I wonder, sometimes, if humanity is progressively, steadily, losing touch with everything it means to be human.  I could give a long list of reasons I believe this to be true, but what strikes me are the ways people are incredulous about their bodies when I see them in the emergency department.

Afflicted with a bruise on an arm or leg, but no fracture, they say:  ‘So if it isn’t broken, why does it hurt like this?’  Or, ‘why is it black and blue?’

When their children have cough and head colds, and no pneumonia, they are flabbergasted by fever.  ‘I don’t get it.  I give him Tylenol and the fever goes away…but then it comes RIGHT back!  Something must be wrong!  And he won’t get up and play or anything!’

Or this one, whose young wife fell a few feet down an embankment but suffered no fractures.  ‘Have you ever heard someone fall and make a loud thump?’  Simply stunned that contact with the ground wasn’t silent.

I don’t mean to belittle uncertainty, but in ages past our grandmothers, with no formal medical training,  knew that bruises were painful, fevers were cyclic and falling down (outside of a vacuum)  made a noise!

Have we so ‘medicalized’ the world that nobody knows what normal human bodies do?

At our current rate, it’s unlikely to change, as every natural process from birth to death becomes insulated in procedures, diagnoses, medications and ironically, increasing mystery to a world of humans out of touch with their very humanity.

Edwin

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