Man-Made Medicine:
Good or Evil?
 
I am a firm believer that some people have mental problems that require man-made medicine. I also believe that some people have physical ailments that require medicine.
 
Take our little granddaughter, Ella, for instance. We can pray for Ella. We can think that the right foods will cure her. We can think that her parents did something to cause it. We can think she just needs to buck up and tough it out. But the fact is that she is genetically unable to make insulin and she will die unless it is pumped into her. All the prayers in the world are most likely not going to change her genetic makeup. It's a done deal. We can give her medicine and keep her alive or we can let her die. Those are the two options, in my humble opinion.
 
I believe many people are on prescription medicine that do not need to be on it. I may be one of them, although I do not think I am. The doctor was telling me today that when your lungs get inflamed they will heal themselves on their own. But they do it by making scar tissue. And she said that if I do not take my medicine, in later years the scar tissue will build up and I will not be able to breathe no matter how much medicine I take.
 
I believe that is what happened to my mother. She didn't take medicine like she should have and in the end all the medicine in the world couldn't fix her lungs because the damage was done--and not only to her lungs but also to her heart because of what she had suffered trying to breathe on her own--and she died at the young age of sixty-three.
 
Nothing made on this earth comes from man. It all comes from God. We are not creators. We can take only what God created and work with it. God has given us the knowledge and the materials to make medicines to cure people and to ease their lives. I am grateful.
 
That doesn't mean any of us should eat the wrong foods, smoke cigarettes, drink too much alcohol, overeat, not exercise, not try to control our emotions, and just go "running for the shelter" of our "mother's little helper"--the little yellow pill the song talks about. But it does mean that, when we have done all that we can do to help ourselves, we shouldn't feel ashamed or worthless because something is wrong with us that causes us to need the help of the doctors God has provided for us.
 
Today the doctor said to me that I strike her as the type of person who thinks it's somehow more virtuous not to take medicine. I just looked at her and gave her a weak smile. It is true. I know it is true. I feel weak and pathetic and unworthy because others seem to find healing in God and I have begged Him for thirty years and can't find healing. I figure I must be sinful or that I just don't have enough faith.
 
Well, I am tired of feeling that way. After everything that they did for me this week--the breathing treatments, the steroids, all of it--I was still breathing at only 89 percent today. That's great for an asthmatic, and I'm telling you that if the rest of you are breathing at 100 percent you must be feeling something I cannot even fathom. I say that because this morning I sucked in air and thought, This is it! This is what I'm supposed to breathe like! How wonderful! Don't ever forget this because you NEED to breathe this well all the time! And yet it was only 89 percent. Please praise God if you can breathe normally! You are very blessed!
 
I was at 74.5 percent when I first started the clinical study I was on when my lungs went berserk on me. I thought I was doing great. I was breathing fine, or at least it felt that way to me. The thing is, you forget what it feels like to breathe well. You get used to being sick. I need to remember because if I don't I will let myself get sicker and sicker and not even know it.
 
The doctor said to me today, "I don't know if you knew it but you were a very sick woman last week."
 
I said, "I didn't know it, but I figured it out when all you all did wasn't enough and I needed my rescue inhaler that  night." (That day I had had a breathing treatment, a bronchodilator, an inhaled steroid, a shot of cortisone, and 40 mgs. of Prednisone.)
 
I want to be well. And if men God has granted special knowledge about my body can help me do that through man-made medicine, then I believe God wants me to accept that help. I may be wrong. I may be very wrong. I pray that if I am God will show that to me. But tonight, God willing, I will lie down on my bed and I will take good deep breaths, thanks to medicine God has provided.
 
I will close with this story, the author of which I do not know:

The Flood

Once upon a time there was a man of great faith. The man lived in a small town. One day it began to rain. The rain continued until the streets in the town began to flood. The mayor sent police officers through the streets, knocking on doors and shouting through bullhorns for the citizens to evacuate their homes. But the man said, "No, I will not evacuate. God will save me."

The waters continued to rise until the man was forced to climb the stairs to the second floor of his home. Soon the mayor sent the fire department on rafts through the streets of the town. They called to the man to get into the raft. But the man shouted from his second floor window, "No, I will not get into a raft. God will save me."

The rain fell heavily and soon the water rose above the second floor. Now the man had to climb to the roof of his house. The mayor sent the rescue squad in a helicopter. They dropped a rope ladder and shouted over the din of the propeller blades for the man to grab onto the ladder. But the man called back, "No, I will not take hold of your ladder. God will save me."

Soon the flood waters rose even higher and washed the man off his roof, and he drowned in the raging current.

When the man reached heaven, he angrily banged on the gates and demanded to see God. After some negotiation, he was taken to the Throne. The man said, "I am a man of great faith. Why didn't you save me?"

And God replied, "Well, I sent you police officers, the fire department, the rescue squad . . ."

Tina Rae Dozier

December 28, 2007