Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Thoughts on Healing

Any sort of illness always makes me grateful for my body’s ability to be restored to good health. I’ve become increasingly aware that not everyone is so lucky.

I remember when as a child I first learned about hemophiliacs – persons whose blood doesn’t clot normally. It had never occurred to me that a skinned knee or a slip of a knife could be fatal for some people, whereas for me it just meant a Band-aid. Can you imagine going through life in terror of even a small accident that would result in breaking your skin?

We hear increasingly of people whose auto-immune systems are compromised. Maybe it’s the result of the chemicals we have introduced into our environment. Maybe it’s the bi-product of a viral infection that leaves the body compromised. But whatever the cause, the result has to be terrifying. A bout of the flu or a bacterial infection or the exposure to any of the thousands of viruses that are out there could bring on an illness with prolonged symptoms or even death if there were no possible intervention. In any event, treatment of successive illnesses often demands stronger and stronger antibiotics. There comes a point at which there is nothing stronger.

So I feel fortunate that the only reminder of my recent illness is feeling a little tired and welcoming an afternoon nap.


Blogger Kristin said...

I am glad to read that you're feeling better! The human body is such a complex thing.

8:49 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

You are very strong - me, too - and I'm grateful for it every single day!

My own (unsubstantiated) theory about compromised immune systems is that we've overdosed on antibiotics for many decades, not only medicinally, but we take antibiotics every time we eat commercial meat and chicken. Only free-range and organic meats are free of antibiotics.

I'm not against antibiotics! If I had pneumonia you'd better believe I would take them, but they're prescribed for everything, even for zits! They kill off our immune systems while simultaneously helping bacteria evolve into stronger and more potent forms.

My sister has a very damanged immune system and as a result has nothing to look forward to in her old age except one infection after another. It breaks my heart.

To your health - l'chaim!!

8:35 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- Complex, yes, and rather miraculous!

Reya -- I think you are right. It may well be our unknowing encounter with antibiotics for decades that is the culprit. It's so hard to be vigilant as we go through the world. We can never be sure of food we eat in restaurants and have to hope food is properly labeled in grocery stores.

I never even heard of auto-immune problems when I was growing up, but it's rampant among people of all ages these days.

I'm sure knowing about your sister's plight contributed to my thoughts. I just wish there was a magical way to turn this around for people like her who suffer from this condition.

9:17 AM  

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