Jan 18, 2011

"Symptom or Illness?"

There are several things happening recently in my life. Some are good, some are not, and I'm about to write some of those.

Last Saturday I was shocked knowing that my uncle has been hospitalized for two days because of heart attack. I will not go into details how it happened and how sorry I was because it took me two days to know it (oh there I go), well thank God, he is getting better now. I really wish he can go back home soon.

When I visited my uncle in hospital on the next day, there came one nurse in white uniform and a cute hat. She talked nicely which I think is very important, because later I knew she gave my uncle four big huge giant pills. It might sound redundant and I know I am a pharmacist but I just hate drugs intensely! Well back to the nurse, the only good thing about her was the way she talked (and her cute hat). The rest, and especially, her words.. Oh they were horrible.

She told my uncle that the drugs only cured the symptoms. She then continued with one long list of things my uncle should NOT do. He was forbidden to talk unless it's VERY necessary, to laugh, to get up, to eat several kind of food, even to drink too much. oh well :p

Anyway, talking about symptoms, it reminds me of one story from one of my lecturers when I was in college.

There is one man who buys paracetamol in a drug store. Normal. The thing is he buys it daily. He says he's got this headache every time he wakes up, and it really annoys him. Long story short, one day, he doesn't need any more paracetamol. He figures out that one of his eyes number is negative and apparently all he needs is a pair of glasses, and that's it, he waves paracetamol bye.

My jaw dropped the time I heard the story. But really, in life, things like that happen. While some people are busy trying to cure the symptom, they don't really find the main problem which is the real illness. And that's a big mistake.

It's just like giving candies to a little kid just to stop her crying without paying attention on what has made her cry.

It's like saying "I'm sorry" without regretting for what happened and committing not to do it again.

It's like finding new customers when your selling drops without thinking there might be something with your services or products.

With our health, our relationship, our business, with everything in our life, if we can't identify the root cause of a problem, if we can't find the real illness, we can never possibly fix it.

Curing the symptom is good, but dealing with the illness is the best.

ps.
Oh yes, I thanked the nurse at last. She was right.
And no, I didn't ask her to lend me her cute hat.