Ren and the art of Motorcycles

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Running with the Red Queen...

I haven't blogged for a while, and feel quite guilty about it. I've read and commented at times on my usual blogs, and lurked on several others but have only fit those in during the chaos. (Never start blogging right before the start of a new school year...between a college age child and a HS junior, along with my own classes for my new job, I've been quite busy).

Today's title comes from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland stories. Running with the Red Queen is a phrase my best friend and I use when , like Alice, it takes all the running we can do to just stay in one place (Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 2) I have been running for the last few weeks and don't think I'm managing to stay in one place, much less progress!

As a medical person, I am drawn to blogs by other medical people, or those who write about science and nature. I am not really into political blogs although I may follow links to them to read them here and there.

One thing I have found most surprising is the numbers of people who verbalize their mistrust of "conventional" medicine and believe all they hear about "alternative" medicine. I am NOT knocking all alternative medicines. I use ginger for stomach upsets, and (worthless testimonial here) preferred a comfrey ointment over any conventional diaper rash ointment when my children were babies. In fact, in a test, one weekend I put Best Selling Brand on one side of my daughter's rash, and used the comfrey ointment on the other. When she returned to daycare the following Monday, the providers wanted to know why she was healed on the comfrey side and still red and sore on the BSB side. As a midwife, I have used other unconventional methods of care, but ones that had been reviewed and some efficacy documented. The old "Lawrence Review of Natural Products" was my bible for years.

The vaccine furor surprises and bothers me. I have been vaccinated, I have had my children vaccinated. I am nonimmune to measles and mumps. I had rubella as a young child and was found to be immune. However....I also had mumps and measles as a child. I am not immune to those diseases. When I started graduate school I had to have an MMR (at age 30+...) Even after the vaccine titers showed I was not immune. So, I am dependent, to some extent, on the herd immunity because as an adult I am far more vulnerable to increased severity of disease. Yes, my interest in making sure I don't get the diseases is selfish. Isn't everyone's goal in life to remain healthy?

Another reason I haven't been blogging much lately is that my grandmother recently died, and I inherited many things from her. One thing I received are the letters she and my grandfather wrote to each other during WWII. The rounds of disease, the fears of exposure, and the deaths she mentions are frightening. And this is in a large, midwestern city with modern sanitation, good nutrition and medical care. Discussing some of the letters with my mother, she remembers vividly having measles and mumps in the same year...the classmate who died from complications of measles, and her own brother's near death from the same disease. My grandmother's letter to my grandfather, detailing my uncle's illness, brought tears to my eyes. The fear and anxiety in it are something I am delighted that I have not had to go through.

There is so much information in her letters. Reading them from a modern point of view, I can see the progression of medical care. I also recognize that my extended family struggled with a severely autistic child through the 30's and 40's. The boy was not seen as retarded although he was non verbal. (He did eventually end up institutionalized in the 1950's and died in the 1960's according to family history). They struggled with disease and a world war. They survived.

I will survive my chaos and blog more soon.


  • At 12:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Maggie,
    This is completly off topic but I just wanted to get in touch with you.
    My name's Barbara Rosethorne & I'm into family history. Every now & then I "Google" the name Rosethorn/e to see what comes up, this time it was your name.
    I was wondering if you knew anything about where your family came from? As you know Rosethorn/e is an unusual name & somewhere down the track we must all be related I would imagine.
    My email is abrosethorne(at)bigpond(dot)com if you would like to get in touch. Thank you for your time,

  • At 8:25 AM, Blogger The Minstrel Boy said…

  • At 4:41 PM, Blogger Maggie Rosethorn said…

    Barbara, as my email said, it's just a coincidence. Earlier posts explain where the name came from, but the short answer is that it's a compilation.

    The Minstrel Boy--thanks for the link. I have some of those but not all, and they look interesting. I hope I'll get my links working tonight; have tried to add you and a few others to my blog without success.



Post a Comment

<< Home