Thursday, June 23, 2011


A lot has happened in the past week, and some of it has been terrible stuff.

I hate to write about it because I don't want to attract sympathy, and I certainly don't want to cause my family additional pain.  But I think I need to write about one of the things because it might save someone some pain and agony.

A relative of mine passed away suddenly.  She'd written off doctors a long time ago ...  

I'm so sad for her family and closest friends.  And I fear there are thousands of people out there who are going to die from treatable, even preventable illnesses because they have a thing against regular doctors.  There are so many people who have no choice at all, and wish they had access to a medical doctor.  It might seem like madness to them to reject water from a pump when you're dying of thirst because you refuse to drink from anything other than a stream.

I have to be okay with it, though.  People have to make their own choices, and it may be that my aunt was willing to die this way rather than see a doctor.  I have to honor that choice, because it is her choice, and I wouldn't want to take that away from anyone.  In the end it was her body to do with as she wished to do.

Having said that ....

I'm well aware of a doctor's limitations, and the dangers of going to a hospital.  You can come out more ill than what you came in with.  I don't think going to the doctor should be done frequently, or lightly.  On the other hand I think it's foolish to refuse things like antibiotics or blood pressure medication or insulin when it might save your life, and it seems very strange to me to take these things without a prescription on your own by borrowing someone else's medicine or getting it on the black market or making it from scratch on your own, as if that makes it better.  

I believe that real naturopathic medicine can be extremely effective, but it's not the only way, or even the best way in a given circumstance.  And I believe that there's a lot of misinformation and delusion in regard to naturopathic medicine out there.  There are bad doctors too, I know.  But clearly, avoiding all doctors to avoid the bad ones is not a path toward superior health.

I hope my aunt lived happily and well and fully, and my heart is with her immediate family.  They all did what they thought was best, and I refuse to point fingers and blame and be angry.  This isn't about me anyway.

What I don't want to see are people convinced that their chosen alternative form of medicine is the only and best option, and that things would have come out far worse if they'd seen a doctor.  If they choose to limit themselves, I hope they do so accepting the fact that it is a limitation in some situations.  Limits can be good, and honestly we're all going to die anyway, so I'd just soon people live the way they want--as long as it really is a choice, and not delusion.  Because, we all know deep down, that living naturally doesn't make us immortal, or better, or cleaner.  And a long, healthy life isn't truly natural.  It's a combination of luck, and resources, and wisdom, and genetics, and ... medicine.

I urge everyone to make these choices in an informed way, and to really study all aspects of their health and well-being from a variety of sources.  Health is one of those incredibly valuable things that many people take for granted, and not always in the way that you'd think.  Ill health can be taken for granted just as easily as good health.  Health is not obvious, or automatic ... it's a gift.  May it be yours to hold and keep as long as possible.

1 comment:

Kai Jones said...

I'm sorry for your loss.