Today, I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 9 of Clifton Meador’s Virtual Blog Tour.
Clifton’s book Fascinomas is celebrating its launch from February 17th to March 3rd, 2014.
Clifton K. Meador, MD has a gift for filtering through tales and ‘can you beat this one’ stories that are passed around doctors’ lounges and operating rooms, and for coming up with succinct but extremely entertaining stories.
A ‘fascinoma’, as Meador defines, is medical slang for an unusually interesting medical case. He has gleaned and collected and curated 35 such cases from his own experience and the experiences of colleagues who have given permission to re-tell their own blockbusters.
Each case is reads like a short story – the presentation of a strange set of symptoms, the initial response of the examining doctor(s), gradual revelation of further symptoms (sometimes via revealed secrets from the presenting patient), and the final diagnosis.
Clifton’s mantra is: “There is not a medical diagnosis or a defined disease behind every chronic symptom; but there is a demonstrable cause if you listen and search carefully.”
Yesterday, Clifton visited Kathi Casey’s Healthy Boomer Body blog, where she asked him how disease labels can often be harmful to the patient diagnosed.
Today, I’d like to share with you a recent interview I had with Clifton when I asked about how a diagnosis can sometimes keep one ‘stuck’, and the importance of keeping a journal. I hope you enjoy it!
SAM: I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and migraines. I was always fearful of what was coming next. Today, I have none of those ailments, I’m a medical mystery. Coming out of meditation one day, I simply knew that “all is well.” That day, all fear dropped away and I followed my intuition in getting off all medicine and recovering the damage done to the body from the various ailments.
Did I cause my ailments? Then later did I “turn them off?”
CLIFTON: Sam, what a great story! This is a difficult subject because it generates so much misunderstanding. My psychiatrist friend, Dr William Mundy of Kansas City KS (check out my interviews with him on YouTube www.doctorswholisten.net) says, “what the mind cannot deal with is relegated to the body.” That is a powerful statement. He also says, “what is mind caused can be mind cured.” Not knowing you I can only guess that your cure was a mind cure.
No one I know consciously causes disease but unconsciously they can. Mundy goes into much more detail in our interviews on YouTube.
One has to get beyond thinking he or she just made themselves sick or that they are just imagining they are sick. The sickness is very real and it can be mind caused.
SAM: When I was dealing with bipolar disorder my doctor had me fill out a journal that had 10 questions to gauge my well-being. I became obsessed with the book and it influenced how I moved through the world. For example, if I answered that my energy and mood were poor, I had a terrible day.
Is there a benefit to keeping a dairy for our symptoms?
CLIFTON: I think diary keeping is best used when someone has chronic recurring symptoms – symptoms in the body that come and go. In those cases, there is often a toxic personal relationship or a toxic physical substance producing the stress that is still out of conscious awareness. The diary method helps to bring the “cause” into full consciousness. Only then can it be addressed or eliminated.
SAM: After I healed, I saw how the labels of my diagnosis kept me stuck. I told myself “I’m bipolar – I’m supposed to act this way” or “I have MS, I supposed to be disabled!”
How can these labels cause us harm?
CLIFTON: That is really a good question. I made up a dictum that says, “There is not a medical diagnosis behind every symptom but there is a demonstrable cause if one looks carefully and long enough.” Labels, especially if they are wrong or inaccurate, completely remove the patient from an honest search for causes. With a label or diagnosis, they have a name for their condition. They can tell friends. They can read about it. They can believe they are stuck with the named condition. Michael Balint in Scotland said “once a doctor and a patient agree on a name for a chronic illness, that illness, present or not, becomes incurable.” I found that removal of a false diagnosis is very difficult in some patients.
*** END OF INTERVIEW***
I hope you enjoyed this brief interview with Dr. Clifton Meador Fascinomas – fascinating medical mysteries is Clifton’s 13th book on medical matters. The response to True Medical Detective Stories led him to collect and write the 35 cases in Fascinomas. In Fascinomas, all of the clinical facts are completely true – the story of the illness, all lab work, all imaging studies, and the physical exam findings. If you are intrigued by the curative power of listening and engaging the patient and the family in searching for clues, especially when the symptoms are chronic and recurring – pick up Fascinomas. You can find the book on Amazon at:
Amazon US – Paperback: http://amzn.to/19bWyIs
Amazon US – Kindle: http://amzn.to/1cTp6aY
Amazon UK – Paperback: http://amzn.to/198bXLO
Amazon UK – Kindle: http://amzn.to/1iaxFz1
Amazon Canada – Paperback: http://amzn.to/KwrqKK
Amazon Canada – Kindle: http://amzn.to/1cHpzbC
Thanks for reading! Please share your comments and thoughts below. I love reading your feedback
Be sure to follow Clifton tomorrow when the next stop on his Virtual Blog Tour is Gerry Ellen Avery’s ‘Elephant Journal’ blog at http://elephantjournal.com/author/gerry-ellen-avery/, where she’ll be asking Clifton about “malingering” and the effect of placebos on illness.