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A New Disease

My Virgin Blog Entry:

The wonders of medical science never cease to amaze me. Since the days of of post-WWII, we have ushered forth the Age of Penicillin, followed soon thereafter by the Rise of Resistant Bugs, only to be followed by the Super Antibiotics, and of course The Super Bugs. Like the age-old battle between armor and projectiles, every medical advance seems to only bring forth a newer, meaner strain of Super Cooties.

Back in the day, strokes were just things that happened to old folks, and were simply To Be Endured. After the big event, we turned Grandpa toward the sunlight and kept him watered, and hoped like hell he recognized you when you visited. Maybe, just maybe, he learned to feed himself again, and then only if you (and he) were lucky. Now, we have vascular Drano that can circumvent that whole horrific process, if the Drano itself doesn’t finish Grandpa off in the process.

When you’re having a heart attack, you can go to the Roto Rooter man…excuse me, I meant interventional cardiologist…and have the old pipes cleaned out.

If your goober doesn’t work, we have pills to fix that. Ladies, if you weren’t visited by the Titty Fairy in your adolescence, the wonders of breast implants can fix that. Yet, given the paltry funding for Alzheimer’s research, we will soon have a generation of geezers with perky boobs and big erections with absolutely no recollection of what to do with them…

…but I digress.

My point is, we learn more about disease and disability every day. Yet I find myself highly suspicious of some of the latest medical conditions to be identified, not sure if they are legitimate disorders or just the feverish ramblings of Uncle Melvin locked somewhere in the basement at the CDC… you know, perhaps he has gotten out and and has found a forum.

As case in point, I give you Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.

I suppose a name like Mad Cow Disease was already taken. Ladies, pardon my dragging knuckles here, but what about this syndrome is any different than PMS?

Bloated? Check.

Bitchy? Check.

Wild mood swings? Check.

Persistent anger? Check.

Fatigue? Check.

Spouse walking on eggshells and offering you large quantities of chocolate? Check.

Spouse whimpering incoherently and bunking with his hunting buddies? Check check.

So what here is so radically different than good ole garden variety PMS? Is it possible, that like alcohol, PMS merely magnifies your less desirable personality traits? Like, if you are already a wee bit bitchy, does PMS make the fangs come out? Or is it a clinical syndrome beyond your control, the dreaded PMDD????

Like a Mel Gibson apology, I ain’t buying it.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a sensitive fellow. Warm and fuzzy, even. I like sunsets, long walks on the beach, puppies and poetry. I’m also fond of slaying God’s furry little creatures with projectile weapons, but that’s the predator in me. Man can become too civilized, you know.

And lest the distaff persuasion think I am merely picking on them, I also highly skeptical of any child with a diagnosis of ADHD. Don’t get me wrong, I know it exists. Many of us in EMS have all the symptoms – restlessness, need for constant stimulation, inability to focus and complete simple — Hey! A Butterfly! C’mere Mister Butterfly! Hey guys, let’s catch the pretty butterfly! Guys? Uh, guys? —

Oh yeah. Sorry, where was I? Right, ADHD. Even though it may be a legitimate medical disorder, I see mood-altering drugs prescribed to waaaaaaaaaay too many kids with a “diagnosis” of ADHD made by doctors too lazy to truly assess the child, or too scared to deny Mommy and Daddy a panacea for bad parenting.

Back in the not-too-distant past, when I was a schoolboy, parents and school administrators knew exactly what was wrong with Little Johnny when he exhibited disruptive behavior, fighting, talking back to the grownups and poor impulse control. Little Johnny suffered from Chronic Hickory Deficiency, a malady easily cured by liberal topical applications applied by the parents at home. If needed, my principal kept a large, highly polished Hickory Booster hung on the wall behind his desk, and he was not afraid to use it. And it worked. And they hadn’t even heard of things like Ritalin or serotonin levels…

Of course, I’d rant more but I’m sure I’ve already offended enough people, besides which I’ve always been easily distracted. And I have a hyperactive child to beat. Or I could just let the Missus dole out the beatings. She’d enjoy it. It’s that time of the month.

Until next time…

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