FYI…Not my usual type of blog!
As my family, and any reader of this blog knows, last February I had a horrible ice skating accident. I broke my left humerus in half and spent 3 days in the hospital for surgery to put it back together. The following several months were filled with pain, adjustment, therapy, healing, and mental mending.
I love skating and I love hockey. It’s one of the few things that has actually stuck with me from childhood. So, now, I find myself at a crossroads. I want, desperately to skate and play hockey again. But to be completely honest, I’m terrified. Anytime I imagine stepping back onto the ice I have a mild panic attack. I think there’s several reasons beyond the obvious for my apprehension.
1) The obvious: I’m scared to death of injuring myself again. If my injury would have been the result of playing hockey or skating hard and wiping out, I don’t think I would be having the reservations that I am. But the reality is, I wasn’t really doing much when I fell. My daughter and I were about to finish skating for the day when we saw that the Zamboni was coming out to clean the ice, and we figured that we’d hang around for a couple of quick laps on the fresh sheet. Well, I didn’t even make it half way around. I went to move from going forward to backward (something I do all the time), caught the outside edge of my right skate and it flipped me through the air. I landed with all my weigh on my left arm with it somewhat behind me and the rest is history. So, the simplicity of what I was doing makes me worry about how easy it would be for me to repeat something like that and have another major injury.
2) A few weeks after my injury I came to find out about the long-term effects of using PPIs (Proton Pump Inhibitors). I’ve been taking products like Prilosec (and nexium, aciphex, etc) for 8 or 9 years now for acid reflux. They work like a charm and if I miss a dose the heartburn comes back within hours. However, I’ve found out that long-term use can cause bone density to drop. Is that why I broke my arm? I don’t know. I tried to ask my surgeon about this on my last visit, and he acknowledged that there are those issues, but I didn’t get anything clear from him about my own personal bone density. I don’t even know if he’d be able to tell. I probably would need a bone density scan to know for sure. All this being said, my wife tells me all the time that it was just a freak accident, but I still have this in the back of my head and I worry that something else will break for even a lesser impact.
3) Money! Yay healthcare. That little accident cost us about 3 grand! Obviously, I would hate to have to go through all of that again.
4) Probably the dumbest reason for second guessing getting back on the ice – Am I too old? I’m only 38, but have I already lost a bit of the coordination necessary to do this without injuring myself again? Do I have to accept the fact that this has passed me by and find some other athletic activity that’s lower impact to keep me entertained? Like I said, it’s a pretty stupid reason, but it’s there nonetheless.
One major reason in support of me getting back on the ice is my daughter. She was there when I broke my arm. She was probably more scared than I was. I think she was the reason I avoided going into shock – I was more concerned about her staying calm and not being scared than the injury itself. More importantly, though, I don’t want HER to be afraid to skate again or do anything else for that matter. She’s a horseback rider and we’ve always told her how important it is for her to ‘get back on the horse’ if she should fall off or have something scary happen. How can I not do that myself? I feel like I should be an example to her and find a way to get past my fears and ‘get back on the horse’ myself.
Sitting down and actually writing this out, I think, will be a help to me in pushing myself to get back to it. I need to address these issues in my head, and hopefully move past them.
There’s a website (and book) called: Why Won’t God Heal Amputees?
I’ve been considering this question for quite a while now. And, while I know this has been hashed out over the internet for a long time, I’m going to give my 2.5 cents worth on the topic now.
I don’t think that admitting or believing that God does not heal amputees will ultimately disprove God. (Although, I can add this to my arsenal of reasons for believing that there is no God for myself.) There are plenty of other arguments out there for that – The Ontological Argument, the Cosmological Argument, and others. What it does for me, instead, is argue against the fundamentalist viewpoint that the Christian God does, indeed, intervene when prayed to and miraculous healings can take place. And if the argument DOES indeed prove that, how do these folks justify the selectiveness of God in their own minds?
I’ve been reading a lot of the counter opinions on this topic and there seem to be a few standard responses from believers. I’ll list some of them now:
1) Free Will – Apparently some believers think that if God were to intervene and cause someone’s limb to grow back that that will, in some way, take away our ‘free will’ to believe in him. I find this rather surprising considering these folks are the ones that swear by the Bible as the inerrant word of God. In the Bible Jesus does MANY amazing miracles that go FAR outside of the normal laws of the universe (healed the blind, raised the dead, walked on water, etc etc). Wouldn’t the folks witnessing these events have had their free will compromised?
2) The ‘Hiddeness’ of God – Kind of goes hand-in-hand with the free will argument. But in the book, the author addresses this rather well. In today’s world, people claim all the time to have been miraculously healed from Cancer. Tumors are just gone after prayer (and usually also after Chemotherapy!). Isn’t that the same thing as having a limb grow back? Doctors can SEE and document a Tumor before and after, thus revealing God (if that were really the cause). So, just because the tumor isn’t immediately visible to the rest of the world, it isn’t truly hidden either. So, God wouldn’t really be hidden at all in that scenario.
3) God’s Plan is Mysterious – Well, this one is a classic of course. It seems the usual take that ‘we can’t know what God’s will is, so we just have to accept it’. I’m NOT ok with this take at all. In ANY of the arguments where this is used. It just feels like such a cop-out to me. Like throwing your hands up and saying ‘We just don’t know, so we’re gonna make up a reason.’
All these argument, just seem to me like more rationalization for the massive paradoxes that result in this question. Like it says in this book (and the way I’ve felt about the world for a while now), if you remove God from the equation, and look at the world as just natural process, and things just happen (both good things to bad people and bad things to good people), then everything just makes a lot more sense. There’s no longer any paradox.
As I’ve said many times, I’m open-minded. I really am (contrary to what most people think about atheists). If someone had a limb grow back, and there was a documented case, I’d believe it. I mean, people don’t regenerate limbs. It’s as simple as that. So, if someone was to be prayed for and they were to regrow a limb, I’d believe. I’m also assuming that if it happened once, it could happen many times. In a world with 6 billion people (and a large number of limbless ones I’m assuming), you’d have to think that the odds are in favor of many people with missing limbs being healed.
All of my life I’ve been presented with ‘stories’ of ‘miracle healings’. There are countless examples of stories from people who claim to either have themselves been ‘healed’ or have personal connections to people who have similar experiences.
I remember attenting church services where a ‘special guest’ would be speaking that day and that special guest was concidered a ‘faith healer’. I remember seeing how after the sermon the audience would be whipped into a frenzy by the music being playing and the singing and ‘whorshipping’. And I’d witness the ‘mass hysteria’ that would happen at the front of the church while people would line up for what seemed like hours just waiting for this person to lay hands on them and send the healing power of God to them to cure them of their ailments. I remember seeing those people, often times, stricken by the ‘overwhelming power of God’ and physically falling on the the ground wrything in a religious stooper of some kind.
I know most of us have seen or experienced this sort of thing in some way. There have been many movies and TV shows that have poked fun at the whole scene. Personally, the entire thing always felt very odd and unnatural and extremely fake to me.
Here’s my take on why this MIGHT work sometimes, and why these folks may have actually been healed as a result of this phenomenon…
I believe in the power of the human mind. I believe that there is SO much we don’t know and understand about the way the brain works and it’s power and control over the human body. That being said…I believe that the ‘power of suggestion’ and or ‘faith’ can work wonders within a person.
I used the word faith because I think that when a person is offering themselves up to one of these ‘healers’, they truly have the faith in their minds that these people are doing what they claim. I think that when they have 100% faith that they are being touched by the hand of God and that they can be healed that way, their own brains can send out signals to the body that can repair itself.
Obviously, I am no physician. I am no psychologist. But what I am is a realist. It’s been said many, many times that we use VERY little of the capacity and power of our brains. So, with that being said, this is just a theory that happened to cross my mind and this is where I post those thoughts. My intensions are not to offend those who believe. My intension is only to pursue MY truth in hopes of one day finding THE truth. The ONE truth that makes sense to me.