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There Are Two “I”s in Medicine but I Will Not Be Taking Any



By Melissa Sattler

My mother always said I was the complicated baby out of our family. My older sister was quiet, rarely cried, and did what she was told. I would consider that boring, but others consider it “well-behaved”. My younger brother had a fascination with the ceiling fan; put him under that thing and he would be content for hours. I would consider that weird, but others consider it a “young thirst for mechanical knowledge”. My style as a young one was rarely sleep, climb all over everything, always want to eat, and for the number one rule: never take medicine. I really did not care that it could maybe make me feel better. If I did not like how it tasted, there was no way it was going to enter my system. Nevertheless, I always wanted to eat. Some would consider that illogical, but I would consider that smart. Clearly, I had Hippocrates in mind at the ripe age of three years.

As much as I would love to say that my young hatred for medicine is the only encounter I have had with letting food do the healing, it is not. Although I was older than my young three-year-old self, when I learned that my family history was rich with diabetes. While some kids talked about their family members giving them cars, money, or a legacy later in life, I felt I was destined for disease. Even now at the age of 18, yes, I am still scared that it will one day happen. I make sure to eat very healthily and do what I can to maintain an overall healthy attitude through food and nutrition. In addition, the summer before I left for my first year at college I was slammed with some health problems.

As a self-pronounced foodie and a future dietetics major, the fact that my stomach began hurting all the time did not sit well with me. At all. That along with some other symptoms sent me to the lab for the withdrawal of about 22 vials of my blood. Everything came back negative and I felt like I was right back where I started. I was totally in the dark about what was going on with my health.

Although there are normal chemical forms of medicine for stomach problems, I let food be the guide in my healing process. I researched everything that had not been tested for with the blood work. Although apparently there was a chance that a rare African fly had bitten me and I was in fact dying based on my symptoms, I decided maybe eliminating common allergens was a more practical answer. Sure enough after a few weeks of eliminating dairy, I felt worlds better. However, Hippocrates basically said food can be medicine, so clearly eliminating food was not the only answer.

After seeking further advice from a dietitian, I came out of the office ready to conquer the world. I fully eliminated dairy, upped my fiber intake, and found substitutes for calcium that did not involve chewy little pills or powder in drinks. Fiber can be found in fruits, vegetables, beans, and the list goes on and on. Calcium can be found in soymilk, tofu, fortified cereals, and that list is quite long as well.

It is said that when we have a problem as humans, we sometimes regress back to the younger versions of ourselves as a form of defense. So that’s what I’m doing. I am avoiding medicine and eating as much of what will help me that I can get my hands on. There may be people who doubt this method, but I think that it will work just fine. Hey, the Father of modern medicine seems to agree, so what more could I possibly want?

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