Thursday, July 9, 2009

Some People Just Can't Deal With Being Wrong!

It's unfortunate, but I suppose a fact of life, that there are those who simply cannot accept being corrected, even when it is presented in a non-threatening and essentially kind way. You know the ones. They become defensive, attacking and sometimes downright mean. Perhaps this has to do with needing to been the "queen bee", jealousy or envy, its anybodys guess.

Opinions are opinions and facts are facts. When facts are misrepresented, especially regarding the topic of HPV that upsets me. There are far to many sites with erroneous information and far too many people who have just been recently diagnosed with HPV themselves and suddenly they're experts because they've spent a few weeks searching the internet. These people can be dangerous because they present information as fact when often it is far from it.

I'm not talking about the folks who are compassionate and truly caring and want to help others through providing information which they themselves experienced via a procedure etc. And there are those, who provide legitimate researched accurate information. These are the ones who should be applauded for taking time out of their day to answer posts and sooth the soul of another human being!

I have spent months and years rearching HPV not only for my own knowledge but in researching my book. I have spoken to MD's, PhD's, DO's, pharmacists, pathologists and cytopathologists to name a few. I didn't just pull my knowledge off a few web pages. I have a 22 year history with this virus myself and am quite familiar with its ramifications. Even those who have dealt with HPV themselves and have quite a significant knowledge base still don't know everything. There are some areas in which, despite the significant research I've done I am still lacking but at least I can admit that. I'm still learning about viral loads relating to HPV and several other topics such as foamite transmission.

A situation came up recently on a healthboard. I attempted (privately) to let someone know that her current understanding of a particular situation was in fact incorrect. The only word I can think of at the moment to describe her is - COWARD. Could she maturely respond to me - no. Instead she had to go running like a little ninny whining to complain. She didn't have the guts, or the knowledge quite frankly to address the issue head on. She was going to believe what she was going to believe and that was that! Fine, but don't go spewing this incorrect information to dozens of other people! It is irresponsible individuals like this that only contribute to the misperceptions, confusion and dissemination of inaccurate information which only makes the situation worse. The topic of HPV is confusing enough, believe me.

I'm actually quite surprised because this particular lady is quite well versed regarding HPV. Apparently however, she doesn't like to be challenged. Well that's just too bad! Higher level of knowledge or not she should at least be able to admit that perhaps, just perhaps she got it wrong.

I have received a tremendous amount of (sincere) support from individuals on this particular site and they know who they are. They will never truly understand the strength that their support has given me and how much I appreciate each and every one of them. They also understand however, that I am currently dealing with my own physical and emotional hell of recurrent invasive anal cancer and upcoming radiation and chemotherapy. As such, I am emotionally very fragile at this particular point in time and have no trouble admitting that - who wouldn't be under the circumstances. However, I find it reprehensible, not to mention downright mean for this individual (and one other) to do what they have done. It speaks not to compassion but to defensiveness, not to concern but to a lack of it, and not to the most important thing of imparting accurate medical information, but to continuing to disseminate what SHE believes to be accurate and is not.

While contributing to this site has allowed me to impart my knowledge and understanding of HPV to others (which is my main goal) and while I would love to continue to do so, I cannot do so under the circumstances which have been created at this time which is truly a shame and in my opinion, a loss for everyone including myself.

These types of individuals are an impediment to progress because they prefer to remain stuck in the past. Stuck in old definitions, stuck in old research conclusions, stuck in old information, and stuck is the last thing anyone needs to be if they are going to be open-minded - they're mutually exclusive. Understanding of HPV evolves daily and one needs to be open-minded to deal with it. These folks need to do us all a favor and climb out of the sandbox! Stop behaving like a pre-schooler who just picked up their jacks and is going home. On the other hand, maybe they should go home, and stay there!