Wednesday, August 27, 2014

An Open Letter to Health Evangelizers Everywhere

Yes, I'm talking to you.  

The one who loves to post links on your facebook page about how some food or medicine cures or causes  cancer.  Or the "friend" who hadn't said boo to me in 20 years and felt the need to write me an impersonal note--not even taking the time to learn Spencer's name-- about what quack remedy I should use to cure his leukemia. Or the friend of my sister’s who in all seriousness told her to stop using antibiotics for a serious infection and rub oils on her feet instead.    Or the regular comments, which I delete immediately, I get on any blogpost that mentions Ellie's epilepsy that tells me about which snake oil will cure her from all her seizures.   

Can you please stop before you post next time and try to look at this from the other side of the coin first?    

I hate to rain on anyone’s  happy parade, but despite people's best efforts bad things can still happen and your constant ravings about how healthy/happy/perfect you and your kids are because of all the good things you're doing for them are hurtful to those of us who have kids who are not as fortunate as yours.     

I love my kids just as much as you love yours  and have always done what I thought was best for them.  I breastfed each of my kids for 12-18 months, avoided giving them unnecessary medications, made their food from scratch, avoided artificial dyes and flavorings, and took them to the park instead of letting them play video games.  And yet I still had a kid who was unfortunate enough to have cancer.  Another one has uncontrolled seizures.  

Did we cause their health ailments because I didn't see your barrage of well-meaning trendy health information soon enough?    

NO!   And your constant insinuations (even indirectly) that I coulda, woulda, shoulda done something different is counterproductive and hurtful.  Do you think I don’t beat myself up enough wondering if we  did something wrong to cause their ailments?

You have absolutely no idea what it feels like to be told that your son had a 25% chance of surviving the next five years with the best medication the world has to offer and yet you have the gall to tell me that chemo is unnecessary and that if we simply cut meat and dairy out of our diets that he would be healed.   Feel free to go that route when someone from your family is on death's door, but please don't put that judgmental crap out there as fact and expect people to jump up and down with joy at the "good news" that if only they were as good a parent as you they could have been spared the pain of watching their child suffer.

And don't even get me started on essential oils! I actually have some and think they're great for minor complaints, but there are far too many zealots, most of whom also happen to sell them, who shove the religion of essential oils down the throats of anyone who crosses their way--especially people like me who have families with visible health issues. They proclaim miracles at every turn and then try to peddle me their overpriced wares. Natural or not, they did absolutely nothing for Ellie's seizures and my sister has a friend who is blind in one eye and undergoing a corneal transplant soon, because she ignored her doctor who prescribed something for a minor eye infection and opted to use essential oils instead.  

I am not so naive as to not realize that the medical profession in this country is riddled with problems, but I simply do not believe that there is a cure-all for anything and to coin an overused, albeit apt phrase, that anyone who tries to convince you otherwise is probably selling something.  

For the record, I am one who loves to share good news as much as the next person, but I personally believe that other people's health choices should be respected and that evangelizing should be limited to matters of eternal salvation.


"And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him."  



Cassie Thompson said...

Amen and amen! I get so much "helpful" advice about what caused and could cure my son's and husband's type 1 diabetes....okra, cucumbers, cinnamon, juice plus, plexus, etc. It's very frustrating, isn't it?

K said...


Krispy Kreme Eater said...

Not to be offensive, but everyone should know that eating only Krispy Kream donuts and ice cream all the time is the only pathway to true health and nirvana.

Katie said...

Lara! Not only do I *LOVE* this post, I think it needs to go viral!!!

Charlene said...

Loved it! Great blog post!

Andie said...

A-freaking-MEN! I agree, this needs to go viral.

K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
K said...

Thought you might enjoy this article our cancer survivor cousin just posted:

Sheila said...


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