Arrogance is curable

June 1, 2009

by Herald Journal & Enteprise Dispatch Editor Lynda Jensen

As a mother, I have watched the Daniel Hauser incident with mixed emotions. He is the young 13-year-old boy from Sleepy Eye who fled with his mother, looking for alternative forms of treating Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer.

I have a son that age myself, and can say, without a doubt, that if Colleen Hauser had the chance to switch roles with her son, I know she would; since I would, too.

I don’t endorse her flight, but understand her actions with a mother’s heart – that she could not endure the idea of watching her son undergo chemotherapy.

They were looking for options, other than straight-line medical answers, and were being dictated an unwanted procedure.

A doctor who is familiar with alternative medicine for cancer in Mexico, who was interviewed by WCCO, summed up his assessment of the situation: doctors didn’t spend enough time with the Hausers to make them comfortable with the diagnosis and prescribed cure.

Hmm. That sounds familiar. You mean, for example, like being given 10 minutes or less with your doctor – which is only long enough to fix an ear infection?

Perhaps Colleen Hauser has accidentally pointed out a flaw in our medical community; that of arrogance.

Think about this: some parents believe that vaccinations made with a mercury preservative cause autism, or are linked to it.

We have been told by judges, no less, that they are willing to risk this association – forcing parents to use the mercury preservative in shots, despite the fact that the medical community itself has openly said it has no idea what causes autism.

Let me repeat that: The medical community has NO IDEA what causes autism.

But they are comfortable with forcing every parent to have shots made with mercury preservative, despite the strong misgivings of a good-sized set of parents. They are willing to overrule parental wisdom and jurisdiction to risk all that.

What is the attraction for mercury preservative? It’s cheaper for the drug companies to make, that’s all. Not because it can’t be made any other way, but simply because it’s cheaper to make.

Mothers aren’t medical scholars, but we know our children and are underestimated by the medical community, perhaps too often.

Plain common sense is also a problem here, because anyone using it would see that until we find the cause of autism, we should not be arrogant enough to force anyone to do anything that doesn’t make sense on the face of it, if there is a reasonable alternative.

I would like the medical community to find the cause for autism, and then say with confidence that it isn’t linked to shots. Period.

Back to the Hauser issue – I am genuinely thankful that the judge in this case made the right decision; making room for both the family’s wishes for alternative treatment, and the traditional treatment, since chemo is really the only option that works for this type of cancer (even the alternative doctors say this).

He could plainly see that the Hausers are loving parents, and only want what is best for their children. Isn’t that what we all want? Isn’t that the objective?

Nevertheless, a lesson to be learned is that arrogance in our medical community, if and when it happens, is not necessary, and also curable.

‘Chocolate tower cake’

Last week, I wrote about comfort food while I was trying to heal up from surgery.

Since then, I found the ultimate comfort food for the chocolate fanatic, but I warn you that it’s got what must be about 1,000 calories in it.

It’s called Chocolate Tower Cake, available at Sunni’s Grille in Howard Lake.

I urge you to try it, but will attach a few advisories. First, it’s huge (like, one serving could be shared with two or three people that you particularly like) and costs eight bucks. But, it’s worth it.

Second, you’ll end up taking most of it home, and eating it over time. In order to do this, you must mark the top of your take-home container something like “celery,” otherwise your kids will eat it.

Incidentally, if you love chocolate like I do, you’ll also find it worth your while to sample the brownies at the deli counter of The Marketplace in Cokato. They are completely awesome.

However, if you’re on the run and can’t stop long, then I recommend sampling the brownies at any Casey’s location. They are baked fresh there, right on the spot.

Flattery will get you nowhere

The goofy sense of humor at the Herald Journal office is legendary, and we have been known to laugh at silly stuff or do small practical jokes. I think working at a newspaper does something to your mind.

Nevertheless, last week found the Herald Journal girls giggling over an item that Staff Writer Jennifer Gallus dug up in the 1920 issue of the Howard Lake Herald while she was doing research for an article on Harold Pugh.

It read “There is one time when a Howard Lake woman detests flattery, and that is when some other woman is being flattered.”

Quote of the week

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”

– John Shedd