Animal Anecdote 15
The animal in this one is about me and concerns an expert’s unexpected opinion. With the disease, infectious hepatitis having run a 2 week course with no known treatment and my having lost 20 pounds and turned almost a daffodil yellow a friend from the Yale Medical School asked if he might visit and make some suggestions. My father brought a Dr. John Paul who was at the time the Chairman of the United Nations Commission on Jaundice to see me. What better credentials could a human physician have for one with my problem?
After a friendly chat about my disease Dr. Paul made the two following suggestions: first, don’t take vitamins. Second, don’t let them get you into a hospital. That was all and he bid me good bye and they left. I was aware there was no treatment but wouldn’t you be surprised at those two recommendations?
On the way back to the Medical School Dr. Paul told my father the reasoning behind the suggestions. Statistically, patients who do not go to a hospital have a higher survival rate. Also those who take vitamins or who have vitamins administered by injection have a significantly higher death rate.
I’ve thought a lot about that episode in my life and I recall the time when physicians of certain human problems would tell those around the patient even when death seemed eminent that the patient had, “Passed the crisis.” Those doctors knew that with certain problems if the patient could survive long enough he or she would survive from past experience with similar cases.
It seems to me that even the virus that causes Infectious hepatitis has certain nutritional requirements itself. If the affected person does not eat as with this disease and the levels of a vitamin such as vitamin B1, thiamin chloride drop to levels incompatible with life, life has to soon end. The same may be said of the needs of the virus. In my situation the human has the ability to live longer without B1 than the virus.
Was there not an old expression, “Feed a fever and starve a cold?” It seems to me that for some diseases it may be therapeutic to deprive the disease of some necessary nutrition. What do you think of that?
Next time an unsung friend and hero.