Old Habits Die Hard

The following is a collection of contributions from members of the Ex-Christian Science collective about experiences seeking medical care and interacting with medical professionals.


Back in 2000, I had this scaly patch on my neck. After watching it grow and covering it with makeup for two years a friend said, “that looks like skin cancer – you’d better get that looked at!” Sure enough, it was basal cell skin cancer. I had it cut out, and I have a huge scar now. If I’d taken care of it early I probably would have just had a little stitch.

– Hilary


I have been pestering my husband to help me get my basic vaccines (I have zero), and he doesn’t get it that I don’t know how to go to a doctor or what to DO there. A friend who knows the medical field inside and out has offered to set things up with me and come along to hold my hand.

– Heidi


My non-Christian-Scientist cousins were after me to get a colonoscopy (I’m fifty-seven) and it was way overdue. I did so, and wouldn’t you know, I had cancer. Luckily it was stage one, but the doctor said it was a slow grower and had been in me ten years. I had it removed with two operations last spring and summer. I am the fourth generation in my family to have this problem. My grandmother and father died grisly deaths under Christian Science ‘treatment’ of this very thing. The surgeon at Mayo Clinic that said if I had waited six more months it would have spread to other organs. They think they caught it all, but I am having follow-up tests this week and next.

– Anonymous


At the very end of my second pregnancy, I am starting to have serious health problems: blood pressure ticking up, signs of pre-eclampsia, etc. So apart from being scared and disappointed, every time I go to one of my appointments I also find myself extremely angry and defensive. My sister helped me figure out that this has to do with an entire childhood of being blamed for every sickness—every cold, upset stomach, or stubbed toe was entirely my fault and had to be fixed only by me (while simultaneously being unreal of course). So when my OB points out that my blood pressure is not in a good range, what I hear is, “what did you do wrong that made your blood pressure so high?” Ugh, old habits die hard, I guess!

– Hilary


Recently, an alarming rash erupted over large parts of my body. I went to the emergency room at the local hospital, and the doctor who treated me humourously diagnosed me as being a “very sensitive guy.” It was his way of informing me that I was having an overly severe allergic reaction to something. I was prescribed an immune system suppressant, and some Benadryl. The rash cleared within a day. I’m glad the old habits of waiting before I go to a doctor about something are beginning to fade finally.

– Jeremy

2 comments

  • I had a nightmare last night that one of the people I still care about who is still in Christian Science (in a prominent way – he is in Boston), died too young. I am in my 40s. He is probably in his 30s.

    It broke my heart, in my dream, to hear of yet ANOTHER person who “died too young” thanks to Christian Science.

    I am so tired of hearing of all the people who die too young in Christian Science.

  • Chrystal C.

    A friend of mine told me this week that her mom basically died from face cancer. I had to tell this to my psychiatrist. She was like, “that’s possible?” I have grown tired of how many Christian Scientists I’ve seen over the years with “growths” on their faces. This is face cancer! It’s so easy to take care of when it’s small.

    Please: learn self care! Take care of yourself! God doesn’t want you to suffer! You were not born to suffer!! You were born to be happy and FREE!

    Find a neighbor who knows how to go to doctors and GO! Just GO! You’re NOT a sinner if you go to a doctor!! You’re practicing self-care! You’re NOT selfish if you go to a doctor!

    How can you help the world if you’re hiding in your home with some “belief” that you can’t cure?

    Believe me, every Ex Christian Scientist isn’t angry at YOU. We just want you to get out of Christian Science and LIVE and be HAPPY!!

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