Today the following email arrived in my inbox via a post to a glaucoma support group. This email gives me an opportunity to answer some questions, including the original of the name of my (former) blog, The IOP Querent.
I read your very interesting blog this morning.
Here are a couple of questions:
What exactly is your background? Your blog says that you are the
director of a research organization. Are you a physician?
One of your blogs is "The IOP Querent". I looked up the word
"querent" in my Webster's Third Edition International Unabridged
Two definitions are given:
Querent: A complainer or plaintiff.
Querent: One who seeks the advice of an astrologer.
In what sense are you using the word "querent"? I suspect you know
that the original word has a root (like 'inquire') meaning "to
seek". Is this your meaning?
You seem to have a strong leaning toward unconventional approaches to
medicine -- including Ayurveda and even homeopathy.
I have been a glaucoma patient since 1970 and following conventional
medical approaches (just about every drop known to man!) and
bilateral trabeculectomy, I enjoy 20/20 vision and IOP of 14/16 with
no drops at all. During the past 37 years, visiting ophthalmologists
regularly, I have never been told anything about my diet, my life
style, or my hot tub.
I am not particularly against unconventional approaches to health.
My fear is that an unsophisticated patient will substitute an
untested regimen for a tried-and-true approach to glaucoma management
and suffer thereby.
Thank you for your email. It is nice to hear from you (again). It seems that you have had very good experiences over these last 37 years with your glaucoma management. I wish everyone with glaucoma could enjoy 20/20 vision and intraocular pressure in the mid-teens after 37 years with glaucoma. You should be congratulated for doing the things you have needed to do in order to achieve those good results. I hope to emulate your results - I was only diagnosed 3 years ago.
Now, to answer some of your questions:
As you saw, a querent is a questioner or a seeker of knowledge. I have, and continue, to gain tremendous knowledge through the scientifically-oriented procedure of asking my own intraocular pressure well-defined questions and listening to the response with highly accurate instruments. That's really what my personal blog is about. For example, I asked my own intraocular pressure whether weight lifting would cause it to become elevated or to become reduced. After a series of experiments using professional tonometers, I had a pretty clear answer and I wrote about what I found in my blog. (I also communicated with some top scientists in the glaucoma field on this topic too, btw.)
You probably didn't see the very first post in my personal blog. That post has only been viewed 90 times, while many posts on the blog are viewed between 500 and 1000 times (or more). (I think FitEyes.com is up to between 1000 and 3000 readers, making it possibly one of the largest glaucoma-related sites of its type.) Sometimes I think it is good that not many people view that original post because some of the scientists I communicate with regularly might not approve of things like that! However, my blog simply relates IOP-related things through my own eyes, and it wouldn't be honest if I left out things that have inspired me and have been valuable sources of knowledge.
I'm not a physician. I have a background in statistics and biochemistry, but I had moved away from those fields by the time I was diagnosed with glaucoma. Glaucoma has pointed me back in that direction. The research that FitEyes.com is promoting/sponsoring/directing is at an early stage. However, we have the world's most accurate tonometers -- in fact, in my area, we are the only organization with some of these instruments. My area includes some well-respected hospitals and medical institutions with world-wide reputations, so the fact that we have "better" tonometers is a major source of pride. (Of course, it will be short-lived because soon every glaucoma specialist will be utilizing these same tonometers. They are just tools, after all.)
I am not particularly against conventional approaches to health. My fear is that too many people neglect the simple and effective approaches taught by traditional systems such as Ayurveda -- approaches that would prevent diseases or stop them in the very early stages -- and are then faced with more difficult medical decisions where the powerful but potentially dangerous tools of allopathic medicine are seemingly the only viable options. Some brave people are able to take control of their own health even after things have progressed "too far" and, by application of these simple and effective approaches that involve nutrition, exercise, lifestyle and mental, emotional and spiritual elements, regain their health (either with or without complementing these things with allopathic approaches). I am in the former categories and I'm trying to put myself in the later category.
Allopathic medicine needs to come with a warning label: WARNING: use of allopathic medicine can be dangerous to your health. Iatrogenic disease is a leading killer. Caution - utilize allopathic medicine only if there are no safer, gentler and equally effective alternatives available to you. Use allopathic medicine only if you must. And if you must use it too frequently, you should realize that you have probably neglected (or are neglecting) self-care as taught by systems like Ayurveda. (In the preceding sentence I say "you" but I could insert "I/me" without hesitation.)
On the other hand, Ayurvedic knowledge should be used by all people all the time every single day of their lives, whether sick or healthy. That fact is beyond debate in my mind, so please forgive me if I choose not to support that statement through extensive explanations on my blog. The people who understand Ayurveda don't need to be convinced and the people who are adamantly skeptical about it aren't really my intended audience.
(By the way, there are other blogs on FitEyes.com and my personal views don't apply to those other blogs. If any of you reading this wish to start your own vision-related blog on FitEyes.com, we can enable a blog for you at your request. Your own blog can be an expression of your unique point of view about vision-related issues.)