Welcome to Within Normal Limits, where I hope to journal and comment on issues of the day related not only to healthcare, but also to other topics of interest. I've never before written for public consumption, which may be apparent to the reader, but I hope to offer a unique perspective as a Christian physician concerned about the kind of society that will be passed on to my children . On my website (www.johnbwoodsmd.com) I'm described as passionate about my family, my faith, and my freedom. My wife came up with that phrase, and I like it, because it suggests the ideals to which I aspire. I want my wife and children and my patients to know those things that are important to me, and that I hope are important to others.
I mention my patients in the sentence above. While I've intentionally linked this journal to my medical practice website, I envision it only being peripherally related to my practice of medicine. Instead, I hope that my patients will be encouraged and uplifted by reading my posts, and that they will be more comfortable when they visit me in the office setting because of their familiarity with me through this forum. Let me make clear that I will treat all my patients to the best of my ability, irrespective of whether they agree with my commentary. Likewise, it goes without saying that I always maintain the most stringent policy of patient confidentiality. If you are my patient, you know this already.
I hope to post weekly, probably on weekends, as my time allows. The title "Within Normal Limits" hints at my worldview. I believe we are created by God to live to our fullest when we order our lives to conform to His perfect plan for us--just because we CAN do some things doesn't mean we SHOULD do them. I further believe that God has given us an instruction manual in His Holy Word, and that we can rely on and trust and take comfort in His Word. It is also clear to me that there is an opposing worldview in which there is no "normal" and there are no "limits." It is in part my purpose in writing to counter that philosophy.
At the same time, I'm described as passionate about my "freedom," but this is not inconsistent with the idea of limits. I see patients every day who have lived lives of worldly "freedom," and those patients are often in bondage to unhappiness, anxiety, depression, and lifestyle-related chronic health problems. True freedom in Christ, with sin's penalty paid by Him on the Cross, allows us to live a life that is immeasurably richer and fuller and happier than it could otherwise be.
As you'll see in the future, my concept of freedom also involves limited government. Again, I live every day of my professional life ensnared in a government-created pit of mind-numbingly wasteful bureaucratic inefficiency. I believe that, among human institutions, bigness and power result in less and less freedom, with more and more limitations and restrictions, and the biggest and most powerful player of all is government. No other human institution exerts more power over our lives than government, and its very nature is to grow ever larger and claim greater power. I hope in this journal to be a voice for sensible limits on the expansion of the federal government, and to revel in the uniqueness and the value of each individual.
Well, I think this is enough for a first post. You'll hear more from me later. As an aside, for medicolegal reasons I've decided to not allow reader comments, which is unfortunate, and makes this site not truly an interactive blog, but more of a journal. I hope that people find it a rewarding read.