Scouts-L Mail Archive for November of 1998: Re: More Ritalin NonsenseI
Re: More Ritalin NonsenseI
Steven G. Tyler
Sun, 15 Nov 1998 11:37:01 -0500
eddunn wrote, in part:
> You act as though there is no reason for anyone to question the
> diagnosis that their doctor makes, as if they are not subject to the
> same economic laws we are!
Point well made, though less applicable to ADD diagnoses, since
"questioning the diagnosis" is an essential *part* of the treatment.
Specifically, there is no chemical or biological "test" that
conclusively proves one has ADD. Rather, conformance with a set of
behaviors associated with ADD can lead to the tentative diagnosis. After
medication is prescribed, the tentative diagnosis is tested by noting
changes (or absence of change) in the behavioral criteria. If there is
no change (or adverse effects), the tentative diagnosis may be revised,
medications altered, etc.
> That was 5 years ago this month, and I have had not one bit of problem
> since. He was, as I suspected, full of ^&*(!
Ed, I sincerely hope you backed up your self-diagnosis with a second
(qualified, medical) opinion. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean
they're not out to get you, after all (translation: just because the
doctor may have had ulterior motives (avoidance of a lawsuit for
"missing" a subtle problem, for instance) doesn't mean that there really
isn't anything there).
I fully support your point that we must be educated medical consumers,
but don't necessarily attribute your darker motives to each case. In my
case, I had an abnormally high PSA reading, which may be an indication
of prostate cancer, during a routine physical. The specialist concurred
with my primary care physician's concern, and scheduled a biopsy (an
expensive and rather painful procedure) to see if there actually was
anything to be concerned about. Quite by accident, I came across a news
report that stated that PSA tests had something like 40% false
positives, and recommended a second test. A quick call to the specialist
confirmed the report's info, and a second PSA test brought the numbers
back into the routine range. The primary care physician later confirmed
that the manual examination he had conducted prior to the "high" PSA
test could have caused such a false positive.
Now, by Ed's hypothesis, this is prima facia evidence of a medical
conspiracy to suck all the money available out of my wallet (or my
insurance company's). I prefer to believe that both physicians followed
a prudent and conservative course of testing prior to treatment. As it
happens, a simple blood test confirmed that nothing was amiss -- but if
there *had* been prostate cancer, the several month delay in confirming
the initial concern might have darkened my chances for survival.
Again, let's not be wide-eyed innocents, but also avoid head-in-the-sand
cynicism -- and for goodness sakes, be sure to get a second opinion
before dismissing medical bad news.
YIS, Steve on Cattail Creek <Steven G. Tyler>, Severna Park, MD, USA
"The Computer Counselor," Technology Consulting for the Law Office
Advancement Chair and de facto Webmaster, Troop 339,
Baltimore Area Council, BSA (http://members.aol.com/troop339/)