Dr. Val Jones explains how the Internet can empower or mislead via 2 true stories presented in Limerick. This presentation was originally prepared for the ePatient Connections conference in Philadelphia, October 27, 2009.
A woman woke up from her sleepWith a pain that felt terribly deepIt didn’t seem rightShe worried all nightBut resorted to counting her sheepIn the morning she saw a physicianTo check on her tummy conditionBut alas what he foundBy poking around-A cancer and some malnutrition
So she asked what her chances could beOf finding a way to be freeOf the mutating cellsThey should bid their farewellsShe hoped to hear something happy The doctor’s face turned very dourI’m sorry but I’m almost sureThere isn’t a chanceYou’re far too advancedThe prognosis is terribly poor
She asked if there might be some wayTo REsearch new treatments todayBut the doctor moved onSeeing patients anonNo time to say more now, ok? Afraid to ask questions againShe decided to put down her penWith her anger and hurtAnd his choice to be curtShe beCAME an ePatient right then
Meg SOON found a doctor onlineThe top of his FI-eld– so kindAnd HIS new researchFrom his USC perchShowed promise for tumor decline Meg copied his words till her hands hurtFor all things he had a good answerHe provided the dataAnd other schemataAnd planned for a cure of her cancer
But just to be sure he was rightShe checked out the NIH siteAnd with careful reviewShe knew what to doShe refused to give up on her fightThe treatment was not very easyShe often felt shaky and queasyYet SHE stayed the courseMoved forward with forceWalking whether ‘twas sunny or breezy
A friend called to check on the rumorThat Meg picked a fight with a tumorThe friend OFFered adviceAbout herbals and spiceWhich he presented in really good humorOh my friend this sounds really appealingAnd I know all you want is my healingBut how do you knowTo believe in this soWhen all you rely on is feeling?
Dear Megan, he said with a waveI know that you’re awfully braveYou don’t HAVE to endureThe toxins I’m sureThese herbals are able to saveWell let’s look at their track record thenIf they really do work I’ll give inSo they researched MedlineAnd Mayo Clinic online Finding no evidENCE of a win
But there are people who say this will workHerbs saved these three guys and a clerkThey put their minds to itWere sure they could do itAnd avoided chemo with a smirk But my friend in this life you must seeWe use science to think critically If there is an effectWe’re sure to detectA dose-response repeatedly
Meg carefully weighed all her choicesGiving weight to the most reasoned voicesShe found the best scienceAnd increased self-reliance -Worth more than a million Rolls RoycesHer FIRST doctor rallied to meet herAdmitting she’d saved her own keisterSo she offered a toastTo the folks she loved mostAnd the victory couldn’t be sweeter
A woman had been in the showerFor something quite close to an hourWhen she noticed a lumpThe tiniest bumpJust below her tattoo of a flowerI guess I must have a bug biteThough this bump doesn’t fe-el quite rightShe wondered aloudWith her head in a cloudAssuming that it was alright
Months later she noticed some painOn the spot where she had a food stainSo she scratched off the spotTook her walk to a trotAnd proCEEded to shut off her brain Later on she woke UP with a startThis LUMP’s really starting to smartSo she went to the netNow breaking a sweatPerhaps SOMEthing was wrong with her heart?
She NETsurfed around for some timeChatting live with the people onlineThey thought she might likeA short hunger strikeOr to calm down her chest pain with wineBut my skin is getting so redAm I making this up in my head?Why not watch for a whileOr jog for a mileThere’s nothing much more to be said
Julie liked her new friends on the webThough with patience beginning to ebbShe asked yet againTo Kim, Kyle and KenIf they HAD some ideas instead An herbalist friend that I knowDiagnoses her friends on the goPlease call her right nowAnd she’ll show you howTo cure pain with good energy flow
So she called the healER in a pinchAnd was told it was really a synchShe should lie on the floorControlling her coreAnd breath without moving an inchBut my skin is beginning to crack-Well of course it’s because you might lackVitaMINS for your dermisPut them all in a thermosDrink ‘em down and put on an ice pack
Do you think I should see an MD?Julie asked of her COMmunityHeck no, don’t go thereYou won’t have a prayerYou’ll be poisoned imMEDiately! Don’t you THINK that there might be just oneWho could help out my skin rash a ton?It itches and hurtsI can’t wear my shirtsI can TELL you this isn’t much fun
Julie left her friends on the computerTo find a physician to suit herDuRING the examThe doc shouted “Ma’am!”I’ll NEED to call our trouble shooter The oncologist looked on aghastAt the breast cancer’s fungating massWhy did you wait?You’ve sealed your fateThere’s NO way to alter the past
You can’t fix this tumor for me?Well now I see VEry clearlyMy friends told me docsAre as useless as rocksYou don’t do much good, I agree But miss Julie, you’re breaking my heartThe oncologist, flipping his chartWe do have a cureYou’d have it for sureIf you came IN with a lump at the start
We can treat you for pain and uneaseWe’ll give COMfort however you pleaseThe lesson of course:Consider the sourceAs an ePatient with a diseaseOh doctor, we need to tell othersNot to mix up our health with our druthersMay my death find some meaningMy soul interveningFor breast CANcer in daughters and mothers
A Tale of Two ePatients
A Tale of Two ePatients<br />Based Upon True Stories<br />By Val Jones, MD<br />