Recently I saw a patient of mine who had just returned from performing the Umrah in the clinic. The patient looked different – she was cheerful and talkative, very different from who she was just a few months ago before her pilgrimage.
Back then, she had uncontrolled high blood pressure and complained of severe pain in both of knees which made her day-to-day living a nightmare. I started her on some analgesics and high blood pressure medication.
But when I saw here recently, her blood pressure was well controlled and her knee pains are gone! She was happy – almost joyful. I noticed she had lost 10 kg in weight since the last follow-up and she told me that she did not eat well during the Umrah because, according to her, the “food was different”.
She attributed her feeling of well-being to the blessings she received from performing the ‘minor’ pilgrimage, which I am sure, was a highly significant spiritual moment for her.
The medical mind in me, on the other hand, can easily attribute her well-being to the fact that she lost so much weight, her knees did not have to bear such a heavy burden anymore and ceased to be painful. The weight loss together with the anti-hypertension medication probably brought her blood pressure under control.
Should I say my piece to her and deprive her of her own extraordinary explanation for the renewed health?
Of course not!
I believe the pilgrimage had changed her into a better person, physically and spiritually and when patients are happy, I’m happy.