lisa said...

I enjoyed every bit Medical Job Duties

Anonymous said...

I bow to you Caitie!! You say what the rest of us think!!!