Melissa Kaplan's
Chronic Neuroimmune Diseases
Information on CFS, FM, MCS, Lyme Disease, Thyroid, and more...
Last updated January 1, 2014

Chronic Neuroimmune Diseases

The inability of a doctor to correctly diagnose a multisystemic disease is evidence of a deficiency of the doctor rather than a patient's lack of cooperation.

 

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While diseases that have defeated the ability of the diagnostician to easily diagnose and categorize them have been around ever since the first hominid sought vainly for the one plant or bug that would make his or her cavemate well enough to get back to hunting and gathering (and, in the case of female cavemates, back to minding the cave and cavelings), as the Industrial and Chemical Ages have progressed, we are seeing more, rather than less, of these diseases that defy pretty much everything we can throw at them.

This sad state of affairs is compounded by the fact that "modern" medicine has forgotten that patients are not merely a collection of separate independently operating systems, organs and glands. Worse, we have doctors who have apparently forgotten what a laboratory's "normal" values actually mean, and treat them as if they are absolute, regardless of age, body mass index, gender, chemical exposure, or sociomedical history--or lab processing errors.

When patient has the nerve to insist that, despite their test results being within "normal range", they are still experiencing increasingly severe symptoms, too many physicians treat the patient as if their one and only problem is a psychiatric disorder, and rips off a script for the Antidepressant-Of-The-Month, or passes the "problem" along to their golf buddy, the psychiatrist (see From the Mouths of Idiots).

December 2006: After 20 years, the CDC finally (sort of) acknowledges the seriousness of CFS: Tired All The Time

If the patient belongs to an HMO, all this will take place in the course of a 10 minute office visit during the last 5 minutes of which the doctor is already thinking about the 20 other patients on his schedule before noon, and whether or not this patient will just go away quietly or gasp! actually question the doctor's treatment.

When I put my first website up in 1995, there wasn't much information on chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivities, or any of the other diseases that are daily showing just how interconnected are our brain, hypothalmus, amygdala, endocrine system, immune system, autonomic nervous system, genitourinary system, gut, liver, thyroid, and everything else.

In the years since, my online CND article and resource collection grew to almost 500 documents. Now, there are several excellent websites on the Internet with some of the same information, and much, much more. There has also been an explosion of medical resources available--often for free--on the Internet, accessible to anyone who ventures beyond email. These online resources are invaluable to those who live in relatively small, geographically isolated communities, as well as to those who live in close geographic proximity to others, but who have become isolated by the limitations imposed by their disease.

With my life taking a turn into a new direction, something has to give, and one of those things is the active development and maintenance of my CND collection. Instead, I have pared it down and reorganized it to make it easier for visitors to find information and resources they are looking for.

For those who stumbled across this site while researching information on reptiles and amphibians (herps), and those who came here first and are startled to find information on herps, well, serendipity has always played an important role in the seeking of knowledge. If I hadn't followed a dream to work on an oil spill, I would never have become ill and able only to keep herps. If I hadn't been so increasingly isolated by illness, I wouldn't have installed my first modem. And if the information I was interested in had already been on the Internet, I wouldn't have bothered to learn how to create a website. Along the way, I have been able to help two very diverse populations.

If you found this CND site through a search engine, I urge you to spend some time browsing through the lists of articles and resources at my herp care site. If you stumbled across my CND site from my herp site, please do the same here. I've spent the last 13 years in both worlds and have found a lot of useful information in one sphere that has helped me in the other. My guess is that you will, too.

Some people wonder why I chose the term neuroimmune to summarize my collection of information and resources. The short answer is that science and medicine has been finding that brain function cannot be separated from immune function. For a longer, more comprehensive answer, please read Horst Ibelgauft's Neuroimmune Network.

Melissa Kaplan
November 2002
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