Imagine the sun’s scalding rays beating down on your back. As you will your legs to continue moving, every step threatens to betray you. Rivers of sweat streak your skin, stinging your eyes. As the blinding daylight obscures your vision, your heart hammers in futility. Your body weakens, and you question your resolve to continue. After all, in this race, there is no finish line.
Hello, my name is Madeleine (Maddy) Gerlach, and I used CrowdMed’s services back in March 2013. I have been diagnosed with ten diseases over the past eight years, but this story is about my battle with Endometriosis.
As a teenager, I ran angrily to Limp Bizkit and hated it. The elliptical during college to Blink182 and Something Corporate was monotonous. Endless sit-ups to Marilyn Manson seemed futile. Growing up, I always thought working out had to be awful and un-fun and painful. Plus, I always compared myself to other girls’ bodies and in their pink spandex and sleek swinging ponytails, I thought I could never compare. It always felt more like punishment than something healthy.
As a manager, it’s hard to watch an employee suffer from a chronic illness with no answers. It’s even harder to approach them about the work-related issues that are often caused by such an illness.
At CrowdMed, we believe that the biggest flaw in the healthcare system is the expectation that one doctor has all the answers. There are so many diseases and symptoms, it is impossible for one doctor to know them all. So your employees often end up bouncing from doctor-to-doctor over months or even years, causing unnecessary stress, absenteeism, and reduced work productivity.
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.