The following post is part of the on-going “I went to the Doctor” series, which details first hand experiences of Christian Scientists and former-Christian Scientists who sought medical care or treatment outside of Christian Science. We hope that by sharing our experiences using medical care that it will help break down the stigma and fear! All posts in this series will be both categorized and tagged as “visited Doctor” and linked back to the I went to the Doctor page under the Christian Science Healthcare Guide.
Today’s post Discovering Urgent Care thanks to Laryngitis is by former Christian Scientist Rogue Sheep.
I can still remember the turning point in my departure from Christian Science. I had already stopped going to church for a few months and was taking pain relievers for headaches and periods. But then I got my first big test of this new lifestyle.
I had developed a really bad sore throat to the point where I couldn’t talk and there was a ton of pressure and pain in my ears. I was pretty clueless about anything from the drugstore other than ibuprofen, so I started trying all sorts of homeopathic teas and supplements. They were derived from nature, how much damage could I do, right? Basically anything I could find at Whole Foods, I bought. I drank copious amounts of medicinal tea, consumed tons of herbal throat remedies, and even tried this ear oil (it was gross) to relieve the earache.
After about 2 weeks of being really sick, I was at my wits end. Around midnight one night, I started crying because I couldn’t sleep from all the pain in my throat and ears. I was so upset because I didn’t know how to do anything for myself other than pray…but the last thing I wanted was Christian Science! I was going to do this medically and going to the Emergency Room was the only terrifying step I could think of doing next. I waited until the next day to take action.
Of course the next day was a Saturday, so I had no hope of going to a regular doctor’s office anyways (not that I knew how to do that either!). Still fearing the Emergency Room, I stopped at the drug store first and asked the pharmacist (with what little tidbit of a voice I had left) if he could recommend any of the over-the-counter (otc) drugs. He could tell I was beyond the help of otc remedies and suggested an Urgent Care center. What was Urgent Care? Oh, it’s like a walk-in clinic, open on weekends and cheaper than the Emergency Room. I was embarrassed that I was so clueless.
All it took was one appointment at the Urgent Care center and I was diagnosed with severe Laryngitis (which is contagious, btw). I distinctly remember the doctor telling me, “Don’t wait so long next time.” I couldn’t agree more. Don’t wait until you’re absolutely miserable.
He gave me a few prescriptions, and I went back to that same pharmacy to have them filled. I remember one of the prescriptions were these HUGE pills. I was already pretty inexperienced with swallowing pills and I was struggling to get them past my gag reflex and my swollen throat. After many failed attempts and a soggy pill on the counter, I finally called the pharmacy and I learned I could cut them in half. Man, I felt dumb. (Note: not all pills can be cut in half. Definitely ask your pharmacist beforehand).
After taking the drugs, I actually started feeling better that afternoon. I was amazed. These were my first prescription drugs as an adult and I was in awe that they had started working so quickly. Prayer had never helped me like that. After this experience, I never looked back at Christian Science as a solution. I still had lots of unfounded fear of going to the doctor, but I took it one minuscule step at a time.
About Rogue Sheep
Rogue Sheep was raised as a Christian Scientist, went to a Christian Science summer camp, and attended Principia Upper School and College. She made her break from Christian Science in 2005 and there has been much trial and error since then. Over the years she became comfortable in her secular lifestyle and didn’t give Christian Science much thought, let alone think about searching for ex-Christian Scientist support groups or blogs. But that changed recently. And now she wants to share her stories of figuring out how to navigate the medical world with the hope that it might help someone else who feels just as clueless as she did.