Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Outliving your body

Jenna Burleigh
Blog 3

Splits Form Over How to Address Bone Loss
By Katie Murphy

If you think your bones are deteriorating, but not enough to be called osteoporosis, then you probably have a case of osteopenia. In that case, you can start buying a prescription for the miracle drugs that will do very little to correct your deteriorating bones. And now you can do this all online and diagnose yourself because of FRAX, a new tool to help you determine when is a good time to start treating yourself for bone loss. The most wonderful thing is that it’s a machine that doesn’t take all your health information into account, so it could tell you that you have osteopenia, but not how bad the case is. I take that back. The most wonderful thing about it is that the medicine you get out of this ordeal really won’t help you much at all unless you have osteoporosis.

A flawed online tool designed to suck money out of pockets of paranoid patients is precisely what this country needs. We need another thing for people to freak out and worry about. People that get diagnosed and take the medication, which, of course, comes complete with a slew of side-effects, are doing more harm to themselves than good.

Personally, I’ve never liked going to see a doctor, but that is my own personal objection to hearing someone tell me there is something wrong with me. However, I think I would rather talk to a doctor about my problems than a machine. The machine doesn’t know me. And if the problem I have isn’t pressing enough for me to call, make an appointment, sit in the waiting room perusing old copies of Reader’s Digest, and finally go see my doctor and get a diagnosis, then I probably don’t need to know what is wrong. Of course, anyone could look at this argument and tell me that people feel fine one night and are dead by morning. My response to that is I’m fine with dying young and I don’t need to live 100 years to feel like I’ve accomplished something. People in this day and age are living too long, in my opinion. I can’t stand the thought of waking up every morning, my ancient bones aching and crackling with every movement I make along the way to the medicine cabinet, where I slowly make my rounds and swallow buckets of pills to keep my archaic ass alive, not kicking, just alive. It wasn’t long ago that 50 was a ripe old age. With all these modern advances, it seems like we’re doing our best to reproduce our own fountain of youth. We aren’t machines like FRAX; we aren’t made to last forever.

1 comment:

  1. Jenna, this is a good issue. It's OK in a blog to take strong opinions, as you do, but in a news article you'd need to be more objective. You have to wonder if the scientist who developed FRAX is mainly interested in making money off it. Otherwise, why not subject the formula to peer review?