A Dr. Cheney Comment RE: Why won't doctors recognize this illness

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by findmind, Sep 23, 2006.

  1. findmind

    findmind New Member

    The Spring/Summer 2006 issue of the New Jersey CFS Assoc. had the following quote by Dr. Cheney on page 15:

    In answer to a Conference Question:

    Dr. Cheney: I use an analogy from the movie "What Did We Know". The movie portrayed that natives from Hispaniola couldn't see Columbus' ships, even though they were in plain view, because they never saw ships before and this was out of their experience. They could see the water lapping around the ships as this was something they saw happening with whales. The natives asked the shaman "What is the lapping?" The shaman looked and saw the lapping of the water and the ship.

    The shaman then gave the natives permission to see the ships and at that moment the natives were able to see them. Currently, physicians are like the natives on Hispaniola. Some see the lapping on the water against the ships, but are not allowed to see the ships as this is not in their experience.

    Physicians look to a shaman. The shaman is the medical establishment and those who control the medical establishment. They tell us what we can and cannot see. At the moment the medical community is not allowed to see those ships."

    What do you think about this?

    There's (almost) always hope!
  2. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    Pretty neat description!
  3. Pianowoman

    Pianowoman New Member

    I agree, it's a very apt description. However, I sure hope that someone tells the medical community to look at the ships pretty darn soon!!

  4. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    "What The BLEEP Do We Know," and I'm glad Dr. Cheney has seen it. It is an excellent movie and I highly recommend it. It is deep and takes several runs through to really feel as though one "gets it." I wish they had included the animated section in the original film which was included in the "Down The Rabbit Hole" edition. It shows what it would be like for people living in a two-dimension world who didn't know there was another dimension. If string theory is correct, there are a lot more dimensions but we just can't access them because we never have known they exist. I think it's possible that the thing about Colombus' ships could be like that.

    On the other hand, docs have an obligation to be more informed. They cannot ignore the increase in our illnesses nor the research which supports us. I think, in the case of male docs, it's possible that some of them don't like to deal with what they consider "women's illnesses." They don't know what to do for us so they attribute it to our hysteria, anxiety, hormones, and/or depression. It's easier for them that way.

    Other docs may have formed the opinion that our symptoms are too diverse to be one bona-fide illness. Still, we are ill and they need to reconsile with that. Even if they would just treat the symptoms and treat the patients with dignity, it would be a big step forward.

    There are more and more docs who believe in our illnesses and are willing to treat us. We just have to find them. My gastro doc seems very well informed and I was quite surprised.

    Love, Mikie
  5. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    This is what Wikipedia has to say about the example that Cheney cites above:

    "The movie also relates a story about Native Americans being unable to see Christopher Columbus' ships. However, there is no mention of this in any of the journals of those voyages, and the oral traditions of the Native Americans were lost in the following 150 years of Spanish rule. Furthermore, due to the genocidal rule of Columbus and his successors, none of the people that Columbus first encountered—the Arawaks—had any descendants survive into recent times, so we can not be certain what their experience was. [1]"

    Cheney's point is a good one, but he might be taken more seriously by the scientific community if he didn't quote from a movie that was so controversial amongst scientists. An awfully lot of them _hate_ this movie, and so quoting it isn't going to get CFS any credibility.
  6. woofmom

    woofmom New Member

    Kinda' like the tomato effect, huh?
  7. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Whether the Colombus story is true or not. New ideas are always controversial among scientists. Einstein hated quantum physics and thought it was a bunch of hooey (and, some of it might be). No one knows for sure yet. I do not think the analogy is a good one as I stated above; however, I did love the movie and some of the ideas have changed the way I perceive my world, enlarged my view.

    Whether people love or hate the movie, it is a very interesting film. There are a lot of diverse ideas which aren't really tied up in a neat package for those who do not like ambiguity. The research about becoming addicted to our emotions is very groundbreaking but I'm sure there will be plenty of people to pooh pooh it.

    This is definitely a film one has to go into with an open mind. It also helps a great deal if one has become familiar with quantum physics before seeing it. It's not for everyone.

    I doubt if Cheney's remarks will hurt our cause but they won't help us either.

    Love, Mikie
  8. findmind

    findmind New Member

    Gosh, how did we get into quantum physics, Mikie? LOLFOF

    Geez, such intelligent discussions going on here, and I was just wondering what everyone thought about the medical profession not being "allowed" to "see" CFS, Ha!

    "Physicians look to a shaman"??? What shaman...I want to go beat him up and tell him...well, her? to get on with it and let our doctors know how very sick we are!

    Sorry I can't post to each of you clever people individually, as I have webtv and it doesn't allow me to split a page and post separately, but gee whiz, thank you for such a hearty discussion...

    Let's see if I can find something else to post...

    Love ya,
  9. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    The film is based on quantum physics but branches out into lots of New Agey stuff. Like I said, it's not for everyone.

    I tried to learn as much about quantum mechanics as I could to try to reconcile religion, or spirituality, with science. I was amazed to find that I wasn't alone in being a nonscientific type with such an interest. Gary Zukov, the author of "Seat of The Soul," also wrote a book about quantum physics called, "The Dancing Wu Li Masters."

    Come to find out, there are tons of us. The "BLEEP" film is exactly what many of us were waiting for.

    Sorry to get so off topic but that sometimes happens here.

    Love, Mikie
  10. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Interesting analogy.

    Even if the story of the ships is just a legend, the point is a good one.

    I think the whole story of the NIH's and the CDC's failures in the past is definitely a great example of missing the forest for the trees.

    I'm finishing OSLER'S WEB (at long last!) and just read this quote this afternoon:

    "It is not...that some people do not know what to do with truth when it is offered them, but the tragic fate is to reach, after years of patient search, a condition of mind-blindness, in which the truth is not recognized, though it stares you in the face." -- Sir William Osler (a great 19th c. British physician)


    [This Message was Edited on 09/24/2006]
  11. findmind

    findmind New Member

    So good to hear from you. I've not been able to keep up with all the new posters on the board; I'm just too tired to begin agin with so many newbies, but I'm so glad they have found us! I try to reply if I can be helpful, but mostly read them for now.

    Yes, Ken, a travesty that the CDC has taken so so long to do so so little. I loved Osler's Web, and may even try to read it again, to keep my mind on the real story of deceit and greedy scientists filing patents at the expense of the truth coming out about CFS.

    Next, you have to read Project Day Lily. It's so terribly edited, but an important work and I hope they re-edit it and have it printed again.

    Wake, love you, dear one; you are always so sweet to reply to me! Not only ships passing in the night, but think we need the Pirates of the Caribbean to look for the GHOST ship, LOL! Hope you're doing as well as can be expected with all these fall fronts moving in and the storms and all...be well, my friend.

    There's always hope!
    p.s. Mikie, thank you for your oh, so stimulating conversation...I am fascinated by quantum physics in theory, but this board is hard enough for me right now, LOL...
  12. sept

    sept New Member

    I'm fortunate to have an internist that does recognize Fibro and also Chronic Fatigue. We have discussed "some dr's not recognizing"....and my dr's take on this is......"they do know about it". Just too lazy to read the constant medical updates. He made a valid point; how can Dr's not recognize it when insurance companies recognize it. He said they are "simply uneducated".
  13. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    And the primary ways that most M.D.'s get educated on a continuing basis is by drug and medical device companies. This makes me hope that some for-profit company will come out with some sort of product that apparently has some effect for at least a few CFS patients. Even if it doesn't work very well for most people and is too expensive for a lot of people to use, at least it would get doctors to start to believe that CFS is "real" and to start to learn more about it. I tend to think this will happen, especially with the CDC reports on the prevalence of the disease. Maybe even within a few years. Anyway, even if I think drug companies are overly greedy as a whole, I really hoope that they start working on drugs for CFS with the hope of making great piles of money on them. If you believe in the theory of the "What the bleep..." movie, perhaps positive thoughts in that direction would be a good thing.
    [This Message was Edited on 09/24/2006]
  14. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Thanks for the tip; I will check out PROJECT DAY LILY. Now that I'm finishing OSLER'S WEB, I wish there was one book summarizing the history of CFS, 1994-present.

    OSLER'S WEB is an amazing eye-opener to the deceptions of the NIH and CDC. "Medical Keystone Cops" is a great phrase Hilary Johnson uses for them.
    And reading about Stephen Strauss's war against the CFS community makes me want to hurl my book through the window (if I had the energy to do it).

    But I'm also amazed at the heroic doctors and researchers who did "see the ships." They risked their reputations, their livelihood, and were frequently mocked by their peers, in trying to find answers about CFS:

    Paul Cheney
    Daniel Peterson
    David Bell
    Anthony Komaroff
    Elaine DeFreitas
    Mark Loveless
    Charles Lapp
    John Martin
    Sheila Bastien
    Derek Enlander

    (I'm sure I'm leaving many off the list...)

    [This Message was Edited on 09/24/2006]
  15. findmind

    findmind New Member

    sept: You lucky dog! A dr who "believes" in FM and CFS...yes, many are too lazy to study it, but there have been so many studies that apply to only a certain group of CFS patients, and no specific criteria for treatment for any of them, so I give mine the benefit of the doubt and just tell him what I want, LOL. Thanks for reply..

    lisapetrison...good thought/bad thought, a drug company...hummmm....I'm so leery of new drugs, and because of the different groups of CFS patients, I'd want to wait to see how many it killed before I'd consider it. A sad commentary on the state of new drug trials and the FDA too.

    BTW, did you hear Stephen Strauss was transferred to be the head of the Alternative Medicine branch of the NIH? I think that's really a big joke; he'll probably find a way to patent an altered natural product and make a gazillion dollars off of CFS eventually.

    I do like the way your mind works; thanks for the reply.

    kholmes (ken) Yes, can you imagine where the state of CFS knowledge would be without the drs you mentioned? The stone age, no doubt...altho' I'm not too keen on Kamaroff (sp?)...he downplays what he really knows about CFS to this day.
    Sweet of you to add to the thread; thanks.

    There's always hope!
  16. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Are the ones who are filling the much needed niche, treating people with our illnesses. My specialist, a physiatrist, not a psyciatrist, started finding a pattern of aches and pains in some of his patients and he learned all he could about FMS. His practice is full all the time.

    There are meds which are marketed to docs for people with our illnesses but if a doc doesn't believe in our illnesses, he isn't likely to pay attention. It's a bias some docs carry around with them. It probably started with frustration at not knowing what to do for these patients and in order to come to grips with their unease, they convinced themselves that FMS doesn't exist.

    Thank God for docs like mine. My PCP's have been extremely helpful too. I've been lucky. Even my gastro doc knows about FMS. He is very kind and compassionate.

    BTW, another excellent book is "Lab 257." It's more about Lyme Disease but it's a real eye opener about how lax our govt. has been in handling biological experiments and facilities.

    Love, Mikie

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