I appreciate the comments of my readers. No, I am not suffering like Semmelweis. And I am not fighting the struggle alone.
In 1847 Viennese Physician Semmelweis was ridiculed for suggesting that attending OB physicians wash their hands between patients. He was subsequently called the "Savior of mothers," when deaths from "childbed fever" plummeted.
In 1862 Pasteur suggested the germ theory of disease. His ideas were met with ridicule for years to come.
In 1979 and 1981 Warren and Marshall discovered a bacteria in the stomach. They suggested that the bacteria (Helicobacter pylori) was pathogenic- and that it was associated with peptic ulcers amongst other things. Colleagues, who knew better, dismissed these ideas as nonsense.
Of course, all of these paradigm shattering physicians and scientists, who advanced our knowledge and medical practice in quantum leaps, are now highly revered heroes of history.
After years of rebuke, Warren and Marshall were given long overdue credit; they were awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2005.
The question is: Are the "Lyme Wars" just another iteration of the paradigm wars described by Thomas Kuhn in his famous essay "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions?" Or, is this particular process different, in some fundamental- perhaps Orwellian way? This is a debate I will not enter.
Many others have vivisected the Klempner study and other purported pillars of the IDSA view point. The notion that this single- highly flawed study should be allowed to discredit the work of hundreds of scientists and physicians is mind boggling, to say the least. As I have noted in the past, it is difficult to wed medicine and science. The practice of medicine has always given equal weight to the art and the science of medicine. Bench top, basic science research is clear. The basic scientific facts as they have been uncovered, offer unwavering support for our contentions. Clinical science is murky at best and is always open to criticism.
This blog is not science. It is a collection of fact, theory and clinical vignettes sent out into the ether of cyberspace, perhaps the equivalent of a modern day message in a bottle. I suppose my motive is similar to that of any other author who scribbles a note on a piece of paper and then sends it out adrift in the sea; perhaps by chance, It will be found, read by the right person- and make a difference.
It seems clear to me that documentaries, books and scientific assemblies offering compelling, and at times horrifying information, have thus far failed to scratch the armor coat of the other side.
I do believe that history is critical. We must never forget its lessons, as we move forward each day, with the knowledge that we are doing the best that we can.
I will veer off the subject of my blog for a moment. I am awestruck and brought to tears of joy at this incomprehensible moment in history. I could never imagined that I would live to see the prophetic vision of one of my personal heroes, Martin Luther King, become reality, as I now watch a black American take the highest office in the land, perhaps the world.
As always, the people can make a difference. The medical community will not accept the truths of Lyme disease until it is forced down their throats by a grass roots movement coming not from doctors like myself, but from ordinary people- like you.