Monday, August 23, 2010

Six Opinions

I was traveling in a third world country with my extended family when my brother in law Ted slipped on a rock and fell. As we helped him up he had a number of nasty looking cuts and puncture wounds. Our guide got him out of the remote area as quickly as possible and into the available medical care. The bush doctor did the best he could and made suggestions for further care. The camp leadership had a different opinion and thought infection had already taken place. This lead to a long drive to a larger town for another evaluation and another very different opinion at the only clinic open on Sunday. Of course we each had our opinions. My sister’s comment went something like “We got six different opinions that ranged all over the map, none of which came from anyone who had a medical degree.” In the end Ted did just fine, but there were some times of real, appropriate concern.

During this same trip I came down with dysentery and received the next series of 6 opinions from various “experts.” My favorite was a torching I got from the camp leadership about not following the email they supposedly sent out telling us to take yeast tablets and drink lots of liquids. My somewhat sarcastic response about having some serious beer therapy was not even appreciated. I dutifully took the homeopathic pills she offered, and had a few beers just to make sure. In the end (pardon the obvious pun) the only thing that worked was some serious antibiotic pills that my other sister carried with her. The only one of the five of us that did not suffer from this frequent travel unpleasantly was Ted, who was on the same medication (he got from the first bush “doctor”) to fight infection for his wounds.

Have you ever been stuck and needing help, but instead got all kinds of opinions that were hard to sort out or were even conflicting? It is a part of the world we live in, no matter where we live. What to do in this circumstance? Normally, I try to research the various options, and with this available data I then opt for the potential solution with the most ‘horsepower.’ No use sneaking up on a problem, pull out the big guns and cut down the issues as quickly and thoroughly as possible. No “inch off the snake’s tail.” Go for the head! And my long flight home after antibiotics was a whole lot better than the week of “trotting” off into the bush after the latest local remedy failure.

The Doc

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