The world of medicine

medical-stethoscope-with-clipboardI have racked up more than 100 diagnoses. I’m sure the average person will have at least a dozen or two, but I haven’t counted the very ordinary things at all. When asked to supply my medical history, that count drops to a handful. Doctors easily feel overwhelmed. In my head, the count is even lower. I count one and a half: EDS and everything else are complications of EDS.

In the world of sickness, not all diagnoses count and different consultants will count and discount certain things. The line between diagnosis and symptom easily blurs. For example: I have EDS. As a result, I have had various shoulder issues, including, but not limited to: traumatic posterior sternoclavicular joint dislocation, spontaneous atraumatic anterior sternoclavicular joint dislocation, chronic sternoclavicular joint dislocation / sternoclavicular joint instability, traumatic anterior shoulder dislocation, chronic anterior shoulder dislocation,  ‘seperated shoulder’, Type I and II acromioclavicular joint injuries, acromioclavicular joint sprains, ‘winged shoulder’ / scapular instability, multidirectional shoulder instability, posterior shoulder dislocation, inferior shoulder subluxation (right), recurrent shoulder bursitis, rotator cuff tendonitis, bicipital tendonitis, adhesive capsulitis. Is that one diagnoses, eighteen or a figure somewhere inbetween?

The world of medicine is a maze. I realized a long long time ago that doctors aren’t gods and medicine isn’t limited to the knowledge and skills of the physician. The world of medicine is about facts and information. Whoever has the most knowledge holds the power. I’ve been reading medical books and medical sites for many years. Luckily for me, I’m a book learner. After I was diagnosed with EDS in my first year of university, I had a vested interest that turned me into the only psychology student who ordered medical articles of various specialities from the university library once a week. The internet has changed all that. I no longer need a university pass to read, I can buy textbooks on Amazon and read articles on-line. My preferred way of reading is via google, but some sites have made a big enough impression to earn a bookmark. My top five frequented sites are:

  • Medline Plus: Basic and simplistic information, but very extensive. I don’t trust all their external links, but it’s a good place to start reading about an unfamiliar term and a great place to gauge what the general medical opinion on the topic is.
  • Wikipedia: People so easily discount wikipedia because it’s a wiki. Personally, I love it. It’s rare to find a wikipedia article to be grossly incorrect. In fact, the articles are usually well-written, up-to-date and informative.
  • The Merck Manuals: Information on particular diagnoses is a little limited, but extremely well presented. I love the neat index pages and can usually trust the manual to give me a solid basis of knowledge to begin working from.
  • eMedicine: Some of the best articles on the net is at this url. Again, it’s well laid out on a fixed template, making it easy to read through the information in a matter of minutes. Extensive database with comprehensive information.
  • CKS: Always good to know what my GP is suppose to know and abide by. It’s the cookiecutter molds for primary care consultations in the UK. Only contains references to common conditions seen in primary care.