Today’s prompt from the Daily Post is called Placebo and asks you to write about the one ailment you would want to cure with no pain and little expense.
The whole thing confused me. Placebos aren’t real. They do fix things sometimes, but they aren’t real cures. Cure is a strong word. Cure with little pain, consequence and expense is, unfortunately, in my medical mind a near impossibility.
No drug is without side effect, no intervention is without risk. Everything from your daily exercise routine to multivitamin to the strongest chemo drug and biggest surgery is a series of risks and balances.
The only thing I can think of with no risk/benefit balance is a miracle. Seriously… The hand of God coming down and healing or taking a burden away. That doesn’t happen very often. We all have struggles and ailments. We live in a fallen world.
That is life. Risks and balances.
That being said, I thought about what I would cure because the concept sounds awesome, even if it is unlikely.
As an oncology resident, my first thought was cancer. But, it says one ailment. And cancer isn’t really one unique element, but a series of diseases all characterized by abnormal cell overgrowth. So, it isn’t a fair pick. But, I would love to see it cured in more instances and more easily (contrary to the conspiracy theories some people believe).
When I think about it, anyone affected by a certain ailment either themselves or with a loved one would want that cured. I thought of Alzheimer’s disease. How I would love my grandmothers back (crazyness and all). I thought of chronic pain and migraines and depression and anxiety and how I wish they didn’t steal my friends away at times. I think of C2 and his hearing loss and developmental challenges and how great it would be for him to not need hearing aids and not struggle with school and fine motor skills.
That being said, as terrible as illness is, it can shape us into the people we are for better or worse. Without various ailments, we would be well, but would we find other things to struggle with? Maybe. Would we be the same? Probably not.
I want to fix everything. And yet, really, that isn’t an option. Not to keep everyone happy. Not to help everyone I love.
I think if I could cure an ailment, I would want to go to the root of a problem. Not just fix something that affects some people, but a global issue.
I was thinking curing malnutrition. It is kind of an ailment. It is a global issue both in the starvation sense and in the sense of people in North America taking in too many of the wrong things. Curing malnutrition with little cost would help people in financial duress, would help to prevent a number of issues and complications and make it easier to manage other illnesses.
Not a simple fix. It doesn’t fix everything. But, it gives a good baseline start for everyone.