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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Take Two of These and Call Me in the Morning

I haven’t decided what’s worse. Paying ridiculous amounts of money for health insurance (at least the doctor will find what’s wrong with you and treat you appropriately--maybe) or having a doctor that only prescribes a hot water bottle for your ailments and checks on you a few times a week. Is it because you can’t afford medical insurance and can’t expect to get quality care? No. You live in the 1900s and they’ve only recently named strep throat as an ailment!

Take moment to ponder all the different long-term illnesses we know about today and then think about how many have just been named in the last hundred years. Many of these sicknesses were “diagnosed” as rheumatism.

According to WiseGeek:
Some conditions that were once given the general label of rheumatism or called rheumatic diseases include, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, and tendonitis. Frequently autoimmune disorders, since they remained unnamed but caused pain as well as affecting other organs, were classed as rheumatism. Illnesses like lupus were particularly susceptible to being called rheumatism. Later understanding of the actions of these illnesses show that the problem is not dysfunction of the joints, but rather immune systems that can attack joints, muscles and organs."

For example, although we’ve known about arthritis since around 4500BC, the first book wasn’t written about it until 1951. We all know what it’s like to have aches and pains; we just pop some Motrin and go about our day. Imagine having rheumatism, such a generic diagnosis for so many possibilities, and having to soothe your aches and pains with a hot water bottle stuffed under the blankets. You can barely get out of bed to go to the mailbox, certainly can’t go to work and make a living (I’m betting they didn’t have long-term disability either) and you’re stuck with a bottle filled with hot water? And here’s hoping all you have is arthritis.

In Molly Make-Believe by Eleanor Hallowell Abbott, the main character, Carl Stanton is confined to his bed with nothing but frequent visits from the doctor, hot water bottles and blankets to comfort him. But wait. What if there was one treatment that worked above all else? One treatment that didn’t cost a thing? One treatment that would pull you out of your pit of pain, despair and hopelessness? One treatment that really, truly, miraculously could cure even the heart? The only thing you had to do was trust that it would work. It’s called True Love. And it wouldn’t come from a prescription. Carl may just have to throw out his blankets and hot water bottles and cancel his frequent visits from his doctor. He may just be on the road to healthy recovery!

POSTED BY: Claire Cole

Molly Make-Believe by Eleanor Hallowell Abbott
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