Thursday, June 6, 2019

The Gods Can Heal Strangely

Over the course of the last couple of years, I suffered with what I did not realize was a gluten allergy. If I ate a substantial amount of it, my mouth would swell and break out with horrible blisters for a week or more. As a child and teenager, I remember having mouth sores as well, but they were less severe. It became more problematic as I grew older, which allergies can do. The more often it happened at certain intervals, the more obvious it became that it was related to something I was eating. My wife took note of my symptoms and researched medical websites to find out what might be the culprit. She came to the conclusion that I had a gluten allergy, for which there was no cure other than to live gluten free. It doesn't sound that bad on the surface, but it's a lot harder than one may think. Nevertheless, the pain isn't worth it. Living gluten free is a very small price to pay in return for the pain relief, so I did it, and my outbreaks went away. When I didn't eat gluten, I did not get any of my former problems at all.

I soon grew into my life of new nutrition. I didn't feel singled out or abandoned by the Gods or the Universe. Lots of people have allergies and live perfectly good and happy lives, and mine was actually one of the least bothersome. But I also couldn't pretend that I enjoyed living with it. I didn't like it, I simply grew used to the condition, and in one form or another, I prayed that the Gods would heal me of it.

Then came the early parts of the year 2019 when I got a call from my son's school saying that he was throwing up with what was a severe stomach virus that was going around the community. When I brought him home, I noticed just how bad it was. He couldn't even keep water down, and any medicine I tried to give him for fever or pain immediately found itself splattered on the floor in a fit of regurgitation. So I did the only thing I knew I could. I picked him up, took him to his room, made him comfortable, and tucked him into bed to rest.

Growing up, I myself had suffered with several stomach viruses, mainly because my family was very rural with well water that, to my knowledge, had no filter. One would think I now have a stomach of steel that is resistant to the sickness, but the problem is that each new virus is different than the last. They are always mutating and evolving, so your body can't develop resistance to the sickness universally. The viruses that infected me in childhood were likely totally different than the one that now bothered my son. The worst part is that there is no cure for an intestinal flu. You just have to ride it out, which can take anywhere from 3 to 5 days on a healthy person, in my experience. Possibly as high as 6 or 7 days for complete destruction of the illness.

Needless to say, I contracted my son's virus no matter how hard I tried to avoid it. It wasn't going to leave the house without getting me too, and it would eventually befall my wife as well. But beforehand, I was its target. It was the worst stomach bug I had ever experienced to my memory. For days I was bedridden, literally screaming in pain, and vomiting, not so much violently as forcefully. When it came up, it was very strong, my insides pushing out extremely hard. I would call it rather unusual. Normally in my past, it would just come out like water one or two times, and it would all be over. But this lasted for days with several strong episodes of regurgitation. At one point I shouted, "Why, Gods, are you doing this to me?!"

After 2 days or so, the vomiting and severe pain finally stopped and subsided enough to where I could get up and function again. After about 3 or 4 days, 5 at most, I was completely rid of it. I thought that was the end, but for some reason, I felt it wasn't. There was something else. Something just told me, "Your allergy is gone, go ahead and eat." So I did. I ate gluten, as much as I wanted, but there were no breakouts. The gluten wasn't hurting me anymore. Upon telling my wife about it, she suggested to me that, sometimes, an illness can be so severe that it can actually cure an allergy. I had never heard that before, or read anything on it, but whatever had been causing my own had clearly been thrown up during the stomach sickness in some form. It was gone. But even though I no longer battle with it, I still limit my gluten for simple general health.

Now I'm not a faith healer. In fact, in the past, I made a blog post talking about how flawed it can be. If there had been a drug or vaccine to cure my allergy, I would have been a fool to not take what the Gods had clearly given to me. But I do think that when we have reached our limits and can't go any further, the Gods will intervene, even if it seems strange. Apollon is the God of healing and also the God who sends plagues, but maybe sometimes even a plague can bring healing. And maybe sometimes, there's no miracle necessary, just something the Gods find in the world that can counteract and return a needed balance.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.