The Science of Evolutionary Theology

My absence has been long. But, the good news is I’ve now got all my crap in my new house, quite a few boxes are even unpacked and I’ve even got one thing up on the wall. It’s progress. I got internet put into the house yesterday so now I’m able to blog and Tweet again.

Which brings me to my reason for this post. I came across this tweet today, retweeted by the satire and sarcasm account Take That Darwin:

Screenshot 2014-08-24 19.29.14

…come again?

Sad but true, this is not the first time I’ve seen this kind of complaint. Evolutionary biology is often a required course for many biological sciences majors. Makes sense, since evolution is one of the cornerstones of biology. It runs right up there with the theory of relativity in terms of importance to science. 

So why in the fuck are you majoring in biology when you have strong views against evolution?

I will admit, I’m connecting dots here. It’s rare for other majors to REQUIRE a class on evolution. Hell, I study molecular biology and I don’t even have to take one. So I’m assuming this chick is majoring in biological sciences in one form or another. And sorry chica, evolution is at the base of all biology. Just the fact that someone with strong feelings against the validity of evolution would study the subject blows my mind. What the hell did you think biology was about, pretty flowers and fuzzy kittens? How the hell do you think those flowers got so pretty and those kittens got so fuzzy?

Here’s a hint: EVOLUTION.

Sure, we as humans had a hand in a lot of it, artificial selection is a big part of a lot of the life forms we come into contact with in our daily lives (don’t let anyone ever tell you that the sweet corn you just bought is in its “natural” state, it’s anything but). Funny story though, Darwin discusses artificial selection in On the Origin of Species. Sure, we helped the evolution along but guess what: IT STILL EVOLVED. The next time you start chowing down on a banana, be thankful for EVOLUTION making it so that you aren’t choking on the seeds:

FYI

That evolution folks is a HUGE part of biology. So WHYYYYYY are you studying it if you have a big problem with it? Listen, I am totally cool with the idea of creationism, I have no problems with people who insist on its truth, and as far as I’m concerned lessons can be learned from both sides of the debate. However it does seem quite silly to me to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a degree whose foundation is built on a concept that you vehemently disagree with. Trust me honey, you aren’t going to be able to change anyone’s minds in your classes. You can voice your disagreement, but all you will get is rolled eyes and raised eyebrows. I am well aware that there have been creationist scientists and I have no doubt that there are creationist scientists still out there. What I will argue, however, is that creationist ideals have no place in biology. The earth existed far more than 6000 years ago. Dinosaurs did not live concurrently with humans. There is scientific evidence that proves both. Humans did not look the same 10,000 years ago – hell, they didn’t look the same 500 years ago (turns out, we were shorter. But that’s irrelevant). And we didn’t look the same 10,000 years ago because we evolved.

One thing that irks the crap out of me is that the most common argument against evolution is that it’s a theory. Le sigh. Here I will incorporate one of my favourite memes ever made:

You killed my father. Prepare to die.

Just to clear up any confusion, the definition of scientific theory (because that’s what we’re talking about here) is as follows, courtesy of Wikipedia:

“A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method, and repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation.”

That means a theory explains an observed phenomenon, and it has been confirmed through repeated trials and tests. However, that’s not to say that a theory cannot be disproved. Were new evidence come to light that shows a theory to be false, it is accepted and people move on. Evolution, as of right now, has not been disproved. As a matter of fact, it has been repeatedly shown to be true. So stop saying that evolution is “only a theory” when arguing against it, because what you’re in fact doing (in addition to further proving that you have no idea what you’re talking about) is reinforcing the other side.

Listen folks, I’m no atheist by any stretch of the imagination, but I do also think that religious thought evolves just as life forms do. The protestant sects are a prime example of this idea – the Church evolved from its Catholic roots and formed different sects based on differing ideas in doctrine. Sure, it’s not quite on the same scale as biological evolution, but the evolution of ideas as society changes and adapts to changing environment and attitudes is still a relevant example to the point that I’m trying to make. I’m a huge South Park fan, and there is an episode where the concept of atheism and evolution are explored. Sure, it has a subplot involving Richard Dawkins having sex with a woman who used to be a man, but that’s beside the point. One of my favourite quotes of all time came from Stan during a class on the subject, when he asks “couldn’t evolution be the answer to how and not the answer to why?” In my opinion, creationism is the why, evolution is the how. God created the world because he wanted to, and evolution is the way things ended up the way that they are now. I’m of the honest opinion that evolution is all part of God’s plan. I may even be inclined to think that he’s the driving force behind evolution. I mean, it is within the realm of possibility, since everything is under his command. The Bible says that man was created in His image, but what the Bible fails to mention is what that image actually was. For all we know, God has flippers and a tail, a unibrow and a great big bushy beard. I think that this idea that God created man looking exactly like the European specimen so often seen in art is not a result of God making modern man in His image, but rather modern man making God in his image.

Now all I need to do is find me a church door to nail this thesis to. 😉

In the end though, I will say that though there is room for religion in science, I think that holding tight to creationist beliefs in biology is difficult at best. At worst, it can be debilitating to not only a career, but also a mindset and even happiness. I know that there is happiness to be found in God’s love, but I have a tough time believing that it is possible to be happy while studying something that you believe to be fundamentally wrong.  My dear Demetria, you are more than welcome to believe what you want to believe, but I will be honest in admitting that I truly don’t think that a biology classroom is the place for you. I think that perhaps now is the time to sit down and truly figure out why you want to go into the field, seeing as you have a serious problem with the crux of the science. I understand the desire to study God’s creations, but it is imperative to understand that science and the Bible don’t always see eye-to-eye. I urge you to consider the possibility that God is the driving force behind evolution. Then maybe you will be able to find peace between religion and biology.

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SO. FREAKING. EXCITED.

My mama spoils me rotten.

I worship the ground Carolyn Ketchum walks on. For serious. My recipe binder is full of stuff I have printed off of All Day I Dream About Food. So when she posted her slow cooker chocolate cake recipe, I started some serious envy. And not my usual “OMG it looks so pretty!” envy (because we all know everything I make looks like dinosaur poop), more of the “wow, I really want your equipment, but I’m a broke college student with a kid *sadface*” envy.

I’ve been wanting a new slow cooker for years. Mine, it’s done its job. But it’s gotta be a good 40 years old. I got it from someone who got it from someone who got it from someone. It’s served its purpose, but it just doesn’t do what I want it to do anymore. It doesn’t even have temperature settings – it’s either on or it’s off. So when Carolyn suggested the Hamilton Beach Set-and-Forget 6-qt slow cooker, I was all

OH. EM. GEE.

I would have drawn you a graphic, but my scanner is on another peninsula and I’m too broke to own a tablet.

This thing could be a life changer, I thought to myself. I can put a roast in it, go to class, and it will be ready when I get home. I can program it to automatically turn the temp down, so I can make soup or something and walk away. Just the exact thing that a mother with a full-time class schedule and a part-time job needs. Not to mention, it would probably bake that little cake there way better than my ancient slow cooker would.

But alas, the price tag was way out of my price range, and while it had the potential to save my life, it was by far not a necessity. So, I figured I would put away a little money here and there and treat myself here in a few months.

This is where my mother comes in.

Lord Imp and I have recently moved into a new house a loooong way away from home, and along with both of our parents, we have been working on accumulating everything that a house needs. We have all the necessities, all of our furniture has been either purchased or acquired from siblings looking to offload stuff they no longer need, the house came with all the major appliances and all the necessary minor appliances have been purchased. Apart from a garbage can and a broom, we have everything that is necessary for life. What’s left are the little things that will make what will inevitably be a hectic 9 months a little easier to manage. Thus the reasoning for needing the slow cooker. 

My mother has been working on getting everyone’s Christmas presents as the year has gone on, and it turns out that I was one of the last she had to buy for. So when I told her about wanting this slow cooker, her response was “well, we’re going to Meijer, if they have what you want, I’ll buy it for you. Call it your early Christmas present.”

I am spoiled rotten. But so immensely grateful that there are no words to fully express it.

So I am now the proud owner of a new Hamilton Beach slow cooker. And I have been going through my 1700 bookmarks of low-carb recipes planning out what I’m going to make in it. And Carolyn, that cake of yours is going to be the first thing that’s going in my brand-spaking-new slow cooker.

But, I’m not allowed to take it out of the box until I get back up to the house. Because I’m back down at my parent’s for the week because of doctor’s appointments (*le sigh* falling apart), and Lord Imp still has another week and a half at his job before we go up there for good. So here I am, with this tempting new toy sitting there, staring me down with its tempting devil eyes, and I have to be patient. Because I’m not going to get it out to only have to pack it back up. That and all my low-carb ingredients are up in the new house.

Although I do need more almond flour, I’m almost out. And it’s high time I finally bought real stuff. Time to order me a bag of Honeyville almond flour, now that I finally have the freezer space for it.

Life, Unplugged

So over the weekend, Lord Imp and I packed all our stuff up and made the 7-hour trek up to da UP to drop our stuff off at the new house. And since I failed to set up the internet at the house and I failed to read the fine print regarding my cell phone plan’s data, I ended up spending most of the 72-hour period off the internet.

Which was, without a doubt, the most bizarre feeling ever.

Sure, I did have internet at spots between Friday morning and Sunday night when I returned. Like when I got stranded on campus because my car decided that it didn’t want to stay running – for the second time that morning. So we had to have it towed to a mechanic (got a call from them this afternoon, turned out it was just some bad battery cables. Thank GOD, because I thought I had blown the alternator). That put me behind by two hours, which pissed me off royally, and the rest of the packing involved me rushing about, snapping at my daddy and dropping my beloved Warhammer whatever-it’s-really-called I loved it because it was assembled and painted by Lord Imp for me and it’s a dragon and I love me some dragons. It broke. Into several pieces, some of them shards. Lord Imp’s gonna see about fixing it for me, but I’m not sure it’s fixable. We’ll see.

Needless to say, Friday was a bad day for me. We finally got on the road out of my house at about 2 o’clock, and after a stop we finally got on the road to our house.

At damn near 5:30 in the evening.

We didn’t get home until well past midnight. So our first night in the new house involved us throwing the stuff that we had packed on top of the bed into the living room, pulling the bed upstairs, parking the truck and trailer, and passing out.

I swear, this is going to be one of those times we’re going to look back on and laugh. But not for a few years.

So we went for breakfast, picked up a few groceries and necessities at the store, unpacked the trailer (took surprisingly little time), then I played a little Assassin’s Creed IV and then passed out within the first 5 minutes of Inglourious Basterds. Woke up, and we had supper cooked on our new grill. And then we decided that the internet was a necessity, because I wanted to go to the co-op store for one egg and Lord Imp wanted some beer.

Let me just take this moment to say that yes, I only wanted one egg. It would be over a week before I was going to be back to the house, I didn’t want to buy a dozen that I would have to worry about going rotten. And I can get single eggs at the co-op store here in Traverse City, so why couldn’t I do it up there?

Well, apparently, that’s a no-go up in the Keweenaw. I don’t know if the lack of rolling farmland that we have down in the lower peninsula has anything to do with it. Either way, we ended up picking up a 6-pack of brews from Lord Imp’s stand-by brewery and swung by the IGA for cheaper butter and some breakfast sausage.

So, we sat on the steps leading up to the deck because we have no furniture for it yet, drinking beer and talking. For two hours. Something that likely wouldn’t have happened had I bothered to set up more than just the electricity, gas and water. It was really lovely, the weather was perfect and we sat there just enjoying each other’s company. Really, truly wonderful.

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A fitting first beer in our first home.

I really didn’t want to come back on Sunday, but the baby and I both had doctors appointments the following week so my return was necessary, and Lord Imp still has another two weeks at his job. I’m anxious to get back up there, just because it’s my house and I only have to share it with Lord Imp and the baby. It’s my own space, I can decorate it however I want and I can keep whatever I want in the pantry. I can make whatever I want for supper and not hear complaining, and I know that my dishes will get done in a timely fashion (even if I do have a stack of them waiting to be put away when I get back, they’re at least clean).

Life at the house won’t remain unplugged, however. Homework doesn’t do itself, and it doesn’t get done without the internet…

Today You’re My Baby

I’m incredibly independent and I like to do everything on my own. I take pride in it, to be honest, like I’m the strongest woman on the planet because I can take care of the diabetes, the CVID and the baby entirely by myself, all while writing a paper, folding laundry and cooking a meal. It brings a sense of strength to me, like I can handle whatever life throws my way. I am the strongest woman on planet earth, and I can take on whatever you give me.

Except when IVIG day rolls around. On IVIG day, I turn into a spider. I can build up these impressive webs, the engineering marvel of the natural world, but with one fell swoop of a shoe I am crushed and my web destroyed

.

I’ll get you next time.

From The Poet. The Patriot. The Pluto.

I admit that to some extent, I like IVIG Day. For starters, I know that it’s the day when I get my monthly dose of immunity, sold donated by loving people wanting to help others. I know that after I get it, I will get a surge of energy along with the confidence to handle being out in public without freaking out over what I just might contract from a Meijer shopping cart. And to some extent, it is a validation for all the doctors appointments in the past when I felt like a super hypochondriac going in for every little thing. It adds a sense of realness to the situation, the sense that there is truly something wrong with me and it’s not all in my head, which is something that I will be honest in saying that towards the end of the road before diagnosis, the thought that all the illnesses were in my head or were even my fault was something that was perpetually in the back of my mind.

Not only that, but IVIG Day is Diet Cheat Day. As in, I get to eat whatever I want. Which usually only lasts for breakfast, I don’t want to see another potato for the rest of my life by the time I’m halfway done with my American fries.

On the other hand, I don”t like IVIG Day. I don’t like being sick, I don’t like feeling sick, and I don’t like knowing that there’s something seriously wrong with me that requires a 4 to 5-hour long trip to the hospital to fix it once a month. I don’t like the feeling of weakness that it brings, that my iron mind is attached to a delicate body. The physical reminder that one wrong move could end up with me in the hospital, clinging on to life.

It doesn’t help that the IVIG process directly affects the diabetes as well, in the form of an extreme roller coaster of blood sugars that are a pain in the ass to control. Now, I know that those American Fries I eat in the morning doesn’t help the situation any, but once a month I say “well shit, I’m going to be in the stratosphere anyway, a few potatoes aren’t going to change anything.” My Gammagard gets infused with a bag of 5% dextrose to dilute it a little as it goes into my veins. And I try really hard to set the pump up to anticipate it, I really do. I was running a 125% basal all morning, and I still steadily climbed up to the low 300s the entire morning I was infusing.

After being taken off the infusion and sent on my merry little way, my blood sugar dropped 214 mg/dL in a mere 50 minutes. Admittedly, I realised afterwards that I had stacked correction doses (again), but going from 312 mg/dL to 98 mg/dL in that short timespan was scary. Very scary. An hour prior to the 312 I was at 300 mg/dL so my sugars were showing no signs of going down, just holding steady despite the coverage bolus I had delivered via syringe (which was abnormal, given that I normally will see a 50-pt drop in an hour after bolusing that way). When I got home at 1:48 in the afternoon, after eating a 12-pc chicken nugget and medium fry, I was at 57 mg/dL.

I’ve been noming on chocolate bars and Nerds ever since. The highest I have seen so far has been 72, and I still have quite a bit of active insulin left to contend with.

I am really upset with the lack of control I have while going through the IVIG. I know that my dietary choices are really not a good thing, especially given how much dex I’m getting throughout the morning (close to 15g of the stuff!). I know that I’m going to crash  big time the minute the IV is stopped. I know that I should probably cancel the temp basal about half an  hour after I’m done. I also know better than to stack my correction doses.

Needless to say, this is a situation where having a Dexcom would really have come in handy. I could have seen the trends, where I was headed, and do something about it before I reached the low 300’s. But nope, I had to watch my BGs rise slowly, then skyrocket after the nurse fiddled with my D5W line (after telling me she was keeping me on a low drip, no less…wtf), then crash like a champ once I was taken off.

And I’m continuing to stay low for a while. Sigh.

My mother comes to the hospital with me on IVIG day, mostly because I have a tough time driving myself home. What I don’t tell her is that I just need her presence to continue to be strong. On the way in this morning, we were talking about how after all the taking care of everyone I do, today it’s my turn to be babied. She responded with a phrase that I will never forget every time I go through an infusion:

“Today you’re my baby.”

I had to fight back tears by smiling. I am to the point now where I’ve exhausted all the emotional strength I have left. I just wanted to cry, to say that I can’t do it anymore, I can’t be strong anymore, mama I need your strength now.

There’s just something about a mother’s presence that makes you strong again. 18 years of hospitals, doctors and procedures and it never gets old. Even when pushing 30, I still need my mama.

And in my mind, there’s no shame in being my mama’s baby today.


 

I think now is a good time to mention, spiders scare the holy bejeezus out of me…

 

Fast Food Fail

When I heard about Taco Bell’s new Power menu, I got excited. It’s super loaded with protein apparently, which can typically translate into two words:

Low. Carb.

Upon further examination of the menu at tacobell.com I found that it really is anything but low carb (like so much Mexican food is, sadly), however it looks to me like it is very easily adaptable to a low carb lifestyle. So when my mother texted me asking if I wanted anything from the place affectionately known in my family as Taco Hell, I figured “hey, why not?” and did a quick search online and saw their Cantina Power Bowl. Looked perfect, lettuce, chicken, sour cream and guac, all on a bed of rice and beans and topped with pico de gallo.

All right y’all, hold your low-starch pellet-fed horses here for one minute, I told Mama to tell them to leave off the rice and the beans. And then I added back in the beans. Because I love me some beans, and they’re almost 50% fibre, can’t be that bad right? But the rice stayed off and so did the pico. The rice, because it likes to DESTROY my blood sugars (in addition to just being plain nasty) and the pico because it just so happens that raw tomatoes make me recreate the projectile vomiting scenes from the Exorcist.

After a little calculation, I figured that my quasi-low carb fast food dietary delight would run me about 24g of total carbohydrates, and I sat in my room giddy with anticipation of my salad’s arrival. I’ve never been a huge fan of guacamole nor avocados, but I was even excited about those too, with all their healthy fats omm nom nom. So excited, especially since Lord Imp really likes Taco Hell and it’s difficult for me to find something that I can eat there that won’t leave me hungry an hour later.

So imagine my disappointment when I opened the bag, dug out my salad, and clearly saw red specks in my salad. Upon closer inspection: tomatoes. Son. Of. A. Bitch. All that excitement and a unit and a half of insulin for nothing. They didn’t even include the damn avocado ranch dressing. My mother tried talking me into not eating it but damnit, I was hungry. So I grabbed a fork, scraped off everything I could find that had come into contact with the tomatoes (which sadly included most of the sour cream and the guac, two things I desperately needed on that salad due to their fat contents and compounded by the fact that it was missing its damn dressing).

The salad sure as hell needed that dressing – it’s bland as shit without the pico. So I grabbed a bottle of chipotle pepper sauce that I use when making Susie Gibbs’ TO DIE FOR 2-minute enchilada sauce (seriously, go make it, your life will never be the same again), and dumped it on. That saved it somewhat. Unfortunately, the lettuce got limp on the drive home so when all was said and done it became an inedible mess. If I ever order this again, it will be when I’m in the restaurant, I won’t be bringing it home. To-go salads are never a good idea when they have a large amount of hot items on them like this one does, anyway.

All in all, the salad was good – ish. I really wish I could have gotten the dressing to give it a full review, but so far it gets an A for its adaptability to the low-carb lifestyle. The added guacamole (which they claim is made from real Haas avocados and I will blindly believe because I am already disappointed enough right now), sour cream and cheese fill the dish with fats and I’m sure the dressing would have contributed to that as well. I have no doubt that the lettuce was crispy when it was put together, and the beans were tasty because beans are just tasty. I just wish I could have kept the most important parts of the salad on it and I wish I didn’t have to spend five minutes picking diced tomatoes out of my damn dinner. In the end, I couldn’t finish the salad, probably due to the fact that I’m incredibly riled up and my appetite tends to dwindle when I’m riled up. It’s now sitting next to me here on the bed, a mushy mound of lettuce that looks like it was passed through a 90-year-old with severe digestive issues. The good news is, it still ended up destroying my blood sugars (I’m sitting at 160 right now after about 45 minutes) so I’m not in danger of going low at this point in time (no guarantees about later though, since I left about a third of it). However, the next time I get this, the beans are sadly going to be left off as well. 😦

Now that I’ve finished telling my story and opinion, let me just take a minute here to appeal to all you working in foodservice. Honey, I know where you’re coming from, I worked fast food for almost 7 years. I know the job sucks, the pay sucks, you get no benefits, you’re tired and you hate everyone. You especially hate people who decide that they want specific things done to their orders, and you don’t give a shit when you accidentally make something not the way the customer ordered it. The quick and easy way is to pick the stuff off and hope they don’t notice. But here’s the thing: often, people don’t order things a certain way because they’re hipster assholes looking to be ahead of the trend without realising that their interests are so 20 years ago. Often, people order things the way that they do because of their dietary needs. Dietary needs which, in this case, have the potential to at best create a rather long night, at worse become a medical emergency. People like me, we are very in tune to what we’re eating; we don’t blindly dig into a dish without thoroughly examining it first, especially when we’ve asked that things get left off due to distastes or medical reasons. Being a diabetic and knowing that a certain kind of food makes you vomit, you have to make a very conscious effort to avoid those foods. Because once you’ve taken that insulin, you had damn well better eat those carbs and keep them down or it’s lights out. And when you’re someone like me who eats low carb and only keeps low carb options in the house, save a bag of Butterfinger minis for emergencies, trying to cover a 24g meal becomes a real difficulty, and I severely dislike making a meal out of candy bars (that’s why I keep minis around, I have lost my taste for them and avoid them at all costs). Admittedly, it was my fault for taking the insulin before examining the dish for any issues, and I give y’all props for at least leaving off the rice as that would have been another major problem food for my blood sugars. But seriously – when someone asks that something is left off their dish, you leave it off. And if you accidentally put it on (it happens to the best of us), you ditch it and make a new one. No matter how busy you are, no matter how many cars are in the drive thru, no matter how many people are in the lobby. You remake it. End. Of. Story.

Common Variable Accuracy Deficiency

Lord Imp has recently gotten into watching House, and a couple of days ago he was chatting with me excitedly about watching an episode where a character was diagnosed with CVID. He was all giddy, telling me that he had it figured out 10 minutes in cause that’s what it sounded like. Bless his little heart, he tries so hard to understand the biology behind everything I go through. So I decided to watch it for myself to see what was up and to look at it from a different perspective now that I actually have the rare condition that was talked about.

From the get-go, I found myself wanting to beat my head on the keyboard. Who the hell calls toxoplasmosis a fungus? Idiot show writers who got their information off of Wikipedia, that’s who. Toxoplasmosis is caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. It’s a parasite. And P.S. I got that from Wikipedia, my microbiology textbook has been packed, didn’t think I was gonna need it until I moved…HA!

The slight fact that they’ve put toxoplasmosis in the wrong kingdom aside, let’s take a minute to talk about presentation. CVID will typically present as recurrent sinus, pulmonary and/or ear infections. Even House said that he wasn’t having the usual pulmonary infections. We’ll leave that point for a minute and allow the writers the benefit of the assumption that someone with CVID has issues fighting any sort of infection, no matter what kind. Where is the recurrence? Where is the pattern of frequent infections? He comes down with one fungal pneumonia and OMG, he’s got CVID! No, sorry folks, that’s not quite how it works.

He also has an extremely low T-cell count. Low T-cells and low B-cells. Sounds more like SCID to me. Which he wouldn’t have made it to kindergarten if had it. There are many reasons to have a low T-cell count, and it can spontaneously develop. According to Medscape, a T-cell deficit can cause a lack of communication between T- and B-cells, causing those B-cells to not reach maturity and leading to the Ig deficiency that is the hallmark of CVID. So that is entirely possible, although I call bullshit on their analysis that this miscommunication is the sole cause and reason behind CVID, seeing as I am a person with perfectly normal (and rather robust, as a matter of fact) T-cells at healthy levels.

And then there’s the testing. I’m going to leave the fact that they told the patient that he had AIDS before even drawing blood and doing a test, and focus instead on the testing itself. For starters, from what I’ve read on several sources, the AIDS test is going to be automatically a double-test when the ELISA comes back positive and it is followed up by a Western blot. House ordered a second test after the first positive, and that one came back negative. If what I am reading is correct, that Western blot should have caught the error, making another blood draw unnecessary. And why not run an Ig assay anyway since toxoplasmosis only progresses in immunocompromised patients? It’s a very inexpensive test, and since you were looking at someone with immune issues, ALL parts of the immune system should have been checked, not just one class. The hairy cell leukemia could have been ruled out with a simple complete blood count and flow cytometry of, funny story, cells in the immune system. AKA killing two birds with one stone. Half a dozen vials of blood in one draw (yeah, a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point) and a lot of the bullshit could have been avoided.

Now, back to the AIDS bit. Who in the HELL tells a patient they have AIDS before even doing a blood test?? I mean, that just BLEW my mind. That’s like, medical epic fail #1, telling a patient they have a socially stigmatizing and awful illness WITHOUT RUNNING A TEST. OMG I just can’t even wrap my tiny brain around it. That’s just….AAAAAAHHH!!!

Putting the ethics aside and back to the hair-pulling…

The Epstein-Barr virus as well as the epilepsy medication the patient was on as a child are both associated with CVID – on their own. I was unable to find anything saying that the combination was what was associated with it. And the phenytoin he was on seems to only cause temporary CVID, Pub Med had an article where they looked at a guy who developed CVID-like symptoms while on phenytoin – which reversed after coming off the drug. Many drugs can cause low Ig levels, this is not  uncommon at all. However everything I read said that phenytoin-induced Ig deficiency is extremely rare. And it looks to me like it’s impossible to have 30 years later since it appears to only be a temporary side effect of the epilepsy medication.

So then they put the patient on IVIG and BAM! All of a sudden he’s magically cured immediately. Oh, I wish it were that easy. It can take anywhere up to 6 months of continual infusions to get yourself to a point when you are feeling amazing – although after a lifetime of illness, a couple days after your first infusion you do see a noticeable difference. I’m also really confused how IVIG got his T-cells back to normal, too…yeah, if you’re deficient in it, that IVIG isn’t going to do you a damn bit of good, all it’s going to boost up is your IgG levels. Your T-cells are produced by your bone marrow and refined in the thymus, and if you don’t have any you either have some serious production issues going on, you’re on some kind of immunosuppressant, or you have one of a small handful of other illnesses. Either way, one round of IVIG is not going to get your T-cells up. Sorry, Charlie.

And the final, big question…Cameron is a FUCKING IMMUNOLOGIST. WHYYYYYY did she not open her mouth? Sure, Chase mentioned immunoglobulin deficiency and House shot him down, but COME ON. There are a rather large number of immunodeficiencies out there, you have a patient presenting an illness that a healthy person shouldn’t, hello this is your field! Does House own the hospital? No. You’re a doctor, you can order tests just as well as any other guy. I mean sure,  you would have to deal with House’s attitude problem, but he has a short memory, he’ll forget about it in the next episode.

So yes. This is my somewhat-educated, I-am-no-expert rendition of what I found wrong in the episode that I really can think of. I would just like to take this moment to say that all I had to do was use Google. How hard is it for a show’s writers to do? They had to have had a medical expert on the writing staff, you can’t begin to convince me that a medical expert would repeatedly refer to toxoplasmosis as a fungus. Unless there’s just some other organism that causes it. I’m too tired to do that much research. But I digress, everything I found was publicly and freely available, and not that hard to find. Come on, make it a little more accurate, folks.

But then again, it wouldn’t have been that dramatic had they done it the way it should have been done, and had they made it present the way that it should have. Would have made for an awfully boring episode…

The #Dstigma Rebuttal

Had a good giggle at a tweet that appeared in my feed this afternoon:

Screenshot 2014-08-01 20.51.58

 

People are so ignorant, it pisses me off. So, in my “ugh, you ignoramus”-ness (and I would just like to take this moment to say that Jeremy said that in mockery of these people, he knows better himself), I hereby present to you my response:

10. Yes, carbohydrate intake is related to increased insulin resistance. However, your cousin did not get it because he couldn’t put down the Twinkies, he got it because of a number of causes, including but not limited to genetics, family history and, as research is showing, some funky factors that control protein synthesis.

9. “A touch of diabetes.” ROFLcopter. You don’t have a touch of diabetes, you either have it or you don’t. If a doctor is telling you that you have a “touch” of anything, I highly recommend you find a new one. Their medical license likely came out of a box of Cracker Jacks.

8. If diabetes could be cured, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. Ass.

7. Yes, there are different types of diabetes, the word in the blank tends to be “bad.” There is no good or bad kind of diabetes, they all suck intense donkey nutsack after it has trekked from Galilee to Judea in 100-degree heat. All types carry risks of complications that all suck, and all types require some kind of combination of medication, dietary control and exercise. All diabetes is bad.

6. Yes, I am still able to do one-handed cartwheels while balancing a Dutch apple pie in the other hand and singing Gangham Style while shaking my ass, but thank you for your concern.

5. Really? My first cousin once removed once got on a ship. It sank and he lost his left arm to a shark and died bleeding in the north Atlantic. He also lost his chance at inheriting an earldom and instead it went to a solicitor from Manchester. Lucky bastard.

4. Funny you mention that, because I can always spot a dumbass because they look like a deformed duck with his tongue sticking out and one eye is bigger than the other.

3. I had polio for a while, but I got rid of it by moving to the moon.

2. I don’t miss eating anything. Because the stuff that I’ve made while on low-carb is a hell of a lot tastier than any of the grain-laden crap I was making before I realised that even while on insulin, my blood sugars were roller-coastering when I was eating whatever I want. As an added bonus, I have gotten myself one hella sexy body as a side effect. I’m too sexy for you.

1. LULZ, in addition to the diabetes, I also have a defunct immune system. Which means breathe your SARS on me and I’m dead. Game. Set. Match.

I really hate ignorant people who sit on their asses in their underwear watching Dr. Oz and suddenly think they’re a medical expert (I feel like I’ve said this somewhere else before…). The fact that Dr. Oz is full of shit aside, it takes years of genuine (PEER REVIEWED) research before you can be considered anything even remotely close to an “expert.” Just because your mother/cousin/estranged ex who is in prison for coercing his state representative to lick a metal post in the dead of winter has diabetes does not mean you have a damn clue what you’re talking about. The conversation we just had, that just proved to me that you make Paris Hilton look like a Nobel Prize-winning medical biologist. Why don’t you go drink some ipecac. Trust me, it will make you smarter.