I've been searching and praying for a long time now. I didn't know exactly what to pray for; but, I knew that I could no longer dispense disease suppressants (drugs, pharmaceuticals) and expect healthy outcomes. I mean, it just didn't make sense not to investigate and solve the cause of (chronic) diseases. Invariably, something that we have been exposed to-topically, eaten or breathed has caused the problem in the 1st place. Yet, more dollars are continually put into creating even more drugs that suppress the problem instead of eradicating the problem with prevention and removing the risks.
(To be clear, there are times that drugs do work and are necessary. But, I'm not talking about those times.)
When I was a kid, my brother would be the one to speak up and address our parents when some situation warranted it. We'd discuss the problem and then agree upon the best way to solve it. Then, my brother would go and talk with our parents. Times have changed, though. I'm the one that speaks up now. That's why I had to finally accept that if I didn't say something, connect the dots, and speak up on behalf of patients tired of expecting healthy outcomes, but only getting disease suppression, no one else was going to do it.
A Very Short Story About Prevention Over Suppression
About 25 years ago, I was so excited to have my nephew come and spend a night with me. My mom was coming up the next day and we were planning a big day at nearby Hershey (PA) Park and shopping for school clothes for my nephew in Lancaster (where I also lived at the time.)
The following conversation took place about one hour before my nephew's bedtime-
Nephew: Aunt Bambi, I don't feel good.
Me: What's wrong Little Gary?
Nephew: My stomach hurts.
Me: (Thinking-Oh no, what should I do? I'm a pharmacist, so, I just got to figure this out. I know-let me ask a series of questions to assess this situation clinically. I'll have to ask the patient, my 7 year old nephew, if his nausea is accompanied with vomiting, is his core body temperature above 38 degrees Celsius? Has he noticed any blood in his stool? when is the next full moon? ) Well, what does your mom give you when you get sick?
Nephew: I don't know.
Me : (Thinking God why are you testing me this way? What if my nephew contracted some horrible disease from playing with my pet cockatiels or petting Odessa my cat? I cannot have this on my watch) Well Gary, I'm going to orally administer the appropriate dose for children of your age and weight of Donnagel-PG** You see, though marketed for diarrhea, this C-5 medication has powdered opium to increase the muscular tone of your intestine, hyoscyamine, a smooth muscle relaxant that will calm your stomach down, kaolin-pectin to adsorb any bug (s) you may have contracted, and a a little hyoscine, and atropine, also.
Me: (Thinking-I'm calling Mommy/Grandma; pushing actual buttons on a landline-there were no cell phones, 215-384...... the number etched in my brain since childhood)
Me: Mommy, Little Gary said his stomach hurt and I'm not sure what to do. I was all prepared to give him Donnagel-PG, but something told me to call you 1st/instead.
Mommy: Well Bambi, did you ask Gary whether he's gone to the bathroom/had a bowel movement in the last day or two?
Me: Noooooo. I'll ask him now. Gary, have you had a bowel movement in the past day?!
Resolution: Everything came out alright. The Hershey Park and clothes shopping event took place as planned.
Takeaway: Prevention is better than suppression.
**Donnagel-PG is no longer commercially available in the United States
***Mommy was a registered nurse and the coolest mother around. She took no foolishness and had high expectations of everyone, including herself. My advocacy genes come completely from her. From 1970 when she was the secretary of the Executive Task Force in our school district community that investigated the pros and cons of implementing year round schools until her untimely death from (undoubtedly) eating pesticide laced, "organic" strawberries and developing CMML (leukemia), her motto was, "don't you worry, I'll get to the bottom of it."
CUP OF JOE: The Blog
Conjecture, facts, and opinion on health and wellness, holistic practice, and the quest for sustainability & optimal health.