Tuesday, February 22, 2011

DAY 141 - The Enemy: MRSA, Cancer, Terrorists?

The MRSA infection that was in my foot has affected by brain, but I don’t think it has damaged it. I’ve simply found myself reflecting on the infection and me, and me and the infection.

This post won’t break any new ground for some of you, but I believe that our culture needs this reminder about enemies, and about infections.

First off, MRSA stands for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; an infection caused by a strain of staph bacteria that's become resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to treat ordinary staph infections.

Most of us would consider MRSA, cancer and terrorists to be enemies. Each can definitely be a serious threat.

Many of us would see the existence of these evil three, as THE problem, and would further see the logical, and complete answer, being their annihilation through a war or similar process.

It is valuable to remember that neither MRSA, nor cancer, nor terrorists can grow just anywhere. In most all cases, they require a conducive, if not nourishing environment in which to live and multiply.

Apparently, I was a good host, and provided nourishment for the MRSA that found its way into my body. While I did wage war against it with an effective and welcomed antibiotic, the war was one to markedly decrease its numbers and see if my body could re-establish its self-preserving balance once again. My war was not to kill every last MRSA organism in my body, nor in the world. It is impossible to do so in the world, and may be impossible to do so in ones body.

These organisms are everywhere. One in every 4 Americans is a carrier of MRSA. What this means is that if we randomly selected 100 Americans, and used cotton swabs to collect samples from the inside of their noses, we would find, and be able to grow these bacteria from one of every 4 samples taken.

When we find ourselves, as individuals or communities, in a situation where we are threatened by MRSA organisms, cancer cells, or terrorists, we are unwise if we miss the opportunity to ask ourselves about the terrain in which they have grown.

MRSA has not been a delight in my life, but I don’t believe that this organism is THE problem. The real power lies in me understanding how and why I am such a good host.

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