Today I would like to adjust my wretched whining to the giving of accolades and appreciation for those doctors, researchers, and research assistants who give up their entire lives to study puzzling diseases, such as fibromyalgia in order to first find a cure, and in the meantime, formulate treatment options. To tell the truth, I hadn’t given this much thought until I read the book, State of Wonder by one of my favorite authors, Ann Patchett.
Without giving away the plot about a drug firm and one of their researches, this novel is one I could not put down. Now I realize that to compare a mere novel about finding a cure for ______ disease to the real life struggles of doctors and researchers living in Timbuktu, in the midst of horrendous weather patterns, not to mention the squigglies (that’s what we called those tiny, swimming, darting back and forth, creepy things in our soup, which we ate with a smile, while living in Seoul), and all the other least attractive of God’s creation, is foolish.
But folks! That’s the beauty of reading one or two books a week, instead of keeping up with the Kardashians, or watching Mom and the now defunct Two and a Half Men television shows. I want to watch stuff like Hidden Figures every night. And since I can’t, I read.
State of Wonder is a page-turner, and as the Wall Street Journal wrote, “An alluring interplay between civilization and wilderness, between aid and exploitation,” that made me want to read the last page, turn the book over, and start reading it again.
We are all aware of the exploitation and higher prices of the pharmaceutical companies that has occurred in the past and will continue in the future. I wonder though—are we guilty of taking those few murky mongers and tossing them into the good barrel along with the more benevolent sellers of life giving medicine?
In the meantime, let’s remember that without the self-sacrificing work of dedicated doctors and their teams, those diseases that were incurable fifty years ago and are now cured.
Most important, let’s praise God for giving certain individuals the brains, courage, and perseverance to keep working to make us all healthier.
Oh—and read the book! You’ll be mesmerized from the first page to the last.
Until next time …