Faith AND Medicine…my reply

Mr Why, thank you for your email…I really really appreciate your insights and sharing. Your email has brought up some thoughts that I probably need to clarify further as well.

I totally agree with your view that faith and medicine works TOGETHER. I had struggled with it because some view it as in opposition to each other. I didn’t believe that should be the case, but I also didn’t know how it fit with each other. I think your explanation of it really brought it together for me…though I probably was not as eloquent in expressing it. ha ha. I also believe that whatever God does/doesn’t do, there is a purpose in it…to shape us to be more Christlike…and to bring glory to Himself. It absolutely calls for our obedience.

In my particular experience with endocrinologists and some doctors regarding the treatment of Graves, RAI or surgery was really the ONLY option that was ever presented to me. Yes, right away I took the PTU and beta blockers to bring my system under control as quickly as possible, but then RAI kept getting pushed in my face. “When can we schedule the RAI” “You should considering the RAI soon.” “Well, you’ll need it sooner or later.” And that made me kind of angry. This why I keep saying the endo just wants to “nuke/destroy” my thyroid. It’s the easiest thing for them to do, they don’t have to deal with it coming back. It gives them 100% success in “curing” me. I suppose I could use the term “permanently disable” instead. =) But it doesn’t make for as good a read.

I asked about dietary changes and the two endocrinologists I saw both said that diet is irrelevant. I refuse to believe, and couldn’t believe these Drs would think this, that treatment for one part of the body be looked at in isolation from the rest. Our body is greater than the sum of its parts! So I started to think to myself, “I’m going to defy your diagnosis…correction, I pray God will defy your diagnosis”. My GP took the time to look into treatment around the world for Graves and found that only in North America do Dr’s push for RAI as the FIRST course of action whereas in Europe and Asia, it was truly the LAST resort. This fueled me to keep looking for other ways.

I”ve also heard from several friends (sister in law included) who’ve had some form of hyperthyroidism that their Dr’s also recommended RAI right away, and as the only option…so they took it. And TOTALLY REGRETTED it, wishing they had the opportuniy to at least try alternative/holistic means to try to treat their thyroid. But their Dr’s never made mention of an alternative and seemed solely bent on symptom mangagement via the easiest means possible. Hearing this also makes me angry. =)

In all seriousness though, I know that for some, RAI or surgery is necessary to save their life as it was the case for my friend’s father. So I need to clarify to readers that I am not saying everyone should just pray for healing instead of using medicine…but as you say, each person needs to discern when to use which for their particular case…..as God leads that person through whatever experience is needed to shape Christ’s likeness in them.

RAI would really be the easiest course of treatment for me…I wouldn’t have to worry about changing my diet or lifestyle….or worry it’ll come back. But through prayer, I strongly felt this diagnosis was a wake up call to change my life…and to live in surrender and trust in God. Which is a pattern that’s been repeating through every area of my life in the last 15 years. I don’t think I am putting my life in danger by doing this.

So, yeah…in some ways I’m thankful that I got this wake up call. That I’m nearing euthyroid state…and that ultimately through this, I’m growing in my trust in God.

Do you agree or disagree with my thoughts? Does this change your views about Faith and/or Medicine?

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