Posted by: anniewilson | December 22, 2008

Is Michael Jackson Dying? Sure. We all are.

As a nurse, I’ve never understood why people would lie to health care professionals about their health. I had an odd friend once who had a “tubal pregnancy” every other month for years. I could tell her over and over again that it wasn’t possible unless her doctor was guilty of some insane malpractice and she is the unluckiest woman on the planet…or the luckiest…not many women get pregnant at all after two tubal pregnancies. More often than not, they’re true medical emergencies and usually require the removal of one of the two fallopian tubes that each woman has. But still, my friend continued to complain about her “tubal pregnancies” and her husband waited on her hand and foot, always at her side with a heating pad, a stiff drink and a concerned look. What the heck did he know? How many men even know what a fallopian tube is? Your average man would easily fall for such a line of crap, especially if it came out of the mouth of the woman with whom he sleeps.

I usually don’t say anything when the average person states obvious misinformation about one illness or another unless I see an opportunity for education. Most of the time people aren’t outright lying, they really believe what they’re saying. I asked a woman why she was coming into the hospital as I admitted her to the unit. She said that she was there to get “half of a hysterectomy”. I had never heard of such a thing. This is the conversation that took place next:

Me: Half? Why are you having half of a hysterectomy?
Redneck patient: Because it’s bad.
Me: But if they took out half, why didn’t they go ahead and take out the other half?
Redneck patient: Because it wasn’t bad.

I never did figure that one out. But, it’s just one example of how incredibly ignorant some people are about their health. I point that out only because I’m trying to give someone the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the dude isn’t outright lying…he could just be one hell of an ignorant human being. But when I read the following headline, I had to find out what “investigative journalist” Ian Halperin was writing about.

“Michael Jackson Fights For His Life!”

He just finished writing a book about Michael Jackson’s life. In that book he claims that Jackson, suffers from Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. A1Ad is a potentially fatal genetic illness which caused, in Michael, “emphysema and gastrointestinal bleeding”. This is alledgedly so bad that “He needs a lung transplant but may be too weak to go through with it … [But] it’s the [gastrointestinal] bleeding that is the most problematic part. It could kill him.”

Well, yeah. Any bleeding can kill you, but if you know about it beforehand, as you should with this illness, most bleeding is not of the fatal variety. And if Michael truly “needs” a lung transplant, I assume he’s on a list somewhere. Of course it IS possible that he tried to get on the list, but they told him to come back when he can’t travel around the world without oxygen and various other emphysematic accoutrement’s. Have you ever seen a person with advanced emphysema? Anyway, where’s the list that he’s on? And couldn’t he find ONE doctor willing to discuss Michael’s current condition? They pop up all over before Michael goes to court. Why are they all hiding now?

And the disease itself is a genetic disease that is passed on by two parents who each carry the gene for this illness. At worst, the odds of passing it on are equal to my ability to produce blue eyed children with another brown eyed person. My blue eyed mother gave me one recessive blue gene and if I were to mate with a brown eyed male of similar genetic heritage, we would combine our recessive blue eyed genes 25% of the time, resulting in a blue eyed child every 4 times we popped one out. My eyes are so brown that they’re almost black and yet two out of my three children have blue eyes.

How many Jackson’s are there? Other than plastic surgeons, I can’t see anything any of them have in common with each other. But I would still think some famous Jackson might have mentioned genetic counseling along the way. Halperin might have delved a bit deeper into that issue. He writes that Michael”…has had it for years, but it’s gotten worse…” Did he know he had it when he allegedly fathered a child? Enquiring minds want to know.

Most of us take Michael Jackson and his ravings with a grain of salt. I don’t know if Michael has A1AD or not and I really don’t think about it much. I wish the man all the best and I remember him fondly as one of my very first celebrity crushes back when life was “As easy as one, two three. As simple as A, B, C…one, two, three…Mike’s a he.” God bless him and his.

But, if I were going to go to all the trouble of writing a book about the man, I would have asked a few more questions. If the book is written in an “as told by” manner, that’s one thing. But I looked for that. I couldn’t find one thing that said, “Written by Ian Halperin as told by Michael Jackson”. Halperin put his own name on the book. I can understand doing that, but only if you name the book, “Check Out This Bullshit!”

But, we all also know that Michael is a few strips short of a box of Biore. We know that he reads life in some foreign language that we don’t speak. I guess America is pretty much resigned to thinking of Michael as some odd uncle who no one wants to visit and Halperin has only succeeded in isolating Uncle Michael even further. These health claims allow him to live a relatively reclusive life a la Howard Hughes. They also make it easier for Michael to evade courtrooms.

It’s rather sad that, with all of their resources, neither Hughes nor Jackson had anyone around them who cared enough to offer a bit of reality based assistance. Heck, at least take Michael to MccyD’s and get his skinny ass a milk shake. That tiny little stinker couldn’t fight off a lady bug. Oh well…if a rich guy can get away with murder, why should we worry too much about helping a rich guy who wears a Zorro mask and had a Chimpanzee named Bubbles?

I’m prepared to take a lot of heat for this but I don’t really care. I simply suggest that when the world begins dissecting Michael’s health, A1AD and other genetic disorders, I hope they do so with a critical mind not overloaded with emotion and nostalgia for that simpler time when AM radio was hot and Michael Jackson was just a cute young man. I hope the media treats this as though it were George Bush or some other perceived evil dude. But, I have a feeling that at the end of the day, we’ll all be dancing to another one of Michael Jackson’s little melodies…and this time it’s a scarier tune than ‘Ben’.

I guess Michael can’t decide whether he wants to “get busy living or get busy dying”. Whichever road he chooses, I wish him all the luck.


UPDATE: Since I wrote this post, Michael’s camp has denied the entire story. I don’t know what’s going on but I knew one thing for sure, the story was bogus. I just assumed Michael was the liar. Halperin has something of a reputation to consider so I couldn’t, and still cannot, fathom him lying. Personally, I would give Halperin the benefit of the doubt over Jackson.

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