One of my little joys as a columnist is the delicious opportunity to publically expose ignorance.
Don’t we all yearn to have been that keener whose hand shot up, aching to enlighten a clueless classroom with the right answer?
It’s particularly satisfying after another student has embarrassedly exposed his or her ignorance with a wrong answer.
And I get to name names!
First off, I will establish my basis for having a great deal of knowledge about the area I am writing about.
I’ve been in the crash injury business for over 20 years.
Hundreds of injured victims have shared with me the onset, progression and fluctuations of their symptoms, the impact of various care modalities on their recovery, and the long term aftermaths of their injuries.
The careful review of hundreds of reports from specialists in various medical fields has informed me about the medical science.
At times, such as when I am urging my clients to try their best to wean off of passive therapies in favour of more active rehabilitation, I refer to myself jokingly as “Dr. Paul.”
Those who know my writing style are already anticipating the punch line, i.e. that it is my own clueless ignorance I am writing about.
It has taken this many years for me to learn about an aspect of crash injuries that impacts nearly fifty percent of my clients.
I have a good friend who hasn’t formally retained me to go after fair compensation on her behalf, but she informs me occasionally about how she’s doing.
She’s the same friend I wrote about in a previous column, who would like “at fault drivers” to be required to share the inconvenience of scheduling and attending therapy, by tagging along with their victims.
She is lucky. Her injuries have significantly resolved.
From time to time, though, she experiences flare-ups which are really quite significant.
For Dr. Paul, the periodic flaring up of symptoms is par for the course.
As sure as the earth turns on its axis, there will be ebbing and flowing of symptoms with variations of activity and other factors.
Wisely, my friend didn’t rely on Dr. Paul. She kept close track of the timing of her flare-ups, which was roughly monthly, and consulted with her actual doctor.
Wouldn’t you know, but on careful examination and questioning, her doctor diagnosed a particular condition my friend “suffers from,” which impacts on her crash injury symptoms.
I use quotation marks because the word “suffers” might seem overly dramatic and highly debatable.
This particular condition causes the monthly production of increased levels of a group of cyclic fatty acid compounds called prostaglandin.
The prostaglandin, as I understand it, sensitizes pain sensing neurons, resulting in increased pain signals to be sent from areas of injury to the brain.
On making the diagnosis, her doctor prescribed medication that will hopefully ease the flare-ups.
As it turns out, my friend is not alone. In fact, her condition is somewhat widely shared. I am embarrassed that, after all these years, I’ve been clueless about it.
Her condition? Menstruation.