Symptoms. They’re Bad, Right?

I wasn’t always as conscious about health, mine or otherwise, as I am now. And you would hope so considering my profession, right? I only mention this because occasionally, I’ll see habits that my kids picked up prior to my so-called “conversion”  come up.

So what could I be referring to? Picking their noses? Chewing with their mouths open (still a work in progress, but no)? Eating too much junk (yes, but still no)?

It’s none of the above. They actually have this incessant need for a band-aid for just about any bump, scrape, or fall. Even if there isn’t any blood, they have to have one. Think of it as Linus and his blankie. It’s a total comfort, but hardly needed. Yes, I blame myself for obliging them early on and offering a band-aid for the boo-boo, but it always calmed them down.

This leads me to my revelation.

A little while back I was on another band-aid run to the nearest store trying to avert another crisis in the home. “In and out” I thought. No problem. A little sidebar here, when I’m presented with too many options, it can get ugly. I like getting the latest and greatest and it’s a character flaw for sure. So when I get there, I’m directed to the band-aid AISLE. That’s right, an entire aisle stocked full of different kinds of band-aids. Hello-Kitty you ask? Check. Waterproof? Got it! With antibiotic cream? Absolutely. Don’t believe me? From the stores website alone there are 67 varieties! That there is capitalism at its finest. Because don’t you get it? There wouldn’t be that many different types if there wasn’t a huge demand for them. And who’s buying? Suckers just like me that are trying to fix an emotional attachment.

Why We Have Symptoms All Wrong

This is the mentality of our modern day society. We use a metaphorical band-aid for just about everything and it’s wrong. In general, we’re not out to fix things, rather we’re great at patching things. What do I mean by this? When was the last time you had a killer migraine? You know the kind: Pulsing temples, blaring lights, excruciating noises, all bringing you to your knees? It’s likely that your first instinct was to instantly go for the bottle of Exedrin. Not just any Exedrin either, Exedrin Migraine: Extra Strength. Boom!

Now I’m realistic, if you’re in a lot of pain or discomfort, you want to be out of it stat. I get it. The issue I’m having is you ignoring the HUGE red flags. FYI, migraines are not normal. Neither is heartburn, hypertension, constipation, dizziness, insomnia, or any other SYMPTOM. These symptoms are just that, signs of something greater or a CAUSE. There’s something acutely wrong with the body and it’s trying to make you aware of it. Simply suppressing these warning signs with another dose of medications is a really bad idea. You wouldn’t paint over your Check Engine light in your car if it came on would you? If you would, stop reading now. This article is definitely not for you or maybe it is. In the long run, the more you ignore that light, the greater possibility of damage. That $10 sensor could turn into a $2000 overhaul.

There’s no question, our health is paramount. Unfortunately, there are enough people out there to capitalize on the fact that getting sick is a part of life. And when you’re sick? Nothing else is more important than getting back to your old self. So, that’s when Big Pharma swoops in to sell you the latest and greatest drug through fear of loss advertising. Because when you create an emotional tie to something, all rationality goes out the window.

I buy band-aids for my kids not because they need them, but because it calms them. You follow doctor’s orders because you’re scared of the consequences. If you’re told to take another medication for some new problem, it’s a prescription for disaster. Let’s get smarter about what’s really going on in our bodies and fix the cause not the effect. Get educated about your health and take the necessary steps to leading the life you were meant to live. In the end, a patch job is always going to be a patch job.

So what are your thoughts?