A Child's Love Is Best Medicine

Posted: November 01, 1993

I had a recent experience with the medical care system I would like to share. Because I'm in a high risk group for influenza, I asked my medical group about getting a flu shot. They suggested I get one in November.

Three days later local television channels came on urging us high risk guys to get flu shots. Who does one believe? TV channels do not have medical degrees so I followed my medical service's advice.

What was the outcome? First, the good news. For someone with borderline emphysema, apparently my breathing function is great. I can inhale germs all the way from South Carolina where some doctors are telling patients the influenza is.

The bad news involved my spending four days in solitary confinement in bed, sauteing in my own sweat, cursing my doctor and looking for a telephone number for Dr. Kevorkian.

I decided on meditation to try to deal with my inner turmoil and my anger at the medical care system. I became calm, objective and convinced I was overreacting about my illness. I was being unfair to the medical care system. I even attempted to visualize this system while in a meditative state. Up it came on my inner screen. Mickey Mouse strode toward me flanked by two rows of broom-carrying water buckets. Yes, I told myself, that's the medical care system.

I put on some good music, meditated, and tried to concentrate all my energies to heal myself. It worked after a time.

My fever stayed down several days and I was no longer infectious. I could even help my wife babysit my 18-month-old grandson, Lucas. I greeted the boy with a wan smile, more like a grimace. He didn't return my smile and gave me a quizzical look.

Later, in the playground, I was tired, sweaty and morose though I tried to conceal this from Lucas. He wasn't fooled. Something different began to unfold.

At one point, I was standing by the lip of the sandbox looking away. A firm, small hand tugged on my trouser leg. "Pick me up," it conveyed. He got eye contact with me, smiled and caressed my beard with his hand. It felt good, and a knot down in my gut untied itself.

It went that way all afternoon. Empathy and nurturing are not qualities one expects to find in a young child.

Lucas healed my spirit, and my body, on automatic pilot, healed itself.

The medical care system cares only about disease. Lucas cares about me. Thanks, little boy.

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