Back, but not really

We are still recovering from the plague. We’re doing better, but lack of sleep, snot, and a really horrible sounding cough continue to haunt us.

We took Kid1 and Kid2 to see their pediatrician on Monday. The good news is that the “worst of it is probably over” and that it is “not influenza, bronchitis, or whooping cough.” We are no longer contagious. The final diagnosis? “A really nasty virus.”

To my credit, I did not cry, nor did I demand a refund on our insurance co-pay. We took the kids to the doctor for them to get better, not so we could be told “go home, get some rest” along with a sympathetic look and “hope you feel better soon!”

I’ll be honest, I was really pissed off, but as we were driving home I realized I didn’t feel any guilt: the kids have a virus, they picked it up somewhere, these things happen. At no point did the pediatrician guilt me, there was no talk of prayer, or “knowing the truth.” No one blamed me for my children’s condition. I was not a failed parent for failing to see them as “God’s Perfect Children.”

It was rather liberating.

The pediatric office called on Wednesday to make sure we were doing alright. Yes, still sick, but noticeably improved – instead of curled up asleep in bed, the kids were building a pillow mountain and jumping off the bed onto it. Thankfully they missed the wall.

I’d like to share this helpful reminder which was e-mailed to me by a reader commenting on my Former CS Guide to Health Care:

Another thing I’ve noticed among former CS is that we were raised to expect 100% certainty. We can turn away from the 100% certainty that CS pretends to offer, but then we think we’ll get it from doctors. “Oh, what’s causing these symptoms is X and I can treat it with Y and it will be cured by Z.” But the reality is that you might need to experiment with different treatments before you find something that works. You might find that the treatment that helps one malady has other unpleasant side effects. You might find something that seems to work only to have ongoing research determine it is too dangerous or unreliable and to have the treatment be made unavailable. You might find that nothing really works, or that the doctor can’t even figure out what is wrong, or that your doctor knows what is wrong but can’t predict how the disease will proceed, or that fifteen different doctors have fifteen different diagnoses/treatments to offer, etc.  That doesn’t mean that medicine is inferior to CS, it is just life. When CS promises to fix everything immediately (broken friendship? need $150? car won’t start? upset stomach? death?) it can be a real shock to discover that “materia medica” doesn’t do that. Actually, it’s an advantage that medicine doesn’t do that because that mindset allows medical treatments to IMPROVE.

I’d like to thank everyone for all the feedback, thoughts and ideas that have been shared regarding my health care project. I love hearing from all of you, there have been so many great insights. I’m still fairly fuzzy-brained, but I hope to come up with a way to pass them along to everyone else (other than just guest posts, although I’m happy to do those as well)!