Mark 5:26

and undergone much at the hands of many doctors, (spending all she had without obtaining any relief, but, on the contrary, growing worse),

a standard therapy generations ago
letting blood proved ineffective
often counterproductive
a cure more problematic than the cause

not having many tools available
leads to their misapplication
many a screw stripped by a wrong bit
and a bit ruined when used too often

as with limited diagnoses and remedies
our relationships find themselves limited
we use the same questionable strategies
until everyone is plumb wore out

it takes strength to not be worn down
flexibility persistence hope
are important messenger qualities
and are found in surprising people

The first clause can be translated in two different ways:

1) She suffered much while treated by many doctors;

2) Many doctors who treated her caused her to suffer much.

Even under the rubric of “first do no harm” we find suffering to still be a basic universal experience. The very attempt to resolve an issue brings it into focus, heightening our senses about the negatives still so very present.

We still run into difficulties with the best diagnosticians not having access to materials and techniques to assess a situation. No matter what the diagnosis, a lack of trust in therapies and prescriptions can often subvert the trying of or follow through on them.

Mann [285] notes Marie-Henri Lagrange, O.P, founder of the École Biblique in Jerusalem, as identifying a custom in the “East” (meaning everywhere) to consult as many physicians as possible. This led to multiple prescriptions and their probable negative interactions with each other. No double-blind study means sorting out the helpful from the hurtful is nearly impossible.

The main take away is that she got worse. This builds on the Geresene whose every episode made things worse for himself and those around him.

In worsening conditions many choose to up the ante and try more and more, riskier and riskier procedures. When worse hits, shame is no longer a controller of behavior. This unnamed woman acts on behalf of each of us in our worst times. An inarticulate reach.

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