Experts don’t agree about everything…

…and I discovered that this is a good thing after I was admitted to hospital in 1992 with a suspected brain tumour.
Below is a transcript of a piece I recently posted on Alastair Robert’s Open Mic Thread after I saw an interesting Twitter conversation between @zugzwanged and @whitefrozen:
“I felt prompted to write this after reading the recent Twitter conversation between Alastair and Whitefrozen on the subject of self-deception.I intend to read the books you mentioned at a later date and I shall probably ferret through them looking for every hole I can possibly find!
My default position is:
1. Experts are not always right about everything.
2. Experts disagree amongst themselves and I think that’s a good thing.
3.I am not wrong about everything and I’m actually right about some things!
This position is rooted in a time in 1992 when I was a case-study at a meeting of thirteen neurologists after I was admitted to hospital with a suspected brain tumour. Some asked me if they could check my reflexes. Some shone a light into my eyes.I’d already had these tests on four other occasions after being admitted [along with scans, lumbar puncture, and so on], but these consultants wanted to check it out for themselves – and I’m thankful that they did.They had a variety of suggested diagnoses and a variety of suggestions for further tests and treatment. I was fascinated with the questions they asked me and with the conversations they had amongst themselves.
In contrast, five months before I was admitted, the GP* I consulted thought that my symptoms were caused by stress and she advised me to take up yoga and jogging.I was, of course, living in my body 24/7 and I knew that weird things were happening, but she did not let my reality interfere with whatever preconceptions she had.I don’t suppose she intended to deceive herself but that is effectively what she did.When I asked if I could see a consultant, she booked me in for a non-urgent appointment, for twelve months later.I was eventually given an earlier appointment with the consultant, thanks to his secretary. I had rung to ask if he took private patients.She said that he didn’t but she added that she’d concluded from what I’d told her that I needed a consultation on the NHS, and urgently.
Even after I was given a final diagnosis, some people still preferred to make their own diagnoses of my condition. After I collapsed at work one day, three colleagues rang me up and commented that seeing ‘that accident’ obviously hadn’t done me any good.I saw no accident, but I discovered that a colleague who’d seen an accident en route to work had decided that I must have seen it, too.This story soon whizzed around the school via bush telegraph.**
Oh, I do love the book of James!
And a year or so ago I ventured into the Twitter jungle, where such preconceptions, misconceptions and self-deceptions are magnified and where bush telegraph is accelerated and on a grander scale. I now regard Twitter as part of my ongoing education! I will now continue my journey through ‘Written on the Heart’.
Thank you both for your conversation :-).”
I’ve just re-read this and I’ve made some minor amendments.
I also think I’d better add the following:
* The GP I saw was a Locum who was working temporarily at the practice of my regular GP.
** Unlike the colleague who concluded that I collapsed at work because I was upset about seeing an accident, my GP ( my regular GP, that is!) made a wiser diagnosis and referred me to the hospital for another lumbar puncture.
My apologies for any errors I may have missed.


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