Intercultural Marriages, Doctors, and Medicine

Different Countries View Medicine and Doctors Differently–FINE

Ugh. People in different countries have different theories about medicines. In my husband’s country, many people have this WIERD idea that a person should avoid medicine because it weakens the body’s ability to heal itself.

That’s all fine though–my husband can be in pain and refuse to take Tylenol to “give his body a chance to handle it on its own.” Sure, he can claim that Airborne caused his kidneys to hurt. I’ve never heard of that happening to anyone else, but whatever…

Medicine for Children
The part that I can’t handle is when my husband refuses (i.e. tries to refuse) to let me give my children medicine. I give my children medicine in three situations: when they are in PAIN (like teething, which pain is worse than childbirth according to pediatricians), when they are COUGHING non-stop (too uncomfortable), and when the doctor prescribes something. That’s it. I probably give them medicine four or five times a year.

In the past, we got into HUGE fights about this. I finally stopped fighting and started doing things his way–sneaky. In my husband’s country, people think it’s really beneficial and intelligent when people are sneaky. So, I now just don’t listen to him about the medicine, and when he is in a different room busy with something, I give my kids the medicine they need to feel better. Hey, after 9 years of marriage to a foreigner, you learn that not every single detail needs to be discussed–same with marriage within your own culture, I’m sure.

And everyone’s happy. Oh, and if he asks me, of course, I tell him. I have no reason to lie–after all, I’m doing the right thing.

PS. Quick TIP: If you are in this situation, ask your doctor questions while your spouse is there. For example, I asked ours, “If I give my children Tylenol when they are teething, will it make them less able to handle pain?” (my husband’s exact words) It was wonderful to watch the doctor’s face contort into confusion and mild irritation as she answered “Ummmm, NO.” After this, medicine during teething was not as big an issue.