When God speaks. . .
Like most Christian doctors, I pray for my patients and for God to assist me in making proper diagnoses, especially when the case is unclear. I'll never forget the day God spoke to me directly. A beautiful 24-year old came in claiming she wanted a preventive health visit. She was slim, didn't smoke or drink, ate healthy, wore sun block and a seat belt, never texted while driving, and exercised regularly. Thus, there wasn't much to advise! More puzzling, she had no job or health insurance. In my experience, unemployed patients without health insurance don't come to the doctor unless they're half-dead. Thus, I was suspicious something deeper prompted her visit. But what? Her physical exam was entirely normal and she volunteered no problems on her review of systems. I prayed and asked God to help me uncover whatever she was hiding. Suddenly, an inaudible voice said to me: "This girl has bulemia."
What now? If I told her,"God just told me you're bulemic," and she wasn't, I'd look crazy. But I felt confident God had given me this message to help her so I plunged forward hoping I wouldn't look like a fool.
"A lot of girls your age struggle to stay slim by self-induce vomiting. Has that ever been a temptation for you?"
The girl burst into tears and shared that she had started the practice in high school and it now consumed her life. Three and four times a day. Thousands of calories. Now that she was out of a job, she couldn't afford all the food! She knew she needed help but was too ashamed to tell anyone. I listened to her full story, prescribed Prozac (shown to help bulemia,) and supplied the phone number of a local Eating disorder Twelve step group. We set up a follow-up appointment for three weeks later.
Once her secret compulsion was out of the closet and she got proper treatment and support, she did well. I am still grateful that God gave me a word of knowledge about this girl. He truly is our "Great Physician."
Sally Burbank M.D.