Posted in Faith, Inspiration, Life with CF, Uncategorized

Symptom checker


One of my secret talents that I take great pride in is being a “walking medical encyclopedia.” Friends and family alike often tell me that I missed my calling as a medical professional. New doctors and specialists have asked me if I work in the health industry because my knowledge of medical terminology and my ability to discuss related symptoms and/or treatments often surprises them. I don’t know what it is, I just like having information, I guess. It is not unusual to me find me on WebMD or some other online health sites trying to keep up-to-date with the latest treatments and procedures. I’m sure some of it probably stems from the fact that I have CF; when you live a life where medical care is a constant, it helps to be well-informed. The other part is just curiosity, I suppose. I just like learning about new things, especially ones that can help people.

Call me crazy, but one of my absolute favorite tools on the health sites right now is “Symptom Checker.” I’m sure a lot of you have seen it, multiple medical sites have them and they can be very helpful in “self-diagnosis.” Not that I’m recommending that, but sometimes if you have a question, it can help you pinpoint what the issues might be so you can discuss them with your doctor.  For those of you who haven’t seen it, you choose whether the person who you are checking symptoms for is a male or female and what the age of that person is, whether he/she is a child, adolescent, adult or senior. Once you have made those selections, it generates a virtual model and you can pinpoint areas of the body that are being impacted by these symptoms and it’ll prompt you with more specific questions to help narrow down the possibilities. It’s actually a pretty neat tool.

Too bad there is not this kind of tool for our spiritual health as well. Wouldn’t it be great if we could point to a reflection of ourselves and get a little prompt that tells us what we ought to be focusing on in bettering ourselves and improving our spiritual wellness? Can you imagine clicking on your eyes and having a little pop-up telling you are not seeing with kind eyes or that you’re coveting your neighbor’s spouse? Or what about clicking on your hands and being told that you are being selfish with your gifts and that you need to lend someone a helping hand? What if you clicked on the heart and it said, you need to show someone some love and kindness today or you need to forgive? Or maybe the mouth and it told you that you have a “potty” mouth and need to clean it up?

As handy as it seems, I have a funny feeling that unlike the “Symptom Checker” on WebMD, that “Spiritual Checker” would not be quite as popular a tool. It is hard for us to admit to the things we need to change in order to become more spiritually healthy. There are attitudes to adjust and unhealthy habits to break that plague our lives and our spiritual well-being. That being said, we are lucky to have the greatest physician and healer ever on our side, God. He has the cure for all our spiritual ailments and if we just put our trust in Him, He will assuredly lead us to the best of ourselves, because He wants that for each of us.

As much as I love medical information, I can’t help but think that if I died today, “walking medical encyclopedia” would not necessarily be one of the talents I’d want discussed in my epitaph. I’d much rather be credited with living my faith, sharing it and improving it, a “spiritual encyclopedia,” if you will.  As we approach the end of the week, let us take whatever ails us to the ultimate Healer, the great Physician and keep our symptoms “in check.”

Dear Lord, help me to identify the things in my life that are not pleasing to You.

Remind me that my spiritual well-being is even more important to you than my physical health.

Alleviate those “symptoms” that keep me from You. We ask this in Your name, Amen.



Christ-follower, wife, and mother of two living and succeeding with Cystic Fibrosis. Come check out my blog 100% Chance of CHANGE that follows my life's journey, one day at a time. Stories about life, raising kids, marriage and relationships, family, my CF struggles, faith and so much more!

2 thoughts on “Symptom checker

  1. Great post, Jen. The idea of a spiritual symptom checker is intriguing. Since there doesn’t seem to be one out there, though, I guess we’ll have to just keep checking in with our consciences. : )

    I understand your fascination with medical information. Since I figured out ten years ago that I have celiac disease, I have done plenty medical research, too. I actually try to avoid doctors as much as possible, and doing my own research helps me greatly in that regard.

  2. Cheryl, my son Jacob went through all the diagnostic testing for Celiac, but we’ve since been told that he had a gluten sensitivity rather than Celiac. For his first 4 years we were on a completely gluten free diet as well as egg free and nut free. I feel your pain and now know exactly what prayers to send your way. 😉 Hang in there and thanks for reading!

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