How would you rate your doctor’s handwriting? Does your pharmacist hold your doctor’s written prescription for you up to a mirror, hoping it would make better sense if the writing were reversed? Or would you rather live in New York?
On March 27,2016, the way prescriptions were written there changed. Gone were doctors’ prescription pads and famously bad handwriting. In their place: pointing and clicking, as prescriptions were created electronically and zapped straight to pharmacies in all but the most exceptional circumstances.
A gentleman was having some physical problems, and as a solution, his doctor wrote a prescription telling him that he had to drink warm water one hour before breakfast. At the end of a week he returned, and the doctor asked if he was feeling better. The man said that he felt worse.
“Did you drink warm water an hour before breakfast each day?” the doctor asked.
“No,” replied the man. “All I could do was about 15 minutes.”
A father and his son were waiting outside the doctor’s office for a verdict on the mysterious happenings going on in his body.
The father said, “Son, put your ear up to the door and tell me what they’re saying.”
The son replied, “Dad, they are using medical terms I don’t understand.”
His father said, “Can’t you pick out one thing?”
His son replied, “The doctor used a word I do not understand. He said, ‘I don’t know what’s wrong with him. I guess we just must wait and see what the autopsy says.’”
Did you know that St. Luke was a physician? In Colossians 4:14, St. Paul writes: “Luke the beloved physician and Demas greets you.”
The, reference to Luke as “the beloved physician” indicates that his “day job” (as opposed to his apostolic efforts) was as a medical practitioner.
The apostles were spiritual doctors too. Jesus gave his 12 apostles authority to expel unclean spirits and to cure sickness and disease of every kind (Mt 10:1).
And of course, we know that Jesus is the Divine Physician. Jesus performed great physical healings to fulfill the Old Testament prophecies (Is 35:4-6; 61:1-2) and to get people’s attention.
Our Lord is concerned with the whole person — body, soul, and spirit. Jesus, our Divine Physician, came to free us from sin and death. He gave us his church and its seven sacraments to accomplish that. In the sacrament of reconciliation, for example, he brings a soul from sickness to health.
God is the source of all peace, joy and freedom. Jesus said at the Last Supper: “Peace is my farewell to you, my peace is my gift to you; I do not give it to you as the world gives peace. Do not be distressed or fearful” (Jn 14:27).
Sometimes God uses science and medicine to bring about cures. The next 50 years should be very exciting, for people with chronic illnesses. Stay tuned.
For you, I provide a new medical term: Costrophobia – a fear of rising drug prices.
Father Dennis Meinen serves as chaplain at Holy Spirit Retirement Home, Sioux City, for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in the diocese, and Faithful Friar of the Garrigan 4th Degree Assembly of the Knights of Columbus, Sioux City.