If you can cure one leper, why not cure them all?

The story goes that after years of ministering to the bodies and souls of the wretched lepers on the island of Molokai, Father Damien (Canonised in 2009) used the memorable phrase in a sermon, “ We lepers”.  His listeners knew that their pastor and friend, who ministered to them so selflessly, was now indeed one of them.

Leprosy also called Hansen’s disease, is a disease that has been known since biblical times. It causes skin sores, nerve damage, and muscle weakness that gets worse over time. Effective medications exist these days, isolating people with this disease in “leper colonies” is no longer needed.

Other terminal diseases of years gone by, are now considered Chronic or curable.  The life sentences given to my parents in the late 1950s, are nowadays considered treatable by surgical procedures or medication.  Even some of the cancers are now considered ‘chronic’ with patients returning to an almost normal life while being aware of their bodies and any changes in them.

For every disease that becomes curable a new horror creeps out from the undergrowth and the cycle begins again on the road to learning symptoms, reaching a diagnosis, and then finding a way forward to treatment or a cure.

There are about 6,000 rare diseases, those with an incidence of 5 per 10,000 or less. One in 17 people will be diagnosed with a rare condition at some point in their lives.

Scary stuff.

Even within my circle of blogging friends, I know several who are or have been touched or ministered to loved ones with Motor neurone disease (MND), Huntington’s (HD) and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP).

Imagine for a minute, that you are aware that something is not as it should be, so you go to the doctor. This leads to being poked and prodded before attending for endless tests, X-rays and scans. Then finally the day dawns when you sit outside the door to The Big Doctor – Northern Ireland speak for the Consultant – and tremble the time away, before you are called into the room…..

The Big Doctor might smile gently – if s/he has good people skills – or be abrupt through lack of them, and Say “Well all the results are in A N D I am sorry to say you have veryrareindeedgobbledygookitis!”

Veryrareindeedgobbledygookitis –

I stole that phrase from speccy. That is what it sounds like when you are sitting in that chair…. Looking blankly at the ‘The Big Doctor’.


Waiting for him to explain a little bit more in simple terms whether it is worth while your going home at all or swinging by the graveyard to save the family the expense of the hearse etc.

After what seems like an age the dryness in your mouth eases and your tongue moves enough to ask a couple of questions.  He tells you to have a chat with your GP. The GP, when asked the questions that have increased to half a dozen by the time you get to see him/her, tells you to look it up on the internet!!!!!

I am not joking. That is what happened to speccy and her mother and if you click on her name you can read all about it. It was the kernel that helped her to band with others and form:

They are in the early stages, taking baby steps in finding the best way forward.

It was one of the reasons that I was found wandering the streets of Banbridge in glorious weather for ducks……. dressed like this:

Baby steps are a long way from miracle cures, but they have to start somewhere and you know what they say about Rome……

Magpie, a recently retired member of our group chose the topic for today – If you can cure one leper, why not cure them all? Now it is time to wander on over to check on which road our other active members have taken with the subject:- Anu Delirious, Maxi Maria/Gaelikaa, Maria SilverFox OCD writer, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, The Old Fossil, Will Knott.

21 thoughts on “If you can cure one leper, why not cure them all?

  1. Grannymar Post author

    Ramana – Our system is a lottery! There are some excellent consultants and doctors with a caring attitude to their patients and alas there are the others…. I could go on, but now is not the time.

    speccy – I am well dried out and about to head out again shortly. The webbed feet are on order!!

  2. The Old Fossil

    The picture of you walking for that cure speaks volumes, GM. Compassion in action is a beautiful thing. And, it can move mountains, even if one rock at a time.

  3. Alice

    Since medicine is both an art as well as (part) science, isn’t it? If we’re lucky we get the best of both. I think there’s no “cure” for anything. We just keep coming up with remedies to keep diseases at bay at best.

  4. Maria from Silver Fox

    I think David is sorely missed in the blog world. At least here in LBC land.

    I had not thought of leprosy in a long time and I remembered the Damien and the Leper story well. The nuns in my elementary school loved to tell it.

    I agree with Alice in her comment. We have so many serious illnesses and so many breakthroughs. We now treat many illnesses that used to be death sentences as chronic conditions.

  5. Grannymar Post author

    Alice – Perhaps the cure is in acceptance. It certainly makes a difference in how we deal with illness and disease.

  6. Grannymar Post author

    Maria SF – I agree that David is sorely missed, for his knowledge an wonderful wit. I do understand his reasons for retiring from blog writing, and have felt like closing shop myself many times. Perhaps when the time is right he may reconsider.

    As for illness, we are learning that we do not live with a disease – it lives with us!

  7. Delirious

    Isn’t it amazing how many unique and strange illnesses exist in the world? Just when we get one cured, another one pops up. I guess God has to take us somehow!

  8. Grannymar Post author

    Delirious – How can a merciful God make those created in his image suffer so?

  9. Delirious

    I read an account of some Mormon pioneers who started across America too late in the season, and got caught in the mountains during the winter. They suffered great hardship and suffering. Later, after the ordeal, there was a group who were talking, and some criticized the leaders who brought the people too late in the season. A man in the group stood up and said he was one of the survivors. He said, “I ask you to stop this criticism. You are discussing a matter you know nothing about. Cold historic facts mean nothing here, for they give no proper interpretation of the questions involved. Mistake to send the Handcart Company out so late in the season? Yes! But I was in that company and my wife was in it, and Sister Nellie Unthank whom you have cited here was there, too. We suffered beyond anything you can imagine and many died of exposure and starvation, but did you ever hear a survivor of that company utter a word of criticism? Every one of us came through with the absolute knowledge that God lives for we became acquainted with Him in our extremities!”

    God knows that we will suffer in this life, so that is why He offers us His comfort and grace to help us get through it.

  10. Grannymar Post author

    Delirious – Having watched my uncomplaining soul mate, slowly disintegrate inch by inch over six years, I find it rather difficult to agree with you. His road before we met had more suffering than any one person should have to shoulder.

  11. shackman

    God knows that we will suffer in this life, so that is why He offers us His comfort and grace to help us get through it.

    Thanks but no thanks.

    GM – I’m with you 100% in what you responded. I’m not learning anything about that so-called kind and loving god on my journey, nor is my wife of 40 years. But I don’t begrudge D her faith. I hope it’s never tested like ours.

  12. Delirious

    I just need to add that every one of us will have different trials in life. I may not experience the kind of trials you and Shackman experience, just as you may not experience mine. But even as tough as they may be, I still believe that all of our trials teach us something, and, if we will let them, have the ability to draw us closer to God.

  13. Grannymar Post author

    Shackman – You are never far from my thoughts as you travel a very difficult journey.

    Delirious – You are indeed fortunate to have found your road to God, and I mean that most sincerely.

    Constantly hanging on to the edge of a great black hole by my fingernails, does little to prove to me that there is a God who loves me. I think I cope and deal very well with what life throws at me… one step forward and three steps back all the time.

    Maybe I should sit out these semi religious topics they depress me.

  14. The Old Fossil

    Cuz, my heart goes out to you and shackman and always has. And to Delirious, too, for that matter, for hers is a deep frustration from a caring heart and a bright mind right now.

    My difficulties in the matter are relatively minor at the low level of insults, yet as I said at Ramana’s blog, the next time I will sit on the sideline with you. There is no good end to this discussion I fear and I regret ever accepting it for the Consortium.

  15. Grannymar Post author

    Thanks, Fos. Shackman has the difficult watch right now. My road may not be the one I would choose, but the ambulance that passed my door last night, kept moving until it reached the next driveway. Someone else’s time for trouble.

  16. Grannymar Post author

    BWT – I bet speccy has a t-shirt in your size. My toyboy catching cap is not for sale!


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