Why it still exists
I write this article with a high degree of passion because it directly relates to myself. Just for the records, I am a person who believes in logic and simply discards superstition. Now, I am fully aware that a lot of friends, acquaintances and even relatives may not agree with me, but I believe in practicality rather than fallacy.
I am writing this article in relation to a family issue which I believe should be made public since it is of importance to many.
Some people who know me may be aware that my son has been diagnosed with a rare medical condition which required surgery to be corrected. At this time, I wish to state that a couple surgical procedures have been performed and all have been reported as being successful. For this I give thanks to almighty God and many others who I will mention at a later date.
My point of concern is, what would have been the outcome of this situation had I not been persistent in demanding answers? Please bear with me as I lay the story.
Sometime during the later half of 2006, my son found it difficult to hold things in his hand and at school was losing grip of his pen. As a result, could not write properly. He then decided to switch his writing hand from left to right. A few months later the same thing began happening to his right hand. Subsequently, it was noticed that he had what appeared to be a stiff neck.
Out of immediate concern, he was taken to a much respected and highly recommended neurologist/surgeon at a prestigious San Fernando private hospital (seeking legal advice before naming). MRIs and CT Scans were conducted. After several consultations, the presiding doctor indicated that he was simply suffering from an acute form of Stiff Neck which he termed “Spasmodic Torticollis”. He recommended that “Botox” be injected into the muscle to relieve the spasm. However, he indicated that he never before performed the procedure.
This did not settle too well with me so I decided to seek another opinion. After a few referrals, he began visiting Dr. David Toby in Port of Spain. During that period, his condition worsened to the point where he could not walk. He was then hospitalized at the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital where MRIs & CT scans were reordered from a different institution. It was discovered then that his spinal cord was being compressed in the area of the C1 vertebrae at the base of the skull. A condition diagnosed as “Basilar Invagination”.
One of the symptoms of this condition is “sudden death”. During the following days, his right hand became weaker until the point of being paralyzed. His legs were also weak and walking became difficult.
Eventually, he was taken to the Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami where a couple surgeries were performed and thus far, success has been reported. He is still warded there; however, I can report that his condition is improving.
Now, my grouse is this, had it not been for me questioning the San Fernando doctor’s diagnosis, my son could have been dead while he injected Botox and the compression became worst. This Doctor actually indicated that the MRIs did not specify anything which indicated any problem, hence his theory of acute muscle spasm. He also told us that he consulted with another Doctor regarding the case.
I later found out from other sources that the MRI scans received from the San Fernando Private Hospital were performed with outdated equipment and that the resolutions of the films were of low quality. In other words, they were not clear.
During the early stages of my son’s illness, I was approached by many friends and relatives who suggested that I take him to a spiritual healer since the doctors cannot determine what was wrong. Many suggested that it could have been a “spirit Blow” and that medical resources may not have the answer. I was surprised at how many people actually believed in such happenings. I know that a lot of you believe also.
However, I decided to be strong in my resolve against the belief of superstition and sought a practical explanation for the existing condition. The result is; I now have a realistic hope that my son Jamol, will live a normal life.
There were those who were saying that we already tried the hospital (the mentioned private hospital is regarded as one of the best in the country) and nothing was happening. There was no worry about whether he was getting the best medical attention.
Had my son died as a result of his condition, before being properly diagnosed, I can imagine what would have been said; “d boy was good all de time, somebody pelt ah spirit blow and d father eh believe it, he only studying dem doctors who couldn’t do nutten and he leave him tuh dead”.
I have heard similar stories like that in the past. However, I would like to state that we need to step above the realm of associating illnesses with superstition. I am also aware that some situations are generated by mental conditions but, medical treatment is available for those types also.
The perception of “Obeah” exists when we rely on inept doctors or inadequate equipment to diagnose our medical condition. When they fail, we resort to the realm of superstition and rely on unnatural mediums for help.
We must always be practical and vigilant regarding the health of ourselves and loved ones. Demand appropriate answers from practitioners, if vague answers are forthcoming, seek advice from other professionals in the field, consult the internet and speak to practical people. Inadequate medical care can cost someone their life.
The world has changed significantly regarding the “halo” worn by doctors. Their diagnoses are frequently challenged by informed patients and sad to say, sometimes are found to be terribly flawed.
In the past, many lives were lost because individuals chose to listen to their “healers” rather than seeking extended medical advice. I urge my fellows to always get your pennies worth, push the envelope as far as you can.
For some, I know that it is difficult to depart from a teaching which has been at the core of your very existence. From a young age, most of us were taught to believe in the supernatural and once your mind accepts it then you will see things which confirm your belief.
You may now be asking whether I believe in God and his ability to heal and the answer is yes. However, I believe that God works when man has tried his best. My faith in God is unwavering but I also believe that there is a difference between faith and foolishness.
YOUR COMMENTS ARE WELCOMED