I’m a pretty easy going person, most of the time, and unless I’m crossed with stupidity.
Enter the diagnosis of Nirupa Jugmohan. When she was first diagnosed with lupus, she didn’t have a clue what it was. She understood it had something to do with her immune system. She also understood she had approximately 4 years to live. Or at least that’s what some asinine, fool told her.
Nothing makes my blood boil faster or harder than some uniformed idiot telling a patient just diagnosed with lupus a bald faced, uneducated, lie. I understand that she did not receive her diagnosis in the United States, Europe, or even on Mars, but rather in South Africa. But, if I am not mistaken, even medical practitioners below the Equator can read and have access to the latest medical information available to anyone with an internet connection. Why then, was this primary school teacher delivered a death sentence?
When a newly diagnosed lupus patient is given any ‘absolute’ time of survival it goes beyond stupidity on the part of the diagnostician, as for me, it sets me on a tear of unrivaled attack. One of my dear friends was diagnosed over twenty years ago in California and given seven years to live. She was a bright, articulate, businesswoman who went home and prepared how to spend her last few years. When I was diagnosed in 1992, I was given something to read that told me the
average survival rate at five years, 75%. Translated that means if I could survive the initial five years I had an average chance of surviving ten more years. Of course that was all crap that some well-meaning statistician wrote who is probably now a millionaire. But I have him beat. Twenty-five years later I am still alive, kicking, and fighting stupidity with every breath.
Who knows? But thankfully, she was educated and decided to take things into her own hands. With the help of her family she returned to India and the practice of Ayurveda. Her goal was to reach Manipal, an Ayurvedic clinic that focused on the root causes of lupus. Instead of trying to stem the overactive immune system, this treatment used natural therapy and massage. The pain began to ease and the flexibility in her fingers returned. She was able to walk and drive again.
Thankfully this woman didn’t take her asinine declaration of a death sentence and accept it as fact. Though she didn’t go the normal medical route, which in this case would have most likely caused her death, she took a route she understood and is alive and thriving today.
Twenty years later Nirupa is thriving, through no help from her initial doctors, but thanks to her inner determination.
Why do I take my time to write about one patient who was diagnosed in South Africa? Why should South Africa or any other country not be held responsible for accurate information? Perhaps they are a third world country, but do they not have access to the internet, to medical journals, or have the ability to travel to conferences around the world?
Fortunately for the diagnosticians in this case, they remain unnamed. I would love to have a few choice, educated, words with them about their lack of medical knowledge, and their apparent inability to search for the truth. I believe I could educate them after knocking them off a pedestal or two.
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Wanda M. Argersinger