This blog entry is somewhat of a part two of my first blog post, which ended with me being allergic to the pollen in the air of Tampa. This new post picks up with me at the Student health clinic at USF to try and get some medication to reduce my symptoms. As I was sitting in the waiting room looking at the various posters of different diseases, I started to wonder about what would actually be happening to my body when I take this medication. Would I be doing myself a disservice by not allowing my body adapt and change in order to accommodate the allergic reaction I was experiencing? This immediately made me think about Foucault’s work that we studied in class Psychiatric Power, where we discussed based on the reading that therapy and treatment are meant to suppress diseases and to prevent them from further development so as to protect our bodies. However, is this the best approach to take when it comes to curing one’s self? The major issue addresses by Foucault was that this suppression of disease is actually not the most effective way of handling diseases. Foucault states that in order to fully understand how diseases work we must do the opposite of suppressing them, we must allow them to grow and develop in a controlled environment in so that when it is completely developed, the best solution to combat the disease can be made. Fully understanding something is crucial before you can assess the best method of dealing with said problem.
This brought on discussion about the ethics of letting this happen, and what modern practices say to something like this. It turns out that modern medical doctors seem to embrace the idea of the suppression of diseases until it is virtually nonexistent. this I do not think coincidentally correlates with the increase of different, more drug resistant versions of common diseases that we are seeing in the world. This is a positive to the point of Foucault because coming up with a solution when you fully understand a disease would probably have a better result than what is happening now. The major flaw recognized by Foucault is that of ethics, can you ethically let a disease ravage a person to the point of even death in order to fully understand how a disease works to then save others.
Bringing this back to myself, sitting in the waiting room awaiting my medication I wonder if suppression is really the best solution to make thinking about it on the larger scale. However, at that point I remembered the words of Tuana in her work Viscous Porosity, “this porosity often does not discriminate against that which can kill us”. Our bodies are porous beings after all and it will let lethal things into itself, so now I am faced with a choice, do I let myself go without medicine and not suppress the disease in order to fully understand how this illness works and hopefully stoop it before it could possible kill me or do I suppress it for now with the possibility of not fully curing myself. The choice is difficult because in the porosity reading the author says that the porosity allows things to enter, stay and leave our bodies which help make it resistant and stronger but am I willing to take the risk.
Of course, in the end I took the medication and I am quite healthy now as far as I know but at the same time cannot help but think about the implications of my actions will have on my body. Will these same allergies come back in different forms, possibly worse than before and harder to suppress or will the suppression last forever? If I were to let the allergies remind untreated in my body would I remain sick forever or would I adapt biologically to accommodate them within my body? These questions are what I found to be weird about this whole experience, thanks to my training to see the weird in nature throughout this semester.