We’ve spent ridiculous amounts of money on supplements and esoteric therapies.
Bought an infrared sauna & set it up in our living room.
Had a failed winter holiday in Mexico, in an attempt to inject some of the relief Matthew experiences in our Canadian summer. His pain was so bad we had to turn around & go home.
Tried numerous weird diets and bought the accompanying infrastructure for those diets (an expensive juicer that now languishes, a dehydrator that my dad now uses to turn his wizened apple crop into gnarly bits of dried apple for his hiking trips).
Invested in an inversion table, which also found a home with my dad.
All in attempts to find healing for Matthew.
To a bigger house, because we thought that the stress of three verging-on-adolescent blended kids & two step-parents would be eased if we all had more space.
But Matthew’s health got worse in the enormous house, and it was so vast (3 big floors plus a basement) we never even knew who was home: Some of our children? All of our children? Give or take a dozen or so neighbourhood children?
So we moved from the city to a little house on a little island. Matthew’s health improved, but there was no high school. With two teenagers & one on the way, that was irreconcilable.
So we began to maintain 2 residences. A small one on the small island for Matthew and another one in the city, so I can fledge my kids.
We aren’t fancy people.
All of this has resulted in debt.
If we were going to go with the advice of medical specialists we would have done none of these things. And much more than half of the time they would have been right. Most of the time the things we have tried haven’t worked. The infrared sauna? Not so much. But we don’t know until we try and we keep trying.
Some things have resulting in improvements. The Auto-immune Protocol (particularly, so far anyway, a low-FODMAP version) seems to be an example.
If Matthew had decided to go strictly with the advice of medical specialists, he would simply take a series of increasingly toxic medications, and then some more medications to counteract their side effects, and then more medications to counteract the side effects of those.
In truth, he did try that and it didn’t work.
There are no assurances with experimental approach we’ve decided to take. Aside from the guarantee that it is more expensive and (for us) will result in debt.
Just the food bill on the Auto-immune Protocol can be a bit like a battle with a hydra.
Is it reasonable to go into debt in the pursuit of healing?
I guess it’s a risk management decision.
As with any risk, if it results in success (in our case, we find a pattern of living that enables Matthew to have a life worth living) then the risk-taking was courageous. Maybe even heroic.
If not (if we aren’t able to find a way back to health for Matthew) then having taken the risks & gone into debt to do it will seem, in retrospect, financially irresponsible and irrationally idealistic. Especially as his capacity to earn a living is on the line.
The ravening beast that is compound interest doesn’t discriminate based on whether your debt results from party shoes or pastured beef.
Which are we? Courageous heroes or irresponsible idealists? Maybe we’re like Schrödinger’s Cat: we’re both until the box is cracked open.
But either way, we will be able to say that we did everything in our power.
This image is Hercules slaying the Lernean hydra; c. 525 B.C. I’d say he’s getting some help with that…