David Stevens

What are we, after all?

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2015 at 8:49 am

“I’m pondering is what I’m doing.”

“Hell about?”

About being a sober adult making up my mind, he replied truculently in his head. About having a centre and a will instead of a bunch of stupid impulses and bad memories … .

The Tailor of Panama by John le Carre

He is so good and so clever and he makes me see things in worlds I could never inhabit – recruiting agents in a club in Panama is as alien to me as the bottom of the ocean. Le Carre bored and lost me when I was younger, in some omnibus edition starring George Smiley – the fault was mine. Years later, having been around the block a few times (and kicked in the head and/or guts along the way), there is so much there – the loss, the late rallies, lives summed up and thrown away. A highlight of last year was watching ‘A Most Wanted Man’ in a German cinema, in an audience that reacted differently to parts than an Australian audience would have.

“Everything in the world is true if you invent it hard enough and love the person it’s for!”

Action on Lyme Disease in Australia

In Uncategorized on November 14, 2015 at 2:08 am

Two of my daughters have a cocktail of borellia and other bugs in their systems, after being bitten by ticks (or something else). They have suffered enormously for a very long time – severe chronic pain; horrible neurological symptoms including seizures and brain fog; intermittent paralysis; ongoing respiratory distress; and many other awful symptoms which have completely disrupted their lives.

It took years to obtain a diagnosis, so they grew sicker without proper treatment, and of course, when treatment began, they were so far behind. That alone has been a nightmare.

In short, they have chronic lyme disease. (Now, there are disputes about the existence of the chronic form of this disease, but living the reality, I do not have any time for that shit. Really. The controversy is a concoction. Go away, you have no idea what you are talking about. I don’t care if you named the disease, your expertise stops there.) The problem is, in Australia, they don’t even recognise the existence of Lyme disease. This is not a joke. You can be in hospital as sick as a dog, presenting all the symptoms under the sun, and when this disease is mentioned, they discharge you. People die.

We have thousands – probably tens of thousands – of sick people, many of whom have multiple positive blood tests for borellia and typical co-infections, in Australia. When they go to the doctor, they are told to go away, or to see a psychologist, because, you see, the disease doesn’t exist here. We are not interested in your symptoms, please just go away. I have written about this earlier – click here to be taken to that page.

The official stage we are at now is: we have (begrudging) acceptance of a range of symptoms, with no known causative agent; it can’t be lyme disease, because it doesn’t exist here; so sorry about that, please go away and die quietly.

There is no leadership at all from the medical profession. There are a dozen or so excellent, interested, and over-worked doctors, but no leadership, only obstruction from the profession. The Federal and State health departments are showing no leadership at all.

Science as a profession has failed all of these people. Not the scientific method, but those who proclaim themselves to be independent thinkers, those who speak of their objectivity, those who speak of facts. The problem is ignored. The scientific method is not applied.

After years of lobbying politicians, there has been a response. Good and brave politicians have visited dozens of sick people; doctors who are treating them; and the organisation which represents patients. They are calling the professionals to account. They are asking specific and hard questions of the bureaucrats. I do not dare to hope, but I think it may be happening. I think the rocks will be lifted and the dirty truths exposed. I think there may be less places to hide. I think the lies and doublespeak may be exposed. I think we may be moving to a point where treatment will be available.

Thank you Senator Madigan (read his press release here). Thank you to the Senate cross-bench for supporting his motion. Thank you to the Government and Opposition politicians who have been active on this matter and in this area. Thank you to Sharon Whiteman and the Lyme Disease Association of Australia. God bless you and keep you all.

When your children have Lyme disease in Australia …

… You take your child from GP to GP, who refer them to specialists. Lyme is a multi organ, multi systemic disease, it will attack everything, but not necessarily in a predictable way. Specialists generally know only about their own organ or system. In Australia, they do not know to look for Lyme. So they end up saying: I can’t help you, there is nothing wrong in the area I work in. You’ll need to find someone else.  Sorry, not my job to suggest someone.  You end up where you started. Your child is getting sicker, but you’ve run out of doctors. (A paediatrician shrugs and asks your child, “have you ever thought of killing yourself? I would, going through that sort of pain. Have you tried Berocca?” You leave his surgery asking yourself, did that just happen? Did he say those words?) … READ MORE

Love Hurts

In Uncategorized on November 11, 2015 at 10:49 am

Love stories aren’t usually my thing, so I am thrilled to have a story – The Boulevardier –  appearing in this forthcoming anthology, out on December 1st. Love the cover. Luvity luv luv luv.

Love Hurts

Love Hurts


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