Even though I know better…

Sep 12, 2022 | 2 comments

Sometimes I think that certain medical problems are sort of like fads.  Take sleep apnea, for instance.  Thirty or forty years ago, most of us had never heard of sleep apnea. Then, in 1965 it was “discovered” and in 1981 continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy was introduced through a nasal mask.  “The rest is history,” so to speak.

In fact, it seems to me now that every other person I know has been involved in at least one sleep study and wears some kind of a mask at night.  Granted, most of these folks are  older — the same age as the grandmas and grandpas of my childhood who used to rattle the windows with their nightly snoring.  And, it stands to reason that as our medicos have become more sophisticated in diagnosing and prescribing, “new” ailments are turning up in enough numbers to get our attention.

Another one of these new fangled “fad” ailments is “trigger finger” — also known as stenosing tenosynovitis. It is a condition in which one of your fingers gets stuck in a bent position.   Your finger may bend or straighten with a snap — like a trigger being pulled and released.  Often it is work related, in that it can be caused by frequent repetitive movements.  People who have diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis are at higher risk of developing trigger finger and it is more common in women than in men.”

“Trigger finger,” like “sleep apnea” is a term I had never heard ten or fifteen years ago — maybe even shorter ago than that.  My awareness, of course, has nothing to do with the  severity or the extent of the problem.  I just find it interesting that we (or at least I) flail along unaware of these sorts of conditions and then, when some sort of critical mass is reached, I become aware of multiple situations.  So different from the concerted world-wide effort put forth to educate us about a pandemic…  But, as they say, “it’s all relative” as well it should be.

It seems that some things are just on a need-to-know basis.  I truly hope I don’t need to…



  1. Tina

    One of “fad” ailments that is all the rage now is Fibromyalgia (which I indeed have). You never heard of 20-30 years ago and then boom it’s everywhere. A lot of people think if doctors don’t know what all the symptoms you’re experiencing are caused from they put it in this tidy little package called Fibromyalgia and that’s that. But I’m here to say, whatever they want to call it, after years of pain and suffering, I was very happy to actually hear it called something and knew it wasn’t just in my head. If this is a fad ailment, I guess I’m pretty cool. ?

    • sydney

      Dear Tina,
      Yes, Fibromyalgia! And Lupus, too. There are probably many more. I’m sure my use of the word “fad” was a poor choice, but I wasn’t exactly sure how to frame the phenomena of diseases/ailments that have been plaguing peopke for a long time but “suddenly” they come to our attention. I imagine it has to do with the medical world FINALLY isolating the causes and beginning to find effective treatments. That’s the “all of a sudden” part. I hope I didn’t offend you by my blog. Thank you for reaching out and broadening my horizons a bit. I truly hope that you are finding success in dealing with your own pain and suffering.
      Nost sincerely, Sydney


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