For the month of May, I abstained from alcohol. This meant no spicy margaritas with a salted rim, no sparkling glasses of pink rose on Manhattan rooftops, no frosted mugs of beer, and no whiskey gingers at 2am on a Saturday. As you can tell, I might romanticize alcohol a little —it is a huge part of the professional and personal culture in New York City and certainly our culture overall. It’s strange how so much is held in a liquid that is technically a poison.
Gluten-free foods and diets are increasing in popularity every year.
From new gluten-free Girl Scout Cookies to best selling books on the dangers of gluten, it appears everyone is cashing in on the trend – but is it healthy for you and your children?
Living with an undiagnosed disease is a heartbreaking battle that pushes you to the brink of madness. It drags on for years or even decades, eroding your life from within. When an unidentified illness invades your body, it also disrupts your life. No one believes you, no one can help you, and you have nowhere to turn. You are lost and defenseless, stranded in your own hopelessness.
This month’s MD Spotlight is CrowdMed Medial Detective and Moderator, DrDeVilliers. Originally from and currently residing in South Africa, DrDeVilliers brings an impressive determination and dedication to their CrowdMed cases. Inspired by their father, a Pediatrician, DrDeVilliers chose to study medicine over a choice of Electrical Engineering. Today, DrDeVilliers is a general practice physician with interests in family medicine, internal medicine, allergology and psychiatry.
Growing up, we remember always being told to respect, learn and remember history, that arguably your most important life lessons would come from this. DrDeVilliers successfully brings this same attitude to their approach to CrowdMed cases, siting over-reliance on special investigation as one of the biggest challenges in the medical field today.
“It is often said that ’80% of diagnoses can be made on history alone’ and I see a worrying trend toward decreased emphasis on history, examination and side-room investigations. It is no coincidence that many society guidelines recommend against aggressive investigations and that the field of radiology is “notorious” in their recommendation to “correlate clinically”.”
With passions for indie music, pizza and a certain cartoon cat, we are excited to have DrDeVilliers as part of our CrowdMed community.
“Same story, different day.”
That’s my default response when people ask me how I’m doing. And it’s the truth.
When I last detailed my grueling diagnosis journey, it had ended on a hopeful note. There was one remaining obstacle, however. I still had to confirm CrowdMed’s suggested diagnoses with my doctor. But I can’t afford a doctor or health insurance, so I wasn’t sure how to move forward.
GymnastDan is one of those medical detectives that you hope all of your patients have the opportunity to work with. GymnastDan upholds CrowdMed’s ultimate goal of putting the patient first and understands the importance of providing support to patients throughout the diagnostic process.
A third-year medical student, GymnastDan is training to become a trauma surgeon. This, combined with GymnastDan’s past experience in gastroenterology and pain care, creates an incredibly well-rounded, medical student and soon-to-be licensed, medical professional.
With skills in gymnastics, archery and figure skating, we feel very lucky GymnastDan chose a career in medicine.
“But you don’t look sick!”
Chronically ill patients hear this phrase again and again from friends, family, and colleagues alike. People assume they’re making a valid argument, when it is nothing more than a biting attempt to invalidate your illness and discredit your suffering. Rooted in ignorance, it does nothing but create resentment.
When you are suffering from a rare disease, It is easy to feel isolated. The symptoms you are experiencing are not always recognizable by loved ones or doctors and with that, can sometimes go unacknowledged.
Patient “Barry” was a classic example of this. “Barry” came to us after suffering for 30 years with chronic urinary and metabolic issues and a history of serious illness. This patient was strong enough to beat leprosy at the age of 13, urinary tuberculosis and survive years of pain that eventually brought them to CrowdMed for answers.
At CrowdMed, we pride ourselves on harnessing “The Wisdom of the Crowd” to solve complex medical cases and are therefore, only as effective as the talent of our Medical Detectives. To celebrate all those who contribute their time, effort and exceptional knowledge, we’d like to kick off the Medical Detective Spotlight series, which will profile one of our Medical Detectives each month. To kick-off the series, we’d like to introduce one of our exceptional Medical Detectives, Kwalk21.
Diagnosis Spotlight: Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
February of 1996 was the beginning of the end for David Bowen and his family. When the 13-year-old began experiencing abdominal pain and vomiting, his mother Cathy drove him to the hospital. There, doctors diagnosed him with a perforation of the sigmoid colon with peritonitis. The surgeon performed a colostomy (Bowen, n.d.).
Eight days later, an intern began taking the staples out. But “the skin started spreading apart in the middle and bleeding like a fresh wound” (Bowen, n.d.). Cathy voiced her concerns, but the surgeon didn’t listen. It took David almost a month to recover, but no one knew why.