Thursday, July 22, 2010

Now or Later?

It is wise for anyone considering the liberation procedure to think it through and make a plan that will work for them. I personally researched information for a year before I felt comfortable enough to give myself the thumbs up for the testing and procedure. If too many people wanted to hold off for 6 months to a year, there would be no studies and we would all be back where we were a few months ago. There are, however plenty of people willing to be a part of the studies. One misconception is that the private practice doctors performing the testing and procedure are essentially useless for credible evidence. That simply isn't so. If 20 reputable and accomplished physicians are keeping good record keeping practices, their evidence will speak for itself. There are many unexpected results of the procedure. We are learning that some symptoms attributed to other causes are beginning to look like MS after all, and vice versa.
Education is absolutely the key to bridge the impasse between both sides. This time it is the patient who is teaching as well. There probably would be some doctors who object to that reality. The tables are turned and it is not comfortable for either side, really. Patient advocacy is essential for achieving the outcome all of us desire.
My way of thinking has been that if no one is willing to take a leap of faith, there will be no one to see this through. Every individual should be allowed to choose for themselves. While being cautious is commendable, bullying and posturing is disingenuous at best. It isn't in the best interest of doctors to make that call for their patients. We have the right to question. Again, patients have traditionally relied on their physicians to do the best thing for the sake of his patient. None of us are naive enough to buy into the doctor knows best theory any longer. I believe that the majority of medical professionals did not begin their careers with the intention of fleecing their patients or lying to them. I do think there are enough of them who have become so desensitized to the human condition that they are not heeding the oath they have all taken, "First, do no harm."
As for repeated procedures, this should not be surprising. The status of this procedure is unsure right now. The testing is somewhat up in the air and variable from doctor to doctor. I deliberately did not take my first chance at bat because I didn't feel comfortable with the experience of the person performing the procedure itself. In a way then, I too waited for better pickings. I compared  the price of more conventional treatments with that of CCSVI. In the end, having multiple procedures would still be cheaper with better results overall than continuing the former. It is realistic to assume that one shot won't do it for everyone. Until stents are a regular part of the whole package, it will stay that way. I don't fear the hardware nearly as much as I do the disease modifying medications. Still in all, having options is a good thing.
Mammananny
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