My TED Talk: Go to the Doctor

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Laura Karpinski

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Chief Executive Officer
Chief Executive Officer

Post 2020.10.15 20:30

My TED Talk: Go to the Doctor

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This is not about EVE. This is me getting behind my podium again to give you a lecture, as I'm wont to do. EVE Online (and therefore EVE Uni) has a large percentage of male players, and this is a particularly important issue for men. I would note this story is UK-centric and care may be different elsewhere. I'd also add a warning that some people might find the story upsetting, particularly if you or a family member have recently been impacted by health issues. But I think its worth telling.

As many of you know, I'm a lawyer and I worked for several years in medical negligence. I'm going to tell you about a client of mine, with details sufficiently obscured. He was in his late 50s, and came in to the initial appointment with his wife. His wife was obviously the driving force behind the claim, and I had the impression he was a bit embarrassed to be there. The claim was for delay in diagnosis of stomach cancer.

As part of investigating the claim I obtained his medical records. These showed that he first attended his GP after several weeks of symptoms consistent with stomach cancer, as well as a few other possible diagnoses. The GP correctly prescribed him a PPI medication with instructions to come back in a week for another appointment. In hindsight we know it was stomach cancer, and the medication would not have relieved his symptoms. However, when he duly attended the appointment a week later and the GP asked how he was he said "I'm fine". He said he was pretty sure the medication had helped and he didn't want to cause a fuss. The GP therefore made the decision not to refer him for an urgent oncology appointment. After several more weeks of symptoms and a large amount of badgering by his wife, he went back to the GP, was referred to an oncologist and received the diagnosis. Unfortunately by that time the cancer was terminal.

Over several years of doing this work I knew to keep an emotional distance, but this client and his wife were definitely my favourites. They were polite, cheerful and kept telling me bad jokes when I phoned them. I had to break the bad news to them though that his claim wasn't likely to be successful. By his description of his symptoms in the second appointment the GP did the right thing in not making a referral. He said he was feeling better, and he thought the medication was helping. He put off going to the doctor and talked down his symptoms because he didn't want to worry anyone. I found out he passed away a couple of days after we spoke.


Now the reason I'm telling you this horrible story is as a lesson. Society tells you "be a man", "be strong", "don't make a fuss". I'm telling you screw that, look after yourself first and foremost. Your health is important, and if something is not right please seek medical attention. Don't avoid it or minimise it because you don't want a cause a fuss, or feel like you should "suck it up and be a man". There's nothing 'non-manly' about seeking medical attention, and even if there was, who cares. Look after yourself so you can be around for and with your loved ones.

Finally, if you have been putting off dealing with a medical issue, this is your sign. I am your stand-in nagging spouse. Go to the doctor.
CEO of EVE University

Laura Karpinski of House E-Uni, first of her name, the undocked, Khaleesi of the Campuses, mother of unistas!
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Bbey de Massiac

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Post 2020.10.16 01:07

Re: My TED Talk: Go to the Doctor

Wise words !!

We oral surgeons know a little about that, "Go ahead Doctor ! Take it out !" but finally no, anesthesia wasn't that good and they felt something. For real, it happened few days ago again. And that is not the same to do it after we have started. As the example of Laura, don't worry to take some times to explain your health professional your issue, and above all, be honest.

At the opposite, some people don't like the anesthesia (the needle), and theyll pretend it worked because they fear that needle. It always ends up with them moving the head in the middle of a care and leveling down the good care we were doing, or hurting them.

Don't be fearful or lazy, or just because you don't have much time or you don't like going to the doctor, to see a healthcare professionals. And do not delay healthcare.
You can't imagine how many time people delays cares, and pay much more few months later for that : physically, psychologically, financially.

Fly safe
Be safe

Massiac

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