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The Best Men Are Men At Best | A Christian Response To Doctors, Medicine and Healthcare

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When we were on our honeymoon, I picked up a bacterial infection. I couldn't keep anything down and spent a day in the hospital on IV. The doctors gave me an antibiotic designed to kill the bacteria. I took it as prescribed, but the problem got worse. I sought the advice of a Doctor of Natural Medicine who suggested I take Black Walnut tincture. The infection was gone in two days.

A few months later, Brad lost thirty pounds in three months (and he didn't have a pound to spare in the first place). He saw multiple specialists and had every test under the sun. No one could make a diagnosis. He was eventually told, "Maybe this is your ideal weight. Not everyone is meant to be the same size." Another doctor recommended that he should start drinking Boost to gain weight.

We took a look at the ingredient list and were shocked to discover that the first three ingredients were water, sugar, and corn syrup which made up 47% of the actual serving! That's equivalent to swallowing your vitamins with a 237ml glass of water containing 7 teaspoons of sugar.

Brad wanted to gain the weight back but in a healthy way. He chose not to drink Boost. We quit going to doctors and started doing our own research. For two years, we tried various diets and eventually eliminated gluten, and limited corn, and cow's milk (we still love dairy, just not store milk itself). I started making smoothies full of good fat and kefir for breakfast and he started taking probiotics with his meals. We still have a long way to go, but he's slowly putting the weight back on.

When our then 18 month old son started getting chronic ear infections (at least one a month), we took him to a specialist. He said our son would eventually grow out of it, but in the mean time, we could either choose to have tubes put in his ears, or relieve the pain with Tylenol and Motrin. I knew Tylenol and Motrin would do nothing more than mask the real problem and was concerned with the toxic effect regular doses of ibuprofen would have on his liver and kidneys. A friend of mine recommended I take him to the chiropractor. After a series of four adjustments, he hasn't had an ear infection in over a year.

When our daughter was born 6 weeks premature, I was denied the right to breastfeed our daughter because the nurses said she would burn too many calories if I let her work for it instead of using the tube for feedings like they recommended. My midwife was happy to intervene on our behalf and when I finally got the chance to breastfeed our little girl, she gained four ounces overnight - more than she had gained on the tube since birth!

We were told our youngest baby's life was not "viable" (worth trying to save) until I reached 24 weeks; I hemorrhaged nine-days postpartum after a botched manual placenta removal; our ex-gynecologist had no problem delivering a child in one room and aborting another in the next.

Doctors are but men.

They have helped us on many occasions and to a large extent, we place a lot of faith in their expertise. However, we must be careful not to credit them with an infallibility they do not have, and remember that it's an individual's right and responsibility to choose who they trust with their healthcare.

We've been reminded many times over the past few years that the best men are men at best. Doctors make mistakes, just like everybody else. They don't have a solution to everything, and often their solutions are atomistic instead of holistic. If that's what you like, it's not a problem, but if your philosophy of healthcare has got you believing that we ought to focus on healing the root cause of a malady in addition to providing symptomatic relief, then it makes sense to investigate alternatives to conventional medicine.

It's odd to me that our advocating the use of natural means (which have proven to be effective and superior to conventional medicine several times in our experience) can bring out the worst in people. There seems to be some sort of understood rule that if you don't put all your money on a conventionally trained M.D. from the Mayo clinic, you must therefore be a fringe greenie who will drink herbal concoctions to the death!

We make our healthcare decisions based on a position somewhere in the middle of the two extremes. I'm not comfortable putting all my eggs in a basket I've seen break before, and I'm skeptical of advice that comes from a doctor who doesn't believe all of life is sacred, beginning at conception and ending with natural death.

I don't trust natural "medicine" doctors who believe the power to heal lies within yourself (this philosophy contradicts everything Scriptural), and I don't buy the lie that you can discredit diet, exercise, and proper hygiene so long as you take several handfuls of supplements and chug them down with a bottle of Pepsi.
With conventional medicine now the third leading cause of death killing 225,000 people each and every year as recognized by the Journal of the American Medical Association and half of doctors routinely prescribing drugs they know won’t work, learning to stand up for yourself in any sort of medical situation and not take advice blindly can be a lifesaving skill. An informed patient is no doubt a doctor’s worst customer. ~ The Healthy Home EconomistSo, who do we trust?

That's for you to decide, but these are a few principles our family tries to take into consideration when we have a decision to make regarding our health:

Find a Christian, pro-life doctor who respects your parental rights and invites inquisition. If your doctor ignores your questions, fails to give straight answers, or gets agitated when you don't immediately jump at his offer to write up a prescription, it's time to find someone who treats you like a human being instead of another cog in the wheel.
Get a second opinion, and a third, and a fourth. I feel more confident of a diagnosis and prescription if multiple doctors are in agreement. If four doctors tell me four different things, I don't know who to believe and start seeking the counsel of others who have been in a similar situation.
Seek counsel from seasoned mothers. Is there anything more sincere than a mother's love for child? Mothers who have dealt with a sick child are usually well-studied in all the different options available, and tend to have an empathetic heart to go along with it.
Do your own research. By that I mean, don't believe everything you read online. Study reputable sources, consult with herbalists, chiropractors, nurses, nutritionists, doctors, and homeopaths. Self-educate and become well-rounded so you can make an informed decision.
Trust your intuition. God gave that to you!

Pray! Too often I forget that the miracle worker of Nazareth is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). God is not limited by time, space, medicine, or a diagnosis. He invites us to touch the hem of His garment when we've spent all our living searching for answers and finding none (Matthew 5:25-29).
Remember that God has all our days planned. I can't explain the paradox of God's Sovereignty and man's responsibility, but it's a comfort, not a curse, to know that even though the responsibility of their healthcare falls into my lap, God entrusted them into our care after He had planned out all their days (Psalm 139:16). Not a hair can fall from their head without His permission (Luke 12:7).
Recommended Resources:

Treating Fevers Naturally by Meagan Vissers, RN, FH. Meagan is a Christian friend of mine who has been trained in both conventional and herbal medicine. The information in her eBook was the answer to my concerns about Tylenol and Motrin's effect on our organs, and gave me a plethora of effective, natural solutions.

Treating Fevers Naturally taught meeverything the doctor didn't:what a fever is and why it’s a good thing; what’s going on with your child when they have a fever; what the difference is in “degrees” of fever; the concerns of fevers and how to deal with them appropriately; the difference in medical vs. natural treatment options; and natural treatments for bringing a fever down and making your child comfortable.

Treating Fevers Naturally sells for $14.97, but the education and confidence it gives a mother in charge of her child's health is priceless.

The Bulk Herb Store. The Bulk Herb Store is a Christian, family-run business that sells a vast collection of organic herbs and teaches people how to use them for practical and medicinal purposes.

I used their herbs to help a complicated pregnancy, and to make the post-partum herbal bath I enjoy after each child is born. Their book, Making Babies, taught me how to make my own herbal tinctures and salves and how and when to use them. I also use their spices and sea salt in my baking and cooking.

Other hugely informative books and videos they carry include:

  • Be Your Own Doctor by Rachel Weaver
  • Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD, MMedSci(neurology), MMedSci(nutrition)
  • Herbal Antibiotics by Stephen Harrod Buhner
  • Herbal Antivirals by Stephen Harrod Buhner
  • Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health by Rosemary Gladstar
  • Practical Herbalism by Phil Fritchey
  • The Green Pharmacy by Dr. James A. Duke
  • The Herbal Drugstore by Linda B. White, M.D., Steven Foster.

Trust Your Intuition by Jenni Wilson, M. H., wife of an M.D. Trust Your Intuition is the combined work of several Christian medical experts (three of whom are my personal friends), and seeks to provide balanced, grace-filled, information regarding both conventional and alternative medicine.

It offers easy ways to protect yourself and family from synthetic medicine and it's negative side effects, help you avoid toxic treatments, and choose natural therapies that have proven to be effective in homes all across the country.

The Maker's Diet by Jordan Rubin, Ph.D., N.M.D. We were thrilled to discover this book shortly after Brad's weight reached an all time low. Most diet books are designed to help people lose weight, but The Maker's Diet is the story of how Jordan Rubin, a once healthy young man in his prime, who experienced the same kind of weight loss as my husband and was eventually given up on for dead by several doctors.

He started patterning his diet and nutrition according to principles he discovered in the Bible, attained his ideal weight, and wrote about his journey in book that has helped people boost their immune systems, improve their physical appearance and digestion, regain their energy, and reduce their stress.

We don't follow The Maker's Diet explicitly, but it was the foundation for much of our diet change and investigation into holistic healthcare.

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