Recently a friend posted a note to the rest of her friends on Facebook that she was ill again and would need surgery and expensive meds. I hurt for her, as do most of the folks who responded to her post. All of us offered support, prayers, hugs, and love.
Except for one idiotic twit.
In my friend’s post, she mentioned at least twice–maybe more, I don’t remember–that she didn’t care to hear from folks who have alternative healing techniques guaranteed to fix what ails her. She was very specific about it and announced she’d delete any posts violating her wishes.
Well, apparently her wishes weren’t important enough for this one insensitive, ego-centric jerk of a woman. She knows the answer to all, just ask her. For my friend’s problem, she wrote: “Asthma is often the result of a damaged lining in the lungs. The fix is nutritional. I talk about nutrition; doctors talk about drugs.”
Guess what? That’s not what is causing my friend’s problem.
I looked at the woman’s website. She sells some sort of snakeoil that I’m sure she and others swear by. On the internet, anyone can swear by anything, and there’s always gonna be some sweet, gullible someone who’ll believe them.
News for ya, kids, listen up: Not all things on the World Wide Web are true.
What so many people don’t seem to understand is that those of us with serious illnesses–chronic or otherwise–don’t need to hear what dietary fad or pound of supplemental pills you think can cure us. We’ve spent quite a bit of time trying to digest awful news about the state of our health, tons of time researching it, even more time trying to swallow the idea that only surgery or chemo or a bone marrow transplant can save us, and still more time wondering how the dickens we’re going to pay for it all.
Then some dimwit crops up and says, “Pshaw! Forget all that! Here–try my kale/snail/crud-in-a-pail smoothie. It worked for me, it’ll work for you!”
What if–think about this–what if someone took your advice instead of their doctor’s, and it killed them? Or made them worse? Or delayed proper treatment for so long it ceases to be an option?
Nutrition and supplements aren’t a panacea for serious conditions. And if you think they are, then tell me: Just what pill should I have popped to heal my burst appendix? What vegan diet would have prevented my body from attacking me and making me lose five feet of intestine to surgery?
Got an answer for that?
I guarantee you, someone out there will think she does, and she’ll argue you down and hound you with “Just try it!” until you want to forget your Christian roots and slug her. Take a satisfying swing and knock ‘er cross-eyed. I know. I’ve caught myself having to relax my clenched fists several times over the past few years.
That sounds awful, I know. But like I said, I’m hoppin’ mad. I’ll get over it–then I’ll have to pray for forgiveness for goin’ all high-tempered-redhead in this post.
Fad diets and pills can be dangerous for some folks–a high-fiber diet is incredibly dangerous for me. Maybe the fads and pills work for others, who knows? God’s grace as a Great Physician comes in many forms. And among those forms are the pharmaceuticals, biologics, and nuclear meds he allows scientists to discover and design, and the doctors in whose hearts he put the desire to heal, and the surgeons whose hands he guides. Am I saying there’s no place for registered dietitians? Not at all. I don’t know what I would’ve done without mine. They too are practicing by God’s will and grace.
Most of the folks who approach me with alternatives do so in love and best intentions. I realize that. But if you really love me, pray for me. And send chocolate.