Quote Challenge

“Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic.” – Thomas Szasz

Why are so many people under the impression that today’s medical heath care can create miracles? Pills can’t cure everything, yet many people think that popping a few pills can solve everything.

Doctors are not gods. (And here my common sense is screaming at me, “You don’t need to tell them that, they already know!!” but the unfortunate reality is that while many people are aware of the fact, they choose to disregard it when faced with medical problems they can’t solve.)

Why can’t they do something? They’re doctors! —I have thought that before but no, I never felt the need to verbally state it, because even while I thought about it, I knew it was impossible.

During April of this year, I was told that my Auntie was diagnosed with brain cancer.

Step one: sit down.

Step two: put head in heads.

Step three: let the tears fall.

Two weeks later, at the end of April (or beginning of May), I was told that it was a misdiagnosis, and she actually had a cyst near the center of her brain (…I believe; the doctors in Guang Zhou are pathetic).

Step four: breathe sigh of relief.

Then you find out that while it’s possible to surgically remove the cyst, my Auntie will probably suffer some form of neurological damage, most likely lost of limb movement.

Step five: slump on bed and cry yourself to sleep.

My Auntie is a bright and enthusiastic scholar; the loss of limbs will surely change her for the worse. And she did change, character-wise. The connections with her left arm and right leg was damaged and after six months of healing and rehabilitation, she cannot move her left arm and can only manage walking slowly by herself, not that she’s really ever alone.

I was with her throughout June, and I watched her suffer. I watched as she hit her left arm and right leg in frustration many, many times. I watched as she stared into empty space and shrunk.  I watched as the Auntie I knew changed, as some fundamental part of her person was completely altered.

She began to fret over everything: a little more sleep meant death, not enough sleep gave her panic attacks, not enough fruit made her think she was being treated cruelly (she definitely got her daily serving of fruit and vitamins). She changed, and I couldn’t do anything to help her, although she kept smiling at me and petting my hand, saying, “You’re such a good child, coming here to just visit me. You’re a good child.”

I didn’t cry. She deserves smiles, not tears.

This July, I left China with the dread that it was going to be the last time that I’d ever see her.

So yes, I have cursed medicine and its inability to create miracles. But I know that what isn’t possible, will never be possible.

No amount of “magical” medicine is going to bring back the light to my Auntie’s life.

Quote taken from here.

(PS: Please donate tissues.)

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