The Daughter Chronicles

Monday, September 19, 2005

I'm offended

I was watching Sportscenter on ESPN yesterday morning, and there was a heartwarming sports story on, which ESPN puts on occasionally when they run out of highlights in an attempt to show how pertinent sports are. Okay, that's fine. The story was about a girl who was born with a mysterious brain disease. I say "mysterious" because the reporter never identified it - it could be a common brain disease for all I know. Anyway, she has had seizures all her life. I wasn't sure if she had 3-5 seizures a day, or 3-5 outbursts of seizures a day - as someone with a seizure-ridden daughter, it does make a difference, as Mia usually only has one outburst a day, during which she might have anywhere from 1 to 10 actual seizures. So this girl was going through life unhappily, I would imagine, until one day her parents took her to an Atlanta Braves baseball game. Speaking as an avowed hater of the Atlanta Braves, I would say this might cure my seizures by putting me into a coma, but it seemed to work wonders on the girl. Her seizure activity was cut in half, and she became a huge Braves fan. Again, speaking as an avowed Braves-hater, I might wonder if the cure was worse than the sickness, but that's neither here nor there. She wrote a letter to Marcus Giles, the Braves' second baseman, telling him how wonderful and cute he was (I'll admit, he's not a bad-looking guy) and what a big fan she was. Giles read the letter and invited her to a weekend series and introduced her to some of the players. She was blissful and is making steady progress.

All of that is not what offended me. It's a nice story, and appears to be working its way toward a happy ending. Joy to the world. What offended me was something the mother said during the interview, when it came time for the obligatory tears and the wiping away of same. She said something about baseball not curing her daughter. She doesn't want to say that. Then she said, "If you want to say it's medicine; you can definitely say it's prayer."

She gave more precedence for her daughter's recovery to prayer than to medicine. That's what offended me.

Long time readers (all, what, 4 of you?) will know that I have an adversarial relationship with God. In fact, I don't believe in God, because I don't really feel like believing that an all-powerful God would allow a flat bed tow truck to ram into my car, thereby almost killing my daughter and leaving her with a traumatic brain injury. That's not to say I didn't appreciate all the people who prayed for her in the days and weeks after her accident - I did, I just don't share your optimism. God may work in mysterious ways, but if he could have helped Mia in the days and weeks after the accident, as many people believe, then he could have made sure she wasn't in that position in the first place. As you know, she is on medication today, and she often has seizures. The meds seem to be helping her a little, which is nice, and her neurologist has pointed out that some people grow out of seizures, which would be swell, but the point is: she has seizures, and I very much doubt that prayer is going to help. Maybe it will, maybe it won't. Maybe our lack of praying for her has pissed God off and he's not going to help. Medication, however, is tested and tested and has been proven to work. For this woman to shortchange her daughter's medication like that pisses me off. If she had said both were responsible for the change, that's fine. If she feels that way, she should take her child off medication and treat her like a Christian Scientist would. We'll see if she likes that option.

Sorry about the rant. This kind of thing just makes me mad. It offends me because a LOT of human beings are helping Mia, as I'm sure they helped this girl, and to dismiss them in favor of some entity that, if you believe these sorts of things, gave your daughter the brain disease in the first place, gets me worked up.

Cheerier stuff next time, I promise.


  • I feel you on that. I told my mom that I was mad at god because I didn't want to go to church and she looked at me with fear in her eyes. I think she scared I am gonna go to hell for it but, I am already living in hell to begin with.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 21/9/05 10:11 PM  

  • Wow. I hope your life takes a turn for the better. We all have adversity, but we have to fight through it. Thanks for stopping by.

    By Blogger Greg, at 22/9/05 3:08 PM  

  • Good post Greg. I share your belief (as you know) and nod my head in disbelief when I see stories such as the one you mentioned.

    By Blogger Roxy, at 27/9/05 8:29 AM  

  • My guess is that she wasn't so much disregarding the effect of medicine as thinking that only prayer could have caused a baseball game to have had such a positive effect on her daughter. That was what the article was about, right?

    I find it hard to understand why people think that if God exists he would have to be the kind of being that would constantly intervene in our lives to prevent any bad thing from happening. If you protected your daughters from any serious challenge or trial that life might bring to them, do you think that would be good parenting? Doesn't it make more sense to let them face trials, but support them in doing so.

    I know you don't believe in God, so it's just my opinion, but I think God sees our life tragedies a little more objectively than we do - that injury and illness and the fact that we are affected by the choices of others are simply the realities of this mortal existence and that preventing them doesn't make us better people, or even necessarily happier people. I think his goal is to help us develop strength and compassion by supporting us through life's trials, not by protecting us from them.

    I really feel for your situation with Mia. This comment isn't intended to trivialise anything she is going through. But I think that God understands that a brain injury is not the worst thing that can happen in Mia's life. Even you have commented (in a more recent post) that Mia is a happy girl. And she CAN lead a happy life. Contrast that with the guy who has to live with the choice he made to carelessly reach for a map when he should have been driving more carefully.

    You don't understand why people credit God for things that people do. I don't understand why people blame God for things that people do. Why should God have prevented the accident when it was so easy for the driver to have done so. If he takes away all the consequences of our free will, isn't he also taking away free will? Is that preferable? It's a sad reality that Mia should have to deal with the consequences of his choices and actions, but isn't that the flip side of her benefitting from the consequences of people's good choices and actions? We all experience both sides of that reality. It's just the way life is.

    By Blogger chosha, at 19/10/05 12:28 AM  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/11/10 7:31 PM  

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