Today was a very interesting day. I realized just how far I am willing to go in order to make the changes needed.
The IMP (Island Medical Program) has a section involving hands-on experience with real patients. You don’t have to be sick to help, they just need a really body to answer questions and help them to understand how to do certain things, like checking reflexes and balance and such.
There were three very nice students, and a teacher in our session. We first talked with them about my medical history, drugs I’m taking etc, but without revealing my diagnosis. It was kinda fun. If 3 second year medical students could figure out what was wrong with me, the CDC and IDSA better be doing some serious soul searching.
I was surprised when the teacher asked me if I’d ever noticed a tick bite. No, I was floored that she even asked that. Wow, where were you a year ago? But the topics moved on shortly after.
Anyways, then they got to do some tests that involved touching :(. Not quite as fun lol. They were the usual tests, with a focus on coordination and gait. Muscle strength (ex: I’m going to pull really hard on your arm and you are going to ‘resist’ me- a disadvantage, predetermined outcome of an arm wrestle. Or: Lift your wrists while I press down on them…You get the drift), and the muscle tone test (not sure if its called that), when they shake your arm in a zillion direction, obviously feeling something more informative than I am.
Okay. So after all that, the people were little very interested in my diagnosis, and when they discovered that Lyme Disease was the cause, I could tell they were very shocked, because, of course, the information that Lyme Disease causes vague arthritis was basically what they had been told so far. They were new med students, so the information would be ‘fresh’. I was shocked and pleased by their reaction, their indignation. I felt like I was really getting somewhere in the education. Perhaps it is too late for the doctors in practice, but the med students have yet to be moulded into their full length white coats yet.
I am doing this, twice a week, a few weeks a month. That is quite a few med student. I urge any other Lyme victims, who are willing or able, to investigate programs that their local universities have for training med students. We could be the difference.