The hardest part about medicine,
…..is convinving someone they don’t need medicine.
BUT…they stare at me wanting an answer, an antibiotic, an end to the suffering….
WHEN will this stop?
HOW MUCH LONGER will I feel this way??
Why is this happening to me? This has never happened to me before???
WHAT CAN I TAKE FOR THIS PAIN??????
Plesase make this pain stop…
And ironically, the whole reason I went into medicine is because..
I hate medicine.
But I needed to learn its utility for humanity’s sake.
And other than a handful of antibiotic prescrptions, morphine I received at 7 y/o for a neck sprain ( an unsuccessful attempt at a WWF maneuver) and a brief, yet unsuccessful, trial of Percocet follwing a hip reconstruction (an unfortunate cycling incident with a patch of patch of black ice) , I have never taken a prescription medication on a regular basis.
Because many medications operate by changing one’s “perception” of pain.
But the pain, the discomfort..
IS STILL THERE.
But of course, no one wants to feel BAD, or be uncomfortable, or feel pain..
So here I am…
ALL DAY EVERY DAY.. filling and refilling, filling and refilling, filling and refilling…medications.
But then I wonder, am I a total hyporcrite?
Even when I was admitted for the starvation, all the other residents were handed dixie cups full of antidepressants, anti anxiety, anti “insert psychotropic agent here” medications.
I took nothing, I refused to take anything to change my “perception” of the pain.
So perhaps I’m not a hypocrite, perhaps I’m just a …
(..and those who know me well, would tend to agree 😉 )
And please, I am by NO means suggesting there is no utlity for medications.
There certainly are countless chronic and debilitation conditions which absolutely neccistate medications for managment, if not, survival.
But for the more common, minor conditions, patients often leave in a “huff” when I don’t have the magic pill, or “cure” they were expecting. I struggle and stumble over my words as I try to explain that many of the most common ailments can be healed WITHOUT medciations. The human body has a magnificent capacity to repair itself. There actually can be improved healing when you allow your body the TIME to heal. But this also means having to endure pain, discomfort, and sometimes anguish, that comes along with the healing process.
Because there actually is…
Just like any muscle that is worked beyond capacity, it will build, and become STRONGER.
Thus, when we are pushed beyond our capacity, and outside of our comfort zone, we will naturally become stronger, and effectively more resilant to the next malady that comes our way.
But then…. then that depression rears its ugly head and starts to kick in. It weaves through your bones like a cancer. And the constant enduring of pain and healing just becomes…
Like fighting your way out of quiksand,
Or trying to swim out into the ocean, as the ravaging waves continue to pound you back down to the ocean floor, and suffocate you with their tides.
It seemed promising when you first ran out to the water’s edge, but now, you just don’t have the energy to fight your way through any longer. Its just easier to remain in the depression, remain on that ocean floor as the tides crash over you….
But what kind of provider would I be to SUGGEST SUFFEREING!?!?!?!
How can I possibly advise patients to just endure the pain?
But then I recall the story of the butterfly..
A man found the cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and could go no further. So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly. What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were nature’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.
Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If we were allowed to go through our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could have been.
And we could never
TRUST your body….it will take longer to heal than you prefer.
But you will emerge even stronger as a result.
You are WORTH the struggle.
And I too will remember this the next I jump into that ocean…..
RIDE THOSE WAVES MY FRIENDS