Counsel of Chalcedon
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What to Do When Your Body Fails You

A patient will often tell me, in essence, that he is not happy with his body. His body has “betrayed” him or “let him down.” He doesn’t like what has happened, how he feels, how his body works, or the lifestyle he has. He compares his present activities to those he could do prior to his bodily problem.

The truth is that a person’s body will fail, sometimes sooner than later, with death the ultimate failure. It is a reality of living in our world. Bodies fail in any number of ways. The failure may be in the context of an acute illness or one that lingers. By definition, the acute problem (such as pneumonia or appendicitis) is readily treated, and the body is returned to a functional state that may not be much different than before the illness. However, sometimes the acute condition is an added burden to a body already heavy with problems. In that case the acute problem, even though successfully treated, may not result in greater function.