Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Hypertension 22: Where Is The Patients' Voice?

I just went through Amazon.com on the subject of Hypertension. There were three pages--three pages of books promoting diets and non-medical approaches to Hypertension, a doctor's 3D kit explaining Hypertension, and one unexplained audio CD, 'Ten Years of Hypertension.' It was not clear if the CD takes ten years to listen to. But there was no book from a Hypertension patient.

I've been through Google numerous times, searching for web sites about Hypertension, to get information. There are many listings. There is the main Hypertension listing, but there are also sublistings under various categories, including 'for patients'. The listings generally all come from government health or university departments, service organizations, or for-profit companies (such as drug companies or medical news services).

To date, I've found nothing from actual Hypertension patients.

Where is the patients' voice?

Apparently one in five of us has Hypertension, according to one web site. That is one heck of a lot of people. With numbers like that, there is plenty o' money to be made in Hypertension. Money for pharmaceutical companies, for alternative healing proponents, for Hypertension cookbooks. Money for researchers, physicians, University professors. It's a good living. :)

But, where is the patients' voice?

None of the web sites I have seen have chat rooms for patients, nor are any of the hits from patients. None of the hits are from patients. No matter how much patience you have looking, you find nada from patients. There is a huge amount of information, much of it technical, some of it dumbed down for laypeople. But nothing at all about what it is like to have Hypertension, what it is like to deal with the medical system.

Type "Hypertension" into Google and there are over, if I read this right, 32 million 'hits' and over 1,000 pages of websites. I have not been able to go through all 32 million this morning, but from what I've seen all of the hits are from organizations and people making a good living out of Hypertension. And, more power to them. If you have to make a living, why not make a living on sickness? Hahahaha, he laughed.

But, where is the patients' voice?

It feels, from a patients' perspective, as if you type in 'automobile' and instead of getting information from other auto owners, you only hear from used car salespeople.

It is typical of our entire medical system that the patients' voice is lost, just like the car owners'. Who is driving this puppy? And why does the driver--the patient--get lost in the shuffle?

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