Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Doctors, hospitals, medicine and sick people

Recently I have done some self-evaluation because my son Canon (age 8) broke his foot and I did not take him to the doctor till 2 1/2 days later.

In the rear-view mirror, I see that my under-reaction is a consistent pattern. I'm fairly certain that at some point in my life, I picked up an issue with doctors, hospitals, medicine and sick people.

Could it have something to do with my dad, the rancher who 1. refuses to retain health insurance because it is a big-business racket, 2. treats the skin cancer on his leather ears with some kind of equine concoction, 3. sews his own stitches, and 4. used to pour "monkey blood" (what is that stuff anyway) on our wounds and say, "Now get your gloves back on and get back out there".


Does it have anything to do with my experience in grad school as a hospital chaplain for the summer where 1. I felt fear and anxiety every time I entered a patient's room, 2. saw every kind of freak-nasty ailment a person could have, 3. became a germ-a-phobe, 4. came home everyday with irrational fears like catching spine-cancer or diabetes.


Or how about the more recent onset that 1. My kids seem to have no tolerance for pain, 2. ER visits are the most exasperating wastes of precious money and time imaginable, 3. sick people still come to work and school and church when they're admittedly and visibly sick, 4. my family seems to pick up every bug and sniffle that comes along.


It drives me crazy every time my kids ask me for a band-aid. All compassion drains from my body when my husband gets sick. I disregard the effect that cold medicine or pain reliever might have - it doesn't even cross my mind until my husband inquires, "Um, have you taken anything for that??"

On one hand, this is the way I am. I don't think I am alone in this. And to some extent I think it's wise and level-headed to NOT FREAK OUT WHEN SOMEONE GETS A HANGNAIL.
On the other hand, I think there is a balance. My reaction time could use a little work. For example, let's say, YOUR SON BREAKS 3 BONES IN HIS FOOT AND YOU DON'T TAKE HIM TO THE DOCTOR FOR 2 DAYS.

So what is that balance?

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Hm. I have none of the experiences you have to make me hate doctors, etc., but I definitely think cold medicine is a racket that actually makes you stay sick longer so they can sell more drugs. And most of the time when other people don't feel well, I tell them to take some vitamin D or drink more water and they'll be fine. I'm going to try to remember your story in case Caroline ever breaks something... :)