Confounding Symptoms. If only…

My father was a neurosurgeon, and he made mistakes. If he had been more of a machine and less human, was never tired or sick himself and always made the right decisions, there are still vast swathes of unchartered territory in the medical understanding of how our bodies work. To put it simply, what makes us live and die is a scientific mystery. If only we were perfect.

Now, three months after my little nephew died, and the bitter reality is seeping in that he has left us, the autopsy results are still inconclusive. His symptoms point to something greater, rarer and not understood. For the month that he was sick, I know they fought with all their accumulated experience and knowledge to make him live, but it wasn’t enough. If only…

This morning one of my dearest friends is currently undergoing a biopsy test. For the past five years, through a haze of pain, she has been on an endless quest for answers. Her symptoms have lain undiagnosed for so long, but how could they have been missed? I’d be lying if I don’t admit that I am terrified. If only…

And yet I still cling to my false impression of the infallibility of the medical profession. I still have hope that when my child is sick they will be made well again because I know that we have come a long way from the days when women routinely lost their children to mysterious illnesses. I know my child’s life has been spared a couple of time through early intervention of infection and I am grateful for those times. I also have hope in this unexplained mystery, the intervention of prayer, even though my own payers have failed miserably in the past. If only…

Later I will be calling the doctor to take this child, who has had mysterious pains and unexplained symptoms, for another appointment. Even though I’ve been before, I’m not ready to give up hope. Who else would I turn to anyway? Would you call this a crisis of faith? I do wish my Dad was still here so I could ask him. If only…

In response to the Daily Prompt: Symptom

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