When it comes to the ambiguous illness of my friend Broken Billy, I just can’t seem to take off my white lab coat and refrain from suggesting half a dozen remedies to fix my poor, busted up friend, no matter that I may understand nothing about his elusive disease.
I’ve had two and a half years to learn about Lyme, but the more I feed my brain with knowledge, the more I realize that I don’t know squat about illness and the human body. I do have a bit of useful knowledge to offer my ailing friends but it’s biased based on my Lyme experience and the few dozen books I’ve read, and so I prescribe to Billy something I know about…a way to heal the body of Lyme! ….when Billy really probably has some other problem.
But I’m learning that even the best of the best, the most educated and trained physicians, do this. The endocrinologist formulates a program for healing based on hormones; the gastroenterologist will tell you that your illness is all in your gut; likewise, the psychiatrist, that it’s all in your head.
So perhaps it’s a good idea if we all just take off our lab coats sometimes, and take a step back as we consider whether we are really seeing our patients (or friends) and their problems through the filter of our limited knowledge, or whether there’s something else to their pain that we just can’t figure out or fix, and ought to humbly acknowledge.
I’m not trying to wag a finger; nobody means to be prejudiced, it’s just our nature as human doings. But perhaps the one who will be more successful at healing and helping others is the one who can step back and take off the rose-colored glasses.
Granted, the remedies we offer others can be helpful, but when we offer advice and offer healing with a one-size-fits-all mentality, we are behaving in a self-centered manner and without respect for Broken Billy or Sick Sallie’s individuality.
I wish I knew how to take off my colored glasses, but I think it’s a start for me to realize that when it comes to Lyme, there is no one healing modality that will work for all. We are all made unique and in God’s image, and so far, there’s no one exit out of the illness, but multiple doors, which we all have to try until we find the one that opens for us.