Friday, May 28, 2010

Knowledge is Power?

Wow! So the last couple of weeks have literally flown. I had graduation, bachelor party, grad open house, L'ville trip, wedding rehersal, wedding, and finally summer training. And those are my excuses for not posting. But all those activities and travels have led me to a new Knowledge really Power?

I ask that question because in the last couple of weeks I have been conversing with a wide range of people (family, close friends, old friends, new friends, other summer employees in housing, etc). And I have found that everywhere I go I encounter two major thoughts.

The first is the paranoia that comes with knowing too much medical background. The best way to describe this is through a specific example. Strep throat. Everybody has had strep throat at one time or another. We go to the doctor, they gag us with their ten inch q-tip, and then make us wait for 5 hours to tell us that our extremely inflamed throat is in fact strep. What scares me is knowing that if left untreated too long we can develop antibodies against strep throat which also attack our own heart valves. (Congrats you just got a small dose of paranoia!) This may seem small but things like this run through my mind every time anyone around me has any medical condition. Yes, I overreact some, but I would rather call the paramedics for indigestion than be giving CPR to a dead friend (that's a heart attack for those of you who may not know that the two can feel very similar). Honestly, I can live with the paranoia. But...

The second thought is the arrogance of people and their own health. I personally got into pharmaceuticals to help as many people as possible. What bothers me is when I hear a friend or family member talking about what fish oils they are taking or what new medical test they just had done. Even though I only have a degree in pharmaceutical sciences, I understand that 90% of what all people do for their health is incorrect or futile. The amount of supplements and personal remedies that everyone claims should work for everyone is ridiculous. We are all different and our bodies need and react to different things. Yet, trying to hold a reasonable conversation with these people about this is not going to happen because "I'm not a doctor," or "they read it in a magazine or saw it on The Dr's so it must be true!" It is utterly frustrating. I do not go on power trips or like to belittle people with my knowledge. Yet, most of the time trying to discuss people's health ends in arguing. I don't know why that is but it may come from egos clashing or our innate sense to always be right. Whatever the case, the best way for me (and all of us) to learn is by discussing things openly and admitting to being wrong now and again. Trust me, I am wrong a lot!

A professor gave me some good advice this year and I totally agree. He said, "the more you study and learn, the less you know." Basically, as we grow and learn about more concepts, we discover more things that we do not know about. And I don't know a lot. I am excited to continue my studies in the fall, but I know that with more knowledge comes more paranoia and more frustration. So I ask if you get one thing from this post it is that we live in the information era, but that doesn't mean we know more. Magazines, books, the internet, TV shows all embellish the truth and you should take everything with a grain of salt until you speak with a medical professional. So Knowledge is Power, but true knowledge comes from perspective and attitude.

I would also like to give a shout out to my good friends, Mr. and Mrs. Glenn and Anne Pratt. Your wedding was awesome and I am forever grateful to have been a part of it. Best wishes!