Why I Don't Take Medicine
I'm aware that admitting / proclaiming that I don't take medicine sets me up to be bucketed in with the nutty religious people who handle snakes and let their kids die on rare occasions before allowing them to go to the hospital.
That's not me.
My policy is to not take drugs unless it is a life or death situation. I've never even swallowed a pill.
I consider our current understanding of science, including medicine, to be both totally amazing and also way behind the wonder of nature. When I learn about how nature solves problems, I'm amazed at the beautiful simplicity.
When I see how medicine solves problems, I'm normally extremely wary.
What drug doesn't have side effects? How many drugs that people take have side effects that we aren't even aware of? How many of them circumvent natural bodily processes to the extent that we can't possibly understand everything that goes on as a result? How much of older medicine seems barbaric now? How much of our medicine will seem that way soon?
Then there's the immune system, which has been meticulously evolved over our entire existence as a species. Is it possible that our immune system has learned a trick or two in all these years? And MAYBE, since a core component of the immune system is it's ability to learn to heal, we should just let it do it's thing and build it's repertoire?
I'll let my immune system get a little target practice and build an internal pharmacy, rather than throwing it for a loop with some pills every time I get a cough.
Now don't get me wrong, if it's the choice between me dying and me taking medicine, I'll go for it. Body processes be damned, I'm not ready to leave.
But when the choice is between any level of discomfort and taking medicine, I'll take that discomfort.
As an example, about ten days ago I noticed a small rash on my leg. No big deal.
The next day the rash was bright red and very itchy. Upon closer examination I realized that it was behind my knee, on my upper calf, and on my thigh in a couple places.
The next day it was so itchy that wearing shorts hurt. At least it's not spreading, I thought.
The next day it spread to the top of one foot and the bottom of the other. It was getting bubbly and very painful.
The bubbly rash on the bottom of the one foot was the worst part and made it very painful to walk.
The rash was so bad that I decided that once I got to Hong Kong I would see a doctor to make sure it wasn't going to kill me eventually.
Then it spread to my chest and hands.
But I noticed something - the first places the rash showed up were by far the worst. Every new location was a bit more mild than the last.
I'm no scientist, but to me that seems a lot like my immune system learning and getting stronger. The rash on my chest was itchy but never bubbled up.
Now the rash is all but gone. There's just a slightly red patch where it was on my foot. I didn't even go to the doctor because it was almost healed by the time i got to HK.
Meanwhile, I didn't have to compromise my body by slathering it with steroid cream, and I will probably never get that rash again.
Other than chewable aspirin that I accepted as a kid because I didn't know better and because they tasted like candy, I've only taken medicine once. Oh, and I did the eyedrops (but not the pain medication or the valium) when I got my eyes lasered.
I was in college and got a sore throat. That expanded into a full blown fever and cough.
It was strep throat.
After a few days my throat swelled up so much that it was brutally painful to swollow. Then my whole mouth and gums swelled up to the point that chewing was agonizing.
I went to the doctor.
"It's strep. You need to take this medicine."
"I don't want to. How long will it take to go away on it's own?"
"If you let it go on for a few more days it will kill you and it will not go away by itself."
I was pissed, mainly at my immune system for not handling this one, and agreed to take the pills.
A day later I returned and got chewables instead because my attempt to swallow a pill left one pill missing under a cabinet and the dining room table covered in water.
I took the chewables and the strep went away.
I wouldn't necessarily tell everyone not to take any medicine, but I'd suggest not taking it unless it's absolutely necessary, with you being the arbiter of what qualifies as absolutely necessary.
I believe that as a result of not taking medicine I have a super immune system. I tend to get illnesses last, if at all, when I'm around sick people, and I always recover very quickly.