One day, while Emily’s cat, Pinkle Purr, was living with us and I was out grocery shopping, Steve heard a crash in the attic. He thought perhaps a stack of books had toppled over, so he went to see. The cat was curled up at the bottom of our bed, and nothing looked amiss upstairs in the attic. A few hours later, the cat was still there; she hadn’t moved. Curious as to whether she’d taken food or had lost her appetite for some reason, I brought her bowl upstairs from the ground floor to see if she was hungry. She was very interested in eating, but showed great difficulty getting up. In fact, she wouldn’t put any weight on either of her back two legs. She ate, but did not get up. Steve ended up sleeping on the floor of his office that night so as not to disturb her. I fretted about whether we should call a vet and what the cost might be. Steve suggested that we just give her time and that we ask a vet some questions about what they might do if we did seek medical care for her. One vet was willing to make some diagnostic guesses without seeing her. Two others refused. Little by little, she gained movement and returned to her former self in a week. She did not seem to be suffering or in pain, she just slowed down and slept and healed.
Now, the debate about our health care beliefs begins. What do we do when we recognize that we don’t feel entirely well? Do we race off to the ‘experts’ to get tests done to find out what might be wrong and then entrust those experts to doing something to fix us? Well, that’s what I used to do. When I had insurance. Pinkle doesn’t have insurance. For that matter, neither do Steve or I. So now, I think a bit about my options. If I go to the expert, what is s/he going to be able to tell me? Will s/he demand tests be done first? What information can I find out on my own? Can I live with the situation as it is without risking further danger? Can I trust my body to heal itself if I allow it quiet time, nourishment, and rest?
Watching Pinkle heal herself over a few days was enlightening. Could it be that much of the time, rest and recuperative care is all we need to heal ourselves? I liked feeling that she felt comfortable in our home, that she trusted us to give her a peaceful place to heal. My youngest daughter visited us this weekend. She was stressed, unhappy, and despairing when she arrived. She was peaceful, content, and happy by the time she left. We didn’t take her to any ‘expert’, we just provided food, quiet, supportive talk, a place to be in nature, and cuddles.
I remembered a time when going to the hospital was such a frequent event that I hardly thought twice about it. I know when it is warranted to save a life. I’ve lived through that. I am learning to live like a healthy person, on no medications whatever. My daughter is, too. It feels very good.