I’ve always fancied myself a man of science. That is, if I encountered a new fact about something, I would adopt it and adjust my understanding. I would wrap my brain around this new idea. This would apply to something like bird migration or electromagnetism. I would accept this new truth as a revelation from academia, and embrace it as the new “is”, and be comforted that I had the most up-to-date beliefs.
However, I no longer derive ideological comfort from this. Before, the cold, impersonal facts of the universe imparted to me a kind of romantic dependence on systems and their conflicting chaos and order. It was simply how things were, and to have feelings abut it was irrational.
And that’s where the friction is- rational doesn’t cut it for me anymore. Rationalism is not an idol for me. Being a rational thinker, and thought of as a rational thinker no longer appeals to me.
Faith does not, in my mind, contradict rationalism- it’s a different instrument capable of playing the same piece of music. I’ve always seen the hand of God in photosynthesis, the change of seasons, in Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, in bison on their spindly legs, in spider silk that seemingly sticks to everything but spiders.
Paloma’s care has caused me to not only question, dispute, and experiment with how medicine is perform, but many of the methods and motivations of medical science. It’s also forced me to embrace as fact many things I cannot understand or fully articulate.
Because I didn’t want to be seen as an anti-science Luddite, I’ve made a point in the past of distancing myself from the anti-vaccination crowd. However, the people I once viewed as misinformed, jabbering goons are starting to make a lot of sense. I find myself part of a non-mainstream, untrained group of people making life-and-death choices regarding their children, such as implementing strictly-regimented diets, or weaning kids off powerful anti-seizure medication that was prescribed by an honest-to-goodness neurosurgeon.
I am now the kind of person who trusts their intuition over the recommendations of brain doctors.
One of the reasons for this is that we keep discovering or proving they were wrong. Paloma had her first seizure after getting a vaccination. In corresponding with other parents of Dravet Syndrome kids, this is a fairly common occurrence. I’m still not super anti-vax, but perhaps something to do with the reaction to the shot initiates seizure activity, which was pre-existing but dormant.
I have personally stopped a few of Paloma’s seizures with essential oils.
One Two of them stopped just by letting her smell the oil (eucalyptus) as I waved the bottle under her nose.
There is a correlation between seizures and the Lunar cycle. Paloma has a long, intense seizure every month during the same phase of the moon. Some people attribute this to intestinal parasites, but I’m not willing to go that far. Yet.
These are my experiences and conclusions. I cannot explain them, but they are my new facts.
I am still highly skeptical, even regarding my own leanings.
But I know there’s something more, it’s more beautiful than entropy, and I don’t need to affect stoicism to appreciate it.