Today’s thumbnail is that of the Dumbell Nebula.
On Friday, The Pink Flamingo had the gross mis-fortune of listening to Barack Obama’s speech about health care. One line stood out in my mind. He spoke about needless tests, how a doctor would be required to simply email test results to another doctor, and that is that.
That is that!
Such things kill people – case in point is Diana Ashby.
When The Pink Flamingo was diagnosed with melanoma back in 1998, I became pro-active. The Internet was still young, but there was a remarkable amount of information about the disease online. I ended up making contact with some wonderful people, many of whom are now gone (that alone is un-nerving). One of the first people I encountered was the still grieving husband of Diana Ashby.
Diana was diagnosed with melanoma from an old doctor, trusted, with much experience. He improperly diagnosed the stage of her melanoma, telling Diana and Jeff that she was going to be okay. If she had been properly diagnosed in all probability she would still be alive.
The one thing Jeff Ashby impressed on me was the fact that I needed more than one pathologist report on the melanoma. This required sending a portion of the diseased nevis and skin to a second physician – NOT an email. Simply sending an email the way Barack Obama thinks they should is a recipe for disaster. Pathologists are not infallible, and they make mistakes. Anyone battling a life threatening cancer doesn’t want just an email circulated with the diagnosis of one’s disease.
My second thought was about Barack Obama’s mother. She died of cancer. The Pink Flamingo has been led to assume that Obama spent little time with his mother and was not involved in the medical process at the time. If so, then he was removed from the actual day to day requirements of her diagnosis and battling the disease.
Not having additional tests will doom some people to a shorter life. It will doom others to mis-diagnosis, perhaps requiring treatment that is not necessary. It is terrifying.
Sure, The Pink Flamingo is well aware that there are times when one does not need to take a number of medical tests. Cancer is NOT one of those times.
P. S. Shuttle pilot Jeff Ashby (retired) is now a member of an endangered species thanks to Barack Obama – but that’s another rant and rave.