Why do you do it?
From time to time I get asked this question. I've got 4 answers, all true in their own way.
1) I got involved with Hep C treatment by accident. A single patient asked for help, said he was doing it with me or without my help so I figured he'd be better of if I helped. After that stuff happened and by the time I had second thoughts and looked over my shoulder it looked like the road behind was on fire and the bridges burning so forward looked better
2) Morally it really offends me that we've invented a cure for X and patients with needs-X can't get it because it's too expensive. I'm a simple soul. If I find somebody who needs-X I prescribe X and want them to get X - that's what I signed up for
3) I was a bit of an edge case as a kid. I fitted in because I was good at sport, not so much the people stuff. Seeing so many doctors put their personal interests (take no risks) before patient interests (already running the very real risks) made me sad. Supporting generics when most other doctors were too scared to fitted with a lifetime of always being on the outer.
4) I fly hang gliders and have done since 1981. It never ceases to amaze me that after 2000 years looking at the sky wishing we could fly very few people actually want to. Anyway, back in the 90's there was a brand called "No Fear" that had a slogan "If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space" and I wrote this poem:
The Path We Choose
Do not shed a tear for me
For I would not for you
Instead just drink a beer for me
And know well that I knew
Dreams of flight do not come free
There comes attached a price
And we do not do it blindly
We know we roll the dice
Before you sail into the sky
A sky slow to forgive
Ask am I, afraid to die?
Or just afraid to live?
So if you try, to question why
When fate can seem unjust
We take these risks, not to escape life
But to stop life escaping us
I think you made the right choice by taking this risk Dr James, thousands of patients around the world are glad you did (when others wouldn't). Beautiful poem.
Dr. James, I just popped on the forum to check out what's going on and discovered your poem. What a fantastic attitude for anyones life. I feel so fortunate to have found the website about 1 year ago and eventually becoming cured by the generic drugs from India through your clinic. At 76 years old and having HepC for over 50 years you know how amazing it still is to be <15 (undetectable). Since the start of treatment on May 17,2018, I have slowly but surely changed my life in many ways; and being undetectable now contributed to all the positive changes. Thank you for all your good work and dedication to helping your fellow man. You and your wonderful staff have truly made the world a much better place.
Be well and keep livin' on the edge
One of my favorite quotes. I've used it (the quote) and I still live the message
that the quote conveys.....3 cat lives out of 9 left now.
I never heard or read this quote until you posted it a while back. My friends
think I'm suicidal to be doing things I do at my age.
Your poem is excellent. Keep doing your great work. You are one of a kind
contracted Gen 1a in the 70's, dx in 2007...ast 27 to 35...alt 43 to 96...vl 1.2 mil to 8.6 mil.
biopsy F-2 (2012)..pre tx results 1/23/16 ast 32, alt 46, vl 3.1 mil
tx started 2/11/16.... lab results 2/24/16 ast 18, alt 18, vl <15 IU/ml
28 days later.............lab results 3/9/16 ast 21, alt 21, vl UND
56 days later.............lab results 4/6/16 ast 20, alt 22, vl UND
139 days later...........lab results 6/29/16 ast 28, alt 30, vl UND...EOT