So I heard about this really groovy prescription that pretty much guaranteed it would go away. But it could cause side effects!
It may cause dizziness. It may cause redness or itching. Hmmm….I think that’s what I have now. Headaches? Been there, done that; I guess I could tolerate it again if it made me better. Bruising? How badly?
Oh wait, those are just the mild side effects. There are other moderate to severe reactions ranging from internal mouth sores to anaphalactic shock. I could have my mouth, face, and lips bloat up like a blow fish. I may get a butterfly rash on my nose and cheeks. I hate that when happens, especially when I’m about to go to work! My moles may change shape and size. I could fall into a haze of severe tiredness and fatigue.
I could have decreased mental alertness. (Well, I already struggle with that most days even with a cold shower AND subsequent hot cup of hot coffee!). I could get fever and chills and a sore throat and just a general feeling of malaise. My mental mood could change. You don’t say?
I could start coughing more and my heart could race. My rash may start swelling, blistering, and my skin may start shedding like a lizard. My eyes may turn yellow, my pee may turn black, and my stools may turn pale. Now I’m sorry, but that’s really spooky!
I could develop strange lumps, start vomiting, have stomach wretching, and deal with diarrhea. I could lose my vision. I could even experience numbness, tingling, and a burning sensation on one or both sides of my body. I may notice unusual hair growth on my face.
I must be sure to disclose to my doctor if I’m planning to take my rash and my new prescription to a third world country any time soon, am prone to depression, am trying to get pregnant or are nursing, or will be in the vicinity of small pets and children. I definitely must not drink alcohol, drive, or operate any kind of machinery with it.
If I were to develop severe side effects, I could contract tuberculosis, have a heart attack, aneurism, stroke, and yes, even the grand mal side effect: D-E-A-T-H! Zoinks! I could die?
It’s interesting; we get an ache, a pain, or an annoying rash, we rush to “seek treatment” with our doctor. They take our vitals and out comes the clipboard. The good doctor asks us what’s going on, and then they look down, scribble some notes in undecipherable short hand (protection from future lawsuits), and mutter a few “mm hmmms” while never looking up.
After your allotted sixty seconds of complaining, they will conclude your visit by reaching for the Rx pad. This is the most important part! Though it may look like a chemical equation written in Greek, this is the essential part that will help you later. First, rush to your nearest pharmacy. They will translate your Rx into simple English so you will know how to take your magic pills. Just pop one or two in your mouth every one to four hours for the next sixty days. Now just kick back and wait for the cure!
You’ll throw away the thirty-two page booklet which could have helped you pass college chemistry had you known, as well as the disclosure of possible side effects, all written in a font so small, you need an electron microscope to read it.
Ah, the joys of 21st century medicine. I have an amazing friend who once told me a little known secret: “There’s a reason they call it the practice of medicine.” It’s because it’s not perfected yet; they’re still practicing.
The sad truth is our bodies deteriorate. We all break down. We get rashes. We get aches and pains. We all feel blue (I’m not talking about true mental illness or profound depression). We gain weight in places once occupied by muscle mass and attractiveness, and we lose our smart brain cells to areas now occupied by worry. It seems as if we are winding down. We are deteriorating daily, but we refuse to accept it.
As we live, we eat whatever we want, live over-scheduled stressful lives, and don’t exercise nearly enough. We are generally sleep deprived and our lives are often meshed in with somewhat dysfunctional family members, friends, or—well often, ourselves. So we get ticked off when we feel sub par, feel achy, or itch.
We run ourselves ragged and then we race for a cure. I am by no means slamming modern medicine or the pharmaceutical industry. The truth is, not everything that ails us has a magic pill that will fix it. Let me repeat this truth. Not everything can be cured by a pill, an injection, or a cream. Sometimes what ails us runs deeper. We need faith.
We need a faith that transcends physical pain, and the gravity of our emotions. We must look to something bigger than ourselves to draw healing power from. For me, and I hope for you, this is faith in God, and the healing power of Jesus. I don’t mean some magic “read these three verses, and I’ll wave my magic wand, and you’ll be all better” type of faith. I am talking about a rock solid foundation in someone you can trust, when you don’t get the answers, healing, or feelings of physical and mental well-being you had hoped for.
It’s in this place we are the most tested, when we don’t get the healing we wanted. However, if you keep leaning into, not on your faith, it is possible to get to the last step when dealing with whatever ails you: acceptance and hope. Beyond your body, and beyond your mind, there is a better reality that awaits us.
And did I mention the side effects of acceptance and hope? Positive thinking. Joy. Grace. The gift of being able to be fully present right here and right now. Love; so very much love. That’s a side effect I’d like a double dose of please!
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3
Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved,for you are the one I praise. Jeremiah 17:4