I Am Modern Medicine- Kneel At My Altar

You need me.

The more you use me, the more you will realize how much you need me.

Feeling sick? Your body cannot heal itself. You need me. Healing is the same as covering symptoms anyway. I have a pill for whatever ails you.

Is that pill making you sick? Damaging your lifestyle? Causing you pain, nausea, vomiting, dry skin, aching, dizziness, vertigo, temporary blindness, lethargy, swelling, dry mouth, (and in rare cases, death or dismemberment)?

Don't worry. Don't fear. Don't question me. I have another pill to fix what the first or second or third pill caused.

Health?! Well, what does that mean anyway? Health is relative. What matters is that you are symptom free.

What do you mean, "What about what is causing these symptoms?"

Does it matter? The human body is complex. It makes mistakes. It is my job to fix the things that go wrong.

You say you don't need me for basic bodily functions? You think that things like BIRTH are normal?! You think that they are safe?!

How little you know!

I have seen people who can't go to the bathroom without my help! And a woman deliver a baby, on her own no less?! Ludicrous.

Haven't you heard how much that hurts!? Have you seen the size of your body and the size of a baby? Women used to DIE all the time in childbirth. And their babies died too. You don't want that, do you?

What? You have heard that those deaths were due to poor sanitation, poor nutrition and hemorrhage? I have personally seen over and over birth go wrong in SECONDS. You must be in a hospital in case of that eventuality.

Someone told you that hospitals cause some of those emergency problems in birth?! WHO are you talking to? Did they go to medical school?

Plus the unbearable pain of birth! What woman needs to suffer like that to have a child? Why not lie back, take a nap, and let me take care of things. You don't have to feel a thing. (Well, until after...)

You have heard that unnecessary "interventions" may cause your birth to be more dangerous?! Who told you that!? (Deep breath.) You never know when you will need an IV, so why not put it in as soon as you walk in to the hospital? You never know when the baby will stop getting oxygen, so why not be attached to monitors through your labor? You never know when the placenta will turn to calcified mush, so lets just induce on your due date? You never know if your hips are big enough, so why not just avoid the "pain" of labor and cut the baby out?

You will be glad you did.

I am not just Modern Medicine. I am your friend. I am your confidant. I am your savior. I can protect you from not just life's aches and pains, but from death itself. I am more than an ethereal thought, global superpower, a money making machine. I am your religion. Worship me.


Very powerful post. It is hauntingly truthful.
Anonymous said…
I just finished nursing school, the sad thing is we are taught better than this but there is a difference between what we are taught and what really happens. Also, I'm from Canada... I think we're doing a little better... but we have a long way to go too... I just had an amazing midwife assisted intervention-free homebirth, a first here since December of 08, covered under our health care, and you should see the negativity I got!!!
Anonymous said…
Great post, I shared on my FB page. I agree with Jenni, hauntingly truthful.

Anonymous, I am also from Canada (hi!). I do agree we have a long way to go. I had a great nurse at my delivery. I really wish I can find her again. I think of her often, and I really wish it was not against the 'rules' to find her just to say thanks. Possibly give her a hug. She stuck up for me and I hear her words everyday. Stay with your focus of being a great caregiver/nurse/support system, and please don't let them desensitize you. We might not be able to say thank you, but we will always remember.
Hannah G said…
I am a mother of five, and I have had three babies in a hospital and two babies with a midwife, and in all five cases, I have had very positive experiences with the care I received. My midwives were wonderful, competent women. And, believe it or not, my doctors were as well.

Unfortunately, what posts like this seem to miss is that "Modern Medicine" is not the monolithic Moloch that it's represented to be; it is made up of individual human beings, many (dare I say most?) of whom are genuinely interested in improving the health of those in their care. (And by "care" I really do mean care.) The medical doctors I have had have always worked—often very hard—to seek the root causes of symptoms I or my family members have had, and they have sent me home many times with "prescriptions" to try simple home remedies before resorting to pill-popping.

Much as I believe that "Modern Medicine" needs to learn about natural alternatives to pharmaceutical-driven health care, I have yet to meet an actual human doctor with the attitude described in this post.

I frequently read on websites like this and books on natural health that women need to "make informed decisions," "take charge of their health," and "not let negative pressure effect our birthing choices." What I find hugely frustrating, however, is that all these sweet-sounding phrases seem to apply only to those who choose "natural" birth.

What if, (God forbid,) I do my best to make an informed decision, and still decide to have my baby in (Gasp!) a hospital? Talk about negative pressure! When I told my OB that I had decided to have a baby with a midwife, he didn't raise an eyebrow. For me the overwhelming negativity has been directed not from the medical establishment at my choice to deliver naturally, but from the home birth "establishment" at my choice to have another child in a hospital.

It makes me wonder which side is more inclined to demand that we bow the knee.

It's time that both sides of this controversy throw down their idols and realize that health care in any form is neither god nor savior.
Anonymous said…
There is nothing wrong with having your baby at home or in the hospital. I was glad I was at the hospital with our first. Labor was progressing normally - until his heartbeat slowed with each contraction. It turned out the cord was in front of his head and if I hadn't had the c-section, he wouldn't have made it and possibly neither would I. I'm sure the midwife would be able to detect that and take care of the problem, but as I say, I'm glad I was at the hospital.
Julie said…
But... some of us will never be mamas without modern medicine. Where do we fit in with all of this?