As a Doctor and A skeptic I and for a long period believed and still believe in the role of science in the treatment of diseases and the preservation of human’s health. So the speech of that taxi driver who drove us from Baghdad to Hilla didn’t impress me at the beginning but left me wondering later on.
On that evening My mom, uncle and I were returning from Baghdad to our house in Hilla. We hired a young taxi driver, Ali, who was in his twenties and full of life and joy. Ali like many Iraqi taxi drivers is a talkative young fellow, he talked about his adventures like giving a ride to a late to work army officers to the battlefield in Mosul front in a conflict zone, how he scammed on Iranian pilgrims asking for few dollars more fee, and how his car engine broke so he lost all that revenue in making repairs and he took it as sign from God telling him never to scamm again and so he did.
Ali kept talking until a phone call arrived, his tone changed into a calm and warm voice, he was telling that person that he won’t be late. Later, we knew that the person was his Mom. Ali asked us if we know anything about Diabetes, he apparently has heard the word Diabetes while I was talking to my mother, and without waiting for an answet he continued, “My mother has Diabetes, and I am worried about her, do you know any treatments to it, there is a special herb that I have people bring it to my mother from Erbil”. How is she doing? I asked, “Her blood sugar don’t go up 110” he replied. I was really amazed by his answer, there were two things that popped to my mind, either his mother doesn’t have Diabetes or somehow the herb works. I decided to dig more into this claim and asked Ali, what do you mother eat other than the herb! His answer was astonishing he described his mother dietary and life style regime just as it is written in our medical books. A minimum carbs ,no junk food, no soft, calculated calories of fat and protein , and she even practice exercise! “She take a pill too” he also mentions.
Well, I didn’t push the discussion more, because I become convinced more than ever. Ali’s mom do and get all what is needed for successful Diabetes management: emotional support + healthy diet+ healthy lifestyle + medications, but the favor was put on thar “magical herb”.
Yes, it was the herb that helped Ali’s mom, but not that she awaits her son’s friend to bring form Erbil. The real herb was the support she got from her family, the encouragement to push into a healthier way of living, and following up on her meds.